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Arben Minga

Arben Minga
Albania28(2)
Template:Infobox medal templates
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Arben Minga (born 16 March 1959 in Tirana - deceased 31 January 2007 in Windsor, Canada) was an Albanian footballer, who played as a centre-forward and a central defender.

He was known as Beni i madh (Big Ben). He was a six-time Albanian title winner.

Career

Club

He began his career in Albanian Championship with KF Tirana, then known as 17 Nëntori, becoming well established by the 1977/78 season. Along with Agustin Kola, Mirel Josa, Sulejman Mema, Shkelqim Muca, Bedri Omuri and Millan Baçi, Minga was a member of the Tirana side of the 1980s that won four national championships and three national cups. In the early 1990s, Minga moved abroad to play in Romania in the 1992-1994, but came back to KF Tirana in the last two years.

International

Capped 28 times by Albania,[1] he played 20 games in European competition. He had represented his country in 12 FIFA World Cup qualification matches [2]

Personal life and death

He subsequently went to Canada with his wife Nora Goxhaj, a former professional basketballer, where they raised two sons, Gridi and Joni. It was there that he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Minga died on 31 January 2007 of pancreatic cancer. Players in the 18th round of the 2006-2007 Albanian Superliga games wore black armbands in his memory.

Ben Minga in memoriam video

Memories of colleagues and coaches

His friend and fellow footballer Mirel Josa remembered that he had his Tirana debut in 1981 because Minga was suspended. Josa discovered he had no boots to play in, but recalled that "Beni gave me his boots and said 'put them on and be careful because they never stop running'."[3]

Shyqyri Rreli, his coach at KF Tirana called Minga: "The best captain and leader I ever had."[4] Team-mate Millan Baçi added: "His shot was like a bullet."[5] Meanwhile, his former colleague on the national side, Skënder Gega, labelled him "the hardest forward to defend against and the best person to have in your team". His one-time youth coach Fatmir Frasheri said: "I never heard him say 'I'm tired'. He would always be the first in for training and would give everything he had in every game."[6]

Honours

Albania Champion: 6 times.[7]

Winner of Albania Cup: 5 times

Romanian Cup finalist : once (1992-93)

Goals in Albanian Championship

Season Team Goals
1976-77 KF Tirana 1
1977-78 KF Tirana 1
1978-79 KF Tirana 3
1979-80 KF Tirana 1
1980-81 KF Tirana 7
1981-82 KF Tirana 3
1982-83 KF Tirana 4
1983-84 KF Tirana 8
1984-85 KF Tirana 13
1985-86 KF Tirana 16
1986-87 KF Tirana 11
1987-88 KF Tirana 16
1988-89 KF Tirana 9
1989-90 KF Tirana 6
1990-91 KF Tirana 3
1990-91 FC Braşov
1992-93 Dacia Unirea Brăila
1993-94 ASA Acvila Giurgiu
1994-95 KF Tirana 2
1995-96 KF Tirana 1
TOTAL 105

References

External links

  • Arben Minga at National-Football-Teams.com

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