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Kosovo national football team

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Kosovo
Nickname(s)Dardanët (Dardanians)
AssociationFootball Federation of Kosovo (FFK)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachPrimož Gliha (caretaker)
CaptainAmir Rrahmani
Most caps
Top scorerVedat Muriqi (18)
Home stadiumFadil Vokrri Stadium
FIFA codeKVX[a]
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 111 Increase 2 (19 November 2021)[1]
Highest109 (September–October 2021[2])
Lowest190 (July–August 2016[2])
First international
Biggest win
Biggest defeat
 Kosovo 0–6 Croatia 
(Shkodër, Albania; 6 October 2016)

The Kosovo national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja e futbollit të Kosovës; Serbian: Фудбалска репрезентација Косова, romanizedFudbalska reprezentacija Kosova) represents Kosovo in international men's football. It is controlled by the Football Federation of Kosovo, the governing body for football in Kosovo.

History

Pre-independence

First ever match

On 29 November 1942, Kosovo for first time in its history played a friendly match as part of the celebrations for 30th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania against Tirana[b] and the match ended with a 2–0 away defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Mustafa Daci (GK), Ballanca, Ahmet Zaimi, Mazllum Xërxa, Veseli, Hajdar Hamza, Nebil Dylatahu, Ramadan Vraniqi, Dobrica Barbaroga,[c] Bajrami and Henci.[4][5][6]

Yugoslav era

"The reason of this friendly match is that we wanted to face with a team that has the same temperament and character as Albania national team."

—The reasoning of the then head coach of Yugoslavia, Rajko Mitić for the reason for organizing the Kosovo–Yugoslavia match.[6]

On 8 November 1967, Kosovo for first time as autonomous province of SFR Yugoslavia played a friendly match against Yugoslavia and the match ended with a 3–3 home draw and the starting line-up of that match was a mix between Albanian and Serbian players as Milosavlević, Stevanović, Mušikić, Abrashi, S. Džukić, V. Džukić, Brovina, Hatibi, Radović, Prekazi and Pindović, for Yugoslavia this match it was a pre-preparation before the UEFA Euro 1968 qualifying match against Albania.

As part of Yugoslavia national team

Yugoslav squads at international competitions often included players from Kosovo, such as Fadil Vokrri and Stevan Stojanović. Three other footballers from Kosovo, Fahrudin Jusufi, Milutin Šoškić and Vladimir Durković, were part of the Yugoslav team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics and silver medal at the 1960 European Nations' Cup.

After breakup of Yugoslavia

On 20 January 1993, The Football Federation of Kosovo signed a cooperation protocol with the Albanian Football Association and in the framework of this protocol it was decided to play on 14 February a friendly match between Albania and Kosovo, which was the first match of Kosovo following the breakup of Yugoslavia,[7] and this match ended with a 1–3 defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Ahmet Beselica (GK), Ardian Kozniku, Bardhec Seferi, Fadil Berisha, Gani Llapashtica, Genc Hoxha, Isa Sadriu, Kushtrim Munishi, Muharrem Sahiti, Sadullah Ajeti and Selajdin Jerliu.[8]

After Kosovo War

"I am very pleased with the team's performance even though we had predicted a stronger opponent. However, I want to emphasize that our players have been fantastic. The fact that we do not play many international matches may have inspired the players to give it their all this time."

—Opinion of the then coach Muharrem Sahiti after the match against Monaco.[9]

On 7 September 2002, Kosovo for first time after the Kosovo War played a friendly match against Albania and the match ended with a 0–1 home minimal defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Ahmet Beselica (GK), Ardian Kozniku, Arsim Abazi, Besnik Kollari, Fadil Ademi, Faruk Statovci, Ismet Munishi, Mehmet Dragusha, Sunaj Keqi, Xhevdet Llumnica and Zenun Selimi.[10]

One of the most important international matches was a 1–0 win over Saudi Arabia played on 15 June 2007. It was the first time that Kosovo played against a team that has taken part in the FIFA World Cup and the winning goal was scored by Kristian Nushi from the penalty kick on the 84th minute.[11] On 22 April 2006, Kosovo achieved their biggest win, defeating Monaco 7–1. If one included matches played before Kosovo became a FIFA member, this scoreline is their best result yet.[12]

