|Estimated value:||€10 million|
|Country of origin:||Yugoslavia|
|Source of Wealth:||footballer|
Valon Behrami (born April 19, 1985, Titova Mitrovica, SAK Kosovo, SR Serbia, SFRY) – Swiss footballer of Kosovar descent, midfielder. He played in the Swiss national team.
Behrami was born to Kosovar Albanian parents in Mitrovica, Kosovo, part of SR Serbia in 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 kid, running was Valon’s favorite pastime – he never got tired. Even now he can hardly sit still for a second. He always needs a ball at his feet.”
In July 2018, it was announced that Behrami was marrying his girlfriend, Swiss alpine skier Lara Gut, after they had been together for just a few months.
His first team was the Swiss club Stabio. After several years in Switzerland, he was jointly signed by Italian clubs Genoa and Udinese in 2003. A year later, Genoa bought the remaining rights to the Udinese player and leased them to Verona. After a good season in Verona, he was sold to Lazio in the summer of 2005. In January there were many rumors about Behrami’s future however club president Claudio Lotito announced he would sell the player for just €12m however Behrami never left Lazio and continued to play the role of one of the club’s key players.
On 23 July 2008, Valon signed a five-year deal with English club West Ham United. On January 26, 2011, the player signed a contract with Italian club Fiorentina.
He started playing for the Swiss national team as a youth and joined the main team in 2005. At the 2006 World Cup, he missed two group stage games due to a groin injury. In the third match, Behrami only came into play in 88 minutes. He also did not take part in the round of 16 and his team lost to the Ukrainians.
After an impressive season with Verona, Lazio signed him as their first co-owner on July 25, 2005 for €2.7million. Lazio bought him outright in January 2006 for the same price.
On 23 July 2008, West Ham United signed Lazio’s Behrami, with the player signing a five-year deal for a fee of £5 million. Behrami made his debut for West Ham in their 2–1 home win against Wigan Athletic on 16 August 2008. His versatility would make him a key part of West Ham’s midfield, having started the season for captain Lucas Neill at right flank. He scored his first goal for West Ham in the 1–0 away win against Sunderland on 23 November 2008. During the home win against Manchester City on 1 March 2009 he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee. Oxygen had to be administered on the pitch during a six-minute break in play. His knee and ankle twisted badly when his cleats caught in the turf, leading to a premature end to his 2008/09 season.
Behrami made his comeback as a substitute on September 12, 2009 against Wigan Athletic. As of November, his return was once again cut short by an injury for a month. He scored his first and only goal of the 2009–10 season with the opener in a 3–0 home win over relegation rivals Hull City on 20 February 2010.
Behrami was also considered for the Swiss national team with the U18, U19 and senior national teams. It also participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Behrami scored an important goal in de Suisse’s line-up against Turkey in the first leg of the 2006 World Cup play-off qualifiers. During the 2006 World Cup, he sustained a groin injury that sent him to the touchline for the first two group games. In the third game against South Korea, he was substituted late in the 88th minute. He has not participated in the last round of 16 matches.
Behrami was in Switzerland’s starting XI for all three games during the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, playing a total of 272 minutes. On June 21, during the 2010 World Cup, Behrami was sent off with a red card after a foul on Chilean player Arturo Vidal in the second Group H game against Chile, becoming the first Swiss player to be sent off in a World Cup game .
He was included in the Switzerland national team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In their opening game on 17 June, a 1–1 draw with Brazil, his performance was described as excellent, with his constant coverage of Brazilian Neymar being noted positively. He was the first Swiss to appear in four consecutive World Cup events.
|Estimated value:||€10 million|