A Euro Cup poem for Albania

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In June 1930, on a hot summer’s day.

The football world welcomed Albania to play.

Against Yugoslavia, shortly after the Second World War heat.

At Qemal Stafa Stadium the first game ended in a narrow 3-2 defeat.

 

Another loss haunted us, 1950 was the year.

Who would’ve known that it was Hungary we should fear?

A humiliating defeat,  12-0 was the number.

All those goals scored, they sure had a big hunger.

 

France 1960, the premiere of the Euro Cup.

Albania failed to advance, oh but cheer up!

Lined up against Greece in 1962 but stop, “a walk over” they shouted.

Albania sailed through despite that people doubted.

 

Final 16 against Denmark but the journey ended quick.

4-0 away but at home 1-0 thanks to Pano’s kick.

Panajot Pano, an Albanian legend with scorings a lot.

He began as a goalkeeper, in case you forgot.

 

Year -67 another failure but the party was ruined for another nation.

0-0 against West Germany which for them meant no -68 Euro Cup participation.

A decade went by and our neighbors Yugoslavia the party arranged.

But our team was put on hold due to politics, how deranged!

 

The 80s began its era and time for Albania to return.

It was also now when captain Lorik Cana was born.

But the following years where anything but bright.

Our results gave every coach we had a bit of a fright.

 

Years following we spent looking for a four-leaf clover.

Some had given up, thinking it was over.

December -11 a tournament ticket we still wished to see.

A new head coach appointed, enter Italian Gianni De Biasi.

 

Shortly before that two big wins we could add.

6-1 against Cyprus for one, the biggest we’ve had!

By then ranked 96 a big low for the Red and Blacks.

But no fear was shown as we stood tall and fought back.

 

Qualification World Cup -14 the slogan “Une besoj” was used.

But the results left us nothing but hurt and severely bruised.

Scars and losses as we finished second from the bottom

Summer we watched but work awaited us in the autumn.

 

We fell from the horse but made sure to pick us up.

“Me plis per Paris” aiming for the 2016 Euro Cup.

Games to remember, games we bare in our minds.

Fights, love and hatred. Yes there were all kinds.

 

Hey Ronaldo remember that game we won against you?

Bekim Balaj with a loner, just like Pano who started as a goalie too!

Protecting the flag, “Autochthonous” among others.

Fighting against your blood, against your own brothers.

 

As the plot thickens the show was still going.

A game against Armenia, this was the final showing.

A win for Albania was crucial to finally go through.

We won 3-0 thanks to an own goal, Djimsiti and Sadiku!

 

Parlez vouz Francais? A new language to teach.

One plis for you, one for me. We all had one each.

At Tirana a party, for once we all could celebrate.

Smile, laugh and cry, the atmosphere so great.

 

Thousands of people. A red and black crowd.

Skënderbeu look how we have made you proud.

Praising the men such as Cana, Xhaka and Gashi.

All of the others too and of course, Grazie De Biasi!

 

86 years later, the hot sun is rising on another summer’s day.

We prepare for a competition we’ve waited for since the earlier age.

Euro Cup 2016, we believed, “Une besova” and see here we are.

Gather up. Franca po na pret. O sa mirë me qenë Shqiptar!

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