Armenia national football team
The Armenia national football team (Armenian: Հայաստանի ֆուտբոլի ազգային հավաքական, Hayastani futboli azgayin havak'akan) represents Armenia in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation of Armenia, the governing body for football in Armenia. After gaining independence from the Soviet Union, the team played its first international match on October 12, 1992. The national team has participated in the qualification of every major tournament from the UEFA Euro 1996 onwards, though they are yet to qualify for the final stages of either a UEFA European Football Championship or a FIFA World Cup. In what was the Armenian national squad's greatest success at present, the team came in third place in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage, with controversial officiating preventing them from achieving second place, and hence moving on to the play-off stage.
|Nickname(s)||Հավաքական Havaqakan (The Collective team)|
|Association||Football Federation of Armenia|
|Head coach||Joaquín Caparrós|
|Most caps||Sargis Hovsepyan (132)|
|Top scorer||Henrikh Mkhitaryan (29)|
|Home stadium||Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium,|
|Current||102 (16 July 2020)|
|Highest||30 (February 2014)|
|Lowest||159 (July 1994)|
| Armenia 0–0 Moldova |
(Yerevan, Armenia; October 14, 1992)
| Armenia 7–1 Guatemala |
(Los Angeles, California, USA; May 28, 2016)
| Italy 9–1 Armenia |
(Palermo, Italy; November 18, 2019)
The primary training ground is at the Technical Center-Academy of the Football Federation of Armenia in the northern Avan District of the capital Yerevan, and the team plays their home matches at the Republican Stadium.
Armenia became an independent state in 1991, the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic having previously played for the Soviet Union national football team. The Football Federation of Armenia was founded on 18 January 1992 and established relations with FIFA in 1992 and with UEFA in 1993. The history of the Armenia national team began on 14 October 1992, when Armenia played its first match against Moldova. That meeting ended in a goalless draw. Since 1996, the team is a member of qualifiers European and World Championships. Armenia has competed in every UEFA European Championship qualifying and FIFA World Cup qualification since 1994.
The first head coach of the Armenian national squad was Soviet Armenian football star Eduard Markarov. Armenian winner of the UEFA Jubilee Awards and fellow Soviet Armenian football great Khoren Oganesian also became a head coach. Many of the early coaches of the national team never stayed for longer than two years. Scottish coach Ian Porterfield became head coach in 2006 and began to lead the team to some of its first successes in the international stage. Under his leadership, the Armenian team had played a series of great matches with victories over Kazakhstan 2–1, Poland 1–0 and Portugal 1–1, with Cristiano Ronaldo in the lineup. But then tragedy struck; the 62-year-old Porterfield died of cancer, leaving his started work unfinished. An acting assistant coach, Vardan Minasyan, became acting head coach following Porterfield's death. Minasyan learned much from Porterfield and Samvel Darbinyan, another former head coach of Armenia, during this time about coaching and managing. On February 10, 2009, after the draw for the qualifying round teams of the UEFA Euro 2012, by order of the President of the Football Federation of Armenia Ruben Hayrapetyan, Minasyan continued to lead the Armenian national squad, only now as the official head coach.
