Malta national football team

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Malta
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Knights of Malta, Ħomor (Reds), Falcons
Association Malta Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Ray 'Zazu' Farrugia
Captain Michael Mifsud
Most caps Michael Mifsud (131)
Top scorer Michael Mifsud (40)
Home stadium Ta' Qali Stadium
FIFA code MLT
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 184 Increase 1 (7 June 2018)
Highest 66 (September 1994, September 1995)
Lowest 191 (July 2017, September 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 162 Decrease 1 (14 June 2018)
Highest 98 (February 1992)
Lowest 165 (September 2017)
First international
 Malta 2–3 Austria 
(Gżira, Malta; 24 February 1957)
Biggest win
 Malta 7–1 Liechtenstein 
(Ta' Qali, Malta; 26 March 2008)
Biggest defeat
 Spain 12–1 Malta 
(Seville, Spain; 21 December 1983)

The Malta national football team (Maltese: Tim nazzjonali tal-futbol ta' Malta) represents Malta in international football and is controlled by the Malta Football Association. Malta played its first international game on 24 February 1957 against Austria, and began competing for qualification to major tournaments in 1962. The side's first competitive victory arrived in 1975 against Greece. Considered to be one of the weaker sides in Europe, Malta has never made it to the finals of any major international competition. Their highest ever position is 66th.

History

Malta played its first international game on 24 February 1957 at the Empire Stadium, losing 2–3 to Austria. That match was played in front of a capacity crowd at the old Empire Stadium. The Malta Football Association joined FIFA in 1959 and UEFA a year later. The international side first competed in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA European Nations Cup in 1962, and in FIFA World Cup qualification in 1971.[1]

Malta's first competitive draw ended 1–1 against Greece in 1970. Malta's first two competitive wins were victories of 2–0 and 2–1 at home to Greece and Iceland in European Championship qualifiers in 1975 and 1982 respectively. In 1979, Malta drew 0–0 with West Germany in a European championship qualifier and they met again on 16 December 1984 for a memorable World Cup Qualifier in front of a record attendance at the Ta'Qali stadium, where the 1982 & eventual 1986 World Cup runners-up only managed a 2–3 win. Another prestigious result was achieved in March 1987 when Malta drew 2–2 in Portugal, in a qualifier for Euro'88 and the side also twice drew against Hungary during the qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and recorded four friendly wins during 1991 and 1992.[2]

Malta's third competitive win came with a 1–0 victory away to Estonia in a 1993 World Cup qualifier in which Kris Laferla scored.[3] In October 1994 Malta held Czech Republic 0–0 in a qualifier for the UEFA Euro 1996, in which the latter ended runners-up. Six years later, in October 2000 in a group qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup, once again Malta managed another 0–0 draw vs Czech Republic which eventually cost the latter a place at the following major tournament. In June 2000 Malta played England, then managed by Kevin Keegan. Trailing 2–1 going into the final minutes Malta were awarded a penalty, however David Carabott's effort was saved by Richard Wright.[4] Through November 2001 and May 2002 Malta played and remained undefeated in 6 international matches and in between they won the locally hosted (Rothmans) International Tournament. During 2005, Malta drew 1–1 against Croatia and Bulgaria. Another positive result was the 1–1 home draw in a friendly match against Northern Ireland, though George Mallia missed an injury time penalty which would have given them a win.[5] On 11 October 2006, Malta managed another competitive victory, a 2–1 triumph over Hungary in the European Championship qualifying with Andre Schembri scoring twice.[3]

On 7 February 2007, Malta drew 1–1 with one of the hosts of Euro 2008, Austria. The game was played to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first international match played by the Maltese national team.[6] On 8 September 2007 Malta managed another draw against Turkey in a Euro 2008 qualifying match, the game finishing 2–2.[7] On 26 March 2008, Malta achieved its largest ever victory, a 7–1 defeat of Liechtenstein in a friendly at the Ta' Qali Stadium, with Michael Mifsud scoring five goals.[8] A 2–0 friendly win over Georgia followed in 2009.[9]

In May 2010, sponsorship of the Maltese national side was taken on by sportswear firm Givova, who also designed a range of new kits for the team.[10] One month later, however, the side had fallen to their lowest ever FIFA world ranking position, of 169th in the world.[9] In 2009, Malta had a 0–0 draw with Albania at home. This was their only point for the 2010 World Cup qualifying. On 11 August 2010 Malta drew 1–1 at home against FYR Macedonia in a European Championship qualifying game, with Michael Mifsud scoring a brilliant diving header for Malta.[11]

