Kosovo
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Dardanët (Dardanians)
AssociationFootball Federation of Kosovo (FFK)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachAlain Giresse
CaptainAmir Rrahmani
Most capsAmir Rrahmani (49)
Top scorerVedat Muriqi (23)
Home stadiumFadil Vokrri Stadium
FIFA codeKOS[1]
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 107 Steady (22 December 2022)[2]
Highest106 (June–October 2022[3])
Lowest190 (July–August 2016[3])
First international
Biggest win
Biggest defeat
 Kosovo 0–6 Croatia 
(Shkodër, Albania; 6 October 2016)

The Kosovo national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja e futbollit të Kosovës; Serbian: Фудбалска репрезентација Косова, romanizedFudbalska reprezentacija Kosova) represents Kosovo in men's international football. The team is controlled by the Football Federation of Kosovo, the governing body for football in Kosovo, and is under the jurisdiction of FIFA globally.

History

Pre-independence

First ever match

On 29 November 1942, Kosovo for first time in its history played a friendly match as part of the celebrations for 30th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania against Tirana[a] and the match ended with a 2–0 away defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Mustafa Daci (GK), Ballanca, Ahmet Zaimi, Mazllum Xërxa, Veseli, Hajdar Hamza, Nebil Dylatahu, Ramadan Vraniqi, Dobrica Barbaroga,[b] Bajrami and Henci.[5][6][4]

Yugoslav era

"The reason of this friendly match is that we wanted to face with a team that has the same temperament and character as Albania national team."

—The reasoning of the then head coach of Yugoslavia, Rajko Mitić for the reason for organizing the Kosovo–Yugoslavia match.[4]

On 8 November 1967, Kosovo for first time as autonomous province of SFR Yugoslavia played a friendly match against Yugoslavia and the match ended with a 3–3 home draw and the starting line-up of that match was a mix between Albanian and Serbian players as Milosavlević, Stevanović, Mušikić, Abrashi, S. Džukić, V. Džukić, Brovina, Hatibi, Radović, Prekazi and Pindović, for Yugoslavia this match it was a pre-preparation before the UEFA Euro 1968 qualifying match against Albania.

As part of Yugoslavia national team

See also: Yugoslavia national football team

Yugoslav squads at international competitions often included players from Kosovo, such as Fadil Vokrri and Stevan Stojanović. Three other footballers from Kosovo, Fahrudin Jusufi, Milutin Šoškić and Vladimir Durković, were part of the Yugoslav team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics and silver medal at the 1960 European Nations' Cup.

After breakup of Yugoslavia

On 20 January 1993, The Football Federation of Kosovo signed a cooperation protocol with the Albanian Football Association and in the framework of this protocol it was decided to play on 14 February a friendly match between Albania and Kosovo, which was the first match of Kosovo following the breakup of Yugoslavia,[7] and this match ended with a 1–3 defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Ahmet Beselica (GK), Ardian Kozniku, Bardhec Seferi, Fadil Berisha, Gani Llapashtica, Genc Hoxha, Isa Sadriu, Kushtrim Munishi, Muharrem Sahiti, Sadullah Ajeti and Selajdin Jerliu.[8]

After Kosovo War

"I am very pleased with the team's performance even though we had predicted a stronger opponent. However, I want to emphasize that our players have been fantastic. The fact that we do not play many international matches may have inspired the players to give it their all this time."

—Opinion of the then coach Muharrem Sahiti after the match against Monaco.[9]

On 7 September 2002, Kosovo for first time after the Kosovo War played a friendly match against Albania and the match ended with a 0–1 home minimal defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Ahmet Beselica (GK), Ardian Kozniku, Arsim Abazi, Besnik Kollari, Fadil Ademi, Faruk Statovci, Ismet Munishi, Mehmet Dragusha, Sunaj Keqi, Xhevdet Llumnica and Zenun Selimi.[10]

One of the most important international matches was a 1–0 win over Saudi Arabia played on 15 June 2007. It was the first time that Kosovo played against a team that has taken part in the FIFA World Cup and the winning goal was scored by Kristian Nushi from the penalty kick on the 84th minute.[11] On 22 April 2006, Kosovo achieved their biggest win, defeating Monaco 7–1. If one included matches played before Kosovo became a FIFA member, this scoreline is their best result yet.[12]

