Strakosha with Lazio in April 2018
|Full name||Thomas Fotaq Strakosha|
|Date of birth||19 March 1995|
|Place of birth||Athens, Greece|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|2015–2016||→ Salernitana (loan)||11||(0)|
| * Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 17:45, 10 June 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 September 2018
Thomas Fotaq Strakosha (born 19 March 1995) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Italian club Lazio and the Albania national team.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.
Società Sportiva Lazio, commonly referred to as Lazio, is an Italian professional sports club based in Rome, most known for its football activity. The society, founded in 1900, plays in the Serie A and have spent most of their history in the top tier of Italian football. Lazio have been Italian champions twice, and have won the Coppa Italia seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana four times, and both the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup on one occasion.
Strakosha began his youth career in 2011 at Panionios, from where in the next year he was signed by Lazio for a €75,000 transfer fee.He became a regular starter for the Primavera team and was a key player with the primavera team that won the 2012–13 Campionato Nazionale Primavera after defeating Atalanta Primavera in the final, 3–0.
Panionios G.S.S. Football Club (Greek: ΠΑΕ Πανιώνιος Γ.Σ.Σ., the Pan-Ionian Gymnastics Club of Smyrna, but more commonly known as Panionios F.C. or simply Panionios, is a Greek association football club based in Nea Smyrni, Athens. Part of Panionios G.S.S., Panionios F.C. is the oldest Greek football club.
The Campionato Nazionale Primavera – Trofeo Giacinto Facchetti, was an Italian football youth competition. It is organised by the Lega Serie A and the participating teams that take part in Serie A and Serie B: the first edition was held in the 1962–63 season, in place of the "Campionato Cadetti". Due to ceremonial reasons, the league is officially called Campionato Primavera Tim – Trofeo Giacinto Facchetti.
Following the departure of Lazio first-team starting goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo to Internazionale, in the second half of the 2012–13 season, Strakosha gained entry with the first team as third-choice goalkeeper, behind Federico Marchetti and Albano Bizzarri. He was member of the team that won 2012–13 Coppa Italia after defeating city rivals Roma 0–1 in the final on 26 May 2013.On 18 August 2013, Strakosha was again on the substitutes' bench as Lazio lost 4–0 to Juventus in the 2013 Supercoppa Italiana.
Juan Pablo Carrizo is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Cerro Porteño.
Football Club Internazionale Milano, commonly referred to as Internazionale or simply Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight.
The 2012–13 season was the 113th season in Società Sportiva Lazio's history and their 25th consecutive season in the top-flight of Italian football.
On 2 September 2013, Lazio sold Bizzarri to Genoa and at the same time purchased fellow Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha from Kalmar. This made Strakosha to stand still as a third choice and being only an unused substitute for the 2013–14 season behind the strong challenge for the starting place between Berisha and Marchetti.
Genoa Cricket and Football Club, commonly referred to as Genoa, is an Italian professional football club based in Genoa, Liguria. Established on 7 September 1893, it is Italy's fourth oldest football team, and the oldest active Italian football team, with 125 years of activity.
Etrit Fadil Berisha is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Italian club Atalanta and the Albanian national team.
Kalmar Fotbollsförening, more commonly known as Kalmar FF, Kalmar or KFF, is a Swedish professional football club based in Kalmar. The club is affiliated to Smålands Fotbollförbund and play their home games at Guldfågeln Arena. Formed on 10 January 1910 as IF Göta, the club have won one national championship title (2008) and three national cup titles. Kalmar FF's local rivals are Kalmar AIK and Östers IF.
On 11 July 2014, Igli Tare, Lazio's sports director, announced that Strakosha's contract was extended until 2019.Strakosha was on the bench for the 2014–15 Coppa Italia final against Juventus on 21 May 2015 where Lazio lost 2–1 in extra-time following a 97th-minute goal by Alessandro Matri.
Igli Tare is an Albanian retired footballer who played as a striker. He is currently the sporting director at Serie A club Lazio.
The 2014–15 Coppa Italia, also known as TIM Cup for sponsorship reasons, was the 68th edition of the national cup in Italian football. Napoli were the defending champions, having won the previous year's final, but were eliminated in the semi-finals by Lazio. Juventus emerged victorious with a 2–1 win in extra time, achieving a record tenth title.
Alessandro Matri is an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for Sassuolo.
In July 2015, Lazio agreed to loan Strakosha to newly promoted Serie B side Salernitana.He was allocated squad number 12, and made his professional debut on 9 August 2015 in the 1–0 win against Pisa for the 2015–16 Coppa Italia second round. A week after his debut, Strakosha played another Coppa Italia match, making several decisive saves and keeping his goal intact for 120 minutes as Salernitana won 1–0 against Chievo Verona to progress to the next round.
Serie B, currently named Serie BKT for sponsorship reasons, is the second-highest division in the Italian football league system after the Serie A. It has been operating for over eighty years since the 1929–30 season. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, when the Lega Serie B was created for the 2010–11 season. Common nicknames for the league are campionato cadetto and cadetteria, as cadetto is the Italian for junior or cadet.
