Premier League fans will recognise Albania’s Euro 2024 coaching staff… with two-time winner and ex-Arsenal man to lead nation at the tournament

  • One member of the coaching staff made 333 appearances for Manchester City
  • He will assist the manager, who also played for the likes of City late on in career
  • Click here to follow Mail Sport’s Euro 2024 WhatsApp Channel for all the latest breaking news and updates from Germany

Premier League fans will be familiar with Albania’s coaching team at Euro 2024.

The side will get their campaign in Germany underway on Saturday against Italy in Dortmund, with the Group B fixture set to kick off at 8pm.

They are up against it in terms of trying to progress in the tournament, with the Albanians drawn in what has been dubbed ‘the group of death’ alongside Spain, Italy and Croatia in Group B.

They have little to lose, however, and will be prepared to take on three of Europe’s giants for a spot in the last 16 of the competition, be it as a qualifier or as a best-placed third-place team.

And the men tasked with helping them do that include two familiar faces for Premier League fans, including a former two-time top division champion and a former Arsenal man.

Premier League fans will be familiar with two member of the Albania coaching staff at Euros

The manager and one of his assistants made a number of appearances in the division

The manager and one of his assistants made a number of appearances in the division

The team is led by former Arsenal and Manchester City man Sylvinho, who was appointed early on last year

The team is led by former Arsenal and Manchester City man Sylvinho, who was appointed early on last year

The manager of Albania, who played for Arsenal between 1999 and 2001, also featured for City, playing 10 times between 2009 and 2010 before retiring.

Upon retirement, he took up coaching, earning jobs at both Lyon and then Corinthians in his home country before taking the Albania job last year.

It is indeed former Premier League star Sylvinho who is the manager of the international side, appointed in January 2023 and heading their qualifying campaign for the competition.

He led Albania to the top of their group in qualifying, winning six of their eight matches and giving the nation reason to believe they can be successful in Germany.

When he was appointed, his coaching team was too and Manchester City legend Pablo Zabaleta was named among his coaching staff.

The 39-year-old made 333 appearances in nine years at City, winning two Premier League titles and a plethora of other trophies before his departure.

When he left the Etihad, he had a stint at West Ham, playing 80 times in three seasons before hanging up his boots.

Albania is his first coaching role, but he has helped improve the side’s defence, with the outfit conceding just four goals in their eight qualifying matches.

He will be assisted by two-time Premier League winner and Manchester City legend Pablo Zabaleta

He will be assisted by two-time Premier League winner and Manchester City legend Pablo Zabaleta

Zabaleta made 333 appearances in nine years for City as a player and also played for West Ham before his retirement

They will hope the likes of Armando Broja can inspire them to success in the competition having failed to qualify for Euro 2020.

The pair’s contracts run until the end of the tournament, meaning a successful performance may be required for them to carry on in their roles.

Also assisting Sylvinho will be Brazilians Doriva and Ervin Bulku.

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