After independence

First match

On 17 February 2010, for the first time since its declaration of independence, Kosovo played a friendly match against Albania (the match ended with a 2–3 home defeat for Kosovo). The starting line-up of that match was Kushtrim Mushica (GK), Anel Rashkaj, Dukagjin Gashi, Enis Zabërgja, Fisnik Papuçi, Ilir Nallbani, Liridon Kukaj, Robert Gjeraj, Shpëtim Hasani and Yll Hoxha. This match had a charity character as the profits gathered from this meeting went to those affected by floods in Shkodër.[13]

Efforts for internationalization

On 6 May 2008, after its declaration of independence from Serbia, Kosovo applied for FIFA membership. On 24 October 2008, Kosovo's application was discussed at the FIFA Congress in Zürich and Kosovo's bid was rejected. At the occasion, FIFA's determined Kosovo could not even play friendly matches against FIFA members' national teams.[14]

In September 2012, Albania international Lorik Cana, along with Swiss internationals Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami and Xherdan Shaqiri, all of them with Kosovo Albanian origin, wrote a declaration to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, asking him to allow Kosovo to play friendly matches. The declaration was also signed by eight other Albanian footballers hailing from Kosovo as Ahmed Januzi, Alban Meha, Armend Dallku, Burim Kukeli, Etrit Berisha, Fatmire Bajramaj, Lorik Cana, Mërgim Mavraj and Samir Ujkani.[15] Some players, especially Kosovo Serbs as Milan Biševac and Miloš Krasić, continued to play for Serbia.[16][17]

Permission by FIFA to play friendlies

Soccer Field Transparant.svg

Kosovo starting line-up in first international friendly against Haiti
(4–3–3)[18][19]

On 6 February 2013, FIFA decided to allow Kosovan club teams to play friendly games against clubs from countries whose national teams were members of FIFA.[20] However, it was stipulated that Kosovan clubs and teams could not display national symbols such as the Kosovan flag, emblem, etc., or play the Kosovan anthem.[20]

On 5 March 2014, the Kosovan football team was finally allowed by FIFA to play its first international friendly match, against Haiti; the match ended in a 0–0 draw.[21][22] Before the match, some players of Kosovo posed with guns at a shooting range, causing a stir in Serbia.[23] On the eve of the match, supporters of Kosovo burned the flag of Serbia.[24] This incident prompted the Football Association of Serbia to request that FIFA revoked Kosovo's right to play international friendlies.[25]

After the match against Haiti, six more matches were held in 2014, against Turkey, Senegal, Oman, Equatorial Guinea and Albania. The first win in these friendlies was against Oman, by 1–0,[26] while the biggest defeat a 1–6 against Turkey.[27]

Membership in UEFA and FIFA

See also: Membership of Kosovo in international sports federations

In September 2015, at an UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Malta, the request from Kosovo for admission in UEFA was scheduled for deliberation in the next Ordinary Congress, to be held in Budapest.[28] On 3 May 2016, at the Ordinary Congress, Kosovo was accepted into UEFA after members voted 28–24 in favor of Kosovo.[29][30] Ten days later, Kosovo was accepted in FIFA during their 66th Congress in Mexico, with 141 votes in favour and 23 against.[31]

First tournament

Debut in World Cup qualification and nearly successful first Euro attempt

Kosovo began to make their debut in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, where Kosovo was drawn with Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine.[32][33] The Kosovars created its first major surprise, holding host Finland to a 1–1 draw,[34] but it turned to be the lone point of Kosovo in the qualification, as the team lost the remaining games and finished last.

Soccer Field Transparant.svg

Kosovo's most used starting line-up during their fifteen-match unbeaten run (4–3–3)[35]

Following the failure to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup, Kosovo participated in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League D sharing group with Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta,[36][37] where the Kosovars topped their group undefeated to reach the country's first-ever play-offs in its attempt to qualify for UEFA Euro 2020.[38] After the successful Nations League, Kosovo entered the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, where they shared group A with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro and 2018 World Cup fourth place finisher England.[39] As the dark horse of the qualification, Kosovo however created a major phenomenon, managed to beat Bulgaria, Montenegro and especially, a shock home win over the Czechs to take the second place behind England, being 15 matches and on that time nearly two years without defeat winning 11 of these 15 matches. The game against England away even saw the Kosovars took an early lead in the surprise, even though they were unable to protect it and fell 3–5 away, ending the longest unbeaten run in the football history of Kosovo.[40] In the decisive match against the Czechs away, which Kosovo needed a win to directly qualify for the first time, Kosovo gained a shock lead, but failed to protect it again as they lost 1–2 and could only participate in the play-off,[41] but this remained to be Kosovo's greatest success up to date.

