|Current Team:||Albania national football team|
|Birth Day:||July 27, 1983|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He began his youth career with Dardania Lausanne in 1997.
Lorik Cana plays for the team Albania national football team
Lorik Cana was born in Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia (now Kosovo), from parents originally from Gjakova. He is the son of Agim Cana, a former football player of FC Prishtina. Cana watched every match of Pristina, since he was five years old and describes himself as an avid fan of the team. Cana's father's experience in football inspired him to take up the sport. In 1992 the entire family moved to Switzerland due to the Yugoslav Wars.
In 1997, Cana joined the local team Dardania Lausanne, an amateur football club founded by the Albanian community in Lausanne, coached by his father. He played at Dardania until 2000, when he was spotted and signed by French club Paris Saint-Germain.
Cana had previously been invited to Arsenal in 2000 at the age of 16 for a trial, but failed to attend because he was denied a British visa. Following that, it was Paris Saint-Germain which benefited by the situation and invited him for a week trial. The Paris Saint-Germain Reserves coach Antoine Kombouaré was seduced by Cana's talent and Cana eventually signed a contract with Paris Saint-Germain. At Paris Saint-Germain, he spent three years working through the ranks of the French club. In his first season with PSG Reserves Cana made only 4 appearances. In the next season 2001–02 he was braked by a big knee injury and made only 12 appearances where also scored his first goal. Cana established himself as a regular part of the reserves team in his third season 2002–03 making 21 appearances and scoring a goal. In 2003 Cana was invited by the first team coach Luis Fernández invited him at training session and at the end of the season, with PSG having nothing to play in the league, the Parisian coach took the opportunity to rotate his squad. On 19 April Cana made his senior team debut against Nantes playing the full 90-minutes match and provided an assist for the only goal of his side which served to take a 1–1 draw. In his senior debut for PSG, he was awarded the Man of the Match. He went on to play in other 2 matches, 1 as a starter until half-time and 1 as the full 90-minutes.
Cana was eligible to play for either Albania, Switzerland or France, as he held all three passports. His choice was Albania and joined the team in early 2003 after receiving an invitation by then coach Hans-Peter Briegel. Cana's international debut occurred on 11 June 2003 at the age of 19. He appeared as a substitute in the Euro 2004 qualifying match versus Switzerland, finished in a 2–3 away loss. He went on to play 2 other matches in the qualifying campaign, both versus Georgia, as Albania failed to secure a spot at final tournament by finishing 4th in Group 10 with only 8 points.
At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, however, there was a change of coach at Paris Saint-Germain and Cana fell out of favour. This prompted him to move to the south of France to join Marseille. After joining OM, he cemented his place in the starting XI and scored the winning goal in the first match between Marseille and his former club, PSG; Cana scored in the 78th minute via a header following a free-kick. Cana concluded his first season at Marseille with 43 matches in all competitions, 28 full 90-minutes in league matches, 6 in cup, 1 in league cup and 8 in UEFA Cup 2005-06. Marseille recorded 60 league points, an improvement on previous seasons and finished 5th in rank granting a place in the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Marseille reached the 2006 Coupe de France Final losing 1–2 against Cana's former side PSG.
Cana was switched to centre-back in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification due to absence Geri Çipi. He was a regular starter under Hans-Peter Briegel and performed well, missing only matchday 8 against Georgia due to the yellow card suspension, despite Albania finishing 5th in Group 2. Cana scored his first international goal on his 16th appearance, netting the second of the 2–1 win over Azerbaijan at Qemal Stafa Stadium.
He retained his starting place in the 2006–07 season under coach Albert Emon. He played 33 full 90-minutes league matches helping Marseille to finish as runners-up with 64 points, behind Lyon. He was granted as a captain in the whole 2006–07 Coupe de France leading his team until the final where Marseille lost it on 12 May 2007 against Sochaux-Montbéliard 4–5 after Penalty shoot-out where Cana himself scored the 3rd penalty take.
Cana was given a new role under new manager Otto Barić, who switched him as a defensive midfielder along with Altin Lala. During the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Cana received his first red card in Albania colours on 12 September 2007 in the match against Netherlands after an altercation with Wesley Sneijder and Ruud van Nistelrooy; with ten men Albania conceded a 91st-minute goal to lose the game 0–1. As a result of misconduct Cana was suspended for two next matches. Cana returned to the field on 17 November in the match against Belarus where he provided an assist for Erjon Bogdani's temporary equaliser. Albania eventually slumped in a 2–4 home defeat. Albania concluded the campaign ranking in the 5th place out 7 teams of Group G with 11 points equalled to Slovenia but was ranked ahead due to better goal difference. Cana himself appeared in 8 matches.
Cana left the club for English Premier League side Sunderland in August 2009. However, during his four years in Southern France, he failed to win a single trophy. He was described as a very aggressive defender during that time and nowadays he mentions that Marseille was his favourite team of all time and he would go back if they gave him an offer.
