Azerbaijan national football team
The Azerbaijan national football team (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan milli futbol komandası) is the national football team of Azerbaijan and is controlled by Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan. It represents Azerbaijan in international football competitions. The majority of Azerbaijan's home matches are held at the national stadium, Baku Olympic Stadium, with friendly matches sometimes hosted at club stadiums.
|Nickname(s)||Milli (The National Team)|
|Head coach||Nikola Jurčević|
|Most caps||Rashad Sadygov (111)|
|Top scorer||Gurban Gurbanov (14)|
|Home stadium||Baku Olympic Stadium|
|Current||108 (4 April 2019)|
|Highest||73 (July 2014)|
|Lowest||170 (June 1994)|
|Current||105 6 (27 March 2019)|
|Highest||51 (28 June 1928)|
|Lowest||152 (2 June 2001)|
| Georgia 6–3 Azerbaijan |
(Gurjaani, Georgia; 17 September 1992)
| Azerbaijan 4–0 Liechtenstein |
(Baku, Azerbaijan; 5 June 1999)
Azerbaijan 5–1 San Marino
(Baku, Azerbaijan; 4 September 2017)
| France 10–0 Azerbaijan |
(Auxerre, France; 6 September 1995)
|UEFA Nations League|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2018)|
The Azerbaijan national football team has taken part in qualification for each major tournament since Euro 96, but has never qualified for the finals tournament of any World Cup or European Championships.
Early period (before the 1920s)Edit
In the early twentieth century, football began to become popular in Azerbaijan, which was then part of the Russian Empire. In 1912, Azerbaijani football players had their first "international match" and they won in Tbilisi, Georgia against the local "Sokol" team with 4:2. During 1912–1913, matches between Azerbaijani and Georgian football teams were organized, first in Tbilisi and then in Baku. In 1914 the Football Union was founded in Azerbaijan. The Football Union undertook the organization of official city championships and other competitions.
Soviet era (1920s–1991)Edit
The oldest records of football teams in Soviet Azerbaijan goes back to 1926–1927, when Trans-Caucasian Championship was organized in Tbilisi. Three South Caucasian countries participated: Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The Azerbaijan national football team held its first friendly matches against Georgia and Armenia in 1927 for the Trans-Caucasian Championship in Georgia. Also in 1926 footbal players from Azerbaijan played three matches with Football team from Iran in Baku. In 1929 there were played three matches between these teams in Tehran. In all matches Azerbaijan players won.
The 1960s is considered the Golden Age for Azerbaijani football as it produced great players like Anatoliy Banishevskiy, Alakbar Mammadov and the football referee Tofiq Bahramov, most famous for being the linesman who helped to award a goal for England in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany.
After Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991, AFFA — Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan — was created. In 1992, renowned Azerbaijani footballer Alekper Mamedov became the first head coach of the Azeribaijani national football team, compiling a 3–1 record as coach that includes the first ever national team victory, over Georgia on May 25, 1993. In 1994, the national team was accepted into FIFA and UEFA. The security issues, forced the team to play all of its home Euro 96 qualifiers in Trabzon, Turkey.
As of the early 2000s, AFFA started to integrate more players to the national team through FIFA's eligibility rules. In February 2004, Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of the Brazil team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup was appointed its national coach. Despite a poor start, a 0–6 defeat to Israel on February 18, Azerbaijan won their first ever away match, 3–2 against Kazakhstan on April 28. In June 2005, following a 3–0 defeat by Poland, Torres stood down from the position, to be replaced by former Neftchi coach Vagif Sadygov, his third spell as coach of Azerbaijan. Shahin Diniyev took over as manager in November 2005. He resigned on 31 October 2007, and Gjoko Hadzievski was named as care-taking coach of Azerbaijan.
In April 2008, former German football player and coach Berti Vogts was appointed as a manager of Azerbaijan on a two-year contract. Azerbaijan had a mixed qualifying campaign, finishing with 5 points, just missing out on a last place to Liechtenstein with 2 points.
In 2010, following a shock win over Turkey, the team reached 90th place in FIFA World Rankings, Azerbaijan's highest position ever in country's football history. After victory over Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan also broke their scoring and points records by gaining 7 points and scoring 10 goals.
In November 2011, AFFA extended Berti Vogts' contract a further two years, until end of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification cycle. Under Vogts, Azerbaijan had some poor results, not being able to defeat second-string sides. Vogts faced major criticism, protest and demonstration from local supporters and the media. However, Azerbaijan managed to finish qualification cycle in fourth place, the team's best ever finish. In December 2013, Vogts being granted a new two-year contract, with aim to lead Azerbaijan through EURO 2016 qualifying. On July 2014, Azerbaijan beat its ranking record by reaching 73rd place in FIFA World Rankings. Following three straight losses, Vogts resigned from his post after spending six years in charge of Azerbaijan.
