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 have 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 coachDainis Kazakevičs
CaptainAntonijs Černomordijs
Most capsVitālijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorerMāris Verpakovskis (29)
Home stadiumDaugava Stadium
FIFA codeLVA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 133 Increase 1 (22 December 2022)[2]
Highest45 (November 2009)
Lowest148 (September 2017)
First international
 Latvia 1–1 Estonia 
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
Biggest win
 Latvia 6–1 Lithuania 
(Riga, Latvia; 30 May 1935)
 Latvia 5–0 Lithuania 
(Võru, Estonia; 1 June 2012)
 Gibraltar 0–5 Latvia 
(Gibraltar; 29 March 2016)
 Andorra 0–5 Latvia 
(Andorra la Vella, Andorra; 17 November 2020)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 12–0 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 has won the Baltic Cup championship a record 13 times, more than any other country in the history of the tournament, most recently in 2018.

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

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

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 made the Austrian team unable to participate, however, despite being the group's runner-up, Latvia was not invited to the tournament by FIFA to replace Austria .[7]

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]

 
Latvian fans at Euro 2004

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, as well as being the second former-Soviet state in Europe at the time (after Russia) to qualify for a European Championship.[11][12] At 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, although 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. Recent years have seen a sharp decline with many losses. In the EURO 2020 qualifiers, Latvia lost 9 out of 10 games, including a woeful 0-5 home loss to Slovenia.

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.

As of 8 June 2021.
Stadium City / town Pld W D L Win % Last match hosted
Skonto Stadium Riga 62 19 15 28 030.6 2021
Daugava Stadium Riga 31 11 7 13 035.5 2020
Daugava Stadium Liepāja 6 4 0 2 066.7 2016
Olympic Stadium Ventspils 1 1 0 0 100.0 2002
ASK Stadium Riga 1 0 0 1 000.0 1994
Ozolnieki Stadium Ozolnieki 1 0 1 0 000.0 1994
Totals 102 35 23 44

Results and fixturesEdit

2022Edit

25 March 2022 Friendly Latvia   1–1   Kuwait Ta' Qali, Malta
13:00
  • Savaļnieks   55'
Report Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele (Malta)
29 March 2022 Friendly Azerbaijan   0–1   Latvia Ta' Qali, Malta
13:00 Report
Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (Malta)
3 June 2022 2022-23 Nations League Latvia   3–0   Andorra Riga, Latvia
21:45 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Daugava Stadium
Attendance: 5,863
Referee: Tomasz Musiał (Poland)
6 June 2022 2022-23 Nations League Latvia   1–0   Liechtenstein Riga, Latvia
21:45 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Daugava Stadium
Attendance: 5,966
Referee: Mario Zebec (Croatia)
10 June 2022 2022-23 Nations League Moldova   2–4   Latvia Chișinău, Moldova
19:00
Report
Stadium: Zimbru Stadium
Attendance: 4,842
Referee: Andrew Madley (England)
14 June 2022 2022-23 Nations League Liechtenstein   0–2   Latvia Vaduz, Liechtenstein
20:45 UTC+2 Report
Stadium: Rheinpark Stadion
Attendance: 885
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (North Macedonia)
22 September 2022 2022-23 Nations League Latvia   1–2   Moldova Riga, Latvia
21:45 UTC+3
Report
Stadium: Skonto Stadium
Attendance: 6,711
Referee: António Nobre (Portugal)
25 September 2022 2022-23 Nations League Andorra   1–1   Latvia Andorra la Vella, Andorra
15:00 UTC+2 Rosas   88' Report Gutkovskis   50' Stadium: Estadi Nacional
Attendance: 1,102
Referee: Anastasios Papapetrou (Greece)
16 November 2022 2022 Baltic Cup Latvia   1–1
(5–3 p)
  Estonia Riga, Latvia
19:00 (UTC+2)
Report
Stadium: Daugava Stadium
Attendance: 1,657
Referee: Robertas Valikonis (Lithuania)
Penalties
19 November 2022 2022 Baltic Cup Latvia   1–1
(7–8 p)
  Iceland Riga, Latvia
16:00 (UTC+2) Cigaņiks   67' Jóhannesson   62' (pen.) Stadium: Daugavas stadions
Referee: Joonas Jaanovits (Estonia)
Penalties

2023Edit

22 March 2023 (2023-03-22) Friendly Republic of Ireland   v   Latvia Dublin, Ireland
19:45 UTC+1 Stadium: Aviva Stadium
28 March 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Wales   v   Latvia Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
16 June 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Latvia   v   Turkey Riga, Latvia
21:45 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Skonto Stadium
8 September 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Croatia   v   Latvia TBD, Croatia
20:45 UTC+2 Report Stadium: TBD
12 October 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Latvia   v   Armenia Riga, Latvia
21:45 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Skonto Stadium
15 October 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Turkey   v   Latvia TBD, Turkey
21:45 UTC+3 Report Stadium: TBD
18 November 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Latvia   v   Croatia Riga, Latvia
19:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Skonto Stadium