In the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying matches, Minasyan led Armenia in Group B against Russia, Slovakia, Ireland, Macedonia and Andorra. Armenia, considered a heavy underdog, defeated the group favorite Slovakia with two crushing defeats 4–0 and 3–1, defeated Andorra in two matches as well 4–0 and 3–0, drew with Macedonia 2–2 and defeated them in the deciding match 4–1 and tied with the group winners Russia 0–0. The Armenian team scored the most goals out of Group B, with a total of 22. Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Armenia scored 6 goals, the most goals scored by a single player in Group B. The national team almost made the final draw, but controversially lost in a decisive match against Ireland 1–2. Armenian goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky was given a red card by Spanish referee Eduardo Gonzalez at the 26th-minute for supposedly touching the ball outside the goal area. However, replays clearly showed the ball touched his chest and never touched his hands. Replays also showed that Ireland striker Simon Cox had actually touched the ball with his right hand. Despite this, Gonzalez did not penalize Cox. Cox would later admit he touched the ball with his hand. Had Cox’s offence been punished, Armenia would have been awarded a free-kick. Berezovsky was substituted with 19-year-old debuting Arsen Petrosyan. Valeri Aleksanyan later accidentally scored an own goal past Petrosyan, which ended up deciding the match. Armenia and Ireland would each score another goal. The Football Federation of Armenia unsuccessfully filed protest over the match. Gonzalez had later resigned after the match. Despite not getting to play in the UEFA Euro 2012, Minasyan brought the Armenian national team to a record #41 FIFA ranking, placed the team in a personal best third place in the group stage and went on to become the longest leading head coach of the Armenian football team. Minasyan stated he was proud of the entire team. They were all welcomed in the airport back in Armenia as heroes.
After the incredible UEFA Euro 2012 run, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 qualifiers were not successful, with the Armenian side stood near bottom in the 2014 World Cup run and even finished last without a single win in Euro 2016 campaign. Armenia salvaged some few pride in 2018 World Cup qualification when the Armenians managed to create a shocking 3–2 home win over Montenegro, which contributed to Montenegro's failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After these disappointments, Vardan Minasyan returned to lead Armenia in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League D, but finished behind Macedonia, including a humiliating 0–1 home loss to Gibraltar. Due to this humiliation, Minasyan was sacked and Armen Gyulbudaghyants was appointed new coach of Armenian side. The Armenians participated in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying along with giants Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, former European champions Greece, Finland and Liechtenstein. Armenia lost two opening fixtures to Bosnia 1–2 away and Finland 0–2 at home, and was supposed to get eliminated pretty early. However, Armenia began their resurgence following these losses, with a convincing 3–0 home cruise to Liechtenstein before managed to create a shocking 3–2 away win over Greece, former UEFA Euro 2004 champions. Armenia suffered a minor setback after losing at home to powerhouse Italy 1–3, before created another shock in their qualification with a 4–2 convincing win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same ground.
Hrazdan Stadium was built from 1969 to 1970 on Athens St., Kentron in a period of 18 months with the financial support of the oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. A total amount of 5 million rubles was allocated for Hrazdan. The stadium was named after the slope of the Hrazdan River. It is the largest stadium in Armenia, with more than 70,000 seats. The opening of the stadium took place on 29 November 1970. The Armenia national team played home matches in Hrazdan until 2000. Several Armenian football clubs also played in Hrazdan. In Soviet times, it was one of the largest stadiums in the Soviet Union (among the top four) and one of the few double-tiered stadiums. Hrazdan was the football ground stadium for Ararat Yerevan. Hrazdan Stadium hosted its first official football match on 19 May 1971 when Ararat Yerevan defeated Kairat 3–0 in front of a record 78,000 spectators. The stadium would host Ararat Yerevan for the final victory of the club in the 1973 Soviet Top League and in the 1973 and 1975 Soviet Cup. The Soviet Union national football team played only two matches at the stadium, both of which date back to 1978. In April of that year, in a friendly game against Finland, the USSR won 10–2. Six months later, in a qualifying match for the UEFA Euro 1980 against Greece the Soviet team won again 2–0. The match with Finland hosted 12,000 spectators and the match with Greece hosted 40,000. The capacity of the stadium decreased from 70,000 to an all-seater of 53,849 spectators. By the second half of 2012, Hrazdan was completely renovated to become the regular venue of the national team's home matches.
The Republican Stadium was renovated in 1999 and, since 2000, has been the home ground for Armenia. The stadium was built in 1953 and finished within a year's time. Republican Stadium has a capacity of 14,968. During the Soviet period and onward from 1953 to 1999, it was known as Dinamo Stadium. The stadium had its official name changed to "Republican Stadium named after Vazgen Sargsyan" in 1999, after Armenian war hero and former Prime Minister of Armenia Vazgen Sargsyan, who died that year. Local clubs Pyunik and Ulisses play home matches at the Republican Stadium. In 2008, the stadium went under a large-scale development in order to modernize the playing surface and to create a high level VIP section and other facilities which met UEFA standards.