Unione Sportiva Salernitana 1919, commonly referred to as Salernitana, is an Italian football club based in Salerno, Campania. Salernitana returned to Serie B in 2015, having finished first in Lega Pro Prima Divisione - Girone C.
Associazione Calcio Pisa 1909, commonly referred to as Pisa, is an Italian football club based in Pisa, Tuscany. The team currently plays in Serie B.
Strakosha made his league debut for Salernitana on 6 September in the opening 2015–16 Serie B match against Avellino where he managed to play the full 90-minutes match and his side won 3–1.He was an unused substitute in the next Coppa Italia game on 1 December 2015 against Spezia as the coach Vincenzo Torrente gave the starting place to Pietro Terracciano as Salernitana was eliminated from Coppa Italia, losing the game by 2–0.
In July 2016, following the loan's end, Strakosha returned to Lazio.With the injury of Marchetti and the departure of Berisha to Atalanta, Strakosha was able to make his Lazio debut on 20 September in the league match against Milan. Despite the 2–0 defeat, Strakosha's performance was considered positive, being man of the match for Lazio. Five days later, Strakosha collected his first Serie A clean-sheet only in his second appearance in the 2–0 home win against Empoli, which led the 1982 FIFA World Cup-winner Dino Zoff to praise him by saying: "I can not judge him with only two matches played, but, according to me, he performed well in both matches."
On 22 February 2017, Strakosha renewed his contract with Lazio until 2022.He went on to play as starter until the end of the season, collecting 1844 minutes on field, as Lazio finished the championship in 5th position. He also contributed with 4 matches in the Coppa Italia, including the final, as Lazio was defeated by Juventus 2–0.
Strakosha started the 2017–18 season on 13 August 2017 by playing in the 2017 Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus, winning his maiden trophy as Lazio won 3–2 after a last-minute goal.Against the same opponent on 14 October, Strakosha saved Paulo Dybala's penalty in the 97th minute to rescue a 1–2 win for his team and to put Lazio in 3rd position. It was Strakosha's first Serie A penalty save and Juventus' first Serie A home defeat since August 2015. A week later, he agreed a contract extension, signing until June 2022. Later, he was named as the best young goalkeeper of the 2017-18 season.
Strakosha was called up for the first time to Albania's U17 squad by coach Džemal Mustedanagic to participate in the 2012 UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round. He was an unused substitute for all 3 matches, serving as second choice goalkeeper behind Aldo Teqja.
Strakosha was called up to the Albania national under-19 football team to participate in the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification, coached by his father, Foto Strakosha.Thomas played every minute of all 3 matches of the Group 7. Albania finished in the 4th place, with Strakosha conceding in total 6 goals, despite Albania beating top of the table Belgium 3–1 with goals from Enis Gavazaj, Elvis Kabashi and Lorenc Shehaj.
In the 2014 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification, Strakosha again played every minute in all 3 matches of the Group 6, leaving behind youth Juventus goalkeeper, Entonjo Elezaj.
Strakosha was called up to the U20 team by coach Skënder Gega for the 2013 Mediterranean Games football tournament, which began on 19 June, in Mersin, Turkey. However, Strakosha didn't participate in any match of the tournament.
Strakosha was selected for the Albania U21 side that took part in the 2015 UEFA Euro Under-21 qualification. He played in half of all Group 4 matches (4 of 8), as the 4 other matches were played by fellow goalkeepers, Aldo Teqja and Orestis Menka, who each played 2 matches.
In the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification he retained his starting place playing overall 7 out 10 games for full 90-minutes under coach Redi Jupi. He missed out the opening match due to the injury, the closing match due to engagement with Albania senior team and was left on the bench for 1 game against Portugal U21 as Jupi wanted to test Teqja. Following the engagement of Amir Rrahmani with Albania senior team and then his departure to Kosovo national team in September 2016, Strakosha became the under-21 team's captain playing for his 6 last games.
Strakosha was called up for the first time to the senior Albania squad in August 2016 by coach Gianni De Biasi for the friendly match against Morocco on 31 August 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification opening match against Macedonia on 5 September 2016 as a 4th choice keeper along Etrit Berisha, Orges Shehi and Alban Hoxha.However, he did not feature in both matches. He continued to be part of the team for the next matches, making his competitive debut on 24 March 2017 due to Berisha's suspension in the match against Italy as Albania trailed 0–2. He went on to make another appearance in Albania's 3–0 win over Israel as Albania finished Group G in 3rd position with 13 points.
In a 2017 interview, Strakosha stated that his main influences and his Idol as a goalkeeper was his own father Foto Strakosha, whom he tries to imitate.
Thomas is the son of Foto Strakosha, former goalkeeper who played for various Albanian clubs and several Greek clubs, in addition to representing the Albanian national team in the years spanning 1990–2005.
|Salernitana (loan)||2015–16||Serie B||11||0||2||0||—||—||13||0|
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| Albania U21 captain|