Easier to reach Pope than recruit Man Utd`s Januzaj: Albanian coach
TIRANA: Albania`s Italian soccer coach says he has an easier time getting hold of Pope Francis than reaching the father of Adnan Januzaj in the hope of recruiting the Manchester United winger to the Balkan country`s national team.
Born in Belgium to ethnic Albanians originally from Kosovo, Januzaj is being wooed by a number of national teams including Belgium and Albania.
Kosovo, too, hopes to lure the talented 18-year-old, having been granted the right by FIFA to play friendly matches six years after declaring independence from Serbia.
"We`re stuck. We just don`t know," Gianni De Biasi said on Thursday.
"I and the heads of the federation have made every effort to contact him but the problem is his father, who does not give us even a normal answer," De Biasi told an Albanian morning television show.
As much as his talent, the close patronage of his father, Abedin, has been credited for Januzaj`s early success.
"By the way, I find it easier to get in touch with Pope Francis than Abedin Januzaj," De Biasi lamented. He said the next three years would be crucial for the player`s career and that Turkey, Belgium and England were all in the hunt to recruit him.
Several national soccer teams in Europe, including Switzerland and Albania, count players born in Kosovo or of Kosovo origin in their ranks, a result of a high level of migration from the Balkans to escape poverty and a decade of war and upheaval in the 1990s.
They include Bayern Munich`s Xherdan Shaqiri, an ethnic Albanian born in Kosovo but who grew up in Switzerland and plays for the Swiss national side.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Missed the dance of American President Donald Trump? - Watch it here
- Pawan, a BE student develops smart dustbin -Watch
- DNA: Manish Sisodia faces CBI probe over alleged irregularities in 'Talk To AK' programme
- Barack Obama thanks Americans for making him a 'better man'
- Is there no respect for Congress in UP politics?
- Accused of Muslim-bias on visa applications, Sushma Swaraj hits back
- Cuttack ODI: Umpire Kumar Dharmasena messes up DRS review, twitter couldn't stop trolling
- Donald Trump's Inauguration Day: As it happened
- Yuvraj Singh's wife Hazel Keech suggests new middle name for hubby Yuvi following Cuttack heroics
- Bigots at it again! Mohammed Shami called un-Islamic for posting picture with dog