AFP: 5 things to know about Albania

Albania will participate for the first time in the finals of the European championship , and is preparing for its debut in ‘’France 2016’’, in the Group A , together with France , Switzerland and Romania. According to ‘’AFP’’ , these are 5 things to know about the ‘’Red &Blacks’’.

Italian job – Not many coaches are honored with medals for their work by the state , but Gianni De Biasi led Albania towards unexplored waters and the success in the final phase of the European championship of France. He used to be a hard-working player , and then a coach in Italy , but 59-year old De Biasi received the Albanian citizenship , as a love sign for the country and the team he coaches.

Balkan mentality – A mix of Albanian footballers playing inside and abroad were recruited by Gianni de Biasi , that have a tough Balkan mentality , but experienced enough to play in Italy , Germany and Switzerland. The second place in the qualifying group , after Portugal , but in front of Denmark , which could not beat Albania in both matches , away and in Copenhagen , and the win in Belgrade after the abandoned match.

Tough to beat – The team of Gianni De Biasi has a Italian style defense and mostly utilizes the counter attack. Occasionally is forced to ‘’park the bus’’ a tactics that usually brings only one goal. The core of the defense is composed by the keeper Etrit Berisha , the defender of Napoli , Hysaj , and the captain of Nantes , Cana , that has 90 appearances with the Red&Blacks.

The target- Albania is a team that doesn’t score many goals , but uses its’ cynicism to collect the points. The defense is the strongest spot but sometimes is ‘’hesitant’’. This is reflected at a friendly match lost against Austria , when in 15 minutes under pressure suffered 2 goals. Among the strongest weapons are the free kicks and schemes , but the goal can be attempted even with strikes out of the zone. We should mention the fact that they scored 7 goals in the qualifying group , 5 of which against Armenia. They also scored twice against Luxemburg in the last friendly.

The surprise – There is nothing to lose. Albania is a hidden potential , the typical ‘’banana peel ‘’ where you can slip. Even though it was a friendly match , they won against France 1-0 in Albania. A victory against Romania and Switzerland is expected. We don’t know yet if De Biasi will risk young players such as Ergys Kace , the talent of PAOK , or Milot Rashica , the talent of Vitesse.