After independence

First match

On 17 February 2010, for the first time since its declaration of independence, Kosovo played a friendly match against Albania (the match ended with a 2–3 home defeat for Kosovo). The starting line-up of that match was Kushtrim Mushica (GK), Anel Rashkaj, Dukagjin Gashi, Enis Zabërgja, Fisnik Papuçi, Ilir Nallbani, Liridon Kukaj, Robert Gjeraj, Shpëtim Hasani and Yll Hoxha. This match had a charity character as the profits gathered from this meeting went to those affected by floods in Shkodër.[13]

Efforts for internationalization

On 6 May 2008, after its declaration of independence from Serbia, Kosovo applied for FIFA membership. On 24 October 2008, Kosovo's application was discussed at the FIFA Congress in Zürich and Kosovo's bid was rejected. At the occasion, FIFA's determined Kosovo could not even play friendly matches against FIFA members' national teams.[14]

In September 2012, Albania international Lorik Cana, along with Swiss internationals Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami and Xherdan Shaqiri, all of them with Kosovo Albanian origin, wrote a declaration to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, asking him to allow Kosovo to play friendly matches. The declaration was also signed by eight other Albanian footballers hailing from Kosovo as Ahmed Januzi, Alban Meha, Armend Dallku, Burim Kukeli, Etrit Berisha, Fatmire Bajramaj, Lorik Cana, Mërgim Mavraj and Samir Ujkani.[15] Some players, especially Kosovo Serbs as Milan Biševac and Miloš Krasić, continued to play for Serbia.[16][17]

Permission by FIFA to play friendlies
Kosovo starting line-up in first international friendly against Haiti
(4–3–3)[18][19]

On 6 February 2013, FIFA decided to allow Kosovan club teams to play friendly games against clubs from countries whose national teams were members of FIFA.[20] However, it was stipulated that Kosovan clubs and teams could not display national symbols such as the Kosovan flag, emblem, etc., or play the Kosovan anthem.[20]

On 5 March 2014, the Kosovan football team was finally allowed by FIFA to play its first international friendly match, against Haiti; the match ended in a 0–0 draw.[21][22] Before the match, some players of Kosovo posed with guns at a shooting range, causing a stir in Serbia.[23] On the eve of the match, supporters of Kosovo burned the flag of Serbia.[24] This incident prompted the Football Association of Serbia to request that FIFA revoked Kosovo's right to play international friendlies.[25]

After the match against Haiti, six more matches were held in 2014, against Turkey, Senegal, Oman, Equatorial Guinea and Albania. The first win in these friendlies was against Oman, by 1–0,[26] while the biggest defeat a 1–6 against Turkey.[27]

Membership in UEFA and FIFA

In September 2015, at an UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Malta, the request from Kosovo for admission in UEFA was scheduled for deliberation in the next Ordinary Congress, to be held in Budapest.[28] On 3 May 2016, at the Ordinary Congress, Kosovo was accepted into UEFA after members voted 28–24 in favor of Kosovo.[29][30] Ten days later, Kosovo was accepted in FIFA during their 66th Congress in Mexico, with 141 votes in favour and 23 against.[31]

First tournament

Debut in World Cup qualification and nearly successful first Euro attempt

Kosovo began to make their debut in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, where Kosovo was drawn with Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine.[32][33] The Kosovars created its first major surprise, holding host Finland to a 1–1 draw,[34] but it turned to be the lone point of Kosovo in the qualification, as the team lost the remaining games and finished last.

Following the failure to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup, Kosovo participated in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League D sharing group with Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta,[35][36] where the Kosovars topped their group undefeated to reach the country's first-ever play-offs in its attempt to qualify for UEFA Euro 2020.[37] After the successful Nations League, Kosovo entered the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, where they shared group A with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro and 2018 World Cup fourth place finisher England.[38] As the dark horse of the qualification, Kosovo however created a major phenomenon, managed to beat Bulgaria, Montenegro and especially, a shock home win over the Czechs to take the second place behind England, being 15 matches and on that time nearly two years without defeat winning 11 of these 15 matches. The game against England away even saw the Kosovars took an early lead in the surprise, even though they were unable to protect it and fell 3–5 away, ending the longest unbeaten run in the football history of Kosovo.[39] In the decisive match against the Czechs away, which Kosovo needed a win to directly qualify for the first time, Kosovo gained a shock lead, but failed to protect it again as they lost 1–2 and could only participate in the play-off,[40] but this remained to be Kosovo's greatest success up to date.

