Finland national football team
The Finland national football team (Finnish: Suomen jalkapallomaajoukkue, Swedish: Finlands fotbollslandslag) represents Finland in men's international football competitions and is controlled by the Football Association of Finland, the governing body for football in Finland. The team has been a member of FIFA since 1904 and a UEFA member since 1957.
|Association||Football Association of Finland|
|Head coach||Markku Kanerva|
|Most caps||Jari Litmanen (137)|
|Top scorer||Jari Litmanen (32)|
|Home stadium||Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
|Current||54 (27 May 2021)|
|Highest||33 (March 2007)|
|Lowest||110 (July–August 2017)|
| Finland 2–5 Sweden |
(Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire; 22 October 1911)
Sweden 1–0 Finland
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1919)
| Finland 10–2 Estonia |
(Helsinki, Finland; 11 August 1922)
Finland 8–0 San Marino
(Helsinki, Finland; 17 November 2010)
| Germany 13–0 Finland |
(Leipzig, Germany; 1 September 1940)
|Appearances||1 (first in 2020)|
|Best result||Group stage (2020)|
|Appearances||4 (first in 1912)|
|Best result||Fourth place (1912)|
Unlike most European nations, ice hockey is very popular in Finland, which diverts athletic talent away from football, contributing to its historic lack of success in any major tournament qualifiers. Finland had never qualified for a major tournament until securing a spot at UEFA Euro 2020 (postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic). After many decades of relative obscurity, the nation made progression in the 2000s, achieving notable results against established European teams and reaching a peak of 33rd in the FIFA World Rankings in 2007. After a few years of poor results, they dipped to an all-time low of 110th in the FIFA rankings in 2017, but then began to rise up again and, as of June 2020, they sit at 58th.
The Football Association of Finland was founded in 1907 and became a member of FIFA in 1908. At the time, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire. Finland played its first international on 22 October 1911, as Sweden beat the Finns at the Eläintarha Stadium in Helsinki. Finland participated the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, beating Italy and the Russian Empire, but losing the bronze medal match against the Netherlands.
Period of dispersionEdit
After the 1918 Civil War, the Finnish sports movement was divided into the right-wing Finnish Gymnastics and Sports Federation (SVUL) and the leftist Finnish Workers' Sports Federation (TUL), Finnish Football Association was a member of the SVUL. Both sides had their own championship series, and between 1919 and 1939 the Finland national team was selected of the Football Association players only. The Finnish Workers' Sports Federation football team in turn, participated the competitions of the international labour movement.
However, since the late 1920s several top footballers defected from TUL and joined the Football Association to be eligible for the national team. During the 1930s, these ″defectors″ formed the spine of the national team. For example, the Finland squad at the 1936 Summer Olympics was composed of eight former TUL players. In 1937, Finland participated the FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, losing all three matches against Sweden, Germany and Estonia.
Since 1939, TUL players were selected to the national team and finally in 1956, the TUL and Football Association series were merged.
Finland also took part in European Championship qualifying since the 1968 event, but had to wait for its first win until 1978.
Later 20th centuryEdit
The results of the team improved somewhat in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Finland missed out on qualification for Euro 1980 by just a point and for the 1986 World Cup by two points. Finland was invited to take part in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow after many Western countries announced they would boycott the games, but failed to progress from its group.
By the mid-1990s Finland started to have more players in high-profile European leagues, led by the Ajax superstar Jari Litmanen. In 1996 Danish Euro 1992 winning coach Richard Møller Nielsen was hired to take Finland to the 1998 World Cup. The team enjoyed mixed fortunes in the campaign, high points of which were a draw and a win away to Norway and Switzerland respectively. Going into the last match, Finland would have needed a win at home to Hungary to earn a place in the play-offs. They led the game 1–0 going into injury time, but scored an own goal, and once again the dreams of qualification were over. Møller Nielsen also tried to lead Finland to Euro 2000. In this campaign the Finns recorded a sensational win away to Turkey, but couldn't compete with Germany and Turkey in the long run.
Antti Muurinen succeeded Møller Nielsen as coach in 2000. He had arguably the most talented group of Finnish players ever at his disposal, including players such as Antti Niemi, Sami Hyypiä, Teemu Tainio and Mikael Forssell in addition to the legendary Litmanen. The team also performed quite well under him in qualification for the 2002 World Cup despite a difficult draw, earning two draws against Germany and a home draw with England as well as beating Greece 5–1 in Helsinki. In the end, however, England and Germany proved too strong, and the Finns finished third in the group, but were the only team in that group not to lose at home. Hopes were high going into qualification for Euro 2004 after the promising last campaign and friendly wins over the likes of Norway, Belgium and Portugal (which seen the Finns jump from 40th–30th in the Elo ranking). However, Finland started the campaign by losing to Wales and Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro, now two separate nations). These losses were followed by two defeats by Italy, and a 3–0 home win over Serbia and Montenegro was little consolation, as the Finns finished fourth in the group. In qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finland failed to score a single point in six matches against the top three teams in their group, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Romania. Muurinen was sacked in June 2005, and he was replaced by caretaker Jyrki Heliskoski, but results didn't improve.