Coaching staffEdit

As of 20 February 2020
Position Name
Head coach   Dainis Kazakevičs
Assistant coach   Jurģis Pučinsks
  Jānis Intenbergs
  Marians Pahars
Analyst   Vladimirs Serbins
Fitness coach   Māris Smirnovs
Goalkeeping coach   Aleksandrs Proskurņins
Physiotherapist   Artūrs Ivuškāns
  Jurijs Ksenzovs
  Dmitrijs Jefremenkovs
Masseur   Sergejs Avakovs
Doctor   Boriss Novikovs
Manager   Aivars Vaivods
Kitman   Jānis Zeltiņš
Media officer   Viktors Sopirins

Coaching historyEdit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players have been called up for the 2022 Baltic Cup matches on 16 and 19 November 2022.[18]

Caps and goals as of 25 September 2022, after the match against Andorra.[19][20]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Pāvels Šteinbors (1985-09-22) 22 September 1985 (age 37) 28 0   RFS
1GK Rihards Matrevics (1999-03-18) 18 March 1999 (age 23) 2 0   Riga
1GK Nils Toms Puriņš (1998-08-01) 1 August 1998 (age 24) 0 0   Riga

2DF Roberts Savaļnieks (1993-02-04) 4 February 1993 (age 29) 48 2   RFS
2DF Igors Tarasovs (1988-10-16) 16 October 1988 (age 34) 46 2   Ypsonas
2DF Raivis Jurkovskis (1996-12-07) 7 December 1996 (age 26) 35 0   Riga
2DF Antonijs Černomordijs (captain) (1996-09-26) 26 September 1996 (age 26) 29 1   Riga
2DF Elvis Stuglis (1993-07-04) 4 July 1993 (age 29) 9 0   RFS
2DF Vladislavs Sorokins (1997-05-10) 10 May 1997 (age 25) 5 0   RFS
2DF Daniels Balodis (1998-06-10) 10 June 1998 (age 24) 2 0   Valmiera
2DF Emīls Birka (2000-04-25) 25 April 2000 (age 22) 0 0   Valmiera
2DF Iļja Korotkovs (2000-05-24) 24 May 2000 (age 22) 0 0   Auda
2DF Ivo Minkevičs (1999-06-28) 28 June 1999 (age 23) 0 0   Auda

3MF Artūrs Zjuzins (1991-06-18) 18 June 1991 (age 31) 59 8   RFS
3MF Jānis Ikaunieks (1995-02-16) 16 February 1995 (age 27) 49 11   RFS
3MF Andrejs Cigaņiks (1997-04-12) 12 April 1997 (age 25) 40 2   Widzew Łódź
3MF Eduards Emsis (1996-02-23) 23 February 1996 (age 26) 26 1   KF Egnatia
3MF Alvis Jaunzems (1999-06-16) 16 June 1999 (age 23) 25 0   Valmiera
3MF Aleksejs Saveļjevs (1999-01-30) 30 January 1999 (age 24) 8 1   Auda
3MF Renārs Varslavāns (2001-08-23) 23 August 2001 (age 21) 4 0   RFS
3MF Maksims Toņiševs (2000-05-12) 12 May 2000 (age 22) 0 0   Valmiera

4FW Dāvis Ikaunieks (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 (age 29) 42 6   Jablonec
4FW Roberts Uldriķis (1998-04-03) 3 April 1998 (age 24) 38 6   Cambuur
4FW Raimonds Krollis (2001-10-28) 28 October 2001 (age 21) 27 3   Spezia

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 Roberts Ozols (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 27) 15 0   Riga v.   Azerbaijan, 29 March 2022
GK Krišjānis Zviedris (1997-01-25) 25 January 1997 (age 26) 0 0   Liepāja v.   Andorra, 25 September 2022

DF Kaspars Dubra (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 (age 32) 59 3   RFS v.   Andorra, 25 September 2022
DF Mārcis Ošs (1991-07-25) 25 July 1991 (age 31) 20 1   RFS v.   Liechtenstein, 6 June 2022
DF Krišs Kārkliņš (1996-01-31) 31 January 1996 (age 27) 16 0   Liepāja v.   Andorra, 25 September 2022

MF Vladimirs Kamešs (1988-10-28) 28 October 1988 (age 34) 38 3   Riga v.   Liechtenstein, 6 June 2022
MF Kristers Tobers (2000-12-13) 13 December 2000 (age 22) 21 0   Lechia Gdańsk v.   Andorra, 25 September 2022
MF Vladislavs Fjodorovs (1996-09-27) 27 September 1996 (age 26) 14 1   RFS v.   Azerbaijan, 29 March 2022
MF Mārtiņš Ķigurs (1997-03-31) 31 March 1997 (age 25) 12 0   Liepāja v.   Azerbaijan, 29 March 2022
MF Daniels Ontužāns (2000-03-07) 7 March 2000 (age 22) 6 0   SC Freiburg v.   Kuwait, 25 March 2022 INJ

FW Vladislavs Gutkovskis (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 (age 27) 40 11   Raków Częstochowa v.   Andorra, 25 September 2022

INJ Withdrew due to injury

Player recordsEdit

As of 4 January 2023[21]
Players in bold are still active with Latvia.