Setback

After successfully obtained a play-off position, Kosovo headed to the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League C, being drawn with Greece, Moldova and Slovenia.[41] After impressive performance in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, Kosovo was tipped favorably to promote to League B. Yet, Kosovo began the Nations League with a disappointing 1–1 away draw to Moldova,[42] before the team which was halved due to the absences of key players suffered a 1–2 home loss against Greece.[43]

In Kosovo's first ever competitive UEFA Euro play-offs, Kosovo was drawn against North Macedonia.[40] However, Kosovo was eliminated after losing 1–2 to the Macedonians in Skopje.[44] After the elimination in the play-off's semifinals, the Kosovo's setback continues and the year 2020 was ended six losses, two draws and a victory in the last match of the year against Moldova, a victory which secured the attitude even for another season in the League C of the UEFA Nations League.[45]

Team image

Nicknames

The Kosovo national football team has been known or nicknamed as the "Dardanët" ("Dardanians"), while after the good results it had during the 2018–19 period, it was also nicknamed even as the "Brazili i Ballkanit" ("Brazil of the Balkans").[46][47]

Kits and crest

Kosovo kit in the first competitive match against Finland in September 2016.

The Kosovo kit has been mostly red and black before declaration of independence with few changes throughout the years and after the independence the kits are mostly blue and yellow. On 5 October 2016, Kosovo signed with Spanish sportswear company Kelme to a four-year contract and was the first official kit suppliers of Kosovo after membership in UEFA and FIFA.[48] On 16 June 2018, Kosovo signed with Swiss sportswear company Fourteen to a four-year contract for it to the kit suppliers of Kosovo.[49][50]

Kit sponsorship

Kit supplier Period Contract
Announcement Duration
Legea 2014 March 2014
Puma 2014 May 2014
Legea 2014 September 2014
Umbro 2015 October 2015 November 2015
Puma 2016 June 2016
Kelme 2016–2018 5 October 2016 2016–2020 (4 years)
Fourteen 2018–present 16 June 2018 2018–2022 (4 years)

Home stadium

Kosovo's home stadium is the Fadil Vokrri Stadium. The stadium capacity is 13,500, which makes it the second largest national stadium in Kosovo. Kosovo's previous national stadium was the Adem Jashari Olympic Stadium which is currently under renovation. Kosovo also used Loro Boriçi Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign,[51][52] and this happened after the two stadiums in Pristina and Mitrovica at that time were under renovation and do not meet UEFA standards.[53] On 12 July 2019, the construction of Kosovo National Stadium began,[54] and two days later the project of this stadium was presented which would have a capacity of 30,000 seats,[55] but after the presentation, the construction was suspended for political reasons related to the location.[56]

As of 12 October 2021[57]
Kosovo national football team home stadiums
Stadium Capacity Location Pld W D L Win % First match Last match UEFA
category
Ref
Opponent Date Opponent Date
Fadil Vokrri Stadium 13,500 Pristina, Kosovo 24 11 5 8 045.83  Yugoslavia 8 November 1967  Georgia 12 October 2021 4/4 stars [58]
Loro Boriçi Stadium 16,000 Shkodër, Albania 5 0 0 5 000.00  Croatia 6 October 2016  Ukraine 6 October 2017 4/4 stars [59]
Adem Jashari Olympic Stadium 18,500 Mitrovica, Kosovo 3 1 1 1 033.33  Haiti 5 March 2014  Latvia 13 November 2017 2/4 stars [60]

Rivalries

Albania

This derby is otherwise known as Brotherly derby (Albanian: Derbi vëllazëror), also known as the Brotherly (Albanian: Vëllazërorja). The documented beginnings of this derby date back to the time during the World War II, respectively on 29 November 1942, where they played a friendly match as part of the celebrations for 30th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania and the match ended with a 2–0 win for Tirana,[b][4][5][6] this derby is back 50 years after the first match, when the Football Federation of Kosovo signed a cooperation protocol with the Albanian Football Association and in the framework of this protocol it was decided to play on 14 February a friendly match between these two national teams,[7] and this match ended with a 3–1 win for Albania.[8]

During the period before 2016, these two national teams have exchanged players with each other, which influenced these two teams to be called reserve (B) teams of each other, Kosovo national team was called Albania B due to many players coming to play for Kosovo as they had no space to play for Albania, while Albania national team was called Kosovo B due to of the large number of players of Kosovo Albanian descent in its composition.[61] These exchanges began to be called acts of treason after Kosovo's membership in UEFA and FIFA, where some Albania players of Kosovo Albanian descent such as Amir Rrahmani, Herolind Shala and Milot Rashica who were part of the plans for the future of the Albania, moved to Kosovo.[62]

Media coverage

Kosovo's qualifying and friendly matches are televised by state-owned Radio Television of Kosovo and by privately-owned SuperSport Albania.

