The Albanian National Team is one step away from getting a golden ticket to the Euro Cup in France. If they manage to beat Armenia on Sunday the Red and Blacks are writing history as this could be their first participation in a big international tournament like this.
However they aren’t the only Albanians playing in this qualification. While looking at the other results from around Europe I came across some interesting fact. Did you know that this week we had 15 Albanians representing other nations?
- Switzerland : The Swiss NT called up five Albanians for their game against San Marino and they helped Switzerland clinch a Euro Cup spot. Blerim Dzemaili (Genoa), Granit Xhaka(Borussia Mönchengladbach), Pajtim Kasami (Olympiakos), Admir Mehmedi (Bayer Leverkusen) and Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke) where all on board Vladimir Petkovic’s rooster. Shaqiri has scored four out of Switzerland’s 23 goals while Dzemaili, Xhaka, Kasami and Mehmedi have all one goal each noted.
- Macedonia : Our Balkan neighbors also had five Albanians among their list but the Macedonians did not manage to advance after being beaten by Ukraine. Armend Alimi (Shkendija), Besart Abdurahimi (Lokeren), Agim Ibraimi (Maribor), Ferhan Hasani (Shkendija) and Leonard Zhuta (Rijeka) are the five Albanians in their squad. Ibraimi and Abdurahimi have scored one goal each in the qualification.
- Finland : Finland called up both Perparim Hetemaj (Chievo) and Berat Sadik (Krylya Sovetov) to the game against Romania that ended in a 1-1 draw. Finland are already out but will face Northern Ireland in the last game, a team which Sadik scored against last time they played.
- Denmark  : The Danes where impressed by Riza Durmisi’s (Bröndby) performance against Albania so he got to play form start against Portugal on Thursday. Denmark already have a playoffspot but they could get a Euro Cup ticket instead if Armenia beat Albania.
- Montenegro : Dinamo Minsk’s Fatos Beciraj scored in Montenegro’s 2-3 loss against Austria last night. This was his second goal in the tournament. Montenegro are already out but will face Russia in the final round.
- Germany : With Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia) on the bench the current World Cup winner where beaten by Ireland. Germany only need to beat Georgia in the final round to go through as group winners.
However, this number could’ve easily have been 20. Valon Behrami (Watford) was left out of Switzerland’s squad), Adnan Januzaj (Borussia Dortmund) has chosen to represent Belgium, the Berisha brothers Valon (Salzburg) & Veton (Greuther Fürth) who will represent Norway today) and finally Arijan Ademi (Dinamo Zagreb) who well we can rule out for now. Earlier this week it was revealed that the Macedonian NT player has been tested positive for doping while playing for Zagreb.
So there you have it, we know that Albanians can be found not only in the teams at club level all over the world but also in other national teams. Specially in the two dominating national teams like Switzerland and Macedonia. And now you know that they are so many of them that they can create their own national team. Albania 2.0.