Setback

After successfully obtained a play-off position, Kosovo headed to the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League C, being drawn with Greece, Moldova and Slovenia.[42] After impressive performance in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, Kosovo was tipped favorably to promote to League B. Yet, Kosovo began the Nations League with a disappointing 1–1 away draw to Moldova,[43] before the team which was halved due to the absences of key players suffered a 1–2 home loss against Greece.[44]

In Kosovo's first ever competitive UEFA Euro play-offs, Kosovo was drawn against North Macedonia.[41] However, Kosovo was eliminated after losing 1–2 to the Macedonians in Skopje.[45] After the elimination in the play-off's semifinals, the Kosovo's setback continues and the year 2020 was ended six losses, two draws and a victory in the last match of the year against Moldova, a victory which secured the attitude even for another season in the League C of the UEFA Nations League.[46]

Team image

Nicknames

The Kosovo national football team has been known or nicknamed as the "Dardanët" ("Dardanians"). In addition to the official nickname, the Kosovo national team had different nicknames in different periods as:

Kits and crest

Kosovo kit in the first competitive match against Finland in September 2016.

The Kosovo kit has been mostly red and black before declaration of independence with few changes throughout the years and after the independence the kits are mostly blue and yellow. On 5 October 2016, Kosovo signed with Spanish sportswear company Kelme to a four-year contract and was the first official kit suppliers of Kosovo after membership in UEFA and FIFA.[50] On 16 June 2018, Kosovo signed with Swiss sportswear company Fourteen to a four-year contract for it to the kit suppliers of Kosovo.[51][52]

Kit sponsorship

Kit supplier Period Contract
Announcement Duration
Legea 2014 March 2014
Puma 2014 May 2014
Legea 2014 September 2014
Umbro 2015 October 2015 November 2015
Puma 2016 June 2016
Kelme 2016–2018 5 October 2016 2016–2020 (4 years)
Fourteen 2018–present 16 June 2018 2018–2022 (4 years)

Home stadium

Kosovo's home stadium is the Fadil Vokrri Stadium. The stadium capacity is 13,500, which makes it the second largest national stadium in Kosovo. Kosovo's previous national stadium was the Adem Jashari Olympic Stadium which is currently under renovation. Kosovo also used Loro Boriçi Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign,[53][54] and this happened after the two stadiums in Pristina and Mitrovica at that time were under renovation and do not meet UEFA standards.[55] On 12 July 2019, the construction of Kosovo National Stadium began,[56] and two days later the project of this stadium was presented which would have a capacity of 30,000 seats,[57] but after the presentation, the construction was suspended for political reasons related to the location.[58]

As of 24 March 2022[59]
Kosovo national football team home stadiums
Stadium Capacity Location Pld W D L Win % First match Last match UEFA
category
Ref
Opponent Date Opponent Date
Fadil Vokrri Stadium 13,500 Pristina, Kosovo 26 12 5 9 046.15  Yugoslavia 8 November 1967  Burkina Faso 24 March 2022 [60]
Loro Boriçi Stadium 16,000 Shkodër, Albania 5 0 0 5 000.00  Croatia 6 October 2016  Ukraine 6 October 2017 [61]
Adem Jashari Olympic Stadium 18,500 Mitrovica, Kosovo 3 1 1 1 033.33  Haiti 5 March 2014  Latvia 13 November 2017 [62]

Rivalries

Albania

Main article: Brotherly derby

This derby is otherwise known as Brotherly derby (Albanian: Derbi vëllazëror), also known as the Brotherly (Albanian: Vëllazërorja). The documented beginnings of this derby date back to the time during the World War II, respectively on 29 November 1942, where they played a friendly match as part of the celebrations for 30th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania and the match ended with a 2–0 win for Tirana,[a][5][6][4] this derby is back 50 years after the first match, when the Football Federation of Kosovo signed a cooperation protocol with the Albanian Football Association and in the framework of this protocol it was decided to play on 14 February a friendly match between these two national teams,[7] and this match ended with a 3–1 win for Albania.[8]

Media coverage

Fixtures and results

For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles, and Kosovo national football team results (2020–present).

