1.4 million EUR (2012)
Date of birth
(1985-04-19) 19 April 1985 (age 30)
Place of birth
Titova Mitrovica, Yugoslavia
Watford F.C. (#8 / Midfielder), Switzerland national football team (#11 / Midfielder)
Gokhan Inler, Blerim Dzemaili, Granit Xhaka, Johan Djourou, Admir Mehmedi
Valon Behrami's Story - Football Welcomes Refugees
Valon Behrami (born 19 April 1985) is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Udinese. His previous clubs include Stabio, Chiasso, Lugano, Genoa, Verona, Lazio, West Ham United, Fiorentina, Napoli and Watford.
- Valon Behramis Story Football Welcomes Refugees
- Early life
- Early career
- West Ham United
- International career
- International goals
Behrami has been capped over 60 times at international level by the Switzerland national team, playing at three World Cups and Euro 2008 since his debut in 2005.
Behrami was born to Albanian parents in Titova Mitrovica, 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.
After an impressive season with Verona, Lazio signed him on 25 July 2005, as first a co-ownership deal for €2.7 million. and Lazio bought him outright in January 2006, for the same price.
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 17 July 2012, Behrami and his Fiorentina teammate Alessandro Gamberini were signed by Napoli for undisclosed fees.
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 2 August 2014, the move was completed.
On 11 July 2015, Behrami watched on as his teammates drew 2–2 with AFC Wimbledon, later that afternoon the club confirmed Behrami signed a three-year contract with Watford.
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.
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, 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the 2014 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.