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ALBANIA – Participating Teams in the Euro Football 2024 Tournament

Albania are one of the participating teams in the 2024 European Championship, which will take place in Germany this summer. The Albanians had an excellent qualifying campaign and could be tough to beat in the 2024 Euro Cup. Can the Red and Blacks cause a few upsets this summer? 

In this in-depth Albania 2024 Euro Cup preview, we check back on how they qualified for the tournament, assess their key players to watch out for, and analyse their expected performances. Check out this extensive Albanian national team preview as we evaluate their chances of going far in the 2024 European Championship.   

The Albanian Football Team in the Euro Football Tournament

This will be Albania’s second appearance in a major tournament. They have never qualified for a World Cup, though they did participate in the Euro Championships in France in 2016. 

Albania stunned the likes of Denmark and Serbia to finish second in their 2016 European Championship qualifying group. Portugal won Group I at a canter and went on to win the Euros, but the battle for second was thrilling. 

The Albanians secured the runners-up spot after winning half of their eight fixtures. They were in a direct scrap with the Danes, and a 3-0 away win on the final day secured their place in the 2016 Euro Cup. 

Albania were drawn into a tough group in France. They took on the French, Switzerland, and Romania in Group A. In their opening two fixtures, they fell to a narrow loss to the Swiss before suffering a 2-0 defeat to France in Marseille.  

The Albanians picked up a memorable win against the Romanians on matchday three. Armando Sadiku’s first-half strike sealed a 1-0 victory in front of 50,000 fans at Parc Olympique Lyonnais. Despite the win, the Eagles were knocked out of the group. 

Albania had another excellent qualifying campaign in 2023 to secure their second Euro appearance. They won Group E ahead of the likes of Czech Republic and Poland, taking 15 points from a possible 24. As a result of winning their group, Albania were seeded into Pot 2 alongside Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, and Austria. 

The draw took place in Hamburg in December 2023, and the Albanians were drawn into Group B in the finals. It has been labelled the “Group of Death”, as Albania will go up against a trio of heavyweights in the shape of Spain, Croatia, and Italy. 

Spain are three-time winners of the Euros and are among the tournament favourites to lift the trophy in 2024. Croatia have finished second and third, respectively, in the last two World Cups. Italy are the defending European champions after winning the 2020 edition. As you would expect, Albania are the massive underdogs in Group B.

Former Brazil left-back Sylvinho will take charge of the team in Germany. First up for Sylvinho’s troops is a tricky game against Italy at the Westfalenstadion. The fixture at Borussia Dortmund’s spectacular stadium will be the fourth match of the Euro tournament.  

Next up, Croatia are waiting at Volksparkstadion on June 19th. The Croatians could be one of the dark horses in this summer’s tournament, but can Albania frustrate the World Cup silver medalists in Hamburg? 

Albania’s third and final group matchup will be against Spain at Arena AufSchalke on June 20th. The Spaniards are the Group B favourites and will be tough to contain in Gelsenkirchen. The Albanians will be the underdogs in all three group matches. 

Albania will arguably have the toughest group of any nation at the 2024 European Championship. However, the Eagles showed in qualifying that they belong at this level, and Sylvinho’s side will try their best to make themselves tough to beat during their time on German soil. 

Albania’s Road to the European Championship 2024

Albania booked their place in a second Euro Championship by finishing at the top of the pile in Group E. Czech Republic and Poland were the favourites to seal first and second, but Albania had other ideas. 

They took first place in Group E after collecting 15 points from a possible 24. The Red and Blacks won four, drew three, and lost one of their eight qualifying matches. The Czechs had an identical record, but the Albanians finished above them on head-to-head points. 

Albania’s qualifying campaign got off to the worst possible start when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Poland in Warsaw in March. Karol Swiderski scored the only goal of the game for the Poles. However, that proved to be their only defeat in qualifying. 

Albania bounced back and got their qualification campaign up and running with a routine home win against Moldova. Two second-half goals did the business in that one. 

Three months later, they secured a 3-1 away win against Faroe Island in Torshavn. They were given a good game by the minnows, but goals from Nedim Bajrami, Kristjan Asllani, and Ernest Muci proved to be enough. 

Albania had a September to remember, collecting four points from a possible six in tough games against Czech Republic and Poland. First up, Bajrami’s goal earned the Eagles a 1-1 draw with the Czechs in Prague. 

Then came a tremendous win, as Albania beat the Poles by two goals to nil at Arena Kombetare in Tirana. Jasir Asani opened the scoring, and Mirlind Daku doubled their advantage shortly after the break. 

Albania secured their best and most important victory of the campaign on October 12th. They welcomed Czech Republic to Tirana for a crunch match. Sylvinho’s boys made light work of the Czechs, claiming a comfortable 3-0 home win. Asani scored again, and Taulant Seferi grabbed a brace. 

Albania ended their qualifying campaign with back-to-back stalemates. They were held to a 1-1 draw by the Moldovans in Chisinau in November. A month later, they drew 0-0 with Faroe Islands in Tirana. Nevertheless, they officially secured qualification on November 17th

Considering that Albania had only ever qualified for one major tournament before, taking the top spot in Group E ahead of Czech Republic and Poland was a remarkable achievement. They went seven games unbeaten after the Poland defeat and conceded a mere four goals in eight games. 

Albania were also the joint top scorers in the group, netting 12 goals. Moldova’s Ion Nicolaescu finished as the top scorer with four goals, while Jasir Asani and Nedim Bajrami both bagged three each for Albania. 

Finishing in the top two was the priority, and Albania did that with flying colours. They edged out Czech Republic on the head-to-head record and finished four points clear of third-place Poland. Overall, it was a hugely successful qualifying campaign for Slyvinho’s Red and Blacks. 

Albania’s Star Players in the Team

They may not have many superstar names in the XI, but Albania’s squad is packed full of talented players. They have a great manager in Sylvinho, who was a superb player at Arsenal and Barcelona. The Albanians also have tremendous team spirit, which could take them far in Germany. 

The Balkan nation have several dependable players to call upon this summer, including Lazio defender Elseid Hysaj. Born in 1994, Hysaj has been an Albanian international since 2013, racking up over 80 appearances for his national side.  

He was snapped up as a youngster by Empoli in Italy and has carved out an excellent career for himself in Serie A. After leaving Empoli in 2015, Hysaj moved to Napoli. He spent six years in Naples before making the switch to Lazio in 2021. Hysaj is one of Albania’s most-capped players, and the full-back will play a vital role for his country this summer. 

Nedim Bajrami is another Albanian player currently plying his trade in Serie A. The Sassuolo midfielder chipped in with three goals in qualifying and is a star man for his national side. Striker Jasir Asani also scored three goals during Albania’s successful qualifying campaign.  

In terms of individual players, Albania have one of the lesser-known squads at the European Championships. However, everyone knows boss Sylvinho, and the Brazilian could guide the Albanians to more success this summer. Can they be a team to watch out for in the 2024 European Championship? 

Albania’s Chances of Winning the 2024 European Championship

Getting out of the group will be a tough task for Albania. They face Spain, Italy, and Croatia, who have all been tipped to go far. However, with four of the six third-place teams going through, the Albanians will have a great chance of reaching the Round of 16 if they can win just one of their three group games.

They picked up a victory in the group stage of the Euro Championship in 2016, beating Romania by a goal to nil. After an outstanding qualifying campaign this time, the Eagles fly to Germany in high spirits and are not in Group B just to make up the numbers. 

Getting to the 2024 European Championships was the main aim, but can Sylvinho’s side go further than expected on German soil?