2022

24 March Friendly Kosovo  5–0  Burkina Faso Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 Aliti 3'
Selmani 23'
Vojvoda 53'
Rashica 68'
Domgjoni 75'
Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Referee: Eldorjan Hamiti (Albania)
29 March Friendly Switzerland  1–1  Kosovo Zürich, Switzerland
18:00 Lotomba 61' Report Rashica 52' Stadium: Letzigrund
Attendance: 20,800
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (France)
2 June 2022–23 Nations League Cyprus  0–2  Kosovo Larnaca, Cyprus
20:45 (21:45; UTC+3) Report Berisha 65'
Zhegrova 78'
Stadium: AEK Arena – Georgios Karapatakis
Attendance: 1,550
Referee: Jérôme Brisard (France)
5 June 2022–23 Nations League Kosovo  0–1  Greece Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report Bakasetas 36' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 12,300
Referee: John Beaton (Scotland)
9 June 2022–23 Nations League Kosovo  3–2  Northern Ireland Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Muriqi 9' (pen.), 52'
Bytyqi 19'
Report Lavery 44'
Ballard 83'
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 11,700
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)
12 June 2022–23 Nations League Greece  2–0  Kosovo Volos, Greece
20:45 (21:45; UTC+3) Giakoumakis 71'
Mantalos 90+9'
Report Stadium: Panthessaliko Stadium
Attendance: 15,367
Referee: Julian Weinberger (Austria)
24 September 2022–23 Nations League Northern Ireland  2–1  Kosovo Belfast, Northern Ireland
18:00 (17:00; UTC+1) Whyte 82'
Magennis 90+3'
Report Muriqi 58' Stadium: Windsor Park
Attendance: 17,148
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (Sweden)
27 September 2022–23 Nations League Kosovo  5–1  Cyprus Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Muslija 22'
Rrudhani 45+1'
Rashani 47'
Muriqi 52', 84'
Report Roberge 81' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 10,400
Referee: Kristo Tohver (Estonia)
16 November Friendly Kosovo  2–2  Armenia Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 L. M. Kastrati 67' (pen.)
Rrudhani 90+3'
Report Shaghoyan 24'
K. Hovhannisyan 82'
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Eldorjan Hamiti (Albania)
19 November Friendly Kosovo  1–1  Faroe Islands Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 Bislimi 64' Report Radosavljevic 77' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Referee: Juxhin Xhaja (Albania)

2023

25 March UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Israel  v  Kosovo Tel Aviv, Israel
20:45 Report Stadium: Bloomfield Stadium
28 March UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Kosovo  v  Andorra Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
16 June UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Kosovo  v  Romania Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
19 June UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Belarus  v  Kosovo Neutral location[c]
20:45 Report
9 September UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Kosovo  v  Switzerland Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
12 September UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Romania  v  Kosovo Bucharest, Romania
20:45 Report Stadium: Stadionul Steaua
12 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Andorra  v  Kosovo Andorra la Vella, Andorra
20:45 Report Stadium: Estadi Nacional
15 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Kosovo  v  Israel Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
18 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Switzerland  v  Kosovo Switzerland
20:45 Report
21 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Kosovo  v  Belarus Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium

Coaching staff

Alain Giresse, the current head coach of Kosovo national football team.
Alain Giresse, the current head coach of Kosovo national football team.

Current coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach France Alain Giresse
Assistant coach(es)
France David Le Goff
France Sébastien Bichard
Kosovo Ramush Gashi
Kosovo Genc Hoxha
Fitness coach Switzerland Thomas Richard
Goalkeeping coach Kosovo Ahmet Beselica
Physiotherapist(s)
Kosovo Ismet Shalaj
Kosovo Zheralldin Durguti
Doctor Kosovo Murat Berisha
Device manager Kosovo Sahit Salihi
Team manager Kosovo Bajram Shala
Sports director Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti

Manager history

Muharrem Sahiti has been the manager of the national team in three separate stints.
Muharrem Sahiti has been the manager of the national team in three separate stints.
No. Name Period Record
G W D L Win %
1 Republic of Kosova Ajet Shosholli 1993–2002 1 0 0 1 000.00
2 Kosovo Bylbyl Sokoli 2002–2005 1 0 0 1 000.00
3 Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti 2005–2006 3 2 0 1 066.67
4 Kosovo Edmond Rugova 2006–2009 1 1 0 0 100.00
5 Kosovo Albert Bunjaki 2009–2017 18 3 3 12 016.67
C Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti 2017–2018 1 1 0 0 100.00
6 Switzerland Bernard Challandes
Kosovo Muharrem Sahiti[d]
2018–2021
2020
40 17 8 15 042.50
C Slovenia Primož Gliha 2021–2022 2 0 1 1 000.00
7 France Alain Giresse 2022– 10 4 3 3 040.00