Broadcaster Television channel Period Broadcast matches
Qualifying Friendly
Radio Television of Kosovo
RTK 1 2014–present Yes Yes
RTK 2 2016–present Yes No
SuperSport Albania
Kosovo SuperSport 1 2014–present Yes Yes
Albania SuperSport 3 Yes Yes

Fixtures and results

2021

24 March Friendly Kosovo  4–0  Lithuania Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 UTC+2 Zeneli Goal 27'71'
Muriqi Goal 63'
Halimi Goal 79'
Report
Report (UEFA)
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Enea Jorgji (Albania)
31 March 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Spain  3–1  Kosovo Seville, Spain
20:45 UTC+2 Olmo Goal 34'
Torres Goal 36'
Moreno Goal 75'
Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Halimi Goal 70' Stadium: Estadio de La Cartuja
Attendance: 0
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)
1 June Friendly Kosovo  4–1  San Marino Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 UTC+2 Muriqi Goal 28'45+1'46'76' (pen.) Report D. Tomassini Goal 85' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Yaşar Kemal Uğurlu (Turkey)
4 June Friendly Malta  1–2  Kosovo Klagenfurt, Austria
18:00 UTC+2 Dimech Goal 45+2' Report Rashica Goal 19'84' Stadium: Wörtherseestadion
Attendance: 0
Referee: Christopher Jäger (Austria)
8 June Friendly Kosovo  1–2  Guinea Manavgat, Turkey
16:00 UTC+2 Manaj Goal 90+3' Report Kouyaté Goal 60'
Kanté Goal 66' (pen.)
Stadium: Arslan Zeki Demirci Sports Complex
Attendance: 0
Referee: Sarper Barış Saka (Turkey)
11 June Friendly Kosovo  1–0  Gambia Manavgat, Turkey
19:00 UTC+2 Hoxha Goal 80' Report Stadium: Arslan Zeki Demirci Sports Complex
Attendance: 0
Referee: Arda Kardeşler (Turkey)
2 September 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Georgia  0–1  Kosovo Batumi, Georgia
18:00 (20:00; UTC+4) Report (UEFA) Muriqi Goal 18' Stadium: Batumi Stadium
Attendance: 122
Referee: Mykola Balakin (Ukraine)
5 September 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Kosovo  1–1  Greece Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Muriqi Goal 90+2' Report (UEFA) Douvikas Goal 45+2' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 1,200
Referee: François Letexier (France)
8 September 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Kosovo  0–2  Spain Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report (UEFA) Fornals Goal 32'
Torres Goal 90'
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 1,200
Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland)
9 October 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Sweden  3–0  Kosovo Solna, Sweden
18:00 Forsberg Goal 29' (pen.)
Isak Goal 62'
Quaison Goal 79'
Report (UEFA) Stadium: Friends Arena
Attendance: 44,123
Referee: Marco Di Bello (Italy)
12 October 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Kosovo  1–2  Georgia Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 UTC+2 Muriqi Goal 45'pen.' Report (UEFA) Okriashvili Goal 11'
Davitashvili Goal 82'
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 3,550
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (Poland)
10 November Friendly Kosovo  0–2  Jordan Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 UTC+2 Report Faisal Goal 18'
Al-Dardour Goal 85'
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: Dejan Jakimovski (North Macedonia)
14 November 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Greece  1–1  Kosovo Athens, Greece
20:45 (21:45; UTC+2) Masouras Goal 44' Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Rrahmani Goal 76' Stadium: Athens Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 1,388
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (Belarus)

Coaching staff

Primož Gliha, the current caretaker coach of Kosovo national football team.

