Latvia national football team

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Latvia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Sarkanbaltsarkanie
(The Red-White-Reds)
Association Latvijas Futbola federācija
Confederation UEFA
Head coach Vacant
Captain Andris Vaņins
Most caps Vitālijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorer Māris Verpakovskis (29)
Home stadium Skonto Stadium
FIFA code LVA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 139 Decrease 8 (12 April 2018)
Highest 45 (November 2009)
Lowest 148 (September 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 120 Steady (20 March 2018)
Highest 45 (25 September 1938)
Lowest 124 (April 1995)
First international
Latvia Latvia 1–1 Estonia 
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
Biggest win
Latvia Latvia 5–0 Lithuania 
(Riga, Latvia; 30 May 1935)
Latvia Latvia 5–0 Lithuania 
(Võru, Estonia; 1 June 2012)
 Gibraltar 0–5 Latvia Latvia
(Gibraltar, Gibraltar; 29 March 2016)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 12–0 Latvia Latvia
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
European Championship
Appearances 1 (first in 2004)
Best result Group stage, 2004

The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Latvijas futbola izlase) 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 they have, however, qualified for the European Championship in 2004, under Aleksandrs Starkovs.

Latvia alongside its Baltic rivals, Lithuania and Estonia, has also participated in the local sub-regional Baltic Cup tournament, which takes place every two years, and in which Latvia is the current champion, having won the tournament in 2016. Latvia has won the Baltic Cup championship a record of 13 times, more than any other country in the history of the tournament.

Latvia's home ground is the Skonto Stadium in Riga, where they have played their matches since its opening in 2000.

History

Latvia played their first match in 1922, a game against Estonia, which finished in a 1–1 draw. Latvia have won the Baltic Cup 12 times, and played 99 official games during its pre-war period from 1922 to 1940.[1][2]

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]

Latvian fans at Euro 2004

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.[8][9] This resulted in Latvia being the first and only Baltic team qualifying for a European Championship.[8][9] 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]

Latvia have since failed to qualify for another major tournament, though they came close to qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After eight qualifying matches, Latvia were level on points with their next opponent, second-placed Greece, but a 5–2 defeat virtually ended all hopes of qualification and Latvia finished third in UEFA Group 2.

Tournament records

World Cup record

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not Enter Declined Participation
Italy 1934
France 1938 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 10 5
Brazil 1950 Part of  Soviet Union Part of  Soviet Union
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974
Argentina 1978
Spain 1982
Mexico 1986
Italy 1990
United States 1994 Did not qualify 12 0 5 7 4 21
France 1998 10 3 1 6 10 14
South Korea Japan 2002 8 1 1 6 5 16
Germany 2006 12 4 3 5 18 21
South Africa 2010 10 5 2 3 18 15
Brazil 2014 10 2 2 6 10 20
Russia 2018 10 2 1 7 7 18
Qatar 2022 To be determined
Total 0/21 75 19 15 41 82 130

European Championship record

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1960 to 1992 Part of  Soviet Union
1996 to 2000 Did not qualify
Portugal 2004 Group Stage 14th 3 0 1 2 1 5
2008 to 2016 Did not qualify
European Union 2020 To be determined
Total Group Stage 1/15 3 0 1 2 1 5

Baltic Cup Championship record

13-time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Olympic games

Year Position GP W D L GS GA
France 1924 Olympics 22nd 1 0 0 1 0 7
Total 1 0 0 1 0 7

All-time team record

As of 25 March 2018[15]

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Results and fixtures

2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Portugal 10 9 0 1 32 4 +28 27 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup
2   Switzerland 10 9 0 1 23 7 +16 27 Advance to second round
3  Hungary 10 4 1 5 14 14 0 13
4  Faroe Islands 10 2 3 5 4 16 −12 9
5  Latvia 10 2 1 7 7 18 −11 7
6  Andorra 10 1 1 8 2 23 −21 4
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Recent and forthcoming matches