Players

Current squad

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Visar Bekaj (captain) (1997-05-24) 24 May 1997 (age 25) 5 0 Albania Tirana
12 1GK Jozef Pukaj (2000-02-13) 13 February 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Switzerland Winterthur

2 2DF Lirim R. Kastrati (vice-captain) (1999-02-02) 2 February 1999 (age 23) 12 0 Hungary Újpest
5 2DF Lumbardh Dellova (1999-01-01) 1 January 1999 (age 24) 3 0 Kosovo Ballkani
4 2DF Kreshnik Hajrizi (1999-05-28) 28 May 1999 (age 23) 1 0 Switzerland Lugano
3 2DF Leard Sadriu (2001-04-22) 22 April 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Slovenia Mura

21 3MF Donat Rrudhani (1999-05-02) 2 May 1999 (age 23) 8 2 Switzerland Young Boys
15 3MF Muharrem Jashari (1998-02-21) 21 February 1998 (age 24) 3 0 Kosovo Drita
22 3MF Uran Bislimi (1999-09-25) 25 September 1999 (age 23) 2 1 Switzerland Lugano
8 3MF Arianit Ferati (1997-09-07) 7 September 1997 (age 25) 2 0 Netherlands Fortuna Sittard
16 3MF Ilir Krasniqi (2000-04-02) 2 April 2000 (age 22) 2 0 Kosovo Llapi
7 3MF Valmir Veliu (2000-06-04) 4 June 2000 (age 22) 2 0 Turkey Gaziantep
14 3MF Lindon Emërllahu (2002-12-07) 7 December 2002 (age 20) 2 0 Kosovo Ballkani
6 3MF Eris Abedini (1998-08-29) 29 August 1998 (age 24) 1 0 Switzerland Winterthur

10 4FW Lirim M. Kastrati (1999-01-16) 16 January 1999 (age 23) 19 2 Hungary Fehérvár
11 4FW Jetmir Topalli (1998-02-07) 7 February 1998 (age 24) 5 0 Turkey İstanbulspor
18 4FW Agon Sadiku (2003-03-10) 10 March 2003 (age 19) 2 0 Finland Honka
17 4FW Ermal Krasniqi (1998-09-07) 7 September 1998 (age 24) 1 0 Romania CFR Cluj

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Samir Ujkani (1988-07-05) 5 July 1988 (age 34) 36 0 Italy Empoli v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
GK Arijanet Muric (1998-11-07) 7 November 1998 (age 24) 28 0 England Burnley v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022

DF Jetmir Haliti (1996-09-14) 14 September 1996 (age 26) 1 0 Sweden Mjällby v.  Faroe Islands, 19 November 2022
DF Ibrahim Drešević (1997-01-24) 24 January 1997 (age 25) 21 0 Turkey Fatih Karagümrük v.  Armenia, 16 November 2022INJ
DF Amir Rrahmani (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 28) 49 6 Italy Napoli v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
DF Fidan Aliti (1993-10-03) 3 October 1993 (age 29) 44 1 Switzerland Zürich v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
DF Florent Hadergjonaj (1994-07-31) 31 July 1994 (age 28) 25 1 Turkey Kasımpaşa v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
DF Betim Fazliji (1999-04-25) 25 April 1999 (age 23) 16 0 Germany St. Pauli v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
DF Mirlind Kryeziu (1997-01-26) 26 January 1997 (age 25) 8 0 Switzerland Zürich v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
DF Mërgim Vojvoda (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 27) 45 2 Italy Torino v.  Northern Ireland, 24 September 2022INJ
DF Leart Paqarada (1994-08-10) 10 August 1994 (age 28) 24 1 Germany St. Pauli v.  Northern Ireland, 24 September 2022INJ
DF Valon Zumberi (2002-11-24) 24 November 2002 (age 20) 0 0 Germany Hamburger SV v.  Cyprus, 2 June 2022PRE / U21