In February 2011 the side achieved a 0–0 draw against Switzerland, in which goalkeeper Justin Haber saved two penalties.[9] Mifsud scored twice on 10 August 2011, when Malta beat the Central African Republic 2–1 at home.[12] On 6 September 2011, Malta won their first Euro 2012 qualifying point, with a 1–1 draw against Georgia. During the years of 2010 and 2011, Malta did not get many positive results, and coach John Buttigieg and assistant coach Carmel Busittil were both sacked in October 2011.[13] Malta has been drawn in a group with Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Armenia for qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In their match vs Armenia in June 2013, Malta claimed their first world cup qualifying win in 20 years, nabbing a 1–0 victory. Michael Mifsud scored the all important goal for Malta. In June 2017, Malta defeated Ukraine 1-0 thanks to a lone goal by defender Zach Muscat.

Coaching staff

As of 8 May 2018
Manager Malta Ray Farrugia
Assistant Manager Serbia Branko Nisevic
Goalkeeping Coach Malta Charles Sciberras
Physical Trainer Italy Luca Pagani

Players

Current squad

The following 23 players were named for the friendly matches against Armenia on 29 May 2018 and Georgia on 1 June 2018.
Caps and goals are correct as of 1 June 2018, after the match against Georgia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Andrew Hogg (1985-03-02) 2 March 1985 (age 33) 61 0 Malta Hibernians
1GK Henry Bonello (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 29) 7 0 Malta Valletta
1GK Steve Sultana (1990-09-07) 7 September 1990 (age 27) 0 0 Malta Hamrun

2DF Andrei Agius (1986-08-12) 12 August 1986 (age 31) 76 3 Malta Hibernians
2DF Ryan Camilleri (1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 (age 30) 39 0 Malta Valletta
2DF Steve Borg (1988-05-15) 15 May 1988 (age 30) 36 0 Malta Valletta
2DF Joseph Zerafa (1988-05-31) 31 May 1988 (age 30) 24 0 Malta Valletta
2DF Myles Beerman (1999-03-13) 13 March 1999 (age 19) 5 0 Scotland Rangers
2DF Ferdinando Apap (1992-07-29) 29 July 1992 (age 25) 1 0 Malta Victoria Hotspurs
2DF Michael Johnson (1994-05-11) 11 May 1994 (age 24) 1 0 Malta Balzan
2DF Jurgen Pisani (1992-09-03) 3 September 1992 (age 25) 0 0 Malta Floriana

3MF Roderick Briffa (1981-08-24) 24 August 1981 (age 36) 96 1 Malta Gzira United
3MF Pawlu Fenech (1986-12-20) 20 December 1986 (age 31) 47 1 Malta Balzan
3MF Luke Gambin (1993-03-16) 16 March 1993 (age 25) 16 0 England Luton Town
3MF Steve Pisani (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 25) 16 0 Malta Floriana
3MF Jake Grech (1997-11-18) 18 November 1997 (age 20) 2 0 Malta Birkirkara
3MF Joseph Mbong (1997-07-15) 15 July 1997 (age 21) 2 0 Malta Hibernians
3MF Dunstan Vella (1996-04-27) 27 April 1996 (age 22) 1 0 Malta Hibernians

4FW Michael Mifsud (Captain) (1981-04-17) 17 April 1981 (age 37) 131 40 Malta Valletta
4FW Andrew Cohen (1981-05-13) 13 May 1981 (age 37) 67 1 Malta Gzira United
4FW Alfred Effiong (1984-11-29) 29 November 1984 (age 33) 25 4 Malta Balzan
4FW Kyrian Nwoko (1997-07-04) 4 July 1997 (age 21) 3 0 Malta Valletta
4FW Jurgen Degabriele (1996-10-10) 10 October 1996 (age 21) 2 0 Malta Hibernians

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up to the Maltese squad within the last year, including the Malta 'B' Squad.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Justin Haber (1981-06-09) 9 June 1981 (age 37) 57 0 Malta Floriana v.  Slovakia, 8 October 2017

DF Zach Muscat (1993-08-22) 22 August 1993 (age 24) 27 1 Italy Pistoiese v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
DF Sam Magri (1994-03-30) 30 March 1994 (age 24) 7 0 England Ebbsfleet United v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
DF Jean Borg (1998-01-08) 8 January 1998 (age 20) 2 0 Malta Valletta v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
DF Ryan Scicluna (1993-07-30) 30 July 1993 (age 24) 2 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Estonia, 12 November 2017
DF Alex Muscat (1984-12-14) 14 December 1984 (age 33) 35 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Estonia, 12 November 2017
DF Jurgen Pisani (1992-09-03) 3 September 1992 (age 25) 0 0 Malta Floriana v.  Slovakia, 8 October 2017
DF Edward Herrera (1986-11-14) 14 November 1986 (age 31) 19 1 Malta Birkirkara v.  Scotland, 4 September 2017
DF Cain Attard (1994-09-10) 10 September 1994 (age 23) 5 0 Malta Birkirkara v.
DF Daniel Zerafa (1994-04-08) 8 April 1994 (age 24) 0 0 Malta Hamrun v.

