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Albania announce 27-man provisional squad for Euro 2024; Berat Djimsiti and Simon Simoni included

Published at :May 30, 2024 at 2:12 PM
Modified at :May 30, 2024 at 2:12 PM
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(Courtesy : Getty Images)

Samannay Sen

The Kuqezinjtë’s will be looking to upset big teams like Croatia, Italy and Spain.

Excitement is brewing in Albania as manager Sylvinho has unveiled his 27-man provisional squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament in Germany. The Red and Blacks, drawn in Group B alongside Italy, Spain, and Croatia, will be looking to cause an upset and progress from a tough group.

The small nation defied expectations by topping their qualifying group, which included established names like the Czech Republic and Poland. This success marked a culmination of years of steady improvement for Albanian football.

Their journey to the Euros wasn’t without its challenges. Albania’s group was no cakewalk, featuring fellow Euro hopefuls. However, they showcased remarkable determination, amassing an impressive 15 points from their eight games. This achievement serves as a testament to the talent and tactical nous within the squad.

However, the celebrations will be short-lived, as Albania has been placed in a daunting Group B for the tournament finals. The “Group of Death” by enthusiasts sees them facing established European powerhouses – Spain and Italy – alongside a dangerous Croatia team known for their deep runs in recent tournaments.

Leading the Albanian charge will be their experienced captain, Berat Djimsiti. The 32-year-old center-back boasts 56 caps for his country and currently plies his trade for Italian side Atalanta.

Djimsiti’s leadership qualities were on full display as he captained Atalanta to a remarkable 3-0 victory against the previously undefeated Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League. His defensive solidity was also crucial in securing another clean sheet in their most recent 3-0 win over Torino, which secured Champions League football for Atalanta next season.

Sylvinho has opted for a blend of experience and youth in his selection. The defensive unit boasts a mix of muscle and technical quality. The midfield is arguably the most intriguing area of Sylvinho’s selection. The attacking options provide a potent combination of pace, power, and finesse.

Albania provisional squad for Euro 2024:

Goalkeepers: Etrit Barisha (Empoli), Thomas Strakosha (Brentford), Elhan Kastrati (Cittadella), Simon Simoni (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders: Elseid Hysaj (Lazio), Berat Djimsiti (Atalanta), Adrian Ismajli (Empoli), Arlind Arjeti (CFR Cluj-Napoca), Marash Kumbulla (Sassuolo), Enea Mihaj (FC Famalicao), Naser Aliji (Voluntari), Iván Balliu (Rayo Vallecano), Mario Mitaj (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Midfielders: Amir Abrashi (Grasshoppers), Ylber Ramadani (Lecce), Klaus Gjasula (SV Darmstadt 98), Qazim Laci (Sparta Prague), Nedim Bajrami (Sassuolo), Kristjan Asllani (Internazionale), Ernest Muci (Besiktas), Medon Berisha (Lecce)

Forwards: Rey Manaj (Sivasspor), Armando Broja (Fulham), Taulant Seferi (Baniyas), Jasir Asani (Gwangju FC), Mirlind Daku (Rubin Kazan), Arber Hoxha (Dinamo Zagreb)

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