MF Blendi Idrizi (1998-05-02) 2 May 1998 (age 24) 6 0 Germany Jahn Regensburg v.  Armenia, 16 November 2022INJ
MF Toni Domgjoni (1998-09-04) 4 September 1998 (age 24) 4 1 Netherlands Vitesse v.  Armenia, 16 November 2022PRE
MF Milot Rashica (1996-06-28) 28 June 1996 (age 26) 46 8 Turkey Galatasaray v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Bersant Celina (1996-09-09) 9 September 1996 (age 26) 33 2 Turkey Kasımpaşa v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Arbër Zeneli (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 27) 31 9 France Reims v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Hekuran Kryeziu (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 29) 28 0 Switzerland Winterthur v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Zymer Bytyqi (1996-09-11) 11 September 1996 (age 26) 17 1 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Florian Loshaj (1996-08-13) 13 August 1996 (age 26) 17 0 Poland Cracovia v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Florent Muslija (1998-07-06) 6 July 1998 (age 24) 13 1 Germany SC Paderborn v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
MF Valon Berisha (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 29) 36 4 Australia Melbourne City v.  Greece, 12 June 2022
MF Benjamin Kololli (1992-05-15) 15 May 1992 (age 30) 24 4 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse v.  Greece, 12 June 2022INJ
MF Emir Sahiti (1998-11-29) 29 November 1998 (age 24) 2 0 Croatia Hajduk Split v.  Greece, 12 June 2022
MF Edon Zhegrova (1999-03-31) 31 March 1999 (age 23) 28 3 France Lille v.  Northern Ireland, 9 June 2022INJ
MF Qëndrim Zyba (2001-01-03) 3 January 2001 (age 22) 0 0 Kosovo Ballkani v.  Cyprus, 2 June 2022PRE / U21

FW Mirlind Daku (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 (age 25) 5 0 Slovenia Mura v.  Armenia, 16 November 2022INJ
FW Vedat Muriqi (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 28) 44 23 Spain Mallorca v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
FW Elbasan Rashani (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 (age 29) 24 5 France Clermont v.  Cyprus, 27 September 2022
FW Shkelqim Vladi (2000-09-21) 21 September 2000 (age 22) 0 0 Switzerland Aarau v.  Northern Ireland, 24 September 2022INJ
FW Astrit Selmani (1997-05-13) 13 May 1997 (age 25) 5 1 Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva v.  Switzerland, 29 March 2022

Notes
  • INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • PRE = Preliminary squad/standby.
  • U21 = Was called up from national U21 squad.

Records

Main article: List of Kosovo international footballers

Players in bold are still active with Kosovo.

Most capped players

As of 27 September 2022[69][70]
Mërgim Vojvoda is the second most capped player in the history of Kosovo with 45 caps.
Mërgim Vojvoda is the second most capped player in the history of Kosovo with 45 caps.
Rank Name Caps Goals Pos. Career
1 Amir Rrahmani 49 6 DF 2014–present
2 Milot Rashica 46 8 MF 2016–present
3 Mërgim Vojvoda 45 2 DF 2017–present
4 Vedat Muriqi 44 23 FW 2016–present
Fidan Aliti 1 DF 2017–present
6 Valon Berisha 36 4 MF 2016–present
Samir Ujkani 0 GK 2014–present
8 Besar Halimi 35 3 MF 2015–2021
9 Bersant Celina 33 2 MF 2014–present
10 Arbër Zeneli 31 9 MF 2016–present

Top goalscorers

As of 27 September 2022[71]
Arbër Zeneli is the second top scorer and hat-tricker in the history of Kosovo with nine goals and one hat-trick.
Arbër Zeneli is the second top scorer and hat-tricker in the history of Kosovo with nine goals and one hat-trick.
Rank Name Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Vedat Muriqi 23 44 0.52 2016–present
2 Arbër Zeneli 9 31 0.29 2016–present
3 Milot Rashica 8 46 0.17 2016–present
4 Amir Rrahmani 6 49 0.12 2014–present
5 Elbasan Rashani 5 24 0.21 2015–present
6 Benjamin Kololli 4 24 0.17 2016–present
Valon Berisha 4 36 0.11 2016–present
8 Albert Bunjaku 3 6 0.5 2014–2016
Atdhe Nuhiu 3 19 0.16 2017–2020
Edon Zhegrova 3 28 0.11 2018–present
Besar Halimi 3 35 0.09 2015–2021

