Artur Lekbello

National team
Albania

Born
23 February 1963, Tirana

Club
KS 17 Nëntori Tirana (1986-1991)

Position
Central defender/man marker

Profile
22 years of age at the start of the qualification, Lekbello often looked a composed, assured defender. He did particularly well early in the qualifying campaign, although he was unable to prevent 'his' man Ekström net the winner in their 2-1 home defeat against Sweden. He would typically be seen with sweeper Hodja behind him, and Lekbello was no stranger to carrying the ball across the halfway line, even if this was not a big feature of his game during these qualifiers. He was a consistent performer whom manager Rreli could rely on, and he would never shirk his responsibilities.

World Cup 1990 history

Match 1
19.10.1988 Poland 1-0 Albania
90 minutes.
Rating: 6.8
"A calm figure, gets Furtok frustrated as he follows him around and does not give the striker an inch."

Match 2
05.11.1988 Albania 1-2 Sweden
90 minutes.
Rating: 6.6
"Would probably have struggled more with the quick Ekström had the Albanian backline been higher up the pitch. As it is, he keeps the Swedish forward well in check apart from that crucial moment when Ekström holds him off and nets the winning goal."

Match 3
08.03.1989 Albania 0-2 England
90 minutes.
Rating: 6.9
"Sound man-marking job on Lineker first, then later on Waddle and Beardsley. Confident on the ball, and does not make a lot of mistakes. Even seen venturing across the halfway line on a couple of occasions."

Match 4
26.04.1989 England 5-0 Albania
90 minutes.
Rating: 6.6
"Plays like he's got bags of experience despite his rather young age. Composed, well-disciplined, does a better job as a man-marker than Gega, and is an awkward opponent for Lineker. Quite stylish on the ball as well."

Match 5
08.10.1989 Sweden 3-1 Albania
76 minutes (substituted).
Rating: 6.7
"Has many a tussle with Magnusson, and can't quite get to the Swedish striker in the air. Shows his composure along the ground, and has decent positioning. Has already taken a knock when he has to leave the field with a dead right leg after a collision with Limpar."

Match 6
15.11.1989 Albania 1-2 Poland
Did not play.
Rating: -