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Almen Abdi

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Collection: 1986 Births, Expatriate Footballers in England, Expatriate Footballers in France, Expatriate Footballers in Italy, Fc Zürich Players, Kosovar Emigrants to Switzerland, Kosovar Expatriates in Switzerland, Kosovar Footballers, Le Mans Fc Players, Ligue 1 Players, Living People, People from Prizren, Premier League Players, Serie a Players, Swiss Expatriate Footballers, Swiss Expatriates in Italy, Swiss Footballers, Swiss Muslims, Swiss People of Albanian Descent, Swiss Super League Players, Switzerland International Footballers, Switzerland Under-21 International Footballers, The Football League Players, Udinese Calcio Players, Watford F.C. Players
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Almen Abdi

Almen Abdi
Abdi at Watford, April 2015
Personal information
Full name Almen Abdi[1]
Date of birth (1986-10-21) 21 October 1986 [2]
Place of birth Prizren, Kosovo
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[3]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Watford
Number 22
Youth career
 – Zürich
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2009 Zürich 132 (31)
2009–2010 Le Mans 13 (0)
2010–2013 Udinese 42 (0)
2012–2013 Watford (loan) 38 (12)
2013– Watford 53 (12)
National team
2007–2008 Switzerland U21 5 (0)
2008– Switzerland 6 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:53, 24 October 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:36, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Almen Abdi (born 21 October 1986) is a Swiss footballer of Kosovar[4] and Bosniak descent who plays as an attacking midfielder for Watford, having played for Zürich, Le Mans and Udinese. He has also been capped by the Switzerland national team.

Contents

  • Career 1
    • Zürich 1.1
    • Le Mans 1.2
    • Udinese 1.3
    • Watford 1.4
  • International career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Career

Zürich

Abdi (far left) takes a shot against Luzern

Abdi started his football career at Zürich, where he came through the ranks of the FC Zürich youth academy. After one year at the club, Abdi made his professional debut at age seventeen in the 2003–04 season, coming on as a substitute for Arthur Petrosyan in the 89th minute, in a 2–1 loss against Basel. Throughout his first three seasons at Zürich, Abdi featured little, and mostly remained a bench player. However, the 2006–07 season was Abdi's breakthrough season, making more appearances than ever and establishing himself as a first team starter. During the 2006–07 season, Abdi would make his Champions League debut in the second qualification round against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, after coming on as a substitute. He scored his first league goal on 29 July 2006, in a 2–0 win over Schaffhausen.

Abdi was part of the 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2008–09 Swiss Championship winning Zürich squad. He was awarded an improved contract in June 2006 which would last until the summer of 2010. Having finished as the club's top goalscorer in the 2008–09 league campaign with 19 goals and adding an impressive 12 assists, Abdi was not only named the best midfielder in the Swiss Super League,[5] but also presented with the season's Best Swiss Player Award.[6] In the 2009–10 season, Abdi was dropped to the FC Zürich reserve team in November 2009, alongside team-mate Andrés Vasquez, with FC Zürich stating they were planning for the future without the duo.[7][8]

Le Mans

In January 2010, Abdi was transferred to Le Mans on a six-month contract with the option to extend it at a later date, should the club remain in Ligue 1.[9][10] However, Le Mans failed to avoid relegation to Ligue 2 at the end of the campaign, with Abdi making a total of 13 appearances.

Udinese

In April 2010, Abdi confirmed that he would be joining Udinese in the summer once he became a free agent.[11] In Udine, he made 19 appearances in the 2010–11 season, most of them coming from the bench. In the 2011–2012 season, Abdi scored his first goal for the Friulian club in the Europa League on 29 September 2011, converting the penalty to equalize against Celtic at Celtic Park.[12] Shortly after, there was a rumour of Abdi making a return to Zürich.[13] But Abdi denied any rumor of him being linked to Zürich, insisting he felt fine and settled at Udinese.[14]

Watford

In July 2012, Abdi trained with Watford with a view to a possible loan. He featured in the Championship side's first three pre-season friendlies,[15] and later joined the club on a season-long loan for the 2012–13.[16] Abdi scored his first goal for Watford on his league debut against Crystal Palace on 18 August 2012.[17] In November 2012, Abdi soon injured his shoulder, dislocating it in the process.[18] Following four weeks of regeneration, he returned to the bench and came on as a substitute during the 2–1 home loss against Hull City on 8 December 2013. Abdi made it three league goals in as many games with his effort against Birmingham City on 16 February 2013, taking his total goal tally to 9. Abdi had netted in the previous two games against Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace. Abdi then scored his 10th goal of the season with a sumptuous free kick in a 1–1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on 1 March 2013. Towards the end of the season, Abdi reportedly stated his desire to remain at Watford on a permanent basis, having become the club's fan favorite.[19] In early May 2013, he picked up the Hornets’ Player of the Season award.[20]

On 19 July 2013, Watford FC confirmed that Abdi had signed a three-year deal on a permanent basis.[21]

Having not appeared for Watford FC due to a severe case of plantar fasciitis since 31 August 2013,[22] Abdi made his long-awaited comeback as a 75th-minute substitute in a 2–0 FA Cup third round replay victory over Bristol City on 14 January 2014. Abdi then made his league return four days later, as a first-half substitute against Bournemouth on 18 January 2014, coming on for the injured Iriney.

Making his first league start for seven months, Abdi netted his first goal as a Watford starting squad member in a 3–0 home win against Leeds United on 8 April 2014.

On 30 August 2014, in a Championship home match against Huddersfield Town, Abdi scored his first ever brace for Watford FC. The game ended 4–2, with Abdi providing the goals to make it 2–1 and 4–2 respectively. Furthermore, Abdi also contributed one assist in the same game.[23]

International career

He made his senior Switzerland international debut against Cyprus on 20 August 2008.

Personal life

On 24 April 2011, Abdi was targeted by burglars and his possessions were stolen.[24] Abdi is good friends with compatriot and team-mate Gökhan Inler, who assisted him developing at Udinese.[25]

References

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  4. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/photos/udineses-kosovar-midfielder-almen-abdi-20111125-131830-047.html
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  16. ^ "Official: Hornets delighted with a magnificent seven signings". Watford Football Club. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  17. ^
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  23. ^ http://www.watfordfc.com/news/article/140830-watford-v-huddersfield-town-report-1884164.aspx
  24. ^
  25. ^

External links

  • Almen Abdi at National-Football-Teams.com
  • FC Zurich Stats
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