|Association||Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit (FSHF)|
|Head coach||Edoardo Reja|
|Most caps||Lorik Cana (93)|
|Top scorer||Erjon Bogdani (18)|
|Home stadium||Air Albania Stadium|
|Current||66 (19 December 2019)|
|Highest||22 (August 2015)|
|Lowest||124 (August 1997)|
|Current||73 7 (25 November 2019)|
|Lowest||118 (14 & 18 December 1994)|
| Albania 2-3 Yugoslavia |
(Tirana, Albania; 7 October 1946)
| Albania 6-1 Cyprus |
(Tirana, Albania; 12 August 2009)
| Hungary 12-0 Albania |
(Budapest, Hungary; 24 September 1950)
|Appearances||1 (first in 2016)|
|Best result||Group stage (2016)|
The Albania national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja e futbollit të Shqipërisë) is the men's football team that has represented Albania in international competition since 1946 and is controlled by the Albanian Football Association which is headquartered in the city of Tirana. The team is affiliated with UEFA and competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. Albania was the winner of the 1946 Balkan Cup and the 2000 Malta Rothmans International Tournament. At Euro 2016, Albania made its debut at a major men's football tournament after 50 years. After its completion in 2019, Air Albania Stadium, also known as Arena Kombëtare (English: National Arena) will be the home ground of the national team. Albania's highest FIFA World Ranking was 22nd in August 2015.
The colours of the team are red, white and black, and the double headed eagle its symbol. Its supporters are collectively known as the Tifozët Kuq e Zi and display as well as the country's national flag colours, red and black.
Although it never played any matches, the Albanian national football team existed before the Albanian Football Association (Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit; FSHF) was created on 6 June 1930. Albania joined FIFA during a congress held between 12 June and 16 June. Albania played its first international match against Yugoslavia in 1946, which ended in a 3-2 home defeat at Qemal Stafa Stadium. In 1946, Albania also participated for the first time in the Balkan Cup in which Albania won by beating Romania 1-0 in the final. In 1954, Albania was one of the founding members of UEFA. Albania waited until 1962 to compete in a Euro Cup competition and the only time Albania was between the best 16 teams of the Continent, the reason being Albania got past the first leg as Greece, for political reasons forfeited the game. At the end of the tournament Albania ranked 9th in Europe.
Albania participated for the first time in a qualifying phrase of a World Cup in the qualifiers of the 1966 edition in England. The team was drawn in the Group 5 which finished in the last position with only one point from six matches. In the qualifiers, of the UEFA Euro 1968 Albania had a draw 0-0 against West Germany that denied the Germans the participation to the UEFA Euro 1968 finals. In later years, Albania did not participate in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1970, UEFA Euro 1972, UEFA Euro 1976, World Cup 1978 and UEFA Euro 1980 for unknown political reasons. After six years without playing any international matches, Albania entered in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1982, managing to finish in a place other than last for the first time in a qualifying match, with Finland getting last place instead. The qualifiers of the World Cup 1990 were probably the worst qualifier in Albania's history as there were 6 losses in as many games with no memorable matches.
In the qualifiers of the World Cup 2002, Albania recorded a 2-0 win over Greece which was the only team that they beat during the qualifiers. Albania was able to make some impact in the qualifying of the UEFA Euro 2004 by beating 3-1 Russia at Loro Boriçi Stadium. This match was also the debut of the German coach Hans-Peter Briegel who led Albania to an undefeated run at home matches. Despite the good results, Albania finished the group in the penultimate spot with only eight points. In the qualifiers of the World Cup 2006 Albania recorded some historical results. Two months after Greece beat Portugal to win the European Championship, Albania defeated Greece 2-1.