In August 2005, it was announced that Roy Hodgson would become the new Finland coach in 2006, and he started in the job in January of that year. Hodgson stepped down as manager after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008. His replacement was a Scotsman, Stuart Baxter, who signed a contract until the end of the 2012 European Championship qualification campaign.
In the Euro 2008 qualifying Finland needed to win their last qualifying game away at Portugal to qualify for their first major football tournament. However, the match ended 0–0 meaning the team missed out on qualification to the tournament, with Finland ending the group stage with 24 points and Portugal with 27 points. However, the performance in qualifying led to the Finns gaining their best-ever FIFA world ranking to date at the position of 33rd.
The 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign under new head coach Stuart Baxter saw Finland again finish third in their group with five wins, three draws and two defeats. They were the only team in qualifying not to lose to eventual 3rd-place finishers Germany; in both the home and away matches Finland had led Germany only to concede late equalisers. Finland finished a disappointing fourth in Euro 2012 qualifying, with only three wins, two of them against minnows San Marino.
In the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, Finland's best result was a 1–1 draw at reigning world champions Spain. They finished third in the five-team Group I, behind Spain and France. Finland finished fourth in Euro 2016 qualifying but achieved another noteworthy result. Joel Pohjanpalo's goal gave the Finns a 1–0 win at former European champions Greece, who had reached the second round of the 2014 World Cup and were the top seeds of their qualifying group.
On 15 November 2019, Finland managed to qualify to the first major tournament, UEFA Euro 2020, in their history after defeating Liechtenstein 3–0. The successful qualifying campaign in Group J, was aided by a distinctive performance of Teemu Pukki, who scored ten goals in the qualifications.
On 12 June 2021 in the Euro 2020 Finland had their first victory on their debut in a major tournament finals, Joel Pohjanpalo scored the only goal, a header in a 1–0 win over Denmark to grant his country their first goal and win in a major competition. Unfortunately, having lost the next two games from both Russia and Belgium, Finland was eliminated from the group stage alongside fellow debutants North Macedonia as a result of their poor performance after being edged out by fourth placed team Ukraine due to goal difference.
Most of Finland's important home matches are played at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in the capital Helsinki. It has been Finland's principal home stadium ever since its construction was completed in 1938. Before that Pallokenttä in Helsinki was mainly used.
Today, some qualifying matches against lower profile opponents and some friendlies are hosted at the Tampere Stadium in Tampere and Veritas Stadion in Turku. Helsinki's Bolt Arena, which has artificial turf, is also used for some friendlies and qualifiers. During the reconstruction of Helsinki Olympic Stadium in 2016–20, Tampere Stadium served as the main stadium for qualifying games.
Kits and crestEdit
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Finland national football team kits.|
Results and fixturesEdit
Win Draw Loss
|3 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Finland||0–1||Wales||Helsinki, Finland|
||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
|6 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Republic of Ireland||0–1||Finland||Dublin, Ireland|
||Stadium: Aviva Stadium|
Referee: Fabio Maresca (Italy)
|7 October 2020 Friendly||Poland||5–1||Finland||Gdańsk, Poland|
||Stadium: Stadion Energa Gdańsk|
Referee: Michal Ocenáš (Slovakia)
|11 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Finland||2–0||Bulgaria||Helsinki, Finland|
|19:00 (UTC+3)||Report||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (Belgium)
|14 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Finland||1–0||Republic of Ireland||Helsinki, Finland|
||Report||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Lionel Tschudi (Switzerland)
|11 November 2020 Friendly||France||0–2||Finland||Saint-Denis, France|
|21:10 (UTC+2)||Report||Stadium: Stade de France|
Referee: Nikola Popov (Bulgaria)
|15 November 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Bulgaria||1–2||Finland||Sofia, Bulgaria|
|21:45 (UTC+2)||Report||Stadium: Vasil Levski National Stadium|
Referee: Donatas Rumšas (Lithuania)
|18 November 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Wales||3–1||Finland||Cardiff, Wales|
||Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium|
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)
|24 March 2021 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying||Finland||2–2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Helsinki, Finland|
||Report||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece)
|28 March 2021 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying||Ukraine||1–1||Finland||Kyiv, Ukraine|
||Report||Stadium: NSK Olimpiyskiy|
Referee: István Kovács (Romania)
|31 March 2021 Friendly||Switzerland||3–2||Finland||St. Gallen, Switzerland|
|21:45 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Kybunpark|
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (Austria)
|29 May 2021 Friendly||Sweden||2–0||Finland||Solna, Sweden|
|18:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Friends Arena|
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)
|4 June 2021 Friendly||Finland||0–1||Estonia||Helsinki, Finland|
|19:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Jørgen Burchardt (Denmark)
|12 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020||Denmark||0–1||Finland||Copenhagen, Denmark|
||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
|Note: In the 43rd minute, the match was suspended after Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. The match was resumed at 20:30 CEST.|
|16 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020||Finland||0–1||Russia||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
||Stadium: Krestovsky Stadium|
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
|21 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020||Finland||0–2||Belgium||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|22:00 (UTC+3)||Report||Stadium: Krestovsky Stadium|
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
|13 November 2021 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying||Bosnia and Herzegovina||v||Finland||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Head Coach||Markku Kanerva|
|Assistant Coach||Mika Nurmela|
|Assistant Coach||Kari Martonen|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Antti Niemi|
|Fitness Coach||Jari-Pekka Keurulainen|
|Physiotherapists|| Jari-Pekka Keurulainen |
|Video Analyst||Henri Lehto|
|Kit Manager||Jari Parikka|
|Team Manager||Lennart Wangel|
- As of 13 October 2015.
