The State of Albanian Club Football

May 27, 2019

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Albanian Superliga

Founded: 1910

Most Championships: Tirana, 24

Last 5 Winners: Partazani (18/19), Skenderbeu (17/18, 14/15), Kukesi (16/17)

UEFA Ranking: 36th

Highest Ranked Club: Skenderbeu, 157th


Interview with Albanian football expert, Albert Husaj

What’s the current state of Albanian football following the Skenderbeu match-fixing scandal?

It’s beginning to take off again. It was in the gutter very recently, but the Albanian football federation have realised that Skenderbeu are toxic and they have tried to force them out of the top division in Albania. Though they haven’t succeeded just yet.

Skenderbeu are the only Albanian side to have reached an EL group stage since the EL was rebranded. Is this seen as par for the course or have Albanian sides underachieved in Europe?

I don’t really think they have underachieved in Europe – I just think that the Albanian teams don’t have the same force of money as Red Star, Hajduk Split and the other Balkan nations teams have.

It will look like Serbia and Greece at the top, and Kosovo and Albania at the bottom. The teams in Albania don’t have the same possible usage of money as the other teams in the Balkans.

That’s the reason I think the Albanian teams have “underachieved”.

What would be seen as a successful year in Europe for Albanian fans?

That we have a team qualify for the minimum Europa League group stage. It’s hard for me to believe it’ll happen in the next 3-4 years, but I hope.

Albanian teams have a big potential, but the other teams have a bigger potential right now.

Is there any money in Albanian football at the moment?

Of course – there must be, otherwise I don’t think we would get any of the Nigerians and other nation players. But, do I think there’s is enough money? Not at all.

I think it would be great if we could get a person from Dubai or somewhere, who have a great amount of money to put into a team like Skenderbeu or Partizan Tirana.

Do most of the country get behind the Albanian sides playing in Europe or is there a lot of tribalism apparent?

At the moment there is a 50/50 split.

Interview with Albanian football expert, Albert Husaj

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Author: Tom Mortimer

Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.

Twitter @TMortimerFtbl


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