Latvia national football team
The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Latvijas futbola izlase) represents the country in international football competitions, such as the World Cup and the European Championships. It is controlled by the Latvian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Latvia. They have never qualified for the World Cup, but they have, however, qualified for the European Championship in 2004, under Aleksandrs Starkovs.
|Nickname(s)||11 vilki |
|Association||Latvijas Futbola federācija|
|Head coach||Slaviša Stojanovič|
|Most caps||Vitālijs Astafjevs (167)|
|Top scorer||Māris Verpakovskis (29)|
|Home stadium||Daugava Stadium|
|Current||137 4 (14 June 2019)|
|Highest||45 (November 2009)|
|Lowest||148 (September 2017)|
|Current||147 28 (16 June 2019)|
|Highest||45 (25 September 1938)|
|Lowest||138 (November 2018)|
| Latvia 1–1 Estonia |
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
| Latvia 6–1 Lithuania |
(Riga, Latvia; 30 May 1935)
Latvia 5–0 Lithuania
(Võru, Estonia; 1 June 2012)
Gibraltar 0–5 Latvia
(Gibraltar, Gibraltar; 29 March 2016)
| Sweden 12–0 Latvia |
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
|Appearances||1 (first in 2004)|
|Best result||Group stage, 2004|
Latvia, alongside its Baltic rivals, Lithuania and Estonia, has also participated in the local sub-regional Baltic Cup tournament, which takes place every two years, and in which Latvia is the current champion, having won the tournament in 2018. Latvia has won the Baltic Cup championship a record of 13 times, more than any other country in the history of the tournament.
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.
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. Latvia beat Lithuania 4–2 in Riga, after a Fricis Kaņeps hat-trick and an Iļja Vestermans goal. In Kaunas, they won 5–1, after two goals each from Kaņeps, Vaclavs Borduško, and Vestermans, but lost 1–2 in the decisive away match against Austria, despite an early goal from Vestermans. 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.
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.
In September 2003, Latvia surprisingly finished second, ahead of Poland, in their qualifying group for Euro 2004. 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. The second leg finished in a 2–2 draw, with Latvia winning 3–2 on aggregate, thus qualifying for the tournament. This resulted in Latvia being the first and only Baltic team qualifying for a European Championship. At the Euro 2004, Latvia were drawn in Group D, alongside Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands. Latvia faced Czech Republic in their opening match on 15 June 2004, with Verpakovskis scoring before half-time. However, the Czechs would later come back to win the game 2–1. Four days later, Latvia earned a respectable 0–0 draw against Germany to earn their first point in a major tournament. They lost their final match with 3–0 against Netherlands, and were eliminated, finishing fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.
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.
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|
Last updated: Latvia v. Azerbaijan, June 8, 2018.
World Cup recordEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Declined participation|
|1938||Did not qualify||3||2||0||1||10||5|
|1950||Part of the Soviet Union||Part of the Soviet Union|
|1994||Did not qualify||12||0||5||7||4||21|
|2022||To be determined||To be determined|
European Championship recordEdit
|UEFA European Championship record|
|1960 to 1992||Part of the Soviet Union|
|1996 to 2000||Did not qualify|
|2008 to 2016||Did not qualify|
|2020||To be determined|
Baltic Cup Championship recordEdit
13-time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
|Baltic Cup (football) Record|
All-time team recordEdit
As of 10 June 2019
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2||0||0||2||1||9||−8|
|Republic of Ireland||5||0||0||5||1||14||−13|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
Results and fixturesEdit
Recent and forthcoming matchesEdit
|3 February 2018||Friendly||Antalya||South Korea||0–1|
|22 March 2018||Friendly||Marbella||Faroe Islands||1–1||Vladislavs Fjodorovs|
|25 March 2018||Friendly||Gibraltar||Gibraltar||0–1|
|2 June 2018||Baltic Cup||Riga||Estonia||1–0||Jānis Ikaunieks|
|5 June 2018||Baltic Cup||Vilnius||Lithuania||1–1||Kaspars Dubra|
|9 June 2018||Friendly||Riga||Azerbaijan||1–3||Roberts Uldriķis|
|6 September 2018||UEFA Nations League||Riga||Andorra||0–0|
|9 September 2018||UEFA Nations League||Tbilisi||Georgia||0–1|
|13 October 2018||UEFA Nations League||Riga||Kazakhstan||1–1||Artūrs Karašausks|
|16 October 2018||UEFA Nations League||Riga||Georgia||0–3|
|15 November 2018||UEFA Nations League||Astana||Kazakhstan||1–1||Deniss Rakels|
|19 November 2018||UEFA Nations League||Andorra la Vella||Andorra||0–0|
|21 March 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Skopje||North Macedonia||1–3||Vjačeslavs Isajevs|
|24 March 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Warsaw||Poland||0–2|
|7 June 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Riga||Israel||0–3|
|10 June 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Riga||Slovenia||0–5|
|6 September 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Wals-Siezenheim||Austria|
|9 September 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Riga||North Macedonia|
|10 October 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Riga||Poland|
|15 October 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Beersheba||Israel|
|16 November 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Ljubljana||Slovenia|
|19 November 2019||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Riga||Austria|
|8 September 2019||Friendly||Kolkata||India|
|General manager||Ilvars Rutkovskis|
|Assistant manager(s)|| Nebojša Milosevič|
|Goalkeeping coach||Aleksandrs Koliņko|
|Video analyst||Iļja Ščaņicins|
|Media officer||Viktors Sopirins|
List of managersEdit
Vitālijs Astafjevs played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010. 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. Astafjevs has netted 16 times. Andris Vaņins is the most capped active player for Latvia with 98 appearances, as of March 2019. Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals. 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.
