The Baltic Cup (Estonian: Balti turniir, Latvian: Baltijas kauss, Lithuanian: Baltijos taurė) is an international football competition contested by the national teams of the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Finland has also participated in the event twice as a guest. Though originally held annually the competition has been biennial since 2008. The 2020 tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, and took place in 2021. It is one of the oldest national teams football tournaments in Europe after the British Home Championship, and the oldest of the ones still organized.
|Number of teams||3|
(+ possible guests)
|Current champions|| Estonia|
|Most successful team(s)|| Latvia|
|2020 Baltic Cup|
As Estonia had unofficially declared itself the Baltic football champion in 1925, 1926 and 1927 based on matches played with Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland it was decided in 1928 to organize an official tournament. Though Poland and Finland were invited to join, the tournament took place between the three Baltic nations.
The tournament was intended to improve relations between the nations, but intrigues around the organization and budget questions worked against this noble goal. The hosts always did everything to wear out their competitors. In 1933 Lithuanian hosts surprised the officials with a tour to a local brewery in the morning before the Lithuania–Latvia match. The Estonian newspaper Päevaleht reported that the Finnish referee for the match was really jolly, but did a horrible job, mostly favouring the Lithuanian hosts. The rules demanded that at least two wins were necessary to win the championship. Both Lithuania–Estonia and Lithuania–Latvia matches had been drawn but stopped due to darkness. In the team meeting Latvia demanded that Lithuania–Estonia match should be re-played first. Latvia was hoping for an advantage against a tired Lithuanian team in their match. Lithuania and Estonia disagreed, noting that Latvia had won their match against Estonia, so a Latvian win against Lithuania would grant the Latvians the championship and end the tournament. Consensus was not reached and the Latvian team left the same day. The championship was not awarded.
The feud led to the cancellation of the 1934 tournament, but the championship returned for the 1935. The rules were changed so that extra matches were now only held between leading teams if they were necessary for deciding on the championship. In 2021, for the 2020 Baltic Cup, Estonia won the Cup after a wait of 83 years.
- As of 2020.
|Totals (4 nations)||27||27||26||80|
- As of 2020. Including the 1933 tournament, but excluding the replay match played on 5 September 1933.
Top scorers per tournamentEdit
All-time top goalscorersEdit
This section possibly contains original research. (May 2022)
|1||Ēriks Pētersons||Latvia||9||1930(4), 1931(1), 1932(1), 1933(2) and 1935(1)|
|2||Antanas Lingis||Lithuania||6||1930(2), 1932(1), 1933(1) and 1935(2)|
|Eduard Ellman-Eelma||Estonia||1929(3), 1931(2) and 1935(1)|
|Iļja Vestermans||Latvia||1935(2), 1936(1) and 1937(3)|
|5||Alberts Šeibelis||Latvia||5||1932(2), 1933(1) and 1936(2)|
|6||Arnold Pihlak||Estonia||4||1928(3) and 1929(1)|
|Eugen Einman||Estonia||1929(3) and 1930(1)|
|Friedrich Karm||Estonia||1930(2) and 1931(2)|
|Jaroslavas Citavičius||Lithuania||1930(2), 1932 (1) and 1933(1)|
|Virginijus Baltušnikas||Lithuania||1992(3) and 1995(1)|
|Marians Pahars||Latvia||1997(1), 1998(1) and 2001(2)|
|Igoris Morinas||Lithuania||1997(1), 2003(1) and 2005(2)|
|Stepas Chmelevskis||Lithuania||1928(2) and 1930(1)|
|Georg Siimenson||Estonia||1936(1) and 1937(2)|
|Richard Kuremaa||Estonia||1933(1), 1936(1) and 1937(1)|
|Voldemaras Jaškevičius||Lithuania||1935(1), 1936(1) and 1938(1)|
|Vitālijs Astafjevs||Latvia||1993(1), 1994(1) and 1995(1)|
|Mattias Käit||Estonia||2018(1) and 2020(2)|
Since the first official tournament in 1928, 4 hat-tricks have been scored in over 50 matches of the 28 editions of the tournament. The first hat-trick was scored by Arnold Pihlak of the Estonia, playing against Lithuania on 26 July 1928; and the last was by Virginijus Baltušnikas of Lithuania, playing against Latvia on 12 July 1992. No player has ever scored two hat-tricks is the Baltic Cup and no player has ever scored more than 3 goals in a single Baltic Cup match.
|#||Player||G||Time of goals||For||Result||Against||Tournament||Date||FIFA|
|1.||Arnold Pihlak||3||1', 21', 57'||Estonia||6–0||Lithuania||1928 Baltic Cup||26 July 1928||Report|
|2.||Voldemārs Plade||3||51', 68', 86'||Latvia||3–1||Lithuania||1929 Baltic Cup||14 August 1929||Report|
|3.||Ēriks Pētersons||3||37', 61', 64'||Lithuania||3–3||Latvia||1930 Baltic Cup||17 August 1930||Report|
|4.||Virginijus Baltušnikas||3||28', 31', 79'||Lithuania||3–2||Latvia||1991 Baltic Cup||12 July 1992||Report|
- "Eiropas vecākā starptautiskā futbola turnīra vēstures līkloči un ceļš pretim jaunai atzinībai". Latvijas futbols. Maijs 2014. Latvijas Futbola federācija. 2014-05-20. Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
- "Eesti välispoliitika Balti suund 1926–1934" (PDF). University of Tartu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- "Balti turniir lõppes fiaskoga". dea.digar.ee. Maa Hääl. 6 September 1933. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- Allika, Andrus. "Vilniuses algas Balti turniir". Õhtuleht. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "EJL tegi ettepaneku uuendusteks Balti turniiril". Eesti Päevaleht. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "Baltic Cup Overview in rsssf.com". almis.sritis.lt. Retrieved 4 June 2018.