Latvia national football team
|Association||Latvian Football Federation|
|Head coach||Marian Pahars|
|Most caps||Vitālijs Astafjevs (167)|
|Top scorer||Māris Verpakovskis (29)|
|Home stadium||Skonto Stadium|
|Highest FIFA ranking||45 (November 2009)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||119 (June 2013)|
|Highest Elo ranking||39 (September 1922)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||124 (April 1995)|
| Latvia 1–1 Estonia
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
| Latvia 9–0 Estonia
(Tallinn, Estonia; 18 August 1942)
| Sweden 12–0 Latvia
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
|Appearances||1 (First in 2004)|
|Best result||Round 1, 2004|
The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Valstsvienība) represents the country in international football competitions, such as the World Cup and the European Championships. It is controlled by the Latvian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Latvia. They have never qualified for the World Cup, but have qualified for the European Championship, in 2004, under Aleksandrs Starkovs. The team is now being managed by Marian Pahars. Latvia's home ground is the Skonto Stadium in Riga, where they have played their matches since its opening in 2000.
- 1 History
- 2 Coaching staff
- 3 Tournament records
- 4 All-time team record
- 5 Results and fixtures
- 6 Players
- 7 Managers
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Latvia played their first match in 1922, a game against Estonia, which finished in a 1–1 draw. Latvia have won the Baltic Cup 11 times, and have played 99 official games during its pre-war period from 1922 to 1940.12
In 1937, the Latvian team participated in the first qualification tournament for the 1938 World Cup. Latvia were placed in Group 8, alongside Austria and Lithuania.3 Latvia beat Lithuania 4–2 in Riga, after an Fricis Kaņeps hat-trick and an Iļja Vestermans goal.3 In Kaunas, they won 5–1, after two goals each from Kaņeps, Vaclavs Borduško, and Vestermans,3 but lost 1–2 in the decisive match against Austria, despite an early goal from Vestermans.3 In April 1938, the Austrian Anschluss relegated the Austrian team, however, Latvia was not invited by FIFA as the group's runner-up.4
In 1940, Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union; the country regained its independence in 1991 and played their first match as a new nation against Estonia on 16 November of that year in the Baltic Cup, and their first FIFA-recognized match against Romania on 8 April 1992 in Bucharest, a match, which Latvia lost 2–0.5
In September 2003, Latvia surprisingly finished second, ahead of Poland, in their qualifying group for Euro 2004.6 This meant they qualified for the play-offs, where they were drawn against Turkey. Latvia won the first leg 1–0, through top goalscorer, Māris Verpakovskis.7 The second leg finished in a 2–2 draw, with Latvia winning 3–2 on aggregate, thus qualifying for the tournament.89 This resulted in Latvia being the first and only Baltic team qualifying for a European Championship, as well as the country itself's first ever appearance in the tournament.89 At the Euro 2004, Latvia were drawn in Group D, alongside Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands.10 Latvia faced Czech Republic in their opening match on 15 June 2004, with Verpakovskis scoring before half-time.11 However, the Czechs would later come back to win the game 2–1.11 Four days later, Latvia earned a respectable 0–0 draw against Germany to earn their first point in a major tournament.12 They lost their final match with 3–0 against Netherlands,13 and were eliminated, finished fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.14
|Assistant manager||Vitālijs Astafjevs|
|Assistant manager||Andris Riherts|
|Goalkeeping coach||Andrejs Piedels|
|Fitness coach||Alejandro Muñoz López|
|Team doctor||Oļegs Samoiļenko|
- 1930 to 1934 – Did not enter
- 1938 – Finished top of qualifying group after Austria pulled out, but FIFA decided not to enter Latvia in the World Cup.
- 1950 to 1990 – Did not enter, was part of USSR
- 1994 to 2010 – Did not qualify
|UEFA European Championship record|
|1960 to 1992||Part of Soviet Union|
|1996 to 2000||Did not qualify|
|2008 to 2012||Did not qualify|
11 time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012.
The following table shows Latvia's all-time international record, correct as of 15 November 2013 (as per LFF statistics).