In the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2008 Albania won twice in both matches against Luxembourg. Albania also drew 2-2 with Belarus and 0-0 away with Bulgaria. Albania's Euro campaign ended with a 6-1 loss away to Romania which resulted in the resignation of the coach Otto Bari? and his assistant. In December 2007, Arie Haan was named Albania's head coach by signing a two-year contract for the qualifiers of the World Cup 2010, where Albania made a very negative performance by winning only one match. Albania won only seven points from ten matches and Haan was replaced by Josip Ku?e in May 2009 following the end of the campaign. However, Ku?e couldn't lead Albania to the better results as the team ended the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2012 with only nine points from ten matches. With Ku?e in charge, Albania recorded its second biggest win the history by defeating Cyprus 6-1 at home, equal with Albania's 5-0 victory over Vietnam in 2003.
Josip Ku?e parted ways with Albania three and a half years after he started the job, and in December 2011, Italian coach Gianni de Biasi replaced him. Albania started the qualifiers and was, at one point, 2nd in group with six matches played and four to spare, but failed to be successful in the last four, losing away in Slovenia and Iceland, as well as at home against Switzerland, and drawing in Cyprus. Albania started the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2016 with an emphatic 1-0 away win against Portugal, which was followed by a 1-1 draw against Denmark at the newly renovated stadium Elbasan Arena. After beating Armenia 3-0 in the last qualifying match, Albania made history by qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016, its second ever appearance at a major men's football tournament. In the tournament itself, Albania lost 0-1 to Switzerland and 0-2 to hosts France. While they beat Romania 1-0 (their first win against Romania since 1947), the team finished last among the third-placed teams and didn't progress beyond the group stage.
Despite the UEFA European Championship's almost successful debut, Albania suffered massive setback. In 2018 World Cup qualification, Albania had been thrown into a tough group composing Spain and Italy. Albania, despite its passionate play, failed to reach the World Cup, falling to both Italy and Spain as well as a shocking 0-3 loss to Israel at home. During this era, their successful manager, Gianni De Biasi, resigned and Christian Panucci, another Italian, replaced him as coach of Albania. However, thing got little improved. Albania played poorly in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, winning only to Israel 1-0 and lost the remaining three, especially the devastating 0-4 defeat to Scotland at home. Panucci would be sacked after a 0-2 defeat to Turkey in the opening campaign for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. Another Italian, Edoardo Reja, was appointed to help Albania to improve in a tough group, but improvement is still very little. The Albanian side continued to slump, suffering a 0-1 loss away to Iceland before managed to gain its second win against Moldova 2-0. Reja would lead Albania in their encounter against world champions France in Paris, where the Albanians suffered a devastating 1-4 loss, the match was also marred with controversy after Andorran anthem was mistakenly played instead of Albanian one. After the defeat, Albania managed one of its biggest feat in their qualification, beating 2018 World Cup participant Iceland 4-2 at home soil to keep the team on track. Despite this outcome, Albania's trip to Turkey became a nightmare, when the Albanians, despite its passionate display, lost 0-1 in final minutes because of defensive mistake, thus losing every chance to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020. Eventually, Albania defeated Moldova 4-0 away, but with Turkey held France in a 1-1 draw and Iceland beat Andorra 2-0, Albania was officially eliminated from the competition.
Albania's traditional colours are red and black, mirroring the nation's flag. The team typically wears red shirts, black shorts and red socks. Away kits are usually all-white, with red and black trim.
Tifozat Kuq e Zi (English: Red and Black Fans, also known as the Albania National Football Team Supporters Club) is a non-profit football supporters' association for the Albania national football team and various national team sportive activities. It was founded on 25 December 2003. In cooperation with FSHF, it organises trips for football fans to visit games, and develops and sells merchandise to support itself and fund sporting related projects.
Tifozat Kuq e Zi stands firm in the political view that Albanians should share only one national team and have continuous aspirations to join in one state (Një Komb, Një Kombëtare), i.e. unification of Albania, Kosovo, etc. In this sense, TKZ is joined by different supporters' associations throughout Albanian-speaking regions mainly in Kosovo (Shqiponjat of Peja, Kuqezinjet e Jakoves of Gjakova, Plisat of Pristina, Torcida of Mitrovica, etc.), North Macedonia (Ballistët of Tetovo, Ilirët of Kumanovo, Shvercerat of Skopje, etc.) and in Albania itself (Ultras Guerrils of Partizani Tirana, Tirona Fanatics of KF Tirana, Vllaznit Ultras of Vllaznia Shkodër, Ujqërit e Deborës of Skënderbeu Korçë, Shqiponjat of KF Besa Pejë and many other different Albanian fans).
