Hibs' Florian Kamberi opens up on Albania-Switzerland red tape and his international dreams

Striker hopes Hibs form can keep him on international radar

Monday, 25th November 2019, 6:00 am
Florian Kamberi. Pic: SNS
Florian Kamberi. Pic: SNS

Florian Kamberi believes being called up by Albania will help him lift his game for Hibs as he seeks to realise his dream of becoming an international striker.

Although born in Switzerland and having played for that country’s under-21 side, Kamberi is also eligible to play for Kosovo and Albania and was delighted when he was pulled into the Eagles camp for their final two Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Andorra and France.

Albanian coach Edoardo Reja had the 24-year-old pencilled in to make his debut against Andorra, but Kamberi was left devastated after red tape denied him his first cap.

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He said: “I was very delighted to get the call for Albania, first of all. I went there, trained the first two days, then I had problems with my ankle.

“Then I found out that the documents from Switzerland were not ready. I was supposed to start against Andorra and then play a part against France.

“I think the Swiss had to send some documents and they didn’t do it, because the people were away with the national team. I don’t know exactly what the problem was. I just knew that the documents were not ready.

“That was annoying but, OK, life goes on. I was a little bit disappointed. But at least I was there, I met everybody and had a good week there, even though I came back early because of my injury.

“It was frustrating to be ruled out because of paperwork. But at least it was not my fault! I did everything on my part to be ready, I just have to be patient, now I’m back at Hibs, I’ll do my best here and hope to be back next year.”

Kamberi revealed the Albanians had been tracking him for two years, making their move after assistant coach Sergio Porrini was dispatched to watch him play in the Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic.

Although Hibs lost that match 5-2 in what proved to be Paul Heckingbottom’s last match as head coach, Kamberi stepped off the bench to net their second goal.

He said: “Porrini came over to the Celtic game, watched me playing and the next day we met with my agent and my father.

“We had a good chat, they made it clear they really want me because they want to build a new team and have a new era. I want to be a big part of it.

“Having Sergio [a former Rangers player] there is good because some people think playing in Scotland is easy, but it’s not, it’s very tough.

“Having international football is a motivation, if you have that chance it’s a privilege for every player. I am always motivated to give my best and even more so to become an international player.”