Albania’s Mergim Mavraj makes it to surprise Bundesliga team

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 25, 2016 11:14

Albania’s Mergim Mavraj makes it to surprise Bundesliga team

Story Highlights

  • Mavraj has played a full 990 minutes in 11 appearances with Koln this season and has only received a single yellow card, proving key with his interventions, allowing Koln to maintain a +10 goal difference by conceding only 8 goals in 11 games and proving a real surprise so far this season

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TIRANA, Nov. 24 - Albanian international center-back Mergim Mavraj has made it to the surprise Bundesliga team this season with his Koln team ranking fourth in the German top league, in one of its best-ever positions that could secure the club a historic Champions League qualification if it finishes in the top four.

"Mavraj missed 20 games with injury last season, watching on as Dominique Heintz and Dominik Maroh held the fort at centre-back. Kà¶ln finished a respectable 10th, and there was a question mark about Mevraj’s place in the team, let alone the team’s ability to repeat a season so bereft of relegation worries," writes the Bundesliga official portal.

Until the sixth Bundesliga week, Mavraj was one of four players not to have missed a single minute as the “Billy Goats” galloped up to sixth in the table. Only leaders Bayern had conceded fewer goals, and the Albanian managed to stand out in a team allegedly lacking star individual performers, German experts say.

The 30-year Germany-born Albanian defender of Kosovo roots, joined the Albanian national team in 2010 and has since become a regular starter. He had a key contribution to Albania's historic Euro 2016 campaign also scoring two goals against Armenia and France.

Mavraj has played a full 990 minutes in 11 appearances with Koln this season and has only received a single yellow card, proving key with his interventions, allowing Koln to maintain a +10 goal difference by conceding only 8 goals in 11 games and proving a real surprise so far this season.

Mavraj says that the 2012 promotion into the Bundesliga with SpVgg Greuther Fà¼rth is his biggest sporting success. He considers Koln more than just a football club and has said that “If I wasn't a professional footballer, I would be a policeman.”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 25, 2016 11:14