Albania Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: Kuq e Zinjtë, Shqiponjat
Head coach: Josip Kuže
Captain: Altin Lala
Most caps: Altin Lala (75)
Top scorer: Alban Bushi (14), Erjon Bogdani (14)
Home stadium: Qemal Stafa
Football is clearly the number one sport in Albania, and the national association places great importance on youth development work. There are championships at various age levels, including U-18, U-16, U-14, U-12 and U-10, while each club in the top two divisions is obliged to have a structured youth development programme in place. Moreover, there are regional select teams for all age levels. Albanian football celebrated its greatest day on 29 March 2003, when the national team defeated Russia 3-1 in a EURO 2004 qualifying match in Tirana. Albanian teams have also recorded impressive results in the past, but major success has not yet come Albanias way. Albanian footballers are in great demand abroad. Approximately 200 Albanian players ply their trade in a number of top leagues in Europe. The most famous player at the moment is Altin Lala, captain of Hannover 96 in Germany.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
The Union of European Football Associations, almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer. UEFA represents most of the national football associations of Europe, runs national and club competitions in its area, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia transcontinental nations such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Russia, are members of the UEFA rather than AFC, as are Israel and Cyprus which lie entirely in Asia.