Succeeding Vogts as full-time manager was former Croatia international Robert Prosinečki. He guided the Azeri team to another record points haul (10) in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, but the team still finished fifth in the six-team Group C. Prosinečki resigned after deciding not to extend his contract with the Azerbaijan football federation.
As of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying round, Azerbaijan's home colours are all-red kit. The team wears an all-blue kit for away games. This combination of colours are traditional for the national team since their first game. In the beginning of 90s the team has worn a white shirt, to the end of decade it has been transformated into blue-white striped shirts. At the beginning of the 2000s, the kit was replaced by the white shirt with a vertical tricolour stripe, color originating from the national flag of Azerbaijan on the chest. The kit was changed into blue shirts, red shorts and green socks only for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying round. After the tournament, the national team went back to their usual combination of colours.
Azerbaijan national team's away colours were yellow-black striped shirts, black shorts and yellow socks until UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying round, when it was decided to abandon this kit in favor of the completely blue. During the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying round games the team has used an all red kit.
Since 2017, Azerbaijan's kit have been supplied by Nike. They took over from Puma who were Azerbaijan's kit suppliers between 2004 and 2006. Before that Umbro were Azerbaijan's kit suppliers between 2002 and 2004.
Azerbaijan is often referred to by the media and supporters as Milli (The National), which is the nickname associated with all of Azerbaijan's international sporting teams due to the team's utilization of the country's national colors.
Media coverage and public relationsEdit
Most of Azerbaijan's home matches are played at the new Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku. It has been Azerbaijan's primary home stadium ever since the move from Tofiq Bahramov Stadium in 2015. Today, some qualifying matches and friendly matches are still hosted at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, whereas others are hosted at the Lankaran City Stadium, Bakcell Arena and Dalga Arena after it met UEFA stadium criteria.
- ECO Cup 1993 – Bronze
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||8||1||0||7||3||22||5/5|
|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||0||1||9||2||29||6/6|
|2020||To be determined||1||0||0||1||1||2|
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group CEdit
|1||Germany||10||10||0||0||43||4||+39||30||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||2–0||3–0||6–0||5–1||7–0|
|2||Northern Ireland||10||6||1||3||17||6||+11||19||Advance to second round||1–3||—||2–0||2–0||4–0||4–0|
2018–19 UEFA Nations League & Euro 2020 qualifiersEdit
|1||Kosovo (P)||6||4||2||0||15||2||+13||14||Promotion to League C||—||4–0||2–0||3–1|
|1||Slovakia||2||1||0||1||2||1||+1||3[a]||Qualify for final tournament||—||10 Oct||2–0||6 Sep||19 Nov|
|2||Wales||1||1||0||0||1||0||+1||3[a]||1–0||—||19 Nov||13 Oct||6 Sep|
|3||Hungary||2||1||0||1||2||3||−1||3[a]||9 Sep||11 Jun||—||2–1||13 Oct|
|4||Croatia||2||1||0||1||3||3||0||3[a]||16 Nov||8 Jun||10 Oct||—||2–1|
|5||Azerbaijan||1||0||0||1||1||2||−1||0||11 Jun||16 Nov||8 Jun||9 Sep||—|
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
- Head-to-head points: Slovakia 3, Wales 3, Hungary 3, Croatia 0. Head-to-head goal difference: Slovakia 1, Wales 1, Hungary –1. Head-to-head goals scored: Slovakia 2, Wales 1.
Fixtures and resultsEdit
- For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page
|30 January Friendly||Azerbaijan||0–0||Moldova||Antalya, Turkey|
|20:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Report||Stadium: Mardan Sports Complex|
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (Turkey)
|23 March Friendly||Azerbaijan||0–1||Belarus||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|20:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Report||Medvedev 42' (o.g.)||Stadium: Baku Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Andris Treimanis (Latvia)
|27 March Friendly||Azerbaijan||1–1||Macedonia||Antalya, Turkey|
|20:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Almeida 6' (pen.)||Report||Trajkovski 22' (pen.)||Stadium: Mardan Sports Complex|
Referee: Halis Özkahya (Turkey)
|29 May Friendly||Azerbaijan||3–0||Kyrgyzstan||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|20:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Medvedev 16'
|Report||Stadium: Baku Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Ali Palabıyık (Turkey)
|5 June Friendly||Kazakhstan||3–0||Azerbaijan||Astana, Kazakhstan|
|18:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Murtazayev 12'
|Report||Stadium: Astana Arena|
Referee: Alexandru Tean (Moldova)
|9 June Friendly||Latvia||1–3||Azerbaijan||Rīga, Latvia|
|19:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Uldriķis 90+3'||Report||Medvedev 20'
|Stadium: Daugava Stadium|
Referee: Denis Scherbakov (Belarus)
|7 September 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Azerbaijan||0–0||Kosovo||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|20:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Report||Stadium: Baku Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Ola Hobber Nilsen (Norway)
|10 September 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Malta||1–1||Azerbaijan||Ta' Qali, Malta|
|22:45 AZST (UTC+4)||Agius 10' (pen.)||Report||Khalilzade 26'||Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (Montenegro)
|11 October 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Faroe Islands||0–3||Azerbaijan||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands|
|22:45 AZST (UTC+4)||Report||Almeida 28', 86' (pen.)