Most capped playersEdit

Rank Player Caps Goals Period
1 Vitālijs Astafjevs 167 16 1992–2010
2 Andrejs Rubins 117 9 1998–2011
3 Juris Laizāns 113 15 1998–2013
4 Imants Bleidelis 106 10 1995–2007
5 Mihails Zemļinskis 105 12 1992–2005
6 Māris Verpakovskis 104 29 1999–2014
7 Igors Stepanovs 100 4 1995–2011
Andris Vaņins 0 2000–2019
9 Aleksandrs Koliņko 94 0 1997–2015
10 Kaspars Gorkšs 89 5 2005–2017

Top goalscorersEdit

Rank Player Goals Caps Average Period
1. Māris Verpakovskis 29 104 0.28 1999–2014
2. Ēriks Pētersons 24 63 0.38 1929–1939
3. Vitālijs Astafjevs 16 167 0.1 1992–2010
4. Marians Pahars 15 75 0.2 1996–2007
Juris Laizāns 113 0.13 1998–2013
6. Alberts Šeibelis 14 54 0.26 1925–1939
7. Iļja Vestermans 13 23 0.57 1935–1938
Valērijs Šabala 53 0.25 2013–present
9. Aleksandrs Cauņa 12 45 0.27 2007–2015
Mihails Zemļinskis 105 0.11 1992–2005

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 Koliņko 21
3 Oļegs Karavajevs 13
4 Raimonds Laizāns 12
5 Arvīds Jurgens 5
Jānis Bebris 5
Pāvels Šteinbors 5
8 Jānis Kļaviņš 4
Roberts Ozols 4
10 Andrejs Piedels 2

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Did not enter Was not invited
  1934 Declined participation
  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 10 2 3 5 11 14
      2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/11 85 21 18 46 93 144

UEFA European ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad 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 Squad 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 10 1 0 9 3 28
  2024 To be determined To be determined
Total Group stage 1/7 3 0 1 2 1 5 72 21 13 38 70 116

UEFA Nations LeagueEdit

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
2018–19 D 1 6 0 4 2 2 6   51st
2020–21 D 1 6 1 4 1 8 4   53rd
2022–23 D 1 6 4 1 1 12 5   50th
2024–25 C To be determined
Total 18 5 9 4 22 15 50th

Baltic CupEdit

Baltic Cup record
Year Result Position M W D L GF GA
1928 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 4 0
1929 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 1 0 5 3
1930 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 1 0 6 5
1931 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 3
1932 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 5 1
1933 Abandoned 1st 2 1 1 0 3 2
1935 Runners-up 2nd 2 0 2 0 3 3
1936 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 4 2
1937 Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 6 2
1938 Runners-up 2nd 2 0 2 0 2 2
1991 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 1 0 3 1
1992 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 4
1993 Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 2 0
1994 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 1
1995 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 4 0
1996 Third place 3rd 2 0 1 1 2 3
1997 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 2
1998 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 1
2001 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 7 2
2003 Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 2 1
2005 Runners-up 2nd 1 0 0 1 0 2
2008 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 3 1
2010 Runners-up 2nd 2 0 2 0 0 0
2012 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 6 1
2014 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 1 0
2016 Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 2 1
2018 Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 2 1
2020 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 3
Total 13 Titles 28/28 55 31 16 8 88 47

Olympic GamesEdit

Olympic Games record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad
  1924 Second round 15th 1 0 0 1 0 7 Squad
Total Second round 1/1 1 0 0 1 0 7

Head-to-head recordEdit

As of 11 October 2021 after match against   Turkey[22]

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Kits and crestEdit

Latvia's kit is traditionally a carmine red jersey with white trim, carmine red shorts and socks, whilst their current away kit is all predominantly white. Latvia's kits have been produced by various manufacturers. Rather than displaying the logo of the Latvian Football Federation, Latvia's jersey from the 2018 features the Latvia National Teams brand #11wolves.

Kit suppliersEdit

Kit supplier Period
  Umbro 1992-1994
  Adidas 1994-1996
  Tro 1996-1998
  Puma 1998-2000
  Tramondi 2000-2002
  Adidas 2002–present

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Krīgers, Renārs. "Jauna identitāte". www.lff.lv. LFF. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 22 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  3. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 18 December 2022. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  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. Archived from the original on 6 June 2007. 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. ^ "PIRMS BALTIJAS KAUSA IZLASĒ SEŠI POTENCIĀLI DEBITANTI". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  19. ^ "Latvia-Liechtenstein | UEFA Nations League 2023 | UEFA.com". UEFA.
  20. ^ "Most Latvia Caps - EU-Football.info". eu-football.info.
  21. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Latvia - Record International Players". RSSSF.
  22. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Latvia". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 6 July 2017.

External linksEdit