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Latvia national football team

The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Latvijas futbola izlase) represents Latvia in international football and is controlled by the Latvian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Latvia. They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, however, they qualified for the European Championship in 2004 under head coach Aleksandrs Starkovs.

Latvia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)11 vilki [1]
(11 Wolves)
AssociationLatvijas Futbola federācija
ConfederationUEFA
Head coachSlaviša Stojanovič
CaptainKaspars Dubra
Most capsVitālijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorerMāris Verpakovskis (29)
Home stadiumDaugava Stadium
FIFA codeLVA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 143 Decrease 4 (24 October 2019)[2]
Highest45 (November 2009)
Lowest148 (September 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 155 Decrease 21 (18 October 2019)[3]
Highest45 (25 September 1938)
Lowest155 (October 2019)
First international
Latvia Latvia 1–1 Estonia 
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
Biggest win
Latvia Latvia 6–1 Lithuania 
(Riga, Latvia; 30 May 1935)
Latvia Latvia 5–0 Lithuania 
(Võru, Estonia; 1 June 2012)
 Gibraltar 0–5 Latvia Latvia
(Gibraltar, Gibraltar; 29 March 2016)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 12–0 Latvia Latvia
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
European Championship
Appearances1 (first in 2004)
Best resultGroup stage (2004)

Latvia, alongside their Baltic rivals, Lithuania and Estonia, have also participated in the local sub-regional Baltic Cup tournament, which takes place every two years. Latvia is the current champion, having won the tournament in 2018. Latvia has won the Baltic Cup championship a record 13 times, more than any other country in the history of the tournament.

Latvia's current home ground is the Daugava Stadium in Riga.

HistoryEdit

Latvia played their first match in 1922, a game against Estonia, which finished in a 1–1 draw. Latvia have won the Baltic Cup 12 times, and played 99 official games during its pre-war period from 1922 to 1940.[4][5]

In 1937, the Latvian team participated in the first qualification tournament for the 1938 World Cup. Latvia were placed in Group 8, alongside Austria and Lithuania.[6] Latvia beat Lithuania 4–2 in Riga, after a Fricis Kaņeps hat-trick and an Iļja Vestermans goal.[6] In Kaunas, they won 5–1, after two goals each from Kaņeps, Vaclavs Borduško, and Vestermans,[6] but lost 1–2 in the decisive away match against Austria, despite an early goal from Vestermans.[6] In April 1938, the Austrian Anschluss relegated the Austrian team, however, Latvia was not invited to the tournament by FIFA as the group's runner-up.[7]

 
Latvian fans at Euro 2004

In 1940, Latvia was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union; the country regained its independence in 1991 and played their first match against Estonia on 16 November of that year in the Baltic Cup, and their first FIFA-recognized match against Romania on 8 April 1992 in Bucharest, a match, which Latvia lost 2–0.[8]

In September 2003, Latvia surprisingly finished second, ahead of Poland, in their qualifying group for Euro 2004.[9] This meant they qualified for the play-offs, where they were drawn against Turkey. Latvia won the first leg 1–0, through top goalscorer, Māris Verpakovskis.[10] The second leg finished in a 2–2 draw, with Latvia winning 3–2 on aggregate, thus qualifying for the tournament.[11][12] This resulted in Latvia being the first and only Baltic team qualifying for a European Championship.[11][12] At the Euro 2004, Latvia were drawn in Group D, alongside Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands.[13] Latvia faced Czech Republic in their opening match on 15 June 2004, with Verpakovskis scoring before half-time.[14] However, the Czechs would later come back to win the game 2–1.[14] Four days later, Latvia earned a respectable 0–0 draw against Germany to earn their first point in a major tournament.[15] They lost their final match with 3–0 against Netherlands,[16] and were eliminated, finishing fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.[17]

Latvia have since failed to qualify for another major tournament, though they came close to qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After eight qualifying matches, Latvia were level on points with their next opponent, second-placed Greece, but a 5–2 defeat virtually ended all hopes of qualification and Latvia finished third in UEFA Group 2.

