The Kosovo football team is a member of the UEFA and the FIFA. That is the outcome of a vote of the UEFA on the 3rd May of 2016, and the outcome of a vote of the FIFA two weeks later. From 2014, Kosovo was only allowed to play international friendlies.
Kosovo took part in the qualification round for the World Cup 2018. They were in a tough group with Croatia, Iceland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Finland. Four of those countries played at Euro 2016. It was no surprise that Kosovo ended last in this group. After the qualification, Kosovo won three friendly matches in a row.
For the UEFA Nations League, Kosovo plays from september 2018 against Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta.
The fact that Kosovo was only allowed to play international soccer matches was the outcome of a compromise between the FIFA and the Kosovar and Serbian football associations. In the first year of their friendly matches, the Kosovo football team played against Haiti, Turkey, Senegal and Oman.
Most of the players of the national team of Kosovo play in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Sweden. Hardly any of them play in the Kosovar league.
Kosovo football players in other national teams
A couple of football stars who were born in Kosovo do not play for the national Kosovo football soccer team. This is because they chose to play for other countries in the past, like Switzerland and Albania. Both of the countries were qualified for Euro 2016 in France. Perhaps the most beautiful goal of the tournament, was scored by Kosovar Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland).
The captain of Albania during Euro2016, Lorik Cana, is born in Kosovo. Just like a couple of other players. As far as we know, they will not change to Kosovo. The Swiss national team has several players of Kosovo origin. The biggest name is Xherdan Shaqiri (see picture).
He became famous because of a hat-trick in the World Cup of 2014 against Honduras. The shoes of Shaqiri showed once the Swiss, Albanian and Kosovar flag. Other famous players are Adnan Januzaj and Granit Xhaka. A couple of Kosovars switched in the summer of 2016 to the national team of Kosovo.
- Are you curious about other information about the independence of Kosovo?
- Do you want to learn more about Kosovo? Visit our information page.
- In this video, you see the line-up when all Kosovar players, of different national teams, would play together
- Atdhe Nuhiu scored the first home goal for Kosovo. The picture is taken one second after scoring the goal against Iceland.