Date Competition City Opponent Result Scorers
25 March 2017 (2017-03-25) 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Switzerland Geneva   Switzerland 0–1
28 March 2017 (2017-03-28) Friendly Georgia (country) Tbilisi  Georgia 0–5
9 June 2017 (2017-06-09) 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Latvia Rīga  Portugal 0–3
12 June 2017 (2017-06-12) Friendly Latvia Rīga  Estonia 1–2 Dāvis Ikaunieks
31 August 2017 (2017-08-31) 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Hungary Budapest  Hungary 1–3 Gints Freimanis
3 September 2017 (2017-09-03) 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Latvia Rīga   Switzerland 0–3
7 October 2017 (2017-10-07) 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Faroe Islands Tórshavn  Faroe Islands 0–0
10 October 2017 (2017-10-10) 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Latvia Rīga  Andorra 4–0 Dāvis Ikaunieks, Valērijs Šabala 2x, Igors Tarasovs
7 November 2017 (2017-11-07) FIFA Unofficial friendly game Portugal Lisbon  Saudi Arabia 0–2
13 November 2017 (2017-11-13) Friendly Kosovo Mitrovica  Kosovo 3–4 Gļebs Kļuškins 2x, Dāvis Ikaunieks
3 February 2018 (2018-02-03) Friendly Turkey Antalya  South Korea 0–1
22 March 2018 (2018-03-22) Friendly Spain Marbella  Faroe Islands 1–1 Vladislavs Fjodorovs
25 March 2018 (2018-03-25) Friendly Gibraltar Gibraltar  Gibraltar 0–1
2 June 2018 (2018-06-02) Baltic Cup Latvia  Estonia
5 June 2018 (2018-06-05) Baltic Cup Lithuania  Lithuania
9 June 2018 (2018-06-09) Friendly Latvia  Azerbaijan
6 September 2018 (2018-09-06) UEFA Nations League Latvia Rīga  Andorra
9 September 2018 (2018-09-09) UEFA Nations League Georgia (country) Tbilisi  Georgia
13 October 2018 (2018-10-13) UEFA Nations League Latvia Rīga  Kazakhstan
16 October 2018 (2018-10-16) UEFA Nations League Latvia Rīga  Georgia
15 November 2018 (2018-11-15) UEFA Nations League Kazakhstan Astana  Kazakhstan
19 November 2018 (2018-11-19) UEFA Nations League Andorra Andorra la Vella  Andorra

Coaching staff

Position Name
Manager Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
General manager Latvia Roberts Mežeckis
Assistant manager(s) Latvia Andris Riherts
Latvia Jurijs Ševļakovs
Latvia Vitālijs Astafjevs
Fitness coach Latvia Staņislavs Olijars
Goalkeeping coach Latvia Andrejs Piedels
Physiotherapist Latvia Artūrs Ivuškāns
Masseur Latvia Aleksandrs Jurovskis
Latvia Jurijs Ksenzovs
Doctor Latvia Oļegs Samoiļenko
Video analyst Latvia Iļja Ščaņicins
Kitman Latvia Jānis Zeltiņš
Media officer Latvia Viktors Sopirins

List of managers

Players

Vitālijs Astafjevs played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010.[16] He also held the European record for 7 years for most matches played for the national team from 2009 until March 2017, when his record was beaten by Gianluigi Buffon .[17] Astafjevs has netted 16 times.[17] Andris Vaņins is the most capped active player for Latvia with 87 appearances, as of February 2018.[17] Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals.[17] Other high scorers include Ēriks Pētersons with 24 goals scored in the 1930s and Marians Pahars and Juris Laizāns, who both scored 15 goals each for Latvia.[17]

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the friendly matches against Faroe Islands, on 22 March 2018 and against Gibraltar, on 25 March 2018.
All caps and goals as of 25 March 2018 after match against Gibraltar.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Andris Vaņins (1980-04-30) 30 April 1980 (age 37) 89 0 Switzerland Zürich
23 1GK Pāvels Šteinbors (1985-09-21) 21 September 1985 (age 32) 4 0 Poland Arka Gdynia
12 1GK Kaspars Ikstens (1988-06-05) 5 June 1988 (age 29) 1 0 Latvia RFS

