First Albania-born player to compete in U.S. professional football league

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 15, 2015 09:21

First Albania-born player to compete in U.S. professional football league

sokoliTIRANA, May 14 – Kristjan Sokoli, who became this month the first Albania-born player to be drafted by a National Football League team, the Seattle Seahawks, said in an interview he is proud of his Albanian roots.

Sokoli, who moved to the United States at the age of nine, told the Albanian service of Voice of America he had started to play European football as a goalie, but switched in high school to the American sport which carries the same name but is much more like rugby than the football Albanians are familiar with.

“It’s about making myself proud, but also my inner family proud and also all of the Albanians proud,” Sokoli recently told Seahawks.com.

“We have so many hard-working, hard-boned Albanians that have gone through so much, and they didn’t get to accomplish as much because the opportunities simply weren’t there. For me to come to America and to be blessed with this opportunity, I have so much drive and push to really do it not just for my family and for myself, but for my whole Albanian nation,” Sokoli added.

Sokoli said he had been overwhelmed with joy by how many Albanians in the United States had contacted and congratulated him of his success.

Although little known to most Albanians, the National Football League is one of the most popular sport programs in North America.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 15, 2015 09:21