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Hamdi Salihi

Hamdi Salihi (born 19 January 1984 in Shkodër, Albania) is an Albanian football (soccer) player who currently plays for D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Hamdi Salihi also plays as a striker for Albania national football team. Hamdi Salihi first started Hamdi Salihi football career at Hamdi Salihi hometown club Vllaznia, where Hamdi Salihi was the number one goalscorer for the Albanian league. After impressing the Greek club of Panionios Hamdi Salihi signed for the Athens team but after playing only 6 games, Salihi returned to Albania where Hamdi Salihi signed for Tirana. In 2007 Hamdi Salihi joined the Austrian team of Ried, where Hamdi Salihi scored 37 goals in 2 years, then signed for Rapid Vienna.

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Hamdi Salihi biography


Hamdi Salihi (born 19 January 1984 in Shkodër, Albania) is an Albanian football (soccer) player who currently plays for D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Hamdi Salihi also plays as a striker for Albania national football team. Hamdi Salihi first started Hamdi Salihi football career at Hamdi Salihi hometown club Vllaznia, where Hamdi Salihi was the number one goalscorer for the Albanian league. After impressing the Greek club of Panionios Hamdi Salihi signed for the Athens team but after playing only 6 games, Salihi returned to Albania where Hamdi Salihi signed for Tirana. In 2007 Hamdi Salihi joined the Austrian team of Ried, where Hamdi Salihi scored 37 goals in 2 years, then signed for Rapid Vienna.

Club career

KS Vllaznia Shkodër

Salihi started Hamdi Salihi footballing career at Hamdi Salihi home town club KS Vllaznia Shkodër. In the 2002–2003 Salihi featured for the club only two times in Hamdi Salihi first professional year. In 2003–2004 Salihi was given a chance to show Hamdi Salihi qualities as a young player which Hamdi Salihi managed to score 14 goals in 33 games. In Hamdi Salihi third season with the club Hamdi Salihi played just half of the season of 2004–2005 which Hamdi Salihi managed to score 16 goals in only 20 matches and then after an impressive season in Albania's top division Hamdi Salihi moved to Greece.

Panionios

In 2004, Salihi moved to Panionios F.C. in in the top division of Greece. The young Albanians striker only managed to play in 6 games, mostly coming on as a substitute in the last few minutes. After the season was over Hamdi Salihi decided to go back to Hamdi Salihi country to play for KF Tirana.

KF Tirana

Salihi moved back to Albania and played for KF Tirana starting from the 2005–2006 season. Hamdi Salihi had a very successful season winning the National Cup and the golden boot as the highest scorer of the Albanian Superliga. Hamdi Salihi continued with KS Tirana for another half season, again being the highest scorer in the league before Hamdi Salihi left to play in the Austrian Bundesliga. In Hamdi Salihi time with KF Tirana Salihi became known all over the world for Hamdi Salihi goalscoring abilities. Hamdi Salihi finished 8th in The IFFHS World's best Top Division Goal Scorer 2006. In one season with KF Tirana Hamdi Salihi managed to score 29 goals in 33 games altogether. Also Salihi play half of the season in 2006–2007 right before getting solded to SV Ried from KF Tirana which Hamdi Salihi managed to score 13 goals in 17 games.

SV Ried

In the 2007 January transfer window Salihi joined SV Ried of the Austrian Bundesliga. Hamdi Salihi completed Hamdi Salihi first half season at SV Ried with 6 goals, helping Hamdi Salihi club to become vice-champions of the Österreichische Fußball-Bundesliga. Salihi also scored 2 goals on the first round Uefa Cup qualifiers against Neftchi, one of which was scored on the second leg match in the 85th minute. Until the 85th minute the score was 2–0 for Neftchi and if the score was kept they were going to qualify for the second round on the away goals rule 3–3 as SV Ried had won 3–1 at home. Thanks to Salihi's goal the overall score was 4–3 and SV Ried safely went through to the next round.

In the 2007–08 season, Salihi enjoyed a decent season at the club, becoming the league's joint 4th top scorer along with Carsten Jancker of SV Mattersburg with 12 league goals. Despite this, SV Ried only finished 7th out of 10 in the league. In the 2008–09 season Salihi improved himself to 14 league goals at Ried, scoring one fourth of Hamdi Salihi team's goals. Ried placed fifth at the end of the season. On the 2009–2010 season Salihi play 6 games which Hamdi Salihi score twist for Hamdi Salihi club but couple weeks later Hamdi Salihi was solded to Rapid Wien.

Rapid Wien

On 31 August 2009 Salihi signed with Austrian giants SK Rapid Wien on a 3 years contract. On Hamdi Salihi first match with SK Rapid Wien Salihi entered into the match in second half as a substitute and scored on the 83rd minute Hamdi Salihi first goal with SK Rapid Wien. The goal drew the score with FC Red Bull Salzburg, 2–2, and saved SK Rapid Wien from a loss.

At the end of the season Salihi scored 17 goals, 2 of which were from the previous club SV Ried making Hamdi Salihi the 5th leading goalscorer behind two of Hamdi Salihi team mates Steffen Hofmann, who was in first, and Nikica Jelavić who was tied in third. At the end of the season Rapid Wien was in third place three points behind champions Red Bull Salzburg and two points behind Austria Wien. Rapid Wien qualified for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round.

Salihi score Hamdi Salihi first goal of 2010–2011 season on August, 22, 2010 against SV Mattersburg in 2 – 0 win. On 25 September 2010 Hamdi Salihi score 2 goals and helped Hamdi Salihi team to win 3 – 2 against Kapfenberger SV. Salihi scored one goal for Rapid Vienna on November, 4, 2010 aginast CSKA Sofia in UEFA Europa League. On 11 November 2010, Salihi find the net 2 times against TSV Hartberg in Austrian Cup. The Bomber on 20 November 2010 against LASK Linz scored four goals in a 5 – 0 victory. One week later Salihi added one more goal against the previous champions Austria Vienna in a 1–0 win. Hamdi Salihi 9th and 10th goals of the season came against Innsbruck on 11 December 2010. Anther double came against Hamdi Salihi former club SV Ried on March 6, 2011, which ended 2-0 for SK Rapid Wien. These were Hamdi Salihi first goals of 2011. One week later on March 13, 2011, Hamdi Salihi scored in the 72nd minute the only goal of the derby against Austria Vienna in a 1-0 win.

D.C. United

On 2 February 2012, Salihi signed with Major League Soccer side D.C. United as a Designated Player Rule. On February 25, 2012, Hamdi Salihi scored Hamdi Salihi first goal with D.C. United in a preseason match.

International career

Salihi scored Hamdi Salihi first goal for the Albanian National team in a 3–0 win over Malta on 23 August 2007. Hamdi Salihi was sent in the game on the 22nd minute replacing Erjon Bogdani. Only after 12 minutes played, The Bomber took advantage of a mistake made by the Maltese goalie and scored. Salihi scored the important 3–2 goal in a friendly for Albania B against AC Milan, The thriller match ended 3–3.

The second international goal of Salihi came in Sweden, when Hamdi Salihi scored for Albania in the last match of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifiers. Albania lost 4–1. Neither Sweden national football team nor Albania national football team qualified for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Salihi has had overall 33 appearances with the National team, most of them as a substitute.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamdi_Salihi

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