Artim Šakiri

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Artim Šakiri : biography

23 September 1973 –

Artim Šakiri or Artim Šaćiri ( ; born 23 September 1973 in Struga, SFR Yugoslavia) is a former football midfielder from the Republic of Macedonia of Albanian ethnicity, who most recently played for FK Qarabağ in Azerbijan.

Club career

In 1997, he moved from Vardar to Swedish side Halmstads BK, a team that won the Swedish premier league Allsvenskan the same year. He played alongside developing star Fredrik Ljungberg.

In 2003, he moved from Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia to West Bromwich Albion in England. He made his debut in a 4–1 defeat away at local rivals Walsall. In his first home league match for Albion, Šakiri scored a spectacular long-range goal, helping his team to a 4–1 win over Burnley F.C. It was, however, his only goal for the club. He made 30 appearances during 2003–04, but the next season he only played three games and left the club. He was set to move to Burnley F.C., but the move fell through as his work permit wasn’t renewed. Instead, Šakiri went to AaB in Denmark. He was released by AaB in 2006. In autumn 2006, Šakiri signed for Finnish club FC Inter. He made five Veikkausliiga appearances and scored three times, but his contract was not renewed. In 2007, he signed for FC Vaduz. At the beginning of the season 2008 he has signed for Azerbaijani side FK Qarabağ.

International career

Šakiri made his debut for Macedonia in a March 1996 friendly match against Malta, coming on as a late substitute for Sašo Miloševski, and has been capped 75 times. He has been captain of the team for many of those years. In 2002, he scored a goal directly from a corner kick against England.