Referee: Aleksei Eskov (Russia)
|14 October 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Azerbaijan||1–1||Malta||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|20:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Abdullayev 53'||Report||Muscat 37'||Stadium: Baku Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia)
|17 November 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Azerbaijan||2–0||Faroe Islands||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|21:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Nazarov 18'
|Report||Stadium: Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Demetrios Masias (Cyprus)
|20 November 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Kosovo||4–0||Azerbaijan||Pristina, Kosovo|
|23:45 AZST (UTC+4)||Zeneli 2', 50', 76'
|Report||Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium|
Referee: Benoît Millot (France)
|21 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Croatia||2–1||Azerbaijan||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb|
||Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)|
|25 March 2019 Friendly||Azerbaijan||0–0||Lithuania||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||Report||Referee: Horațiu Fesnic (Romania)|
|8 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan||v||Hungary||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||Report|
|11 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan||v||Slovakia||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||Report|
|6 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Wales||v||Azerbaijan||Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff|
|20:45 (19:45 UTC+1)||Report|
|9 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan||v||Croatia||Olympic Stadium, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||Report|
|16 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan||v||Wales||Olympic Stadium, Baku|
|18:00 (21:00 UTC+4)||Report|
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Salahat Aghayev||4 January 1991||16||0||Neftçi|
|12||GK||Emil Balayev||17 April 1994||0||0||Tobol|
|23||GK||Shahruddin Mahammadaliyev||22 June 1994||0||0||Qarabağ|
|5||DF||Maksim Medvedev (captain)||29 September 1989||56||3||Qarabağ|
|6||DF||Badavi Huseynov||11 July 1991||43||0||Qarabağ|
|21||DF||Tamkin Khalilzade||6 August 1993||11||1||Sabah|
|4||DF||Rahil Mammadov||24 November 1995||8||0||Qarabağ|
|3||DF||Shahriyar Rahimov||6 April 1989||2||0||Sabail|
|15||DF||Omar Buludov||15 December 1998||0||0||Neftçi|
|18||DF||Anton Krivotsyuk||20 August 1998||1||0||Neftçi|
|2||MF||Gara Garayev||12 October 1992||50||0||Qarabağ|
|13||MF||Dimitrij Nazarov||4 April 1990||39||8||Erzgebirge Aue|
|7||MF||Araz Abdullayev||18 April 1992||33||3||Qarabağ|
|9||MF||Namik Alaskarov||3 February 1995||16||0||Neftçi|
|20||MF||Richard Almeida||20 March 1989||16||3||Qarabağ|
|8||MF||Emin Mahmudov||27 April 1992||11||1||Neftçi|
|14||MF||Eddi Israfilov||2 August 1992||10||0||Alcorcón|
|19||MF||Ali Babayev||1 November 1990||1||0||Sumgayit|
|16||FW||Rufat Dadashov||29 September 1991||22||4||Preußen Münster|
|11||FW||Ramil Sheydayev||15 March 1996||18||2||Krylia Sovetov|
|10||FW||Mahir Madatov||1 July 1997||15||2||Qarabağ|
|22||FW||Mirabdulla Abbasov||24 July 1995||3||0||Neftçi|
The following players have also been called up to the Azerbaijan squad within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Kamran Agayev||9 February 1986||79||0||Keşla||v. Faroe Islands, 17 November 2018|
|GK||Anar Nazirov||8 September 1985||4||0||Gabala||v. Latvia, 9 June 2018|
|DF||Urfan Abbasov||14 October 1992||10||1||Gabala||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|DF||Pavel Pashayev||4 January 1988||17||0||Oleksandriya||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|DF||Shahriyar Aliyev||25 December 1992||0||0||Sumgayit||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|DF||Tural Akhundov||1 August 1988||2||0||Neftçi||v. Faroe Islands, 17 November 2018|
|DF||Mahammad Mirzabeyov||16 November 1990||18||0||Neftçi||v. Malta, 14 October 2018|