Captains

As of 27 September 2022[72]
Samir Ujkani is the most capped player as captain in the history of Kosovo with 30 caps.
Anel Rashkaj is the first captain who led Kosovo in the first international match against Haiti.
Rank Pos. Name As captain Total
Career Caps Career Caps
1 GK Samir Ujkani 2015–present 30 2014–present 36
2 DF Amir Rrahmani 2019–present 24 2014–present 49
3 MF Valon Berisha 2018–present 3 2016–present 36
MF Anel Rashkaj 2014 3 2014–2020 14
5 MF Herolind Shala 2019–present 2 2016–present 27
6 DF Fidan Aliti 2020–present 1 2017–present 44
FW Vedat Muriqi 2022–present 1 2016–present 44
MF Hekuran Kryeziu 2019–present 1 2015–present 28
MF Florian Loshaj 2021–present 1 2020–present 17
MF Enis Alushi 2014 1 2014–2017 10
GK Visar Bekaj 2021–present 1 2015–present 4
MF Besnik Hasi 2007 1 2007 1
MF Genc Hoxha 1993 1 1993 1

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

On 9 June 2016, the UEFA Emergency Panel decided that Kosovo would join Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine in Group I, and also decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia should not play against Kosovo for security reasons.[32][33] On 5 September 2016, Kosovo made its debut in the FIFA World Cup qualifications with a 1–1 away draw against Finland, with Kosovo's equalizing goal being scored by the newcomer Valon Berisha from a penalty kick in the 60th minute.[34] On 2 September 2021, Kosovo achieved their first win in the FIFA World Cup qualifications a 1–0 away win against Georgia.[73]

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to France 1938 Part of  Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Brazil 1950 to Italy 1990 Part of  SFR Yugoslavia
United States 1994 to South KoreaJapan 2002 Part of  FR Yugoslavia
Germany 2006 Part of  Serbia and Montenegro
South Africa 2010 Not a FIFA member
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018 Did not qualify 6th 10 0 1 9 3 24
Qatar 2022 5th 8 1 2 5 5 15
CanadaMexicoUnited States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 18 1 3 14 8 39

UEFA European Championship

On 2 December 2018, in Dublin, it was decided that Kosovo should be part in Group A of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, together with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro and 2018 World Cup fourth place finisher England.[39] On 25 March 2019, Kosovo made their debut on UEFA European Championship qualifying with a 1–1 home draw against Bulgaria and the draw goal was scored by Arbër Zeneli on the 61st minute.[75] On 11 June 2019, Kosovo won their first ever qualifying match for a major tournament by defeating Bulgaria 3–2.[76]

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 to Sweden 1992 Part of  SFR Yugoslavia
England 1996 to BelgiumNetherlands 2000 Part of  FR Yugoslavia
Portugal 2004 Part of  Serbia and Montenegro
AustriaSwitzerland 2008 Part of  Serbia
PolandUkraine 2012 Not a UEFA member
France 2016
Europe 2020 Did not qualify 3rd 9 3 2 4 14 18
Germany 2024 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 9 3 2 4 14 18

UEFA Nations League

Kosovo's Nations League record
First match  Azerbaijan 0–0 Kosovo 
(Baku, Azerbaijan; 7 September 2018)
Biggest win  Malta 0–5 Kosovo 
(Ta' Qali, Malta; 17 November 2018)
Biggest defeat  Kosovo 1–2 Greece 
(Pristina, Kosovo; 6 September 2020)
 Slovenia 2–1 Kosovo 
(Ljubljana, Slovenia; 15 November 2020)
Best result 39th place in 2022–23
Worst result 44th place in 2020–21

On 24 January 2018, in Lausanne, it was decided that Kosovo should be part of League D in Group 3 of the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, together with Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta.[36][37] On 7 September 2018, Kosovo made their debut in the UEFA Nations League with a 0–0 away draw against Azerbaijan.[78] On 10 September 2018, Kosovo achieved their first win in the UEFA Nations League, which was also the team's first-ever competitive win, a 2–0 home win against the Faroe Islands.[79] Kosovo finished the league unbeaten (with four wins and two draws) and will be promoted to the next tier (C league) for the next edition.[38]