|1996–99||Richard Møller Nielsen||34||9||12||13||26.47|
|2005||Jyrki Heliskoski (caretaker)||6||2||2||2||33.33|
|2010-2011||Olli Huttunen (caretaker)||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|2011||Markku Kanerva (caretaker)||2||0||1||1||0.00|
|2015||Markku Kanerva (caretaker)||4||2||2||0||50.00|
The following 26 players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2020, and for the pre-tournament friendly matches against Sweden and Estonia on 29 May and 4 June 2021.
Caps and goals as of 21 June 2021, after the match against Belgium.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Lukáš Hrádecký (vice-captain)||24 November 1989||68||0||Bayer Leverkusen|
|12||GK||Jesse Joronen||21 March 1993||14||0||Brescia|
|23||GK||Anssi Jaakkola||13 March 1987||3||0||Bristol Rovers|
|2||DF||Paulus Arajuuri||15 June 1988||54||3||Anorthosis|
|3||DF||Daniel O'Shaughnessy||14 September 1994||14||0||HJK|
|4||DF||Joona Toivio||10 March 1988||76||3||Häcken|
|5||DF||Leo Väisänen||23 July 1997||9||0||Elfsborg|
|15||DF||Niko Hämäläinen||5 March 1997||7||0||Queens Park Rangers|
|16||DF||Thomas Lam||18 December 1993||26||0||Unattached|
|17||DF||Nikolai Alho||12 March 1993||13||0||MTK|
|18||DF||Jere Uronen||13 July 1994||52||1||Brest|
|22||DF||Jukka Raitala||15 September 1988||59||0||Minnesota United|
|25||DF||Robert Ivanov||19 September 1994||4||0||Warta Poznań|
|6||MF||Glen Kamara||28 October 1995||34||1||Rangers|
|7||MF||Robert Taylor||21 October 1994||20||1||Brann|
|8||MF||Robin Lod||17 April 1993||48||4||Minnesota United|
|9||MF||Fredrik Jensen||9 September 1997||20||7||FC Augsburg|
|11||MF||Rasmus Schüller||18 June 1991||53||0||Djurgården|
|13||MF||Pyry Soiri||22 September 1994||32||5||Esbjerg|
|14||MF||Tim Sparv (captain)||20 February 1987||83||1||HJK|
|19||MF||Joni Kauko||12 July 1990||28||0||ATK Mohun Bagan|
|24||MF||Onni Valakari||18 August 1999||5||1||Pafos|
|10||FW||Teemu Pukki||29 March 1990||94||30||Norwich City|
|20||FW||Joel Pohjanpalo||13 September 1994||45||10||Bayer Leverkusen|
|21||FW||Lassi Lappalainen||24 August 1998||9||0||CF Montréal|
|26||FW||Marcus Forss||18 June 1999||7||1||Brentford|
The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months. Only players available for call-up, not retired players.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Carljohan Eriksson||25 April 1995||0||0||Mjällby||v. Estonia, 4 June 2021 PRE|
|GK||Niki Mäenpää||23 January 1985||27||0||Venezia||v. Switzerland, 31 March 2021|
|DF||Sauli Väisänen||5 June 1994||20||0||Chievo||UEFA Euro 2020 INJ|
|DF||Aapo Halme||22 May 1998||0||0||Barnsley||v. Estonia, 4 June 2021 PRE|
|DF||Albin Granlund||1 September 1989||19||0||Stal Mielec||v. Estonia, 4 June 2021 PRE|
|DF||Juhani Ojala||19 June 1989||32||1||Motherwell||v. Estonia, 4 June 2021 PRE|
|DF||Juha Pirinen||22 October 1991||20||0||Trenčín||v. Switzerland, 31 March 2021|
|MF||Jasin-Amin Assehnoun||26 December 1998||1||0||Emmen||v. Estonia, 4 June 2021 PRE|
|MF||Ilmari Niskanen||12 October 1997||6||1||FC Ingolstadt 04||v. Wales, 18 November 2020|
|FW||Roope Riski||16 August 1991||6||1||HJK||v. Estonia, 4 June 2021 PRE|
|FW||Rasmus Karjalainen||4 April 1996||13||1||Örebro||v. Switzerland, 31 March 2021|
|FW||Jasse Tuominen||12 November 1995||15||1||Häcken||v. Republic of Ireland, 14 October 2020 INJ|
|FW||Santeri Hostikka||30 September 1997||0||0||Pogoń Szczecin||v. Republic of Ireland, 6 September 2020|
INJ = Withdrew due to an injury
- As of 21 June 2021
- Players in bold are still active with Finland.