|DF||Bakhtiyar Hasanalizade||29 December 1992||0||0||Zira||v. Malta, 14 October 2018|
|DF||Ruslan Abışov||10 October 1987||56||4||Neftçi||v. Latvia, 9 June 2018|
|DF||Ilgar Gurbanov||25 April 1986||30||1||Gabala||v. Latvia, 9 June 2018|
|DF||Ufuk Budak||26 May 1990||17||0||Boluspor||v. Latvia, 9 June 2018|
|DF||Slavik Alkhasov||6 February 1993||0||0||Keşla||v. Latvia, 9 June 2018|
|MF||Aleksey Isayev||9 November 1995||0||0||Sumgayit||v. Croatia, 21 March 2019INJ|
|MF||Rahid Amirguliyev||1 September 1989||60||3||Sabail||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|MF||Javid Imamverdiyev||1 August 1990||11||1||Sabah||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|MF||Afran Ismayilov||8 October 1988||40||5||Sumgayit||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|MF||Javid Huseynov||9 March 1988||54||2||Gabala||v. Malta, 10 September 2018|
|MF||Joshgun Diniyev||13 September 1995||8||0||Sabah||v. Malta, 10 September 2018|
|MF||Rahman Hajiyev||25 July 1993||7||0||Neftçi||v. Malta, 10 September 2018|
|FW||Ruslan Gurbanov||12 September 1991||26||1||Sabail||v. Kosovo, 20 November 2018|
|FW||Rauf Aliyev||12 February 1989||47||7||Gabala||v. Malta, 10 September 2018|
|FW||Amil Yunanov||6 January 1993||4||0||Keşla||v. Latvia, 9 June 2018|
- INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury.
- PRE = Preliminary squad
- RET = Retired from international football.
|Head coach||Nikola Jurčević|
|Assistant coach||Mario Tokić|
|Assistant coach||Arif Asadov|
|Fitness coach||Frano Leko|
|Video Analyst||Armin Alibegović|
All time record against other national teamsEdit
- As of 26 March 2019
|Manager||Azerbaijan career||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win %|
|Ahmad Alaskarov||17 September 1992||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|Alakbar Mammadov||25 May 1993 – 8 June 1993||4||3||1||0||75.00|
| Kazbek Tuayev (caretaker)
Agaselim Mirjavadov (caretaker)
|19 April 1994||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|Agaselim Mirjavadov||2 September 1994 – 6 September 1995||9||0||0||9||0.00|
|Kazbek Tuayev||11 October 1995 – 10 November 1996||11||3||3||5||27.27|
|Vagif Sadygov||1 March 1997 – 28 November 1998||20||6||3||11||30.00|
|Ahmad Alaskarov||6 March 1999 – 9 October 1999||9||1||2||6||11.11|
|Asgar Abdullayev (caretaker)||6 February 2000 – 4 June 2000||4||0||2||2||0.00|
|Igor Ponomaryov||26 July 2000 – 7 October 2001||15||2||2||11||13.33|
|Kazbek Tuayev (caretaker)||20 February 2002 – 27 March 2002||2||0||0||2||0.00|
|Vagif Sadygov||17 April 2002 – 12 October 2002||8||1||4||3||12.50|
|Asgar Abdullayev||20 November 2002 – 20 December 2003||9||1||2||6||11.11|
|Carlos Alberto Torres||18 February 2004 – 4 June 2005||18||2||6||10||11.11|
|Vagif Sadygov (caretaker)||17 August 2005 – 12 October 2005||4||0||1||3||0.00|
|Shahin Diniyev||28 February 2006 – 17 October 2007||20||4||7||9||20.00|
|Gjoko Hadžievski (caretaker)||17 November 2007 – 3 February 2008||3||0||1||2||0.00|
|Nazim Suleymanov (caretaker)||26 March 2008||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|Berti Vogts||1 June 2008 – 13 October 2014||71||15||22||34||21.13|
|Mahmud Gurbanov (caretaker)||16 November 2014||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|Robert Prosinečki||28 March 2015 – 8 October 2017||23||6||6||11||26.09|
|Gurban Gurbanov||30 January 2018 – 20 November 2018||12||4||5||3||33.33|
|Nikola Jurčević||11 February 2019 –||2||0||1||1||0.00|
Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for Azerbaijan, as of 30 January 2018 (players in bold are still available for selection):
- Azerbaijan national under-23 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-21 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-20 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-19 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-18 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-17 football team
- Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan
- Azerbaijan Premier League
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