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EURO 2008

With a new coach, Otto Baric, in place Albania begin their campaign to qualify for Euro 2008 on 2 September with an away game against Belarus. The first home game kicks-off four days later against Romania. After a dispute between the management of the Qemal Stafa stadium and the Albanian Football Federation over money - what else - the game will definitely go ahead in the Qemal Stafa.

The team got off to a good start in a friendly game earlier this month, winning 3-0 away from home. Though the opposition for that game was San Marino - not exactly a strong test - the result should at least give the Albanian team a boost.

Albania has recently climbed to 62 in the - somewhat dubious - FIFA world rankings. That puts them ahead of Belarus (69) but well behind Romania (26). For comparison, San Marino are ranked 191.

Baric has brought in a number of new players
including Hamdi Salihi of KF Tirana. Salihi has already played for the under 21 squad and was last season's top scorer in the local league. Unfortunately, unless someone plans to sponsor me, I won't be travelling to Belarus, but I do hope to get to the game against Romania.

Comments

vloraboy said…
I don't have an opinion yet on Baric, but I do hope that the "guy from the balkans with a LOT of western experience" combination can work on the Albanian national team.

We have to face it, we don't have a super talented team, and what we got is aging fast. I hope that Baric will be able to enable some young talent (like Salihi) to be worth something to the future of the national team.

I can't believe qualifiers are starting and I am still not over the World Cup yet.
Anonymous said…
There is a good International soccer forum if Our_man_in_Tirana is interested.

I recommend it because this guy know a lot about the team. Some of them are even travelling to Qemal Stafa game for Romania.

Copy paste the link:

http://www.xtratime.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=bb6ed825fd5bc4cfd074a30b5229b1c6&f=264
vloraboy said…
I just read that our midfielder Skela, joined Ascoli. Whew....now he has a team.

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