UEFA Nations League record
League phase Finals
Season LG GP Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK Year Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad
2018–19 D 3 1st 6 4 2 0 15 2 Rise 42nd Portugal 2019 Did not enter
2020–21 C 3 3rd 6 1 2 3 4 6 Same position 44th Italy 2021
2022–23 C 2 3rd 6 3 0 3 11 8 Same position 39th Netherlands 2023
2024–25 C To be determined 2025
Total 18 8 4 7 30 16 39th Total 0 0 0 0 0 0

Non-FIFA Tournament

Kosovo for first time after the Kosovo War participated in a tournament held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cyprus Turkish Football Association. Kosovo lost against the host with result 1–0 and won against Sàpmi with result 4–1.[81]

Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad
Northern Cyprus KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 2 Squad
Total Runners-up 1/1 2 1 0 1 4 2

FIFA ranking history

As of 10 February 2022[3]

  Best ranking   Worst ranking   Best mover   Worst mover

Rank Year Pld W D L Win % Ranking Move
Best Worst Best (+) Worst (−)
109 2022 10 4 3 3 040.00 To be determined
  111 2021 14 5 2 7 035.71 109 120 6 (September) 4 (October)
117 2020 9 1 2 6 011.11 115 117 0 (February) 1 (October)
115 2019 10 4 3 3 040.00 114 130 6 (June) 1 (November)
  131 2018 9 7 2 0 077.78 131 178 24 (August) 1 (January)
177 2017 7 1 0 6 014.29 164 184 9 (November) 6 (April)
   165 2016 5 1 1 3 020.00 164 190 22 (September) 190 (July)

Head-to-head record

As of 16 November 2022[82]
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win % Reference
1993–present
 Albania 6 1 1 4 9 11 −2 016.67 H2H results
 Armenia 1 0 1 0 2 2 +0 000.00 H2H results
 Azerbaijan 2 1 1 0 4 0 +4 050.00 H2H results
 Bulgaria 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 050.00 H2H results
 Burkina Faso 2 2 0 0 7 0 +7 100.00 H2H results
 Croatia 2 0 0 2 0 7 −7 000.00 H2H results
 Czech Republic 2 1 0 1 3 3 +0 050.00 H2H results
 Cyprus 2 2 0 0 7 1 +6 100.00 H2H results
 Denmark 1 0 1 0 2 2 +0 000.00 H2H results
 England 2 0 0 2 3 9 −6 000.00 H2H results
 Equatorial Guinea 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00 H2H results
 Faroe Islands 4 2 2 0 5 1 +4 050.00 H2H results
 Finland 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Gambia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Georgia 2 1 0 1 2 2 +0 050.00 H2H results
 Gibraltar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Greece 6 0 3 3 3 7 −4 000.00 H2H results
 Guinea 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Haiti 1 0 1 0 0 0 +0 000.00 H2H results
 Iceland 2 0 0 2 1 4 −3 000.00 H2H results
 Jordan 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 000.00 H2H results
 Latvia 1 1 0 0 4 3 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Lithuania 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100.00 H2H results
 Madagascar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 Malta 3 3 0 0 10 2 +8 100.00 H2H results
 Moldova 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 050.00 H2H results
 Monaco 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 100.00
 Montenegro 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 050.00 H2H results
 North Macedonia 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
 Northern Ireland 2 1 0 1 4 4 +0 050.00 H2H results
 Northern Cyprus 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 000.00
 Oman 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
 San Marino 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00 H2H results
 Sápmi 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00
 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00
 Senegal 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
 Slovenia 2 0 0 2 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
 Spain 2 0 0 2 1 5 −4 000.00 H2H results
 Sweden 3 0 0 3 0 7 −7 000.00 H2H results
 Switzerland 1 0 1 0 1 1 +0 000.00 H2H results
 Turkey 3 0 0 3 2 12 −10 000.00 H2H results
H2H results*
 Ukraine 2 0 0 2 0 5 −5 000.00 H2H results
42 countries 75 27 14 34 105 108 −3 036.00 All H2H results

See also

Men's

Women's

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ a b The alternative name of the Albania national team that was used during this match.[4]
  2. ^ Dobrica Barbaroga was the Albanianized full name of Dobrica Barbarogić by the media of that time, which seems to be expression of peaceful coexistence with national minorities even in Kosovo at that time.[5]
  3. ^ Due to Belarusian involvement in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, UEFA banned Belarusian national and club teams from hosting international matches and competitions.[65]
  4. ^ On 11 November 2020, Bernard Challandes was tested positive with COVID-19 and Sahiti was named as his replacement for the November 2020 matches.[66]

References

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