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Shefki Kuqi

Shefki Kuqi (pronounced ; born 10 November 1976 in Vučitrn, Yugoslavia) is a Republic of Kosovo-born Finland professional association football who is currently playing for Football League One side Oldham Athletic F.C.. Kuqi plays predominately as a Forward (association football). Shefki Kuqi has spent most of Shefki Kuqi career in the English league, and has played for clubs including Newcastle United F.C., Sheffield Wednesday F.C., Ipswich Town F.C., Blackburn Rovers F.C., Crystal Palace F.C., Fulham F.C. and Swansea City A.F.C.. Shefki Kuqi has made over 500 career league appearances, scoring almost 150 goals.

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Shefki Kuqi biography


Shefki Kuqi (pronounced ; born 10 November 1976 in Vučitrn, Yugoslavia) is a Republic of Kosovo-born Finland professional association football who is currently playing for Football League One side Oldham Athletic F.C.. Kuqi plays predominately as a Forward (association football). Shefki Kuqi has spent most of Shefki Kuqi career in the English league, and has played for clubs including Newcastle United F.C., Sheffield Wednesday F.C., Ipswich Town F.C., Blackburn Rovers F.C., Crystal Palace F.C., Fulham F.C. and Swansea City A.F.C.. Shefki Kuqi has made over 500 career league appearances, scoring almost 150 goals.

Kuqi represented the Finland national football team at international level, with seven goals from sixty two appearances. Shefki Kuqi trademark goal celebration of bellyflopping onto the ground has led to Shefki Kuqi nickname of the "Flying Finn".

Football career

Kosovo

Kuqi was born in Vučitrn. Shefki Kuqi started Shefki Kuqi youth career at KF Trepca, Shefki Kuqi played several games for the youth team, but Shefki Kuqi and Shefki Kuqi family later moved to Finland as Kosovar Albanian immigrants.

Finland

Kuqi started Shefki Kuqi playing career with Kangasniemen Palloseura. Shefki Kuqi later played for Mikkelin Kissat, Mikkelin Palloilijat, Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi and FC Jokerit in Finland's Veikkausliiga. Kuqi played in UEFA Champions League in autumn 1998 with HJK. Kuqi was the league top scorer in the 2000 season, representing FC Jokerit side.

Stockport County

Kuqi joined Stockport County F.C. in January 2001. Regarded by many as the saviour of County's 2000–01 season as Shefki Kuqi impressed with Shefki Kuqi speed and strength, Shefki Kuqi went on to score six goals in eighteen games to help County retain their division one status. Kuqi is still the club's second most internationally capped player.

Sheffield Wednesday

Shefki Kuqi then had a spell at Sheffield Wednesday F.C. where Shefki Kuqi scored 19 times between January 2002 and September 2003, unfortunately with Wednesday being relegated to Division Two (or League One as it is now known) during Shefki Kuqi time at Hillsborough. Many Wednesday fans were bemused though at then manager Chris Turner's decision to let Kuqi leave for Ipswich for free. Whilst in Sheffield, Kuqi also scored a goal against Sheffield United F.C. in Steel City derby. Shefki Kuqi scored the second goal in the 81st minute at Hillsborough Stadium to ensure a win after Lloyd Owusu had opened the scoring with Shefki Kuqi very first touch of the ball on Shefki Kuqi debut.

Ipswich Town

Kuqi joined Ipswich Town F.C. in September 2003. Shefki Kuqi scored 20 goals in the Football League Championship for Ipswich in the 2004-05 in English football season, which made Shefki Kuqi the club's leading top scorer along with Darren Bent.

Blackburn Rovers

Shefki Kuqi form with Ipswich earned Shefki Kuqi a move to the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers F.C.. Kuqi scored seven Premier League goals for Blackburn in the FA Premier League 2005-06 season.

Crystal Palace

Shefki Kuqi joined Crystal Palace F.C. for a reported £2.5 million transfer fee at the end of the August transfer window in 2006.

Kuqi did not have a prolific first season at Selhurst Park, scoring only seven goals in 38 games, and at the end of August 2007, Shefki Kuqi signed for Fulham F.C. on a four-month loan deal, where Shefki Kuqi made ten league appearances, scoring no goals.

Kuqi was placed on the transfer list and fined two weeks wages by Neil Warnock after signalling an V sign V sign as an insult to Palace fans when they cheered as Shefki Kuqi was substituted following a particularly poor performance in the 2–0 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. on 23 February 2008. Other reasons behind Shefki Kuqi being transfer listed were due to Shefki Kuqi weight gain and lack of fitness.