The ongoing dispute between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Football Association of Albania has been seen as a political intrusion by FIFA and UEFA, which led to the banning of Albania from international sportive activities. FSHF president Armand Duka is highly unwanted by the TKZ who have numerously asked for his resignation believing he is responsible for internal corruption in the Albanian Football Association.
The TKZ have been praised by many different football players and managers, whom were not just Albanian. One example is with Switzerland's former coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, who was astonished by how many Albanian fans turned up and how enthusiastic they were in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Switzerland and Albania where the Swiss won 2-0 thanks to goals from Gökhan Inler and Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri. He didn't believe that there was 12,000 Albanian fans in the stands which was more than how many Swiss fans turned up for the game. He stated that "Albanian fans are fantastic and the most passionate fans I have ever seen". During that campaign, TKZ attended all games Albania played apart from a match against Cyprus in Nicosia and were also large in numbers in the away games to Slovenia in Maribor and Norway in Oslo.
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualifications record|
|1930 to 1962||Did not participate||--|
|1966||Did not qualify||1966||4th||6||0||1||5||2||12|
|1970||Entry not accepted||--|
|1974||Did not qualify||1974||4th||6||1||0||5||3||13|
|1978||Did not participate||--|
|1982||Did not qualify||1982||4th||8||1||0||7||4||22|
|2022||To be determined||To be determined|
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualifications record|
|1960||Did not participate||--|
|1964||Did not qualify||1964||1Q||4||3||0||1||7||4|
|1976||Did not participate||--|
|1984||Did not qualify||1984||5th||8||0||2||6||4||14|
|2020||Did not qualify||2020||4th||10||4||1||5||16||14|
|2024||To be determined||To be determined|
|Total||Best: Group stage||1/17||3||1||0||2||1||3||--||Total||13/17||102||22||23||57||94||171|
|Albania's European Championship record|
|First match||Albania 0-1 Switzerland|
(Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France; 11 June 2016)
|Biggest win||Romania 0-1 Albania|
(Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France; 19 June 2016)
|Biggest defeat||France 2-0 Albania|
(Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France; 15 June 2016)
|Best result||Group stage at the UEFA Euro 2016|
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020-21||C||--||To be determined||N/A|
|Total||Best: Group stage||1/2||4||1||0||3||1||8||--|
The following players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Andorra and France, on 14 and 17 November 2019.
All caps and goals as of 17 November 2019 after the match against France.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Etrit Berisha (Vice-captain)||10 March 1989||59||0||SPAL|
|12||GK||Thomas Strakosha||19 March 1995||12||0||Lazio|
|23||GK||Alban Hoxha||23 November 1987||3||0||Partizani Tirana|
|4||DF||Elseid Hysaj||20 February 1994||52||1||Napoli|
|3||DF||Ermir Lenjani||5 August 1989||33||3||Sion|
|6||DF||Berat Gjimshiti||19 February 1993||29||1||Atalanta|
|5||DF||Freddie Veseli||20 November 1992||26||0||Empoli|
|18||DF||Ardian Ismajli||30 September 1996||11||0||Hajduk Split|
|17||DF||Kastriot Dermaku||15 January 1992||7||1||Parma|
|2||DF||Hysen Memolla||3 July 1992||3||0||Diósgy?ri|
|13||DF||Enea Mihaj||5 July 1998||2||0||PAOK|
|21||MF||Odise Roshi||21 May 1991||57||5||Akhmat Grozny|
|9||MF||Ledian Memushaj (Captain)||7 December 1986||40||1||Pescara|
|20||MF||Ylber Ramadani||12 April 1996||7||1||Vejle|
|7||MF||Keidi Bare||28 August 1997||7||1||Málaga|
|16||MF||Emanuele Ndoj||20 November 1996||6||1||Brescia|
|8||MF||Klaus Gjasula||14 December 1989||5||0||SC Paderborn 07|
|22||MF||Lorenc Trashi||19 May 1992||3||1||Partizani Tirana|
