The road of Albania to Euro 2016 has been full of surprises, emotions, fights, trials, protests, and drones. Here we will discuss how Albania went all against the odds to be directly qualified to the finals after a long-lastingodyssey of struggle.

Albania starts its road to UEFA EURO 2016 in the Qualifying Group I

In the qualifying groups for the EURO 2016, Albania led by Gianni De Biasi, would see itself in the Group I with Portugal, Denmark, Armenia, France (France was directly qualified to the finals), and the only forbidden opponent, Serbia.

Albania and Serbia had never faced each another in a Football match ever before, it was most likely a mistake of UEFA for scheduling their match based on the outcome but it surely was one of the greatest factors to guarantee Albania a qualification.

Albania's trip to France would begin with their first match on 7th of September 2014 with the strongest team in the group, Portugal. The single goal fromBekim Balaj was enough to grant victory to his team.Straight after that, Albania draws with Denmark and takes one more point.

Serbia vs Albania fate-changing match

The Serbia v Albania had nothing to do with sport, it was a total disaster, but it did favor Albania in the aftermath (Serbia 0:3 Albania).

The Partizan Stadium of Belgrade was filled with hooligans that taunted Nazi lines such as "Kill Albanians."In the 41st minutethe referee Martin Atkinsonpaused the match because of overwhelming flares in the pitch, and staight after that, the Albanian ultranationalist Ballist Morina flied a drone carrying Albanian symbols that would clash Albanian footballers with Serbian fans and stewards.

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Post Serbia v Albania events

On 25 March of 2015 they would beat Armenia with a final result of 2:1 and take three more fate-setting points (10 points at the moment), and on the 4th of June 2015 take again another valuable point in a draw without goals with Denmark.Three days later Portugal defeated Albaniaand a month later Serbia took its revenge by scoring two fast goals in the last minutes in Elbasan Arena, and the qualification of Albania to Euro 2016 was compromised again.

Debut of Albania to UEFA EURO 2016 finals

Differently from qualifying groups (either for the UEFA EURO's or FIFA WORLD CUP) where Albania usually takes four points in the first two matches and leads the group for few months, and straight after that all they receive are losses, Albania began with a loss against Switzerland.And if for the Red-and-Black fans of Albania a loss with Switzerland was more than they could handle, their desperation was set to go further because in the next match with France they will have to swallow a more devastating loss of 2:0.

But, finally on the night of the 19th of June, Albania scored a goal against Romania and that seemed to be enough to let them hope for participation in the best 16s.Now all the Albanians can do is pray and hope. They have nothing in hand to change history, unless the upcoming matches award them as one of the four 3rd ranked team of the six groups to go on to the finals.

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