Armenia played a match in Hrazdan in 2008 against Turkey after partial renovation earlier that year. The number of seats decreased from 75,000 to 53,849. It is planned to hold Armenia's home matches after a complete renovation in 2012. On 12 October 2012, Armenia played a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Italy, but has not used Hrazdan since. Hrazdan is used mostly for Armenian football clubs and a number of other athletic competitions.
FIFA World Cup recordEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930 to 1990||Part of Soviet Union|
|1994||Did not enter|
|1998||Did not qualify||10||1||5||4||8||17||4/6|
|2022||To be determined||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
UEFA European Championship recordEdit
|UEFA European Championship record||UEFA European Championship qualifying record|
|1960 to 1992||Part of Soviet Union|
|1996||Did not qualify||10||1||2||7||5||17||6/6|
|2024||To be determined||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
UEFA Nations League recordEdit
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||C||To be determined|
Recent results and forthcoming fixturesEdit
|5 September 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying||Armenia||1–3||Italy||Yerevan, Armenia|
||Report||Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium|
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
|8 September 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying||Armenia||4–2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Yerevan, Armenia|
|21:45 (UTC+4)||Report||Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium|
Referee: Benoît Bastien (France)
|12 October 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying||Liechtenstein||1–1||Armenia||Vaduz, Liechtenstein|
||Stadium: Rheinpark Stadion|
Referee: István Kovács (Romania)
|15 October 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying||Finland||3–0||Armenia||Turku, Finland|
|19:00 (UTC+3)||Report||Stadium: Veritas Stadion|
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)
|15 November 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying||Armenia||0–1||Greece||Yerevan, Armenia|
||Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium|
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (Poland)
|18 November 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying||Italy||9–1||Armenia||Palermo, Italy|
||Stadium: Stadio Renzo Barbera|
Referee: Tiago Martins (Portugal)
|5 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA|
|North Macedonia||v||Armenia||Skopje, North Macedonia|
|15:00||Stadium: Toše Proeski Arena|
|8 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA|
|20:00||Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium|
|8 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA|
|20:00||Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium|
|11 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA|
|19:00||Stadium: A. Le Coq Arena|
|13 November 2020 2020–21 UEFA|
|21:00||Stadium: Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena|
The following players were called up for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Greece and Italy on 15 and 18 November 2019.
Caps and goals correct as of 18 November 2019 after the match against Italy.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|12||GK||Gevorg Kasparov||25 July 1980||29||0||Shirak|
|16||GK||Aram Ayrapetyan||22 November 1986||18||0||Paykan|
|1||GK||Arsen Beglaryan||18 February 1993||14||0||Urartu|
|3||DF||Varazdat Haroyan||24 August 1992||49||2||Ural Yekaterinburg|
|19||DF||Hovhannes Hambardzumyan (Vice-Captain)||4 October 1990||35||3||Anorthosis Famagusta|
|4||DF||Taron Voskanyan||22 February 1993||27||0||Alashkert|
|15||DF||Hayk Ishkhanyan||24 June 1989||11||1||Gandzasar|
|2||DF||André Calisir||13 June 1990||8||0||IFK Göteborg|
|14||DF||Arman Hovhannisyan||5 October 1992||3||0||Tobol|
|6||DF||Armen Manucharyan||3 February 1995||2||0||Rotor Volgograd|
|10||DF||Artur Danielyan||9 February 1998||0||0||Ararat-Armenia|
|13||MF||Kamo Hovhannisyan||5 October 1992||48||0||Kairat|
|17||MF||Artak Yedigaryan||18 March 1990||32||1||Ararat|