Current coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Slovenia Primož Gliha (caretaker)
Assistant coach Kosovo Genc Hoxha
Goalkeeping coach Kosovo Ahmet Beselica
Physiotherapist(s)
Kosovo Ismet Shalaj
Kosovo Zheralldin Durguti
Doctor Kosovo Murat Berisha
Device manager Kosovo Sahit Salihi
Team manager Kosovo Bajram Shala
Technical director Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti

Manager history

Muharrem Sahiti has been the manager of the national team in three separate stints.
No. Name Period Record
G W D L Win %
1 Republic of Kosova Ajet Shosholli 1993 1 0 0 1 000.00
2 Bylbyl Sokoli 2002–2005 1 0 0 1 000.00
3 Muharrem Sahiti 2005–2006 3 2 0 1 066.67
4. Kosovo Edmond Rugova 2006–2009 1 1 0 0 100.00
5. Kosovo Albert Bunjaki 2009–2017 18 3 3 12 016.67
C Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti 2017–2018 1 1 0 0 100.00
6 Switzerland Bernard Challandes
Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti[e]
2018–2021
2020
40 17 8 15 042.50
C Slovenia Primož Gliha 2021– 2 0 1 1 000.00

Players

Current squad

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Samir Ujkani (Vice-captain) (1988-07-05) 5 July 1988 (age 33) 32 0 Italy Empoli
12 1GK Arijanet Muric (1998-11-07) 7 November 1998 (age 23) 23 0 Turkey Adana Demirspor
16 1GK Visar Bekaj (1997-05-24) 24 May 1997 (age 24) 4 0 Albania Tirana

13 2DF Amir Rrahmani (Captain) (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 27) 43 6 Italy Napoli
15 2DF Mërgim Vojvoda (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 26) 43 1 Italy Torino
3 2DF Fidan Aliti (1993-10-03) 3 October 1993 (age 28) 39 0 Switzerland Zürich
6 2DF Betim Fazliji (1999-04-25) 25 April 1999 (age 22) 9 0 Switzerland St. Gallen
2 2DF Lirim R. Kastrati (1999-02-02) 2 February 1999 (age 22) 5 0 Hungary Újpest
19 2DF David Domgjoni (1997-05-21) 21 May 1997 (age 24) 3 0 Switzerland Luzern
4 2DF Mirlind Kryeziu (1997-01-26) 26 January 1997 (age 24) 2 0 Switzerland Zürich

7 3MF Milot Rashica (1996-06-28) 28 June 1996 (age 25) 38 6 England Norwich City
8 3MF Besar Halimi (1994-12-12) 12 December 1994 (age 26) 34 3 Latvia Riga
14 3MF Valon Berisha (3rd captain) (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 28) 31 3 France Reims
5 3MF Herolind Shala (4th captain) (1992-01-02) 2 January 1992 (age 29) 27 0 Turkey BB Erzurumspor
22 3MF Edon Zhegrova (1999-03-31) 31 March 1999 (age 22) 24 2 Switzerland Basel
17 3MF Florian Loshaj (1996-08-13) 13 August 1996 (age 25) 11 0 Poland Cracovia
21 3MF Blendi Idrizi (1998-05-02) 2 May 1998 (age 23) 3 0 Germany Schalke 04
20 3MF Toni Domgjoni (1998-09-04) 4 September 1998 (age 23) 0 0 Netherlands Vitesse

18 4FW Vedat Muriqi (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 27) 37 18 Italy Lazio
11 4FW Astrit Selmani (1997-05-13) 13 May 1997 (age 24) 4 0 Sweden Hammarby

Recent call-ups

The following players have 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 Betim Halimi (1996-02-28) 28 February 1996 (age 25) 1 0 Kosovo Prishtina v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021

DF Florent Hadergjonaj (1994-07-31) 31 July 1994 (age 27) 22 1 Turkey Kasımpaşa v.  Georgia, 12 October 2021SUS
DF Ibrahim Drešević (1997-01-24) 24 January 1997 (age 24) 14 0 Netherlands Heerenveen v.  Georgia, 12 October 2021SUS
DF Armend Thaqi (1992-10-10) 10 October 1992 (age 29) 5 0 Kosovo Ballkani v.  Spain, 8 September 2021
DF Bajram Jashanica (1990-09-25) 25 September 1990 (age 31) 8 0 Kosovo Ballkani v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
DF Destan Bajselmani (1999-05-13) 13 May 1999 (age 22) 4 0 Netherlands PEC Zwolle v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
DF Lavdrim Hajrullahu (1998-03-07) 7 March 1998 (age 23) 2 0 Switzerland Stade Lausanne Ouchy v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
DF Gledi Mici (1991-02-06) 6 February 1991 (age 30) 0 0 Kosovo Prishtina v.  Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
DF Jetmir Haliti (1996-09-14) 14 September 1996 (age 25) 0 0 Sweden AIK v.  Guinea, 8 June 2021INJ
DF Lumbardh Dellova (1999-01-01) 1 January 1999 (age 22) 0 0 Croatia Hajduk Split v.  Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
DF Bashkim Ajdini (1992-12-10) 10 December 1992 (age 28) 0 0 Germany Sandhausen v.  Malta, 4 June 2021