MF Bjorn Kristensen (1993-04-05) 5 April 1993 (age 25) 23 0 Malta Hibernians v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
MF Rowen Muscat (1991-06-05) 5 June 1991 (age 27) 32 0 Malta Valletta v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
MF Tristan Caruana (1991-09-15) 15 September 1991 (age 26) 1 0 Malta Hamrun v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
MF Ryan Fenech (1986-04-20) 20 April 1986 (age 32) 46 1 Malta Balzan v.  Estonia, 12 November 2017
MF Clayton Failla (1986-01-08) 8 January 1986 (age 32) 56 2 Malta Floriana v.  Estonia, 12 November 2017
MF Mark Scerri (1990-01-16) 16 January 1990 (age 28) 3 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Estonia, 12 November 2017
MF Johann Bezzina (1994-05-30) 30 May 1994 (age 24) 0 0 Malta Hibernians v.
MF Andrea Borg (1999-11-12) 12 November 1999 (age 18) 0 0 England Peterborough United v.

FW André Schembri (1986-05-27) 27 May 1986 (age 32) 88 3 Cyprus Apollon Limassol v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
FW Jean Paul Farrugia (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 26) 11 1 Switzerland FC Chiasso v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
FW Siraj Arab (1994-03-25) 25 March 1994 (age 24) 0 0 Malta Hamrun v.  Finland, 27 March 2018
FW Lydon Micallef (1992-05-16) 16 May 1992 (age 26) 0 0 Malta Hamrun v.  Estonia, 12 November 2017

Results and fixtures

2017

2018

Records

As of 26 March 2018[14]

Most capped players

Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

Striker Michael Mifsud is the most capped player with 129 caps and top goalscorer with 40 goals

Players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Michael Mifsud 2000– 129 40
2 David Carabott 1987–2005 122 12
3 Gilbert Agius 1993–2008 119 8
4 Carmel Busuttil 1982–2001 111 23
5 Joe Brincat 1988–2004 101 6
6 John Buttigieg 1984–2000 97 1
7 Roderick Briffa 2003– 94 1
8 Brian Said 1996–2009 91 5
9 Silvio Vella 1988–2000 90 1
10 Andre Schembri 2006– 88 3

Top goalscorers

Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

# Name Career Goals Caps Average
1 Michael Mifsud 2000– 40 129 0.3101
2 Carmel Busuttil 1982–2001 23 111 0.2072
3 David Carabott 1987–2005 12 122 0.0984
4 Hubert Suda 1988–2003 8 70 0.1143
Gilbert Agius 1993–2008 8 119 0.0672
6 Raymond Xuereb 1971–1985 6 43 0.1395
Kristian Laferla 1986–1998 6 65 0.0923
Joe Brincat 1988–2004 6 101 0.0594
9 George Mallia 1999–2008 5 63 0.0794
Brian Said 1996–2009 5 91 0.0549

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

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 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974 Did not qualify 6 0 0 6 1 20
Argentina 1978 6 0 0 6 0 27
Spain 1982 4 0 0 4 2 15
Mexico 1986 8 0 1 7 6 25
Italy 1990 8 0 2 6 3 18
United States 1994 10 1 1 8 3 23
France 1998 10 0 0 10 2 37
South Korea Japan 2002 10 0 1 9 4 24
Germany 2006 10 0 3 7 4 32
South Africa 2010 10 0 1 9 0 26
Brazil 2014 10 1 0 9 5 28
Russia 2018 10 0 1 9 3 25
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total 0/21 102 2 10 90 33 300

UEFA European Football Championship

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Not a UEFA member Not a UEFA member
Spain 1964 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 2 9
Italy 1968 Did not enter Did not enter
Belgium 1972 Did not qualify 6 0 1 5 2 16
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 6 1 0 5 2 20
Italy 1980 6 0 1 5 2 21
France 1984 8 1 0 7 5 37
West Germany 1988 8 0 2 6 4 21
Sweden 1992 8 0 2 6 2 23
England 1996 10 0 2 8 2 22
Belgium Netherlands 2000 8 0 0 8 6 27
Portugal 2004 8 0 1 7 5 24
Austria Switzerland 2008 12 1 2 9 10 31
Poland Ukraine 2012 10 0 1 9 4 21
France 2016 10 0 2 8 3 16
European Union 2020 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/15 102 3 14 85 49 288