The following players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Israel on 7 June 2019 and Slovenia on 10 June 2019.
All caps and goals as of 10 June 2019 after the match against Slovenia.
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||Roberts Ozols||10 September 1995||0||0||Riga||v. Andorra, 19 November 2018|
|DF||Vadims ŽuļevsINJ||1 March 1988||1||0||Liepāja||v. Israel, 7 June 2019|
|DF||Vladislavs Gabovs||13 July 1987||41||0||Riga||v. Poland, 24 March 2019|
|DF||Antons Kurakins||1 January 1990||8||0||Riga||v. Poland, 24 March 2019|
|DF||Gints Freimanis||9 May 1985||13||1||Spartaks Jūrmala||v. Georgia, 16 October 2018|
|MF||Vjačeslavs IsajevsINJ||27 August 1993||7||1||RFS||v. Israel, 7 June 2019|
|MF||Igors Tarasovs||16 February 1988||32||2||Śląsk Wrocław||v. Poland, 24 March 2019|
|MF||Kristians Torress||18 June 1985||7||0||Liepāja||v. Poland, 24 March 2019|
|MF||Aleksejs Višņakovs||3 February 1984||81||9||Riga||v. North Macedonia, 21 March 2019|
|MF||Artūrs Zjuzins||18 June 1991||36||7||RFS||v. North Macedonia, 21 March 2019|
|MF||Jevgēņijs Kazačoks||12 August 1995||8||0||Ventspils||v. North Macedonia, 21 March 2019|
|MF||Aleksejs Saveļjevs||30 January 1999||0||0||Hellas Verona||v. Andorra, 19 November 2018|
|MF||Aleksandrs FertovsINJ||16 June 1987||42||0||RFS||v. Kazakhstan, 15 November 2018|
|MF||Ivans Lukjanovs||24 January 1987||20||0||Riga||v. Georgia, 16 October 2018|
|MF||Gļebs Kļuškins||1 October 1992||18||2||RFS||v. Kazakhstan, 13 October 2018|
Most capped playersEdit
- Progression of Latvia association football caps record
- Players in bold are still active.
- Latvia goalscoring record
|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–present||12 (45)|
|Valērijs Šabala||2013–present||12 (51)|
|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)|
|Arkādijs Pavlovs||1924–1933||9 (37)|
|Ģirts Karlsons||2003–2017||9 (51)|
|Aleksejs Višņakovs||2004–present||9 (81)|
|Andrejs Rubins||1998–2011||9 (117)|
- Players in bold are still active.
|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
- Krīgers, Renārs. "Jauna identitāte". www.lff.lv. LFF. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- "Latvian national team history". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "1922–1940. gads (99 spēles)". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "World Cup 1938 – Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "1938 FIFA World Cup France ™ Preliminaries". International Federation of Association Football. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "1992. gads". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "How they qualified: Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Verpakovskis sparks Latvian joy". Unions of European Football Associations. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Latvia claim historic win". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Euro 2004 draw". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Czech Rep 2–1 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Latvia 0–0 Germany". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Holland 3–0 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Group D". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Latvia". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- "Stojanovičs nosaucis futbolistus, kuri sāks gatavoties spēlēm Skopjē un Varšavā". TVNET (in Latvian). 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.