What to Expect from Albania in the EURO 2024 FSHF

What to Expect from Albania in the EURO 2024

Analysis

Football

June 12th, 2024

The tiny Balkan nation of Albania has defied expectations by securing a historic qualification for the UEFA Euro 2024 finals in Germany. This marks only the second time the Albanian national team will compete in a major international tournament, the first being their Euro 2016 debut. Let's delve into Albania's remarkable journey and what we can expect from them on the grand European stage.

A Gritty Path to Glory

Albania's qualification campaign in Group E was a testament to their resilience and tactical discipline. They surprised many by finishing joint top of the group alongside the Czech Republic. This showcased a blend of experience and youthful exuberance. Key victories against Poland and the Czechs solidified their position.

Here are some of the key factors that contributed to Albania's success:

  • Solid Defense: Albania built their success on a resolute backline, conceding the fewest goals in the group stage. The reigning UEFA Europa League champions with Atalanta Berat Dijmsiti is considered the wall of Albania's defense
  • Midfield Creativity: Young midfielders like Nedim Bajrami and Kristjan Asllani provided a platform for attacking forays. Their ability to control the tempo and dictate play was crucial.
  • Clinical Finishing: While not the most prolific scorers, Albania capitalized on their chances when they mattered most. The likes of Mirlind Daku and the extraordinary left foot of Jasir Asani helped Albania qualify with class.

Albania's Group B Fixtures

vs Italy (Dortmund, 15 June, 21:00)

vs Croatia (Hamburg, 19 June, 15:00)

vs Spain (Düsseldorf, 24 June, 21:00)

Who is Albania's Coach?

Former Arsenal and Barcelona left back Sylvinho took charge of Albania in January 2023, and the Brazilian has subsequently guided the nation to only their second ever EURO finals, the first being in 2016. Previously Sylvinho had spells as a coach at French Ligue 1 side Lyon and Brazilian team Corinthians.

Albania Key Player: Berat Djimshiti

 

Albania in EURO 2024
AFP

The imposing Atalanta centre-back adds defensive solidity and leadership, with his aerial prowess, tactical intelligence and strength in the tackle making Djimshiti a commander at the back. His top-level experience in Serie A is also an asset, inspiring confidence among team-mates. Indeed, Djimshiti's presence brings a composure which could prove vital for Sylvinho's squad.

Albania's One to Watch: Ernest Muçi

Despite having played only nine times for Albania by May, Muçi inspires great expectations given his skillset and versatility. Renowned for his pace, technical prowess and ability to create goalscoring chances, the Beşiktaş forward is a dynamic force. With his knack for producing decisive moments in front of goal, Muçi could prove a key performer in Germany.

How Did Albania Qualify for EURO 2024?

Group E winners: P8 W4 D3 L1 F12 A4

Albania booked a place at their second EURO finals with a nervy 1-1 draw in Moldova in their penultimate game. The Eagles made their tournament debut at EURO 2016 and memorably defeated Romania 1-0 in their last group game, Armando Sadiku making the difference close to half-time to help the newcomers finish third in their section.

Albania's EURO Pedigree

Previous EUROs: 1 – EURO 2016 EURO best: Group stage (2016) EURO 2020: Did not qualify

Albania's EURO Stats

Most final tournament appearances 3: Amir Abrashi 3: Ansi Agolli 3: Etrit Berisha 3: Elseid Hysaj 3: Ermir Lenjani 3: Mërgim Mavraj 3: Odise Roshi 3: Armando Sadiku

Most final tournament goals 1: Armando Sadiku

tag: Albania , EURO 2024

Klind Parangoni Author

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