StadiumEdit

The majority of home matches take place at the Daugava Stadium in Riga. Between 2000 and 2018 the main base for the team was the Skonto Stadium, which was built as a temporary location due to the planned renovation of Daugava Stadium, which started only in 2017, with the first stage completed a year later.

Home venues recordEdit

The following table provides a summary of Latvia's results at home venues since 1992.

Key: Pld–games played, W–games won, D–games drawn; L–games lost, %–win percentage
Stadium City / town Pld W D L Win % Last match hosted
Skonto stadions Rīga 62 19 15 28 030.6 2017
Daugavas stadions Rīga 31 11 7 13 035.5 2018
Daugavas stadions Liepāja 6 4 0 2 066.7 2016
Olimpiskais stadions Ventspils 1 1 0 0 100.0 2002
ASK stadions Rīga 1 0 0 1 000.0 1994
Ozolnieku stadions Ozolnieki 1 0 1 0 000.0 1994
Totals 102 35 23 44

Last updated: Latvia v. Azerbaijan, June 8, 2018.

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World Cup recordEdit

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Did not enter Declined participation
  1934
  1938 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 10 5
  1950 Part of the   Soviet Union Part of the   Soviet Union
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966
  1970
  1974
  1978
  1982
  1986
  1990
  1994 Did not qualify 12 0 5 7 4 21
  1998 10 3 1 6 10 14
    2002 8 1 1 6 5 16
  2006 12 4 3 5 18 21
  2010 10 5 2 3 18 15
  2014 10 2 2 6 10 20
  2018 10 2 1 7 7 18
  2022 To be determined To be determined
      2026
Total 0/10 75 19 15 41 82 130

UEFA European Championship recordEdit

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Part of the   Soviet Union Part of the   Soviet Union
  1964
  1968
  1972
  1976
  1980
  1984
  1988
  1992
  1996 Did not qualify 10 4 0 6 11 20
    2000 10 3 4 3 13 12
  2004 Group Stage 14th 3 0 1 2 1 5 10 6 2 2 13 8
    2008 Did not qualify 12 4 0 8 15 17
    2012 10 3 2 5 9 12
  2016 10 0 5 5 6 19
  2020 8 0 0 8 2 27
  2024 To be determined
Total Best: Group Stage 1/7 3 0 1 2 1 5 70 20 13 37 69 115

Baltic Cup Championship recordEdit

13-time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018

Baltic Cup Championship record
Year Result GP W D L GF GA
1928 Champions 2 2 0 0 4 0
1929 Runners-up 2 1 1 0 5 3
1930 Runners-up 2 1 1 0 6 5
1931 Runners-up 2 1 0 1 2 3
1932 Champions 2 2 0 0 5 1
1933 Champions 2 1 1 0 3 2
1935 Runners-up 2 0 2 0 3 3
1936 Champions 2 2 0 0 4 2
1937 Champions 2 1 1 0 6 2
1938 Runners-up 2 0 2 0 2 2
1991 Runners-up 2 1 1 0 3 1
1992 Runners-up 2 1 0 1 4 4
1993 Champions 2 1 1 0 2 0
1994 Runners-up 2 1 0 1 2 1
1995 Champions 2 2 0 0 4 0
1996 Third place 2 0 1 1 2 3
1997 Runners-up 2 1 0 1 2 2
1998 Runners-up 2 1 0 1 2 1
2001 Champions 2 2 0 0 7 2
2003 Champions 2 1 1 0 2 1
2005 Runners-up 1 0 0 1 0 2
2008 Champions 2 2 0 0 3 1
2010 Runners-up 2 0 2 0 0 0
2012 Champions 2 2 0 0 6 1
2014 Champions 2 2 0 0 1 0
2016 Champions 2 1 1 0 2 1
2018 Champions 2 1 1 0 2 1
Total 27/27 53 28 18 7 84 45

Olympic Games recordEdit

Olympic Games record
Year Position GP W D L GS GA
  1924 Olympics 22nd 1 0 0 1 0 7
Total 1 0 0 1 0 7

All-time team recordEdit

As of 15 October 2019 after match against   Israel[18]

