Rudi Vata, a former Celtic legend, had once thought it impossible for Albania to participate in a major tournament due to the impoverished communist state he grew up in. He reflected on his decision to claim political asylum in France in 1991, which allowed him to pursue his dreams freely. Vata emphasized the importance of belief and self-confidence in achieving success, a lesson he learned through his journey from Albania to France and eventually to Celtic.

Fast forward to the present, Vata now believes in Albania’s prospects on the international stage, especially in the upcoming Euros where they are drawn against tough opponents like Italy, Croatia, and Spain. He highlighted the changes in the style of football and the absence of traditional superstars in the Italian and Spanish teams, making the chances for all teams equal. Vata expressed confidence in Albania’s ability to compete against Italy and Croatia, especially with players like Berat Gjimshiti leading the team.

Interestingly, there is a strong Albanian influence in Irish football, with players like Rocco Vata, Kevin Zefi, and the Ferizaj brothers representing Ireland at underage levels. Rudi Vata’s son, Rocco, who qualifies for Ireland through an Irish grandparent, has yet to decide on his international allegiance. Vata emphasized the importance of allowing his son to make his own decision and choose the path that makes him happy, whether it’s playing for Ireland, Albania, or any other eligible country.

The story of Rocco Vata reflects the changing landscape of international football, where players have the freedom to choose their national teams based on personal connections and experiences. As Rocco continues to grow and develop as a player, his father’s support and guidance will ensure that he makes the best decision for his future in football. Ultimately, the Vata family’s story is a testament to the power of freedom, belief, and self-confidence in achieving success on and off the pitch.