Valon Behrami (born 19 April 1985) is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Genoa. His previous clubs include Stabio, Chiasso, Lugano, Genoa, Verona, Lazio, West Ham United, Fiorentina, Napoli, Hamburg, Watford, Udinese and Sion.
Behrami with Switzerland in 2018
|Full name||Valon Behrami|
|Date of birth||19 April 1985|
|Place of birth||Titova Mitrovica, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2004–2005||→ Verona (loan)||32||(3)|
|2008–2011||West Ham United||58||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:20, 14 June 2021 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:03, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Behrami was born to Kosovar Albanian parents in Mitrovica, Kosovo, at the time part of SR Serbia within SFR Yugoslavia. When he was five, his parents both lost their jobs; his mother Halime as a secretary and his father Ragip as a manager of a plastics company. As a result, Behrami along with his parents and older sister Valentina moved to Stabio, a village in Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland. Behrami's mother described him as energetic: "As a child, running was Valon's favourite pastime – he just never got tired. Even now, he can hardly sit still for a second. He always needs a ball at his feet."
Behrami started out playing football with Swiss club sides FC Stabio, FC Chiasso and FC Lugano. After a number of impressive appearances with Lugano, he was signed by Italian team Genoa in the 2003–04 season, and played for them in the Serie B championship. In January 2004 he joined Udinese along with Rodrigue Boisfer in exchange for Mohammed Gargo and Vittorio Micolucci, in flopped transfer price in co-ownership deal to create "paper" profit.
In the 2004–05 season, Genoa bought out Udinese' rights to the player and loaned him out to Verona, again in Serie B.
Despite his clearance hitting Rodrigo Taddei's head and ricocheting into Lazio's goal to concede their first goal of the match, his 92nd minute winning goal etched Behrami's name into Lazio's history books as they won the Derby della Capitale on 19 March 2008 and virtually finished the Scudetto hopes for rivals Roma.
West Ham United
On 23 July 2008, West Ham United signed Behrami from Lazio, with the player signing a five-year contract for a fee of £5 million. Behrami made his debut for West Ham in the 2–1 home win over Wigan Athletic on 16 August 2008. His versatility would see him become a vital part of West Ham's midfield, having begun the season as a stand in for captain Lucas Neill at right back. He scored his first goal for West Ham in the 1–0 away win against Sunderland on 23 November 2008. During the home win over Manchester City on 1 March 2009, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee that required oxygen to be administered on the field during a six-minute break in play. His knee and ankle twisted badly when his studs caught in the turf resulting in a premature end to his 2008–09 season.
Behrami made his comeback as a substitute on 12 September 2009 against Wigan Athletic. His return was interrupted by injury again for a month from November. He scored his first and only goal of the 2009–10 league campaign with the opener in a 3–0 home win over relegation rivals Hull City on 20 February 2010.
On 26 January 2011, Behrami moved to Fiorentina for an undisclosed fee, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut with Fiorentina on 29 January 2011, in a Serie A fixture against his former team Lazio.
On 31 July 2014, Behrami flew into Germany to complete a medical ahead of his €4.5 million move to Hamburg. The subsequent bonuses could raise the fee to €6.5 million based on 20 appearances in his first season. He committed to a three-year contract with an option for a fourth.
On 16 August 2017, Behrami signed a two-year deal with Italian club Udinese, who are owned by the Pozzo family just as his previous club Watford.
In July 2019, he joined Swiss club Sion. On 3 October 2019, his contract with Sion was terminated by mutual consent.
Return to Genoa
On 2 January 2020, Behrami joined Genoa for the second time. On 5 January, he came on in his debut as a substitute in a 2–1 home win against Sassuolo in the 72nd minute.
Behrami has also been capped for the Swiss national team at the Under-18, Under-19 and "A" levels; making it the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Behrami scored a key goal against Turkey at the Stade de Suisse in the first leg of their World Cup 2006 qualifier playoff tie. During the 2006 World Cup, he endured a groin injury which put him on the sidelines for the first two group matches. In the third match against South Korea, he was substituted late in the game in the 88th minute. He did not participate in the loss to Ukraine in the last 16 knockout round of matches.
Behrami was in the starting eleven of Switzerland for all three matches during the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship playing a total of 272 minutes.
On 21 June, in the 2010 World Cup, after appearing to elbow Chilean player Arturo Vidal, Behrami was sent off with a red card in the second Group H match against Chile and became the first Swiss player to be sent off in a World Cup match.
He was included in the Switzerland national football team 23 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In their opening game, on 17 June, a 1–1 draw with Brazil, his performance was described as excellent, with note being made of his constant harassment of Brazil's Neymar. He became the first Swiss player to appear in four consecutive World Cup editions.
In July 2018 it became known that Behrami married his girlfriend, Swiss alpine ski racer Lara Gut, after only having been dating for a few months.
In September 2020 he was one of the 10 Genoa players who tested positive for COVID-19.
|West Ham||2008–09||Premier League||24||1||2||1||1||0||—||—||27||2|
- As of 22 June 2018 Switzerland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Behrami goal.
|1||12 November 2005||Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland||2||Turkey||2–0||2–0||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||24 May 2008||Stadio Cornaredo, Lugano, Switzerland||14||Slovenia||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
- "FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2018.
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- "Valon Behrami: a Kosovo-born Swiss". Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 15 November 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Player Profile – Valon Behrami". West Ham United F.C. Archived from the original on 3 November 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Udine, indagati Pozzo e Pierpaolo Marino". Tutto Mercato Web (in Italian). 31 July 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
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- "Lazio 3–2 Roma: Derby della Capitale Goes to Lazio, Are Roma's Scudetto Chances Now Really Over?". Soccerlens.com. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Valon Behrami signs 5-year deal with West Ham United FC". West Ham United F.C. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
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- "Hammers too strong for Hull". West Ham United F.C. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
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- "Behrami departs". West Ham United F.C. 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
- "Napoli take Behrami and Gamberini from Viola". UEFA. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Medien: Behrami absolviert Medizincheck in Hamburg". Die Welt (in German). 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Napoli, ceduto Behrami all'Amburgo". S.S.C. Napoli (in Italian). 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
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- "Swiss midfielder leaves Watford for Udinese". bbc.co.uk. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "VALON BEHRAMI ET SION, C'EST FINI" (Press release) (in French). FC Sion. 3 October 2019.
- "VALON BEHRAMI E' UN GIOCATORE DEL GENOA" (Press release) (in Italian). Genoa. 2 January 2020.
- "Football – World Cup 2010: Ottmar Hitzfeld slams Behrami red card". BBC News. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Fifa World Cup 2010 , Group H , Chile , Wins , Switzerland , Port Elizabeth – Oneindia News". News.oneindia.in. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Switzerland opts for experience in World Cup squad". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
- "World Cup 2018: Brazil held to 1-1 draw by Switzerland in Group E opener". BBC Sport. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
- Mike Corder (20 June 2018). "Serbia won't ease off against Switzerland at World Cup". AP News. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Lara Gut liebt Valon Behrami". Schweizer Illustrierte. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Lara Gut und Valon Behrami haben geheiratet!". Tele 1 (in German). 12 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Nota della società" (Press release) (in Italian). Genoa. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
- Valon Behrami at Soccerway. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Premier League 2008–09". Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Premier League 2009–10". Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Premier League 2010–11". Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Valon Behrami". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Valon Behrami - national football team player". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 23 June 2018.