Lorik Cana

Lorik Agim Cana (Albanian pronunciation: [ˈlɔɾik ˈtsana]; born 27 July 1983) is an Albanian former professional footballer. He is currently the Grassroots ambassador for children’s football in Albania, named by the Albanian Football Association on 26 October 2017.

Albanian footballer

Lorik Cana

Lorik Cana with Nantes in 2015
Personal information
Full name Lorik Agim Cana
Date of birth (1983-07-27) 27 July 1983 (age 38)
Place of birth Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia
(now Kosovo)
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Centre-back, Defensive midfielder,
Central midfielder
Youth career
1997–2000 FC Dardania Lausanne
2000–2001 Paris Saint-Germain
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2003 Paris Saint-Germain B 39 (2)
2002–2005 Paris Saint-Germain 69 (2)
2005–2009 Marseille 122 (6)
2009–2010 Sunderland 31 (0)
2010–2011 Galatasaray 24 (1)
2011–2015 Lazio 82 (4)
2015–2016 Nantes 21 (0)
Total 388 (15)
National team
2003–2016 Albania 93 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Cana played in the top divisions of France, England, Italy and Turkey, representing Paris Saint-Germain, Sunderland, Galatasaray, Lazio, FC Nantes and Olympique de Marseille as well as the Albanian national team for which he held the appearance record for Albania’s most capped player of all time, with 93 caps since he made his debut in 2003 until his retirement in 2016. He used to play primarily as a defensive and central midfielder but later switched to centre-back. He participated in the first major international competition for Albania, the UEFA Euro 2016 held in France.

At the age of 16, Cana was invited to Arsenal for a trial, but failed to attend because he was denied a British visa.[1] He began his senior club career playing for Paris Saint-Germain, before signing with rivals Olympique de Marseille in 2004 whom he went on to captain. In 2009, Cana made his league debut for Sunderland becoming the first player of Albanian origin to play in the Premier League. Later he joined Galatasaray, the most successful Turkish football club. Two years later, Cana signed for Italian Serie A club Lazio where he spent four years. In 2015, Cana returned to France, where he started his career, signing a two-year contract with Nantes.

Cana was eligible to play for either Albania, Switzerland or France, as he held all three passports.[2] He chose Albania and made his international debut in June 2003, at the age of 19. Cana is Albania’s most capped player of all time with 92 caps where he was named captain in 2011. After the end of the UEFA Euro 2016 Cana announced his retirement from football.

. . . Lorik Cana . . .

Lorik Cana was born in Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia (now Kosovo), from parents originally from Gjakova. He is the son of Agim Cana, a former football player of FC Prishtina. Cana watched every match of Pristina, since he was five years old and describes himself as an avid fan of the team. Cana’s father’s experience in football inspired him to take up the sport. In 1992 the entire family moved to Switzerland due to the Yugoslav Wars.[3]

In 1997, Cana joined the local team Dardania Lausanne, an amateur football club founded by the Albanian community in Lausanne, coached by his father.[4] He played at Dardania until 2000, when he was spotted and signed by French club Paris Saint-Germain.

Cana had previously been invited to Arsenal in 2000 at the age of 16 for a trial, but failed to attend because he was denied a British visa.[1] Following that, it was Paris Saint-Germain which benefited by the situation and invited him for a week trial. The Paris Saint-Germain Reserves coach Antoine Kombouaré was seduced by Cana’s talent and Cana eventually signed a contract with Paris Saint-Germain. At Paris Saint-Germain, he spent three years working through the ranks of the French club. In his first season with PSG Reserves Cana made only 4 appearances. In the next season 2001–02 he was braked by a big knee injury and made only 12 appearances where also scored his first goal. Cana established himself as a regular part of the reserves team in his third season 2002–03 making 21 appearances and scoring a goal.[5] In 2003 Cana was invited by the first team coach Luis Fernández invited him at training session and at the end of the season, with PSG having nothing to play in the league, the Parisian coach took the opportunity to rotate his squad. On 19 April Cana made his senior team debut against Nantes playing the full 90-minutes match and provided an assist for the only goal of his side which served to take a 1–1 draw.[6] In his senior debut for PSG, he was awarded the Man of the Match.[citation needed] He went on to play in other 2 matches, 1 as a starter until half-time and 1 as the full 90-minutes.[7]

During the 2003–04 season, he established himself as a starter under coach Vahid Halilhodžić and was associated with another young defensive midfielder, Modeste M’bami. Despite their lack of experience, they played a big part in the club’s good season, where Cana himself played in 32 games and scored one goal as the team won the Coupe de France and finished second in the Ligue 1, proving to be one of the most successful seasons of his career. This was repeated the next season, when he also played 32 games for the Paris team and scored one goal.

. . . Lorik Cana . . .

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. . . Lorik Cana . . .