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2||0||0||2||1||9||-8|
|Republic of Ireland||5||0||0||5||1||14||-13|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
|12 October 2012||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Bratislava||Slovakia||1–2||Māris Verpakovskis|
|16 October 2012||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Liechtenstein||2–0||Vladimirs Kamešs, Edgars Gauračs|
|6 February 2013||Friendly||Kobe||Japan||0–3|
|22 March 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Vaduz||Liechtenstein||1–1||Aleksandrs Cauņa|
|24 May 2013||Friendly||Doha||Qatar||1–3||Jurijs Žigajevs|
|28 May 2013||Friendly||Duisburg||Turkey||3–3||Valērijs Šabala 2x, Edgars Gauračs|
|7 June 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0–5|
|14 August 2013||Friendly||Tallinn||Estonia||1–1||Artūrs Zjuzins|
|6 September 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Lithuania||2–1||Nauris Bulvītis, Artūrs Zjuzins|
|10 September 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Piraeus||Greece||0–1|
|11 October 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Vilnius||Lithuania||0–2|
|15 October 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Slovakia||2–2||Valērijs Šabala, Renārs Rode|
|15 November 2013||Friendly||Dublin||Republic of Ireland||0–3|
|18 November 2013||Friendly (FIFA Unofficial)||Yeovil||Yeovil Town||1-0||Valērijs Šabala|
Vitālijs Astafjevs has played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010.15 He also holds the European record for most matches played for the national team.16 Astafjevs has netted 16 times.16 Juris Laizāns is the most capped active player for Latvia with 113 appearances, as of October, 2013.16 Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals.16 Other high scorers include Ēriks Pētersons with 21 goals scored in the 1930s and Marian Pahars and Juris Laizāns, who both have scored 15 goals each for Latvia.16
The following players have been called up for the friendly match against Ireland on 15 November 2013.
Caps and goals are correct as 15 November 2013, after the game against Ireland.
The following players have been called up within the last twelve months. Retired players not included.
- Players in bold are still active.
|1.||Māris Verpakovskis||1999–present||29 (103)|
|2.||Ēriks Pētersons||1929–1939||21 (63)|
|3.||Vitālijs Astafjevs||1992–2010||16 (167)|
|4.||Marian Pahars||1996–2007||15 (75)|
|5.||Juris Laizāns||1998–present||15 (113)|
|6.||Alberts Šeibelis||1925–1939||14 (54)|
|7.||Iļja Vestermans||1935–1938||13 (23)|
|8.||Mihails Zemļinskis||1992–2005||12 (105)|
|9.||Aleksandrs Cauņa||2007–present||11 (40)|
|10.||Vīts Rimkus||1995–2008||11 (73)|
|11.||Arnolds Tauriņš||1925–1935||10 (39)|
|12.||Imants Bleidelis||1995–2007||10 (106)|
|13.||Andrejs Rubins||1998–2011||10 (117)|
|14.||Ādolfs Sīmanis||1932–1940||9 (9)|
|15.||Voldemārs Plade||1923–1929||9 (16)|
|16.||Aleksandrs Vanags||1937-1940||9 (18)|
|17.||Arkādijs Pavlovs||1924–1933||9 (37)|
|18.||Ģirts Karlsons||2003–2011||9 (49)|
|19.||Vaclavs Borduško||1934–1939||8 (25)|
- Players in bold are still active.
|, Voldemārs ŽinsVoldemārs Žins||International Friendly||Lithuania||Home||6–3||27 July 1927|
|, Voldemārs PladeVoldemārs Plade||1929 Baltic Cup||Lithuania||Home||3–1||14 August 1929|
|, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons||1930 Baltic Cup||Lithuania||Away||3–3||17 August 1930|
|, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons 4||International Friendly||Lithuania||Home||5–2||30 June 1931|
|, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons||International Friendly||Lithuania||Home||6–2||12 June 1933|
|, Hugo VītolsHugo Vītols||International Friendly||Lithuania||Home||6–1||30 May 1935|
|, Fricis KaņepsFricis Kaņeps||1938 FIFA World Cup qualification||Lithuania||Home||4–2||29 July 1937|
- 4 Player scored 4 goals
- Latvia national under-21 football team
- Latvia national under-19 football team
- Latvia national under-17 football team
- "Latvian national team history". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "1922–1940. gads (99 spēles)". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "World Cup 1938 – Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "1938 FIFA World Cup France ™ Preliminaries". International Federation of Association Football. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "1992. gads". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "How they qualified: Latvia". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Verpakovskis sparks Latvian joy". Unions of European Football Associations. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Latvia claim historic win". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Euro 2004 draw". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Czech Rep 2–1 Latvia". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 15 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Latvia 0–0 Germany". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Holland 3–0 Latvia". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 23 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Group D". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Latvia national football team.|
- Official website (Latvian) (English)
- Latvia national team results at Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
- Latvia national team most capped players and highest goalscorers at Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
- Latvia official profile at Unions of European Football Associations