6 2DF Vladislavs Gabovs (1987-07-13) 13 July 1987 (age 30) 34 0 Cyprus Pafos
18 2DF Igors Tarasovs (1988-10-16) 16 October 1988 (age 29) 23 1 Poland Śląsk Wrocław
19 2DF Vitālijs Jagodinskis (1992-02-28) 28 February 1992 (age 26) 20 0 Romania Politehnica Iași
20 2DF Kaspars Dubra (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 (age 27) 19 1 Latvia RFS
4 2DF Gints Freimanis (1985-05-09) 9 May 1985 (age 32) 12 1 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala
3 2DF Ņikita Koļesovs (1996-09-25) 25 September 1996 (age 21) 8 0 Latvia Ventspils

5 3MF Oļegs Laizāns (1987-03-28) 28 March 1987 (age 31) 46 0 Latvia Riga
21 3MF Gļebs Kļuškins (1992-10-01) 1 October 1992 (age 25) 14 2 Latvia RFS
13 3MF Dāvis Indrāns (1995-06-06) 6 June 1995 (age 22) 9 0 Latvia RFS
16 3MF Jevgēņijs Kazačoks (1995-08-12) 12 August 1995 (age 22) 8 0 Latvia RFS
8 3MF Cristian Torres (1985-06-18) 18 June 1985 (age 32) 6 0 Latvia Liepāja
9 3MF Roberts Savaļnieks (1993-02-04) 4 February 1993 (age 25) 5 0 Latvia RFS
7 3MF Dmitrijs Hmizs (1992-07-31) 31 July 1992 (age 25) 3 0 Latvia Liepāja
2 3MF Raivis Jurkovskis (1996-12-07) 7 December 1996 (age 21) 3 0 Latvia Liepāja
14 3MF Eduards Emsis (1996-02-23) 23 February 1996 (age 22) 1 0 Latvia METTA/LU

10 4FW Valērijs Šabala (1994-10-12) 12 October 1994 (age 23) 41 12 Poland Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała
11 4FW Edgars Gauračs (1988-03-10) 10 March 1988 (age 30) 22 5 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala
15 4FW Roberts Uldriķis (1998-04-03) 3 April 1998 (age 20) 5 0 Latvia RFS
17 4FW Vladislavs Fjodorovs (1996-09-27) 27 September 1996 (age 21) 3 1 Latvia METTA/LU

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Jevgēņijs Ņerugals (1989-02-26) 26 February 1989 (age 29) 0 0 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018

DF Vitālijs Maksimenko (1990-12-08) 8 December 1990 (age 27) 35 1 Poland Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
DF Mārcis Ošs (1991-07-25) 25 July 1991 (age 26) 3 0 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
DF Krists Gulbis (1997-01-15) 15 January 1997 (age 21) 0 0 Latvia METTA/LU v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
DF Vadims Žuļevs (1988-03-01) 1 March 1988 (age 30) 0 0 Latvia Ventspils v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
DF Aleksandrs Solovjovs (1988-02-25) 25 February 1988 (age 30) 7 0 Latvia RFS v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
DF Kaspars Gorkšs RET (1981-11-06) 6 November 1981 (age 36) 89 5 Latvia Riga v.  Faroe Islands, 7 October 2017

MF Dāvis Ikaunieks (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 (age 24) 16 4 Czech Republic Vysočina Jihlava v.  Faroe Islands, 22 March 2018 INJ
MF Jānis Ikaunieks (1995-02-16) 16 February 1995 (age 23) 17 2 Latvia Liepāja v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
MF Ingars Stuglis (1996-02-12) 12 February 1996 (age 22) 1 0 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
MF Aleksejs Višņakovs (1984-02-03) 3 February 1984 (age 34) 78 9 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
MF Alans Siņeļņikovs (1990-05-14) 14 May 1990 (age 27) 11 0 Latvia Jelgava v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
MF Daniils Ulimbaševs (1992-03-12) 12 March 1992 (age 26) 2 0 Latvia RFS v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
MF Edgars Vardanjans (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 (age 24) 4 0 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017 INJ
MF Eduards Tīdenbergs (1994-12-18) 18 December 1994 (age 23) 0 0 Latvia Ventspils v.   Switzerland, 3 September 2017
MF Vladimirs Kamešs (1988-10-28) 28 October 1988 (age 29) 14 1 Russia Yenisey Krasnoyarsk v.  Estonia, 12 June 2017