FIFA World CupEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1938||Did not qualify||3||0||0||3||0||7|
|1950||Withdrew during qualifying||2||0||1||1||1||4|
|1954||Did not qualify||4||0||2||2||7||13|
|2022||To be determined||To be determined|
UEFA European ChampionshipEdit
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualifying record|
|1960||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1968||Did not qualify||6||0||2||4||5||12|
|2024||To be determined||To be determined|
UEFA Nations LeagueEdit
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2022–23||B||To be determined|
|Olympic Games record|
|1896||No football tournament was held|
|1900||Did not enter|
|Since 1917, Declaration of Independence|
|1920||Did not enter|
|1932||No football tournament was held|
|1936||Round of 16||14th||1||0||0||1||3||7||Squad|
|1948||Did not enter|
|1952||Round of 16||9th||1||0||0||1||3||4||Squad|
|1956||Did not enter|
|1960||Did not qualify|
|1984||Did not qualify|
|Since 1992||Olympic football has been an under-23 tournament|
Nordic Football ChampionshipEdit
|Nordic Football Championship record|
|Baltic Cup record|
This list is Finland national team complete records, both friendlies and competitive matches.
This article needs to be updated.(January 2018)
- As of 20 June 2021
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4||1||1||2||5||7||−2||25.00|
|Trinidad and Tobago||5||3||1||1||8||7||+1||60.00|
|United Arab Emirates||1||0||1||0||1||1||+0||0.00|
- Baltic Cup
- Nordic Football Championship
- King's Cup
- Lahti Cup
- Winners: 1981
- Finnish team of the year
- 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2020, 2021
- Palkittu Bubi käväisi yllättäen palkitsemistilaisuudessa HS.fi – Kaupunki
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 29 July 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Finland". World Football Elo Ratings. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Andersen, Svein S.; Ronglan, Lars Tore (2012). Nordic Elite Sports: Same Ambitions - Different Tracks. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press. pp. 85–88. ISBN 978-876-30024-5-5.
- Syrjäläinen, Antti (2008). Miksi siksi loikkariksi? Huippu-urheilijoiden loikkaukset TUL:sta SVUL:oon 1919–1939. Joensuu: University of Joensuu. pp. 45–47. ISBN 978-952-21913-7-3.
- rsssf Nordic championship 1964–66.
- Hodgson to return for Inter role BBC Sport, 1 December 2007
- Suomen Palloliitto – Etusivu Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine (in Finnish)
- "Finland 3–0 Liechtenstein". BBC. 15 November 2019.
- "Teemu Pukki: From failures in Europe to Finland great - the fall and rise of the Norwich striker". BBC. 12 October 2019.
- "Denmark 0–1 Finland". BBC Sport. 12 June 2021.
- "Markku Kanerva A-maajoukkueen päävalmentajaksi". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- Kari Martonen Huuhkajien valmennusryhmään
- Valmennus ja joukkueenjohto
- Tässä on Huuhkajien EM-kisajoukkue!
- Sauli Väisänen loukkaantumisen takia sivuun Huuhkajista – Nicholas Hämäläinen EM-kisajoukkueeseen
- Mamrud, Roberto. "Finland - International Player Records". RSSSF.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Finland national association football team.|
- Official website (in Finnish)
- RSSSF archive of results 1911–
- RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers
- RSSSF archive of coaches
- The Finnish National Team Supporters' Association
- Reports for all official matches
- Russian fan site about Finnish football and national team (in Russian)