Albania take on Switzerland today in what will be a huge game for the Balkan nation. It is their first appearance in the Euros and for one of their players in particular it will be a massive occasion.
Freddie Veseli has been a Swiss youth international from under-15 level all the way to under-21 – even captaining the Swiss under-17 side to world glory in 2009. But in November last year he accepted a call-up to play for Albania and is now in their Euro 2016 club.
The versatile player will also ring a bell with fans of English clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, Ipswich Town, Bury and Port Vale – the latter of which he was still playing for a little over a year ago.
When Manchester United snapped up Veseli from local rivals Manchester City in January 2012 it was a stunning swoop from The Red Devils. But despite being a regular for the reserves he was released by the club in the summer of 2013.
The ex-City and United star soon moved on to Ipswich Town that summer. But despite his apparent talent he never cut it at Portman Road and spent time on loan at Bury and Port Vale, before joining the latter side permanently in January 2015.
He proved himself at Vale Park in League One and the The Valiants were keen to keep him that summer.
But Veseli wanted to play at a higher level and joined Lugano of the Swiss Premier division, helping them fight off relegation and into the Swiss Cup final – playing 38 games overall.
Now he will be hoping to add to his three Albania caps in France this summer.
From League One to the Euros in just over a year – not bad from the 23-year-old and no doubt City, United, Ipswich, Bury and, in particular, Port Vale fans will wish him all the best this summer.