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Armando Sadiku
Armando Sadiku
Date of birth:

May 27, 1991

Nationality:

Flag of Albania Albania

Position:

Forward

Team:

Levante UD

Armando Durim Sadiku (born 27 May 1991) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Levante UD and the Albania national team.

Born in Cërrik, Elbasan, Sadiku started his career with a local club Fushë Mbreti from where he moved later at the youth ranks of his boyhood club Turbina Cërrik, and later made his professional debut in the Albanian First Division. In the summer of the 2009, he went to Gramozi Ersekë in club's first ever top flight season, where he had a breakthrough year, scoring eight goals, which ensured him a move to Elbasani.[2] Sadiku played only a half season with Elbasani, as he was banned from Albanian football due to non-sporting behavior, which led him to flee in Switzerland to play for Locarno.

There Sadiku showed all his skills and abilities, scoring 54 goals in Swiss Challenge League, notably being the topgoalscorer in 2012–13.[3] In November 2013, he officially signed a 5-year deal with Zürich of Swiss Super League.[2] Sadiku struggeled to maintain his form in the top flight, however, scoring twice in 15 league appearances. He also suffered a major injury in May 2014 which kept him sidelined for 6 months.[2] He returned in the next season but failed to make an impact, scoring only three goals, winning the 2013–14 Swiss Cup. Sadiku enhanced his ratio in the first half of 2015–16 season, scoring eight goals in 18 appearances. Despite being the top scorer of the team at this time, he was sent of loan at fellow relegation strugglers Vaduz, which was dubbed as an "owngoal" by Swiss media.[4]

Sadiku helped Fürstenverein to stay in Super League for another season, relegation his parent club. After the loan ended, Sadiku, despite being target of top European club from Serie A and Bundesliga, returned to Zürich due to the club's high economical demands.[5][6] In January 2017, Sadiku was sent again on loan, this time at his former side FC Lugano where he rejoined Paolo Tramezzani.

An Albanian international, Sadiku with 9 goals scored, is his country's active player top goalscorer and 8th in the overall ranking. At youth level, he represented Albania under-19 and under-21 side with whom he scored 6 goals in only 7 appearances, thus being all time top goalscorer. He made his senior debut in 2012 and was part of UEFA Euro 2016 squad where he scored Albania's first goal at a UEFA European Championship.