Football in San Marino

Football is the most popular sport in San Marino, as well as in Italy, the country within which it is an enclave.[1]

Football in San Marino
CountrySan Marino
Governing bodySan Marino Football Federation
National team(s)San Marino
Club competitions
International competitions

Domestic footballEdit

The San Marino Championship, founded under the auspices of the FSGC (San Marino Football Federation), is the premier footballing competition in San Marino. Fifteen teams take part in the competition, which are split into two groups of eight and seven teams. The top three teams from each section progress to a semi-knockout style Championship Playoff. The playoff champion earns a spot in the preliminary rounds of the UEFA Cup, and in 2007, UEFA granted San Marino a spot in the 1st Qualifying Round of the Champions League, an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations. In 2007 league champion S.S. Murata was the first team to represent San Marino in the Champions League when they participated in the 2007–08 competition, losing to Finland's Tampere United. In 2019, San Marino was a representative in the Italian system with San Marino Calcio playing in Italian football's Serie D. San Marino Calcio played their home matches at the Stadio Olimpico of Serravalle.

San Marino had played in two major cup competitions in the country: Coppa Titano, founded in 1937, in which all the teams in the league compete, and the Super Coppa Sammarinese which is between the winner of the cup and the winner of the league.

League system 2020–21Edit

Level Leagues/Divisions
1 Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio
15 clubs

International footballEdit

The San Marino national team played its first unofficial international match in 1986, achieving a result of 0–1 against the Canadian Olympic team. San Marino's first competitive game was on 14 November 1990, scoring 0–4 against Switzerland in the European Championship qualifier. San Marino have participated in the qualifiers of every European Championship and World Cup, but have not won a match in either.[2]

San Marino faced England in a World Cup qualifier on 17 November 1993. San Marino took the lead through Davide Gualtieri after 8.3 seconds - the fastest goal in World Cup qualifier competition against a side who had previously qualified.[3] San Marino was placed third at international level where they achieved 7–1.[citation needed]

The team drew against Turkey and Latvia, after an international career that had seen them experience 70 defeats. On 29 April 2004, San Marino recorded their first win, 1–0 against Liechtenstein in an international friendly. Andy Selva scored the only goal.[4]

On 6 September 2006, San Marino lost 13–0 to Germany at the Stadio Olimpico, one of the largest goal margin defeats in the European Championship. During this same competition, on 7 February 2007, San Marino were close to drawing with the Republic of Ireland, Stephen Ireland had scored in the 94th minute, within 8 seconds of the final whistle which resulted in them staining a 1-1. The goal scored by San Marino was their first in a European Championship qualifier since scoring 4–1 to Austria in 1998.[5]

San Marino are currently[when?] placed joint bottom in the FIFA World Rankings at 208th. They hold this title with the Bhutan national football team.[6] On 10 September 2013, Alessandro Della Valle scored the first goal in competitive matches in five years, resulting in a 5–1 loss to Poland.[citation needed]

Key San Marino players included Massimo Bonini, a midfielder played for the national team and Italy's Juventus F.C. from 1981 to 1988,[7] Andy Selva, was a top scorer of the national team with enable him to have eight goals.


  1. ^ "One Win, 106 Losses, No Traffic Lights". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  2. ^ "San Marino football loses close one to Monrovia". Glendale News-Press. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  3. ^ England. "England v San Marino: Davide Gualtieri never tires of reliving the World Cup night in 1993". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ "San Marino vs. Liechtenstein - Football Match Report - April 28, 2004 - ESPN". Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  5. ^ "How do you improve world's worst national team?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  6. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". 14 March 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Bonini, San Marino's unsung hero". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 14 January 2015.