Football journalist in the Balkans

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One team or two - football highlights complex Albanian identity.

By early afternoon on Monday, six hours before Albania were to take on Macedonia in the opening game of World Cup qualifying Group G, Shkoder was already buzzing with the feel of a big matchday. While the cobbled streets of the city center had become a heaving mass of red and black amidst the endless double headed eagles and patriotic slogans, the other striking sight was the place names emblazoned on t-shirts and flags; Tetova, Gjilan, Prishtina, Kumanovo, Ulqin, Drenas.