|5||MF||Artak Grigoryan||19 October 1987||25||1||Alashkert|
|21||MF||Rumyan Hovsepyan||13 November 1991||22||2||Arda Kardzhali|
|23||MF||Artem Simonyan||20 February 1995||10||0||Noah|
|9||MF||Edgar Babayan||28 October 1995||8||1||Hobro|
|18||MF||Erik Vardanyan||7 June 1998||4||1||Sochi|
|7||MF||Petros Avetisyan||7 January 1996||4||0||Tobol|
|11||FW||Artur Sarkisov||19 January 1987||41||6|
|8||FW||Tigran Barseghyan||22 September 1993||28||5||Astana|
|20||FW||Aleksandre Karapetian||23 December 1987||13||5||Tambov|
|22||FW||Gegham Harutyunyan||23 August 1990||0||0||Gandzasar|
The following players were called up in the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Henri Avagyan||16 January 1996||1||0||Van||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
|GK||Anatoliy Ayvazov||6 August 1996||0||0||Urartu||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
|GK||Arman Meliksetyan||21 July 1995||0||0||Noah||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8 September 2019|
|DF||Jordy Monroy||3 January 1996||2||0||Noah||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Gevorg Ghazaryan||5 April 1988||71||13||AEL Limassol||v. Finland, 15 October 2019 INJ|
|MF||Marcos Pizzelli||3 October 1984||66||11||Ararat-Armenia||v. Finland, 15 October 2019 RET|
|MF||Aras Özbiliz||9 March 1990||41||6||Pyunik||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Gor Malakyan||12 June 1994||18||0||Pyunik||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Captain)||21 January 1989||86||29||Roma||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8 September 2019 INJ|
|MF||Karlen Mkrtchyan||25 November 1988||56||2||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8 September 2019|
|MF||Armen Ambartsumyan||11 April 1994||0||0||Ararat-Armenia||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8 September 2019|
|FW||Sargis Adamyan||23 May 1993||19||1||1899 Hoffenheim||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
|FW||Artur Miranyan||27 December 1995||1||0||v. Finland, 15 October 2019|
Lists of the ten players with the most caps top goalscorers and top assists for Armenia, as of 15 October 2019 (players in bold are still available for selection):
Last updated: 16 October 2019.
Last updated: 16 October 2019.
UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, group JEdit
|1||Italy||10||10||0||0||37||4||+33||30||Qualify for final tournament||—||2–0||2–0||2–1||9–1||6–0|
|4||Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||4||1||5||20||17||+3||13||0–3||4–1||2–2||—||2–1||5–0|
- As of 10 March 2020
|Andranik Adamyan (caretaker)||2002||1||1||0||0||2||0||100%|
|Andranik Adamyan (caretaker)||2003||1||0||0||1||0||2||0%|
| Vardan Minasyan (caretaker)
Tom Jones (caretaker)
|Sargis Hovsepyan (caretaker)||2015||4||0||1||3||2||9||0%|
All-time head-to-head recordEdit
|Positive balance (more wins)|
|Neutral balance (equal W/L ratio)|
|Negative balance (more losses)|
|Armenia all-time head-to-head record|
As of 18 November 2019, after the match against Italy.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4||1||0||3||6||10||-4|
|Republic of Ireland||2||0||0||2||1||3||-2|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||1||1||0||0||5||0||+5|
Jerseys and ColourEdit
The home gear color were previously the Red-Blue-Orange Armenian tricolour, designed by Stepan Malkhasyants. All three colors were on the first Armenian national team jerseys ever designed. The definition of the colors, as stated in government website, is:
- The Red emblematizes the Armenian Highland, the Armenian people's continued struggle for survival, maintenance of the Orthodox Christian faith, Armenia's independence and freedom. The Blue emblematizes the will of the people of Armenia to live beneath peaceful skies. The Orange emblematizes the creative talent and hard-working nature of the people of Armenia.
In the Euro 2012 qualification matches, played in 2010 and 2011, Armenia's home colors were red-blue-red, produced by Hummel. Beginning with May 2012 friendly with Greece, Armenia switched to all-red home colours and all-white away kit produced Adidas.
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