I recently became aware of a defender playing his football in Kosovo who appeared to be English. Now Kosovo have only been part of UEFA and FIFA since 2016 so it seems unlikely that an Englishman has played in the country before.
The player is Guri Hana, a 17-year-old defender who plays for KF 2 Korriku, a team who play in the second-tier and are based in the capital city of Kosovo, Pristina. He also seems like a hot prospect, after it was reported that he had been on trial in Italy for Lazio.
With England drawing Kosovo in their Euros 2020 qualifying group recently, I thought I would try and find out a bit more about Hana.
In the end, I managed to track down the players’ agent and the player himself and got to ask him a few questions about football in Kosovo.
English Players Abroad: Hi Guri, you said you were born in England, whereabouts was that and where did you grow up?
Guri Hana: I was born in London to Albanian parents and I lived there for 2-3 years. I then I moved to Kosovo.
EPA: When did you start playing football and for what clubs?
GH: I started playing when I was 6 or 7 years old first in KF Kurda, then SHF Shqiponjat e Bashkume, then KF Besëlidhja and two years ago I moved to KF 2 Korriku, where I’m still playing now and last year we were champions of the Kosovo U17 league. Furthermore, I went on trial at Atalanta and Lazio during the summer.