FW Ņikita Ivanovs (1996-03-25) 25 March 1996 (age 22) 1 0 Latvia METTA/LU v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
FW Deniss Rakels (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 (age 25) 20 0 Poland Cracovia v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
FW Eduards Višņakovs (1990-05-10) 10 May 1990 (age 27) 15 0 Latvia RFS v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017 INJ
FW Vladislavs Gutkovskis (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 (age 23) 5 0 Poland Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza v.   Switzerland, 3 September 2017

Most capped players

  • Progression of Latvia association football caps record
# Name Career Caps Goals
1. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 167 16
2. Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 117 10
3. Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 113 15
4. Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 106 10
5. Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 105 12
6. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 104 29
7. Igors Stepanovs 1995–2011 100 4
8. Aleksandrs Koļinko 1997–2015 94 0
9. Kaspars Gorkšs 2005–2017 89 5
Andris Vaņins 2000–present 89 0
11. Andrejs Štolcers 1994–2005 81 7
12. Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 78 9
13. Marians Pahars 1996–2007 75 15
14. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 73 11
15 Oļegs Blagonadeždins 1992–2004 70 2
16. Valērijs Ivanovs 1992–2001 68 1
Dzintars Zirnis 1997–2010 68 0
18. Oskars Kļava 2005–2013 65 1
19. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 63 24
20. Deniss Ivanovs 2003–2013 60 2
Players in bold are still active.

Top goalscorers

  • Latvia goalscoring record
# Player Career Goals (Caps)
1. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 29 (104)
2. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 24 (63)
3. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 16 (167)
4. Marians Pahars 1996–2007 15 (75)
Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 15 (113)
6. Alberts Šeibelis 1925–1939 14 (54)
7. Iļja Vestermans 1935–1938 13 (23)
8. Valērijs Šabala 2013–present 12 (41)
Aleksandrs Cauņa 2007–present 12 (45)
Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 12 (105)
11. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 11 (73)
12. Arnolds Tauriņš 1925–1935 10 (39)
Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 10 (106)
Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 10 (117)
15. Ādolfs Sīmanis 1932–1940 9 (9)
Voldemārs Plade 1923–1929 9 (16)
Aleksandrs Vanags 1937–1940 9 (18)
Arkādijs Pavlovs 1924–1933 9 (37)
Ģirts Karlsons 2003–present 9 (51)
Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 9 (78)
Players in bold are still active.

Hat-tricks

Player Competition Against Home/Away Result Date
, Voldemārs ŽinsVoldemārs Žins International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 6–3 27 July 1927
, Voldemārs PladeVoldemārs Plade 1929 Baltic Cup Lithuania Lithuania Home 3–1 14 August 1929
, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons 1930 Baltic Cup Lithuania Lithuania Away 3–3 17 August 1930
, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons 4 International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 5–2 30 June 1931
, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 6–2 12 June 1933
Hugo Vītols International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 6–1 30 May 1935
, Fricis KaņepsFricis Kaņeps 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification Lithuania Lithuania Home 4–2 29 July 1937
  • 4 Player scored 4 goals

Clean Sheets

Rank Player Games
1 Andris Vaņins 22
2 Aleksandrs Koļinko 21
3 Oļegs Karavajevs 13
4 Raimonds Laizāns 12
5 Arvīds Jurgens 5
Jānis Bebris 5
7 Jānis Kļaviņš 4
8 Andrejs Piedels 2
9 Harijs Lazdiņš 1
Andrejs Pavlovs 1

See also

References

  1. ^ "Latvian national team history". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "1922–1940. gads (99 spēles)". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "World Cup 1938 – Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "1938 FIFA World Cup France ™ Preliminaries". International Federation of Association Football. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "1992. gads". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "How they qualified: Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Verpakovskis sparks Latvian joy". Unions of European Football Associations. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Latvia claim historic win". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Euro 2004 draw". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Czech Rep 2–1 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Latvia 0–0 Germany". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Holland 3–0 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Group D". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Latvia". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 

External links

  • Official website (in Latvian) (in English)
  • Profile at UEFA
  • Latvia at RSSSF
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