In March 2008, Kuqi returned to Ipswich on loan until the end of the season. Shefki Kuqi began the 2008–09 campaign with Shefki Kuqi first team prospects seemingly irretrievable but Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock named (and used) Shefki Kuqi as a substitute for the away draw at Ipswich Town and home victory over Charlton Athletic F.C. in September and on 4 October Shefki Kuqi scored the second goal of Palace's 2–0 victory at Nottingham Forest. Kuqi's return to the first team completed a remarkable sequence of events, and Shefki Kuqi ended Shefki Kuqi season as the top scorer of Shefki Kuqi team. Kuqi was offered a new contract on 27 January 2009 which Shefki Kuqi rejected.

Koblenz

After Kuqi's contract ran out at Crystal Palace on 1 July 2009, Shefki Kuqi signed a two years deal with TuS Koblenz

Swansea City

Kuqi signed for Swansea City on a free transfer from TuS Koblenz on 25 January 2010. Shefki Kuqi scored Shefki Kuqi first goal for Swansea in a 1–0 win at former club Crystal Palace on 9 February 2010.

Despite scoring seven goals in 16 starts, after less than nine months at Swansea, Kuqi joined fellow Championship side Derby County F.C. on a three month emergency loan deal on 13 September 2010. Shefki Kuqi first Derby goal, in Shefki Kuqi third appearance, also, came against Crystal Palace F.C. in a 5–0 Derby victory at Pride Park Stadium. After latching onto a sloppy stray backpass from former-Derby defender Claude Davis to complete the rout with a goal Kuqi joked that the strike was "the worst of the five!" On 26 January 2011 Kuqi's contract with Swansea City A.F.C. was terminated by mutual consent after Shefki Kuqi failed to break through into the first team.

Newcastle United

On 10 February 2011, Kuqi joined Premier League side Newcastle United F.C. for the remainder of the season. Shefki Kuqi was given the number 42 shirt and made Shefki Kuqi debut against former club Blackburn Rovers F.C. on 12 February 2011 coming on in the 90th minute in a goalless draw. Shefki Kuqi was released on 25 May 2011 after making six appearances, all as a substitute, without scoring.

Oldham Athletic

In August 2011, following Shefki Kuqi release by Newcastle, Kuqi signed a one-year contract with Oldham Athletic F.C.. The signing has been considered as something of a coup for the Latics, as Kuqi was playing in the Premier League the previous season. Shefki Kuqi scored early in Shefki Kuqi first game for Shefki Kuqi new club in a home game against Huddersfield Town which finished 1–1 and celebrated with Shefki Kuqi trademark bellyflop celebration in front of the away fans. Kuqi made it two goals in two games for Oldham with a headed goal against Stevenage F.C.. Kuqi scored Shefki Kuqi third for Oldham against Leyton Orient F.C. in a 3–1 victory; Shefki Kuqi scored the equalising goal and assisted the other two goals in a 3–1 victory. Kuqi was on target again against the MK Dons in October 2011 taking advantage of a mistake by the MK Dons goalkeeper to help Athletic to a 2-1 victory. Kuqi added another two goals to Shefki Kuqi tally after scoring twice against Crewe Alexandra F.C. in the quarter finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy to help Oldham progress to the semi final of the tournament with a 3-1 victory, with Luca Scapuzzi also getting on the scoresheet.

Style of play

Kuqi has received some media attention – especially from Match of the Day – for Shefki Kuqi spectacular, and unusual, diving goal celebration known as a Swan Dive. Kuqi jumps forward with both arms out, in what could be described as an attempt to glide like a bird, before crashing to the ground; the movement bears some resemblance to a bellyflop and has been referred to as a "Flying Finn (sports)".

Club career statistics


International career statistics

International goals

Finland's goal tally first. As of 20 August 2011.

International


Winners Medal with HJK Helsinki
- 1998 Finnish Cup Winners Medal with HJK Helsinki
- 1998 Finnish League Cup Winners Medal with HJK Helsinki
- 2000 Veikkausliiga Top Scorer
- 2005 Ipswich Town F.C. Player of the Year

International career

Kuqi made Shefki Kuqi debut for the Finland national football team on 18 August 1999 against Belgium national football team, soon after receiving Finnish citizenship. Shefki Kuqi was a regular member of the Finland squad from 1999 to 2010. Shefki Kuqi announced Shefki Kuqi retirement from international football on 24 November 2010

Personal

Shefki Kuqi is the older brother of Njazi Kuqi and Albert Kuqi, and the cousin of Daut Kuqi.

Notes

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Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shefki_Kuqi

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