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Results and fixturesEdit

Recent and forthcoming matchesEdit

Date Competition City Opponent Result Scorers
15 November 2018 (2018-11-15) UEFA Nations League   Astana   Kazakhstan 1–1 Deniss Rakels
19 November 2018 (2018-11-19) UEFA Nations League   Andorra la Vella   Andorra 0–0
21 March 2019 (2019-03-21) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Skopje   North Macedonia 1–3 Vjačeslavs Isajevs
24 March 2019 (2019-03-24) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Warsaw   Poland 0–2
7 June 2019 (2019-06-07) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Riga   Israel 0–3
10 June 2019 (2019-06-10) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Riga   Slovenia 0–5
6 September 2019 (2019-09-06) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Wals-Siezenheim   Austria 0–6
9 September 2019 (2019-09-09) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Riga   North Macedonia 0–2
10 October 2019 (2019-10-10) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Riga   Poland 0–3
15 October 2019 (2019-10-15) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Beersheba   Israel 1–3 Vladimirs Kamešs
16 November 2019 (2019-11-16) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Ljubljana   Slovenia 0–1
19 November 2019 (2019-11-19) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying   Riga   Austria

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Manager   Slaviša Stojanovič
Assistant manager(s)   Asen Bukarev
  Enver Čirič[19]
Fitness coach   TBA
Goalkeeping coach   Aleksandrs Koliņko
Physiotherapist   Artūrs Ivuškāns

  Jurijs Ksenzovs

Masseur   Sergejs Avakovs
Doctor   Oļegs Samoiļenko
Video analyst   Iļja Ščaņicins
Kitman   Jānis Zeltiņš
Media officer   Viktors Sopirins

List of managersEdit

Head coaches

PlayersEdit

Vitālijs Astafjevs played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010.[20] He also held the European record for 7 years for most matches played for the national team from 2009 until March 2017, when his record was beaten by Gianluigi Buffon.[21] Astafjevs has netted 16 times.[21] Andris Vaņins is the most capped active player for Latvia with 100 appearances, as of November 2019.[21] Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals.[21] Other high scorers include Ēriks Pētersons with 24 goals scored in the 1930s and Marians Pahars and Juris Laizāns, who both scored 15 goals each for Latvia.[21]

Current squadEdit

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Slovenia on 16 November 2019 and Austria on 19 November 2019.
All caps and goals as of 16 November 2019 after the match against Slovenia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Andris Vaņins (1980-04-30) 30 April 1980 (age 39) 100 0   Zürich
1GK Pāvels Šteinbors (1985-09-21) 21 September 1985 (age 34) 11 0   Arka Gdynia
12 1GK Roberts Ozols (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 24) 0 0   Riga

2 2DF Vitālijs Maksimenko (1990-12-08) 8 December 1990 (age 28) 50 1   Olimpija Ljubljana
4 2DF Kaspars Dubra (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 (age 28) 35 2   Oleksandriya
2DF Igors Tarasovs (1988-02-16) 16 February 1988 (age 31) 34 2   Spartaks Jūrmala
19 2DF Vitālijs Jagodinskis (1992-02-28) 28 February 1992 (age 27) 31 0   RFS
2DF Mārcis Ošs (1991-07-25) 25 July 1991 (age 28) 10 0   Neuchâtel Xamax
2DF Raivis Jurkovskis (1996-12-07) 7 December 1996 (age 22) 6 0   Liepāja
17 2DF Antonijs Černomordijs (1996-09-26) 26 September 1996 (age 23) 3 0   Riga

5 3MF Oļegs Laizāns (1987-03-28) 28 March 1987 (age 32) 54 0   Riga
7 3MF Ritvars Rugins (1989-10-17) 17 October 1989 (age 30) 35 0   Riga
6 3MF Vladimirs Kamešs (1988-10-28) 28 October 1988 (age 31) 23 2   Riga
3MF Dāvis Ikaunieks (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 (age 25) 22 4   RFS
18 3MF Roberts Savaļnieks (1993-02-04) 4 February 1993 (age 26) 18 0   RFS
14 3MF Andrejs Cigaņiks (1997-04-12) 12 April 1997 (age 22) 8 0   RFS
13 3MF Mārtiņš Ķigurs (1997-03-31) 31 March 1997 (age 22) 3 0   Liepāja
3MF Ingars Sarmis Stuglis (1996-02-12) 12 February 1996 (age 23) 1 0   Ventspils
3MF Aleksejs Grjaznovs (1997-10-01) 1 October 1997 (age 22) 0 0   Valmiera Glass