MF Bersant Celina (1996-09-09) 9 September 1996 (age 25) 31 2 England Ipswich Town v.  Jordan, 10 November 2021WD
MF Zymer Bytyqi (1996-09-11) 11 September 1996 (age 25) 9 0 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Jordan, 10 November 2021INJ
MF Florent Muslija (1998-07-06) 6 July 1998 (age 23) 7 0 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Georgia, 12 October 2021
MF Muharrem Jashari (1998-02-21) 21 February 1998 (age 23) 1 0 Kosovo Drita v.  Spain, 8 September 2021
MF Eroll Zejnullahu (1994-10-19) 19 October 1994 (age 27) 4 0 Germany Berliner AK v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
MF Rron Broja (1996-04-09) 9 April 1996 (age 25) 3 0 Kosovo Drita v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
MF Blendi Baftiu (1998-02-17) 17 February 1998 (age 23) 2 0 Kosovo Ballkani v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
MF Donat Rrudhani (1999-05-02) 2 May 1999 (age 22) 2 0 Switzerland Aarau v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
MF Mersim Asllani (1999-06-07) 7 June 1999 (age 22) 2 0 Switzerland Stade Lausanne Ouchy v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
MF Liridon Balaj (1999-08-15) 15 August 1999 (age 22) 2 0 Switzerland Aarau v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
MF Leonit Abazi (1993-07-05) 5 July 1993 (age 28) 1 0 Kosovo Prishtina v.  Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
MF Endrit Krasniqi (1994-10-26) 26 October 1994 (age 27) 0 0 Kosovo Prishtina v.  Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
MF Hekuran Kryeziu (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 28) 28 0 Unattached v.  Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Arbër Zeneli (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 26) 27 9 France Reims v.  Malta, 4 June 2021INJ
MF Idriz Voca (1997-05-15) 15 May 1997 (age 24) 15 0 Unattached v.  Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Lorik Emini (1999-08-29) 29 August 1999 (age 22) 1 0 Switzerland Luzern v.  Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Benjamin Kololli (1992-05-15) 15 May 1992 (age 29) 23 4 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse v.  Spain, 31 March 2021
MF Bernard Berisha (1991-10-21) 21 October 1991 (age 30) 20 1 Russia Akhmat Grozny v.  Spain, 31 March 2021INJ
MF Florent Hasani (1997-03-30) 30 March 1997 (age 24) 8 1 Hungary Gyirmót v.  Spain, 31 March 2021

FW Elbasan Rashani (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 (age 28) 22 4 France Clermont v.  Jordan, 10 November 2021INJ
FW Lirim M. Kastrati (1999-01-16) 16 January 1999 (age 22) 17 1 Poland Legia Warsaw v.  Jordan, 10 November 2021WD
FW Mirlind Daku (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 (age 23) 5 0 Croatia Osijek v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
FW Arb Manaj (1998-07-23) 23 July 1998 (age 23) 3 1 Turkey Bandırmaspor v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
FW Arbër Hoxha (1998-10-06) 6 October 1998 (age 23) 3 1 Croatia Lokomotiva v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
FW Jetmir Topalli (1998-02-07) 7 February 1998 (age 23) 3 0 Turkey İstanbulspor v.  Gambia, 11 June 2021
FW Valmir Sulejmani (1996-02-01) 1 February 1996 (age 25) 4 0 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Malta, 4 June 2021

Notes
  • SUS = Not available in next match due to red card suspension.
  • CLUB = Not part of the current squad after the club has not allowed him to join.
  • INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • WD = Player withdrew from the current squad due to non-injury issue.

Records

Players in bold are still active with Kosovo.