Cana joined Sunderland on a four-year contract for a fee of around £5 million on 24 July 2009. He was soon handed the team's captaincy by manager Steve Bruce, although Bruce later stated a captain had yet to be appointed. On 15 August, Cana made his league debut for Sunderland and contributed with an impressive performance in a 1–0 win over Bolton Wanderers, becoming the first Albanian player to play in the Premier League. He was appointed as Sunderland's captain for the 2009–10 season on 3 September. He led his team in 35 games in all competitions. Sunderland finished 13th in the league and progressed until last 16 in EFL Cup and until 4th round in FA Cup.
Cana joined Galatasaray on 8 July 2010 for a €4.5 million transfer fee. He signed a four-year contract worth €2 million per season, plus bonuses based on appearances. His stay at the club was hampered by a back injury during mid-season. Because they were going through a crisis throughout the whole season, Cana failed to make too much impact, though he was still a favourite of the supporters because of his resilience on the pitch.
Cana continued to be a regular starter in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, collecting 720 minutes from 8 matches as Albania finished Group 1 in 5th place, leaving behind only Malta. He started the qualifying campaign by playing as a defensive midfielder and subsequently played as a centre-back, often along Debatik Curri.
Cana captained Albania for the first time in a friendly game against Montenegro on 25 May 2010. His first competitive match as captain was on 8 October 2010 against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the matchday 3 of UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying. The match ended in a 1–1 draw at Qemal Stafa Stadium which put Albania temporarily on top. Cana reached half-century appearances for Albania later on 7 June 2011 against the same opponent as the ten-man Albania was defeated 0–2. After the end of the Euro 2012 qualification campaign in October 2011, Altin Lala and Ervin Skela retired from international football, thus making Cana the regular captain of Albania.
On 3 July 2011, Cana completed a transfer to Italian Serie A club Lazio as part of Fernando Muslera's transfer to Galatasaray. The transfer was completed for €800,000 with the player signing until June 2016 with a wage of €1.7 million per season. He was given squad number 27 and made his competitive debut later on 21 September by entering in the last minutes of the 1–2 win at Cesena. His first score-sheet contributions came on his 7th Lazio appearance later on 10 December versus Lecce, netting the second of the match only one minute after coming on in an eventual 2–3 away win. Cana's first months at capital club were marred by constant niggling injuries and on 31 January 2012, Lazio confirmed that Cana would miss six weeks due to a back injury sustained in training.
Cana hit form following the return, winning a place in the starting lineup, also thanks to Lazio's players being haunted with injuries and suspensions. He netted the second of campaign on 6 May 2012, a 25-yard goal versus Atalanta, to keep Lazio's UEFA Champions League hopes alive. He concluded his first season in Rome by making 15 league appearances as Lazio finished 4th in the championship
Cana begun utilised as centre-back under manager Vladimir Petković in the 2012–13 season. The move was praised by Italian media. On 23 February 2013, Cana made a great performance in the 2012–13 Europa League round of 16 2–0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach which earned him a place at UEFA's best XI of the week. Cana spent the 2012–13 season between bench and playing field, collecting 38 appearances in all competitions, including 24 in league. He also made 5 cup appearances, including the final as Lazio beat city rivals Roma to win the trophy for the 6th time. This win constituted his first trophy win at Lazio.
Cana was a regular starter during the first part of 2013–14 campaign. He netted his first goal of the season on 24 November 2013, a last-minute equalizer to save a 1–1 draw at Sampdoria. It was his first goal after 18 months. However, Cana struggled to play in the second part under new manager Edy Reja, as the Italian did not see him as a lineup player. Cana scored his second of the campaign later on 2 March 2014, an early goal via a bicycle kick, as Lazio won 1–0 at Fiorentina. Cana finished his second Lazio season by playing 32 matches in all competitions. With 344 balls recovered in 16 matches, Cana was ranked fourth-best defender in Serie A.
Lorik Cana is the son of retired footballer Agim Cana. His father's career brought the family to Kosovo, but because of war in the region, Lorik and his family were forced to flee to Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a UNO-ambassador against poverty. In an interview, Cana stated that archeology is one of his biggest interests and that he plans to work in the Albanology field after his footballing career after pursuing a university degree in History. He married Monica Ercoli, an Italian, on 8 June 2014 and the ceremony took place on 27 June 2014. They also have a son named Boiken. They currently reside in Tirana, Albania. On 15 January 2015 Cana was named Honorary Ambassador of Kosovo.
After four years in Italy with Lazio, on 31 August 2015, Cana returned to the French Ligue 1, signing a two-year contract with Nantes. On 21 November 2015, he played his 200th Ligue 1 match during the 1–0 away loss against Monaco.
On 21 May 2016, Cana was named in Albania's preliminary 27-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016, and in Albania's final 23-man UEFA Euro 2016 squad on 31 May.
Cana announced his retirement from international football on 23 June 2016.
On 26 October 2017 he was named by the Albanian Football Association as the Grassroots ambassador for kids football in Albania.
Currently, Lorik Cana is 39 years, 2 months and 2 days old. Lorik Cana will celebrate 40th birthday on a Thursday 27th of July 2023.
Find out about Lorik Cana birthday activities in timeline view here.