22 4FW Vladislavs Gutkovskis (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 (age 24) 17 0   Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza
20 4FW Roberts Uldriķis (1998-04-03) 3 April 1998 (age 21) 13 1   Sion
4FW Vladislavs Fjodorovs (1996-09-27) 27 September 1996 (age 23) 4 1   Riga
11 4FW Ēriks Punculs (1994-01-18) 18 January 1994 (age 25) 2 0   Valmiera Glass

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have been called up within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Vladislavs Lazarevs (1997-11-25) 25 November 1997 (age 21) 0 0   Valmiera Glass v.   North Macedonia, 9 September 2019
GK Kaspars Ikstens (1988-06-05) 5 June 1988 (age 31) 2 0   RFS v.   Slovenia, 10 June 2019

DF Armands Pētersons (1990-12-05) 5 December 1990 (age 28) 2 0   Riga v.   North Macedonia, 9 September 2019
DF Vladislavs Sorokins (1997-03-10) 10 March 1997 (age 22) 0 0   RFS v.   North Macedonia, 9 September 2019
DF Elvis Stuglis (1993-07-04) 4 July 1993 (age 26) 0 0   Riga v.   North Macedonia, 9 September 2019
DF Aleksandrs Solovjovs (1988-02-25) 25 February 1988 (age 31) 9 0   RFS v.   Slovenia, 10 June 2019
DF Vadims Žuļevs (1988-03-01) 1 March 1988 (age 31) 1 0   Liepāja v.   Israel, 7 June 2019
DF Vladislavs Gabovs (1987-07-13) 13 July 1987 (age 32) 41 0   Riga v.   Poland, 24 March 2019
DF Antons Kurakins (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 29) 8 0   Riga v.   Poland, 24 March 2019

MF Jānis IkaunieksINJ (1995-02-16) 16 February 1995 (age 24) 25 3   Liepāja v.   Slovenia, 16 November 2019
MF Kristers TobersINJ (2000-12-13) 13 December 2000 (age 18) 6 0   Liepāja v.   Slovenia, 16 November 2019
MF Daniels OntužānsINJ (2000-03-07) 7 March 2000 (age 19) 2 0   Bayern Munich II v.   Slovenia, 16 November 2019
MF Boriss Bogdaškins (1990-02-21) 21 February 1990 (age 29) 1 0   Valmiera Glass v.   Israel, 15 October 2019
MF Vjačeslavs Isajevs (1993-08-27) 27 August 1993 (age 26) 7 1   RFS v.   Israel, 7 June 2019
MF Kristians Torress (1985-06-18) 18 June 1985 (age 34) 7 0   Liepāja v.   Poland, 24 March 2019
MF Aleksejs Višņakovs (1984-02-03) 3 February 1984 (age 35) 81 9   Riga v.   North Macedonia, 21 March 2019
MF Artūrs Zjuzins (1991-06-18) 18 June 1991 (age 28) 36 7   RFS v.   North Macedonia, 21 March 2019
MF Jevgēņijs Kazačoks (1995-08-12) 12 August 1995 (age 24) 8 0   Ventspils v.   North Macedonia, 21 March 2019
MF Aleksejs Saveļjevs (1999-01-30) 30 January 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Hellas Verona v.   Andorra, 19 November 2018
MF Aleksandrs Fertovs (1987-06-16) 16 June 1987 (age 32) 42 0   RFS v.   Kazakhstan, 15 November 2018

FW Deniss Rakels (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 (age 27) 31 1   Riga v.   Israel, 15 October 2019
FW Artūrs Karašausks (1992-01-29) 29 January 1992 (age 27) 25 1   Riga v.   Israel, 15 October 2019
FW Valērijs Šabala (1994-10-12) 12 October 1994 (age 25) 52 12   Miedź Legnica v.   North Macedonia, 9 September 2019