Most capped players

As of 12 October 2021[65][66]
Mërgim Vojvoda is the second most capped player in the history of Kosovo with 41 caps.
Rank Name Caps Goals Pos. Career
1 Amir Rrahmani 41 5 DF 2014–present
Mërgim Vojvoda 41 1 DF 2017–present
3 Fidan Aliti 37 0 DF 2017–present
4 Milot Rashica 36 6 MF 2016–present
5 Vedat Muriqi 35 18 FW 2016–present
7 Besar Halimi 32 3 MF 2015–present
Samir Ujkani 32 0 GK 2014–present
8 Bersant Celina 31 2 MF 2014–present
9 Valon Berisha 29 3 MF 2016–present
10 Hekuran Kryeziu 28 0 MF 2015–present

Top goalscorers

As of 12 October 2021[67]
Arbër Zeneli is the second top scorer and hat-tricker in the history of Kosovo with nine goals and one hat-trick.
Rank Name Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Vedat Muriqi 18 35 0.51 2016–present
2 Arbër Zeneli 9 27 0.33 2016–present
3 Milot Rashica 6 36 0.17 2016–present
4 Amir Rrahmani 5 41 0.12 2014–present
5 Elbasan Rashani 4 22 0.18 2015–present
Benjamin Kololli 4 23 0.17 2016–present
7 Albert Bunjaku 3 6 0.5 2014–2016
Atdhe Nuhiu 3 19 0.16 2017–2020
Valon Berisha 3 29 0.1 2016–present
Besar Halimi 3 32 0.09 2015–present

Captains

As of 12 October 2021[68]
Samir Ujkani is the most capped player as captain in the history of Kosovo with 29 caps.
Anel Rashkaj is the first captain who led Kosovo in the first international match against Haiti.
Rank Pos. Name As captain Total
Career Caps Career Caps
1 GK Samir Ujkani 2015–present 29 2014–present 32
2 DF Amir Rrahmani 2019–present 16 2014–present 41
3 MF Valon Berisha 2018–present 3 2016–present 29
MF Anel Rashkaj 2014 3 2014–2020 14
5 MF Herolind Shala 2019–present 2 2016–present 25
6 DF Fidan Aliti 2020–present 1 2017–present 35
MF Hekuran Kryeziu 2019–present 1 2015–present 28
MF Enis Alushi 2014 1 2014–2017 10
GK Visar Bekaj 2021–present 1 2015–present 4
MF Florian Loshaj 2021–present 1 2020–present 7
MF Besnik Hasi 2007 1 2007 1
MF Genc Hoxha 1993 1 1993 1

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

On 9 June 2016, the UEFA Emergency Panel decided that Kosovo would join Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine in Group I, and also decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia should not play against Kosovo for security reasons.[32][33] On 5 September 2016, Kosovo made its debut in the FIFA World Cup qualifications with a 1–1 away draw against Finland, with Kosovo's equalizing goal being scored by the newcomer Valon Berisha from a penalty kick in the 60th minute.[34] On 2 September 2021, Kosovo achieved their first win in the FIFA World Cup qualifications a 1–0 away win against Georgia.[69]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to France 1938 Part of  Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Brazil 1950 to Italy 1990 Part of  SFR Yugoslavia
United States 1994 to South KoreaJapan 2002 Part of  FR Yugoslavia
Germany 2006 Part of  Serbia and Montenegro
South Africa 2010 Not a FIFA member
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018 Did not qualify 6th 10 0 1 9 3 24
Qatar 2022 5th 8 1 2 5 5 15
CanadaMexicoUnited States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 18 1 3 14 8 39
  • Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 14 November 2021 after the match against  Greece.[70]

UEFA European Championship

On 2 December 2018, in Dublin, it was decided that Kosovo should be part in Group A of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, together with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro and 2018 World Cup fourth place finisher England.[38] On 25 March 2019, Kosovo made their debut on UEFA European Championship qualifying with a 1–1 home draw against Bulgaria and the draw goal was scored by Arbër Zeneli on the 61st minute.[71] On 11 June 2019, Kosovo won their first ever qualifying match for a major tournament by defeating Bulgaria 3–2.[72]

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 to Sweden 1992 Part of  SFR Yugoslavia
England 1996 to BelgiumNetherlands 2000 Part of  FR Yugoslavia
Portugal 2004 Part of  Serbia and Montenegro
AustriaSwitzerland 2008 Part of  Serbia
PolandUkraine 2012 Not a UEFA member
France 2016
Europe 2020 Did not qualify 3rd 9 3 2 4 14 18
Germany 2024 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 9 3 2 4 14 18

UEFA Nations League

On 24 January 2018, in Lausanne, it was decided that Kosovo should be part of League D in Group 3 of the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, together with Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta.[35][36] On 7 September 2018, Kosovo made their debut in the UEFA Nations League with a 0–0 away draw against Azerbaijan.[74] On 10 September 2018, Kosovo achieved their first win in the UEFA Nations League, which was also the team's first-ever competitive win, a 2–0 home win against the Faroe Islands.[75] Kosovo finished the league unbeaten (with four wins and two draws) and will be promoted to the next tier (C league) for the next edition.[37]