Mediterranean Games record

Mediterranean Games record
Year Round GP W D L GS GA
Egypt 1951 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Spain 1955 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Lebanon 1959 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 1963 - 4 0 0 4 4 18
Tunisia 1967 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Turkey 1971 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Algeria1975 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1979 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Morocco 1983 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Syria 1987 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
1991 – present See Malta national under-20 team
Total 1/10 4 0 0 4 4 18

All-time team record

As of 1 June 2018[15]

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

  1. ^ Includes matches against  Czechoslovakia.
  2. ^ Includes matches against  West Germany.

Managers

Managerial history

As of 26 March 2018
Manager Malta career Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
Malta Joe A. Griffiths 1957–1961 6 2 2 2 033.3
Malta Carm Borg 1961–1964 9 0 2 7 000.0
Hungary Janos Bedl 1966 2 2 0 0 100.0
Malta Tony Formosa[1] 1966 10 1 1 8 010.0
Malta Joseph Attard 1969 1 0 0 1 000.0
Malta Saviour Cuschieri 1970 1 0 1 0 000.0
Malta Victor Scerri 1973 2 1 0 1 050.0
Italy Terrenzio Polverini 1974–1976 9 1 2 6 011.1
Malta John Calleja 1976–1978 11 2 1 8 018.2
Malta Victor Scerri 1978–1983 26 3 3 20 011.5
Bulgaria Guentcho Dobrev 1984–1987 21 1 4 16 004.8
Germany Horst Heese 1988–1991 36 3 8 25 008.3
Malta Pippo Psaila 1991–1993 17 5 4 8 029.4
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Bokun 1993 4 1 0 3 025.0
Italy Pietro Ghedin 1993–1995 24 4 5 15 016.7
Malta Robert Gatt 1996 3 0 1 2 000.0
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milorad Kosanović 1996–1997 15 0 2 13 000.0
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Josif Ilić 1997–2001 41 5 4 32 012.2
Germany Sigfried Held 2001–2003 21 4 5 12 019.0
Germany Horst Heese[2] 2003–2006 15 1 2 12 006.7
Czech Republic Dušan Fitzel[2] 2006–2009 34 3 4 27 008.8
Malta John Buttigieg[2] 2009–2011 21 2 3 16 009.5
Malta Robert Gatt[3] 2012 1 1 0 0 100.0
Italy Pietro Ghedin 2012–2017 48 7 6 35 014.6
Belgium Tom Saintfiet 2017–2018 3 0 0 3 000.0
Malta Ray Farrugia 2018– 0 0 0 0 !
  1. ^ 1 match with Janos Bedl
  2. ^ a b c assisted by Carmel Busuttil
  3. ^ managed the team on a one-off basis as caretaker manager

FIFA ranking

Rank Date
Worst Ever Rank 191[9] July 2017, September 2017
Best Ever Rank 66 (twice) September 1994, September 1995
Current Rank 185 [19] April 2018

References

  1. ^ "History of the Malta Football Association". Malta Football Association. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Malta's International 'A' Matches". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Brincat, Henry (15 October 2006). "Malta 2–1 Hungary". The Malta Independent. 
  4. ^ "Malta v England: Clockwatch". BBC. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Malta 1–1 Northern Ireland". BBC. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Malta to play Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria on 30 May". The Malta Independent. 22 December 2007. 
  7. ^ Huggins, Trevor (9 September 2007). "England notch easy win against Israel". Reuters UK. 
  8. ^ "Five-goal Mifsud inspires Malta to massive win". The Times of Malta. 27 March 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Malta make ground from Swiss denial". fifa.com. 7 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "High-profile friendly a useful test – Buttigieg". The Times of Malta. 11 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Malta-Maceddonia draw 1–1". The Times of Malta. 11 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Grech, Kevin (10 August 2011). "Mifsud the hero as Malta defeat Central African Republic". maltatoday.com. 
  13. ^ "Malta fires national coach John Buttigieg". ESPN. 26 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Roberto Mamrud. "Malta – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Malta". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". fifa.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 

External links

  • Official site of the Malta Football Association
  • RSSSF archive of results from 1957
  • Reports for all matches of the Maltese national football team
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