Sadiku back to Swiss top league with Lugano

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 9, 2017 10:35

Sadiku back to Swiss top league with Lugano

TIRANA, Jan. 9 - Albanian international Armando Sadiku is back to the top Swiss league after spending the first half of the season with his Zurich club which seems on track for a return to the Swiss Super League. The 25-year-old striker who has been decisive with his goals for the national side during the past couple of years will play the rest of the season with Lugano on loan from Zurich. The transfer came as Italian Paolo Tramezzani recently quit as Albania's assistant coach to take over Lugano in the Swiss top league in a bid to save it from relegation.

"I am happy to be back to Lugano and wearing the black and white jersey again to spend the second half of the season in the Super League," Sadiku has said.

"I know Lugano quite well and we now have Tramezzani [Italian coach] whom we worked with for five years with the national side. I know how things work in this club and for me it is an advantage to get quickly familiar,"  says Sadiku who played for Lugano in the 2012-2013 season.

Sadiku, who scored six goals for Zurich this season, including one in the Europa League, returned to the pitch in late November 2016 after a two-month injury and surgery that also saw him missing two of Albania key World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Israel.

“In addition to helping Lugano remain in the top Swiss league, I want to score as many goals as possible. I want to regain my top form and I believe here in Switzerland it will be easier than elsewhere because the injury I went through was not easy," says the center forward.  Sadiku, who started his career in his hometown of Elbasan, central Albania, has been playing in Switzerland since 2011.

Having scored seven goals with the national side, including one in the first-ever European championship appearance against Romania at the Euro 2016, Sadiku has been a reference point in Albania's attack in the past couple of years.

Albania's hopes for a third place and a possible play-off opportunity in the World Cup qualifiers received a severe blow in late 2016 following losses to Spain and Israel.

With seven other qualifiers to go, Albania now see themselves fourth with 6 points, trailing Israel by 3 points and group leaders Spain and Italy by four points.

Although mathematically Albania can still remain hopeful for a miracle second place which would award them a play-off opportunity, their qualifying bid looks like a mission impossible now as former World Champions Italy and Spain seem unrivaled in the fight for the group’s first two places.

The Red & Blacks will travel to Italy on March 14, 2017 to conclude the first round of group matches for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 9, 2017 10:35