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Tirana F.K. Partizani

The history of "Futboll Klub Partizani"

The history of Partizani starts after Albania gained its independence. The base of the team was fighter of the Albanian Liberation Army. In the first years of existence, Partizani's team had to rely on players from the Military High School "Skenderbej" and military university "Shkolla e Bashkuar e Oficerave", as well as players from other existing teams. In the first championship after World War II in 1945, there were two army teams that participated, "Ylli" and "Liria". They only played in the first championship, because after that they merged and created "Ushtria" (The Army).
In January 13th 1946 the team played its first friendly match against the reigning champions “Vllaznia. The match, which was played in Tirana under heavy rain, ended in a goalless tie. “Ushtria” had distinctive uniforms because the initials of each player were on the front of their shirts. The first historic lineup was: Bonati, Luga, Tepelia, Demneri, Fagu, Rexhepi, L.Hoxha, Teliti, Kavaja, Bakalli and Bylyku.

Partizani - Torino 1-0 (Cup Winner's Cup, 1968)

On April 7th 1946,  in a friendly match against “17 Nentori” of Tirana, the team had for the first time the name “Partizani” on the shirts. Partizani won the match by a 2-0 score line with goals by O. Pengili and Q. Teliti. The starting lineup for this match was: Cobani, Tepeli, Dibra, Fagu, Kavaja, Pengili, Hoxha, Sakiqi, Bylyku and Demneri.

Partizani didn’t participate in the 1946 championship but they went on a friendly match tour all over Albania, playing 9 matches and scoring 26 times while giving up 9 goals. The top scorer of these exhibition games was Qamil Teliti who found the net 11 times.

Partizani participated in the national championship for the first time in 1947 and they managed to win the trophy on their debut. They went on to win again in 1948 and 1949, years when they managed to win the Cup as well. Sllave Llambi was in charge of the team. He had also played for Partizani.

In over 60 years Partizani has made a name for itself in Albania by becoming a legendary club. They have won 15 league titles, 15 cups and 2 supercups. Another great achievement is the two silver medals won in Leipzig and Hanoi against well known teams from Eastern Europe.
Partizani is also the only Albanian team to have won a trophy abroad. In 1970 they won the prestigious Balkans Cup by overcoming Beroe Stara Zagora in the final.

Partizani and its talented players have long been the base for the national team as well. Hundreds of Partizani players have put on the national team jersey. Many players from Partizani have received the highest possible medals in Albania and have also played abroad in Italy, Germany, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland etc.

The club is also considered by many to have the largest fan base in Albania which is not only in the city of Tirana, but is spread out throughout the country.

In the last decade Partizani has not been the same team it used to. After the fall of communism in Albania in 1990 , Partizani has been more successful in the Cup then the national league. They have won the Cup in 4 occasions, 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2004 while they have managed to win the league only once in 1993.

Since they were relegated for the first time in their history to the second division in 1998, Albert Xhani has been the president of the club. Partizani earned promotion immediately by also winning the second level division trophy. However, Albert Xhani who has been in charge for 11 years now, has only won one Cup trophy. The closest they got to winning the league was in the 2007/08 edition when the team, under coach Hasan Lika, couldn’t get a win in the last match of the season against rivals Dinamo, which would have brought home the title.

The following season was one of the worst. The bad financial situation brought poor results and Shpetim Duro took over the team. He managed to motivate the team and play a far more positive season than expected by reaching the play-outs, but they couldn’t overcome Kastrioti in a much contested play-out match. So Partizani was again relegated for the second time.

The 2009/10 season start off even worst. President Albert Xhani declares that there will be no salaries for the players this season. However there are a few well known players that decide to join the team like Skerdi Bejzade, Klodian Asllani, Arjan Sheta and Sokol Ishka. Eduard Zhupa was the coach initially, but after 6 matches through the season, striker Bejzade also took over the coaching position.

During the presidency of  Albert Xhani, the “Partizani” Academy was created, the first of its kind in Albania. Since its foundation many players have come up through the youth team ranks and have provided Partizani with many talented players who have also played abroad and for the national team.