|15||MF||Kristi Qose||10 June 1995||3||0||Ru?omberok|
|19||FW||Bekim Balaj||11 January 1991||37||7||Sturm Graz|
|10||FW||Rey Manaj||24 February 1997||13||3||Albacete|
|14||FW||Myrto Uzuni||31 May 1995||8||0||Lokomotiva|
|11||FW||Taulant Seferi||15 November 1996||1||0||Neuchâtel Xamax|
The following players have also been called up for the team within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Gentian Selmani||9 March 1998||0||0||Menemenspor||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|GK||Andrea Hoxha||28 September 1999||0||0||FC 08 Villingen||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|DF||Naser Aliji||27 December 1993||13||0||Budapest Honvéd||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|DF||Iván Balliu||1 January 1992||2||0||Almería||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|DF||Marash Kumbulla||8 February 2000||1||0||Hellas Verona||v. Moldova, 14 October 2019INJ|
|DF||Mërgim Mavraj||9 June 1986||50||3||Greuther Fürth||v. Iceland, 10 September 2019INJ|
|DF||Egzon Binaku||27 August 1995||5||0||Norrköping||v. Iceland, 10 September 2019|
|DF||Arlind Ajeti||25 September 1993||20||1||Unattached||v. Moldova, 11 June 2019|
|DF||Drilon Kryeziu||1 July 1997||0||0||Dekani||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019INJ/U21|
|DF||Leonardo Maloku||18 May 1998||0||0||San Roque de Lepe||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|DF||Sergio Kalaj||28 January 2000||0||0||Lazio||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|DF||Blerton Sheji||21 October 2000||0||0||Struga||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Lindon Selahi||26 February 1999||1||0||Twente||v. France, 17 November 2019|
|MF||Taulant Xhaka||28 March 1991||31||1||Basel||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Ergys Kaçe||8 July 1993||25||2||Larissa||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|MF||Endri Çekiçi||23 November 1996||0||0||Olimpija Ljubljana||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|MF||Enis Çokaj||23 February 1999||0||0||Lokomotiva||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|MF||Amir Abrashi||27 March 1990||35||1||SC Freiburg||v. Moldova, 14 October 2019INJ|
|MF||Eros Grezda||15 April 1995||13||1||Osijek||v. Iceland, 8 June 2019WD|
|MF||Bruno Telushi||14 November 1990||0||0||Partizani Tirana||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019|
|MF||Shefit Shefiti||19 February 1998||0||0||Unattached||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Agim Zeka||6 September 1998||0||0||Fortuna Sittard||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Esat Mala||18 October 1998||0||0||Partizani Tirana||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Kleandro Lleshi||9 January 1999||0||0||Fuenlabrada||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Arbin Zejnullai||15 February 1999||0||0||Shkëndija||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Omar Imeri||13 December 1999||0||0||Shkëndija||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|MF||Jurgen Çelhaka||6 December 2000||0||0||Tirana||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019|
|MF||Kristal Abazaj||6 July 1996||1||0||Kukësi||v. Andorra, 25 March 2019|
|MF||Andi Lila||12 February 1986||70||0||Tirana||v. Turkey, 22 March 2019INJ|
|FW||Giacomo Vrioni||15 October 1998||1||0||Cittadella||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|FW||Florian Kamberi||8 March 1995||0||0||Hibernian||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019FIFA/INJ|
|FW||Armando Broja||10 September 2001||0||0||Chelsea||v. Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE|
|FW||Sokol Cikalleshi||27 July 1990||34||6||Akhisar Belediyespor||v. Moldova, 14 October 2019INJ|
|FW||Armando Sadiku||27 May 1991||37||12||Málaga||v. France, 7 September 2019PRE/INJ|
|FW||Din Sula||2 March 1998||0||0||Waasland-Beveren||Durrës Training Camp, 21-26 May 2019U21|
|Head coach||Edoardo Reja|
|Athletic coach(es)||Luca Laurenti|
|Goalkeeping coach||Ilir Bozhiqi|
|Team manager||Dritan Babamusta|
|Video analyst||Alarico Marco Rossi|
