Bhubaneswar: Odisha FC on Monday reached an agreement with Malaysian professional football Club Johor Darul Ta’zim FC over a loan deal of midfielder Liridon Krasniqi who will now represent the Bhubaneswar-based side in the upcoming eighth edition of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL).
The 29-year-old attacking midfielder started his initial footballing career in Europe and made his senior professional debut for FK Mladá Boleslav in Czech Republic in 2011 before signing for Turkish club Ankaraspor. He was loaned out to another club in Turkey – Fethiyespor.
Liridon moved to Malaysia in 2015 and played for Kedah Darul Aman FC. He also won the 2016 Malaysia Cup and 2017 Malaysia FA Cup titles for Kedah before signing for Melaka United in 2019. In the previous season, Liridon was roped in by current Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim and then represented Australian side Newcastle Jets in the A-League on loan in early 2021.
Liridon has a unique achievement of representing three national teams. After playing for the Albanian under 21 side and Kosovo senior team, he made his debut for Malaysian senior national team earlier this year.
He became part of football folklore when he came off the bench in Kosovo’s first-ever international football game, a friendly against Haiti in Mitrovica.
After signing for the Club, he expressed, “I am really delighted to join Odisha FC and I am looking forward to start an amazing journey in India. I hope it will be a great season ahead under Head Coach Kiko Ramirez. I can’t wait to get started and meet my teammates at OFC. We will try and bring joy for all the Odisha fans in the upcoming ISL tournament.”
OFC Head Coach Kiko Ramirez explained, “Liridon is going to give us character, attitude and intensity. He is a player with a high physical capacity and has good technique. He is a box to box midfielder who can help us both in attack and in defense and will give us the energy that the team needs to fight for the entire duration of 90 minutes.”
Odisha FC Club President Mr. Raj Athwal said, “We are pleased to welcome Malaysian International Liridon Krasniqi to Odisha Football Club. An imposing midfielder who is also adept in defence, he adds further depth and quality to the squad.”