I am constantly pointing out the fact that Albanian football players can be found all over the world. Following their career is a joy and I am always happy to find new ones. Young talents or veterans, they are always worth reading about. While some might make it to the world stage and become a house hold name there are others, like Bajram Sadrijaj for example, who sadly disappeared out in the dark.
When Jürgen Klopp was titled as the new head coach of Borussia Dortmund back in 2008 one of the first things he did was to bring up Sadrijaj to their first team. Sadrijaj had been training with them a couple of times but it was Klopp who saw something in the young striker and he also liked his goalscoring resume from his former team. Klopp liked Sadrijaj a lot and even stated in an interview that he admired Sadrijaj’s fighting spirit.
“He runs like a ball of fire is chasing him”. – Jürgen Klopp.
Sadrijaj’s real competition debut was not a success though, he was sent off after only 12 seconds (!) on the pitch during the beginning of Germany’s Cup. He made his Bundesliga debut in the second round against rivals Bayern München. This was on August 23rd 2008, about two weeks after his 22nd birthday. The game ended 1-1 and Sadrijaj was substituted in after 64 minutes. It was a dream come true for Sadrijaj, who wouldn’t want to debut for their favorite team?
He made another three appearences in the Bundesliga and even made his Europa League debut the same fall before the knee injuries put a stop to his progress. After rehab and surgery he returned to find other players taking his place. He had to start from scratch and played for the reserve team before he once again got injured. Eventually he was fed up and Dortmund were not willing to keep him so Sadrijaj decided to retire, at the age of 24.
Even though Sadrijaj was no longer active he still managed to create head lines. During the summer of 2011 he street raced through Dortmund and crashed his car. Luckily he walked away with only a black eye but caused a lot of material damages.
Two years after this incident he decided to get back on the horse again so he dusted off his shoes and started playing again. TSG Thannhausen welcomed back their former youth player, the team who bought him his first shoes, and he moved back to his home town where his parents still lived. Afterwards he moved to SC Bubeshaim, another team playing in the lower divisions. For this season he signed with a German team called Türkiyemspor Krumbach and that is where the traces end.
You can say that Sadrijaj is a Borussia Dortmund talent who never got to graduate unlike his former team mates Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and so on who to this day are wearing the yellow and black jersey Dortmund are known for. Unfortunately Sadrijaj’s injuries did get in the way of his career because he really seamed to have a bright future ahead of him, even Klopp believed in him. And who knows how big this striker could have gotten?