Albania's main stadium for most part of the history was Qemal Stafa Stadium located in Tirana. The work started in April 1939 during the Italy regime. The construction lasted for three years but it stopped briefly in August 1943 following the fall of fascist regime. The stadium had an Olympic Stadium shape, as idealized by Gherardo Bosio, a young fascist architect from Florence, Italy. The stadium's initial capacity was 15,000, this due to the fact that Tirana at that time had only 60,000 inhabitants. It was named after Qemal Stafa, a Hero of Albania in World War II. The stadium was inaugurated officially on 7 October 1946 when Albania played its first competitive match against Yugoslavia. Ever since then, further 130 international matches took place in the stadium, with the last being a friendly against Georgia in November 2015. In 2005, Cecilia de Marco and Elisabetta Lorusso, two young Italian students, called the stadium as "one of the strongest symbols of Italian impact in Albania". In November 2013, Qemal Stafa Stadium was shut down by FIFA for not fulfilling international standards. The stadium's demolition started in June 2016, and it was announced that is going to be replaced by Air Albania Stadium.
Albania sometimes has played home matches at other venues. Outside Tirana, the national team has played matches in Flamurtari Stadium in Vlorë,Tomori Stadium in Berat,Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës,Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër and Elbasan Arena in Elbasan. In February 2014, due to Albania not having a stadium that fulfills international standards set by FIFA, the work for renovation of Elbasan Arena (at the time Ruzhdi Bizhuta Stadium) started. The work lasted for 7 months, and the stadium was inaugurated on 9 October when Albania played a friendly match against KF Elbasani under-19 squad; Albania won the match 17-0. The official inauguration occurred two days later in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Denmark.
The first international match at Loro Boriçi Stadium was played on 29 March 2003 against Russia, with Albania winning 3-1. In October 2014, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, promised the reconstruction of the stadium. The stadium's construction started in May 2015 and finished in August 2016. In 2016-17, the stadium served temporary as the home of Kosovo national team, due to stadiums in Mitrovica and Pristina were under renovation and did not meet UEFA standards.
|Albania national football team home stadiums|
|Image||Stadium||Capacity||Location||First match||Last match||Ref|
|131||Qemal Stafa Stadium||25,000||Tirana, Albania||v. Yugoslavia, 7 October 1946||v. Georgia, 16 November 2015|||
|10||Elbasan Arena||13,800||Elbasan, Albania||v. Denmark, 11 October 2014||v. Iceland, 10 September 2019|||
|8||Loro Boriçi Stadium||20,200||Shkodër, Albania||v. Russia, 29 March 2003||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|||
|6||Niko Dovana Stadium||12,040||Durrës, Albania||v. Uzbekistan, 11 August 2010||v. Malta, 5 March 2014|||
|1||Air Albania Stadium||22,500||Tirana, Albania||v. France, 17 November 2019|||
|1||Tomori Stadium||17,890||Berat, Albania||v. Cuba, 6 August 1988|||
|1||Flamurtari Stadium||10,500||Vlorë, Albania||v. Romania, 28 October 1987|||
Below are two lists of the top 10 players with the most caps and goals for Albania.
|Opponent||Games||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Differential||Reference|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4||1||2||1||3||3||0||H2H results|
|China PR||2||1||1||0||4||3||+1||H2H results|
|East Germany||3||0||1||2||2||7||-5||H2H results|
|North Macedonia||10||2||4||4||7||12||-5||H2H results|
|Northern Ireland||9||2||2||5||5||13||-8||H2H results|
|Republic of Ireland||4||0||1||3||2||6||-4||H2H results|
|San Marino||2||2||0||0||6||0||+6||H2H results|
( Yugoslavia 1946-1967)
|H2H results[note 1]|
|64 Countries||358||98||72||188||343||548||-205||All results at EU-Football.info|