Most capped playersEdit

  • Progression of Latvia association football caps record
# Name Career Caps Goals
1. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 167 16
2. Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 117 9
3. Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 113 15
4. Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 106 10
5. Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 105 12
6. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 104 29
7. Igors Stepanovs 1995–2011 100 4
Andris Vaņins 2000–present 100 0
9. Aleksandrs Koļinko 1997–2015 94 0
10. Kaspars Gorkšs 2005–2017 89 5
11. Andrejs Štolcers 1994–2005 81 7
Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 81 9
13. Marians Pahars 1996–2007 75 15
14. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 73 11
15 Oļegs Blagonadeždins 1992–2004 70 2
16. Valērijs Ivanovs 1992–2001 69 1
17. Dzintars Zirnis 1997–2010 67 0
18. Oskars Kļava 2005–2013 65 1
19. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 63 24
20. Deniss Ivanovs 2003–2013 60 2
Players in bold are still active.

Top goalscorersEdit

  • Latvia goalscoring record
# Player Career Goals (Caps)
1. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 29 (104)
2. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 24 (63)
3. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 16 (167)
4. Marians Pahars 1996–2007 15 (75)
Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 15 (113)
6. Alberts Šeibelis 1925–1939 14 (54)
7. Iļja Vestermans 1935–1938 13 (23)
8. Aleksandrs Cauņa 2007–2015 12 (45)
Valērijs Šabala 2013–present 12 (52)
Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 12 (105)
11. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 11 (73)
12. Arnolds Tauriņš 1925–1935 10 (39)
Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 10 (106)
14. Ādolfs Sīmanis 1932–1940 9 (9)
Voldemārs Plade 1923–1929 9 (16)
Aleksandrs Vanags 1937–1940 9 (18)
Ģirts Karlsons 2003–2017 9 (51)
Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 9 (81)
Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 9 (117)
20. Vaclavs Borduško 1934–1939 8 (25)
Arkādijs Pavlovs 1924–1933 8 (37)
Players in bold are still active.

Hat-tricksEdit

Player Competition Against Home/Away Result Date
Voldemārs Žins International Friendly   Lithuania Home 6–3 27 July 1927
Voldemārs Plade 1929 Baltic Cup   Lithuania Home 3–1 14 August 1929
Ēriks Pētersons 1930 Baltic Cup   Lithuania Away 3–3 17 August 1930
Ēriks Pētersons 4 International Friendly   Lithuania Home 5–2 30 June 1931
Ēriks Pētersons International Friendly   Lithuania Home 6–2 12 June 1933
Hugo Vītols International Friendly   Lithuania Home 6–1 30 May 1935
Fricis Kaņeps 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification   Lithuania Home 4–2 29 July 1937
  • 4 Player scored 4 goals

Clean sheetsEdit

Rank Player Games
1 Andris Vaņins 25
2 Aleksandrs Koļinko 21
3 Oļegs Karavajevs 13
4 Raimonds Laizāns 12
5 Arvīds Jurgens 5
Jānis Bebris 5
7 Jānis Kļaviņš 4
8 Andrejs Piedels 2
9 Harijs Lazdiņš 1
Andrejs Pavlovs 1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Krīgers, Renārs. "Jauna identitāte". www.lff.lv. LFF. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  3. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Latvian national team history". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  5. ^ "1922–1940. gads (99 spēles)". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d "World Cup 1938 – Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  7. ^ "1938 FIFA World Cup France ™ Preliminaries". International Federation of Association Football. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  8. ^ "1992. gads". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  9. ^ "How they qualified: Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Verpakovskis sparks Latvian joy". Unions of European Football Associations. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Latvia claim historic win". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Euro 2004 draw". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Czech Rep 2–1 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Latvia 0–0 Germany". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Holland 3–0 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Group D". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  18. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Latvia". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Stojanovičs nosaucis futbolistus, kuri sāks gatavoties spēlēm Skopjē un Varšavā". TVNET (in Latvian). 18 March 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  21. ^ a b c d e "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.

External linksEdit