Albania v Serbia – Fans’ dreams sacrificed to political goals

“Tonight sees the biggest game in Albanian football history take place at the Elbasan Arena. The Balkan nation have the opportunity to qualify for a major international tournament for the first time in their history. All that is required is a win in their penultimate match and for Denmark to simultaneously fail to win in Portugal and they’ll be home and hosed. In a qualification process littered with extraordinary performances by smaller nations – Iceland, Wales and Northern Ireland all spring to mind – Albania’s campaign still holds up as one of the most impressive. At the time of the draw last February, Albania were ranked as the 40th best team in Europe and allocated in seeding pot 5, alongside such footballing greats as Moldova, Azerbaijan and neighbours Macedonia.” backpagefootball

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