UEFA Nations League record
Season LG GP Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
Portugal 2018–19 D 3 6 4 2 0 15 2 Rise 42nd
Italy 2020–21 C 3 6 1 2 3 4 6 Same position 44th
2022–23 C To be determined
Total 12 5 4 3 19 8 42nd
  • Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 18 November 2020 after the match against  Moldova.[76]

Non-FIFA Tournament

Kosovo for first time after the Kosovo War participated in a tournament held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cyprus Turkish Football Association. Kosovo lost against the host with result 1–0 and won against Sàpmi with result 4–1.[77]

Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad
Northern Cyprus KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 2 Squad
Total Runners-up 1/1 2 1 0 1 4 2

FIFA ranking history

As of 9 October 2021[2]

  Best ranking   Worst ranking   Best mover   Worst mover

Rank Year Pld W D L Win % Ranking Move
Best Worst Best (+) Worst (−)
117 2021 11 5 1 5 045.45 To be determined
115 2020 9 1 2 6 011.11 115 117 0 (February) 1 (October)
  114 2019 10 4 3 3 040.00 114 130 6 (June) 1 (November)
  131 2018 9 7 2 0 077.78 131 178 24 (August) 1 (January)
177 2017 7 1 0 6 014.29 164 184 9 (November) 6 (April)
   165 2016 5 1 1 3 020.00 164 190 22 (September) 190 (July)

Head-to-head record

As of 12 October 2021[78]
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win % Reference
1993–present
 Albania 6 1 1 4 9 11 −2 016.67 H2H results
 Azerbaijan 2 1 1 0 4 0 +4 050.00 H2H results
 Bulgaria 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 050.00 H2H results
 Burkina Faso 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00 H2H results
 Croatia 2 0 0 2 0 7 −7 000.00 H2H results
 Czech Republic 2 1 0 1 3 3 +0 050.00 H2H results
 Denmark 1 0 1 0 2 2 +0 000.00 H2H results
 England 2 0 0 2 3 9 −6 000.00 H2H results
 Equatorial Guinea 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00 H2H results
 Faroe Islands 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4 066.67 H2H results
 Finland 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Gambia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Georgia 2 1 0 1 2 2 +0 050.00 H2H results
 Gibraltar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Greece 3 0 2 1 2 3 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Guinea 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Haiti 1 0 1 0 0 0 +0 000.00 H2H results
 Iceland 2 0 0 2 1 4 −3 000.00 H2H results
 Latvia 1 1 0 0 4 3 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Lithuania 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100.00 H2H results
 Madagascar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Malta 3 3 0 0 10 2 +8 100.00 H2H results
 Moldova 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 050.00 H2H results
 Monaco 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 100.00 N/A
 Montenegro 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 050.00 H2H results
 North Macedonia 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Northern Cyprus 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 000.00 N/A
 Oman 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 San Marino 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00 H2H results
 Sápmi 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00 N/A
 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00
 Senegal 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
 Slovenia 2 0 0 2 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
 Spain 2 0 0 2 1 5 −4 000.00 H2H results
 Sweden 3 0 0 3 0 7 −7 000.00 H2H results
 Turkey 3 0 0 3 2 12 −10 000.00 H2H results
H2H results*
 Ukraine 2 0 0 2 0 5 −5 000.00 H2H results
37 countries 72 29 12 31 101 103 −2 040.28 All H2H results

See also

Men's

Women's

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^
    The international governing body of football, FIFA uses the trigramme 'KVX' for Kosovo,[79] while the European governing body of football, UEFA uses the trigramme 'KOS' for Kosovo.[80]
  2. ^
    The alternative name of the Albania national team that was used during this match.[6]
  3. ^
    Dobrica Barbaroga was the Albanianized full name of Dobrica Barbarogić by the media of that time, which seems to be expression of peaceful coexistence with national minorities even in Kosovo at that time.[4]
  4. ^
    The North Macedonia v Kosovo match, originally scheduled for 26 March 2020, 20:45 (UTC+1) at the Toše Proeski Arena, Skopje was postponed on 17 March due to the coronavirus pandemic.[81] The match was later rescheduled to 8 October 2020.[82]
  5. ^
    On 11 November 2020, Bernard Challandes was tested positive with COVID-19 and Sahiti was named as his replacement for the November 2020 matches.[83]

References

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External links