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 coachDainis Kazakevičs
CaptainAntonijs Černomordijs
Most capsVitālijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorerMāris Verpakovskis (29)
Home stadiumDaugava Stadium
FIFA codeLVA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 138 Steady (27 May 2021)[2]
Highest45 (November 2009)
Lowest148 (September 2017)
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)
 Andorra 0–5 Latvia Latvia
(Andorra la Vella, Andorra; 17 November 2020)
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 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 relegated the Austrian team, however, Latvia was not invited to the tournament by FIFA as the group's runner-up.[7]

Occupation period (1945–1990)Edit

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]

Euro 2004 underdog storyEdit

 
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]

Hope for the World CupEdit

Latvia 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 sharp fallEdit

Latvia have since failed to qualify for another major tournament. Recent years have seen a sharp decline with many loses and anti records .

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 Stadium Riga 62 19 15 28 030.6 2017
Daugava Stadium Riga 31 11 7 13 035.5 2021
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

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 0/23 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 10 1 0 9 3 28
  2024 To be determined To be determined
Total Best: 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 Round Position Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
2018–19 D 1 Group stage 3rd 6 0 4 2 2 6   51st
2020–21 D 1 Group stage 3rd 6 1 4 1 8 4   53rd
2022–23 D TBA To be determined
Total Group stage 2/2 12 1 8 3 10 10 51st

Baltic Cup Championship recordEdit

14-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 7 June 2021 after match against   Germany[18]

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Results and fixturesEdit

Recent and forthcoming matchesEdit

Date Competition City Opponent Result Scorers
2020
3 September 2020 (2020-09-03) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League   Riga   Andorra 0–0
6 September 2020 (2020-09-06) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League   Ta' Qali   Malta 1–1 Matthew Guillaumier (o.g.)
7 October 2020 (2020-10-07) Friendly   Podgorica   Montenegro 1–1 Igors Tarasovs
10 October 2020 (2020-10-10) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League   Tórshavn   Faroe Islands 1–1 Jānis Ikaunieks
13 October 2020 (2020-10-13) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League   Riga   Malta 0–1
11 November 2020 (2020-11-11) Friendly   Serravalle   San Marino 3–0 Cristian Brolli (o.g.), Kaspars Dubra, Vladislavs Gutkovskis
14 November 2020 (2020-11-14) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League   Riga   Faroe Islands 1–1 Vladimirs Kamešs
17 November 2020 (2020-11-17) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League   Andorra la Vella   Andorra 5–0 Antonijs Černomordijs, Jānis Ikaunieks, Vladislavs Gutkovskis, Raimonds Krollis
2021
24 March 2021 (2021-03-24) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers   Riga   Montenegro 1–2 Jānis Ikaunieks
27 March 2021 (2021-03-27) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers   Amsterdam   Netherlands 0–2
30 March 2021 (2021-03-30) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers   İstanbul   Turkey 3–3 Roberts Savaļnieks, Roberts Uldriķis, Dāvis Ikaunieks
4 June 2021 (2021-06-04) Baltic Cup   Riga   Lithuania 3–1 Markas Beneta (o.g.), Eduards Emsis, Roberts Uldriķis
7 June 2021 (2021-06-07) Friendly   Düsseldorf   Germany 1–7 Aleksejs Saveļjevs
10 June 2021 (2021-06-10) Baltic Cup   Kuressaare   Estonia 1–2 Dāvis Ikaunieks
1 September 2021 (2021-09-01) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Gibraltar
4 September 2021 (2021-09-04) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Norway
7 September 2021 (2021-09-07) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Montenegro
8 October 2021 (2021-10-08) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Netherlands
11 October 2021 (2021-10-11) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Turkey
13 November 2021 (2021-11-13) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Norway
16 November 2021 (2021-11-16) World Cup 2022 Qualifiers     Gibraltar

Coaching staffEdit

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

List of managersEdit

Head coaches

PlayersEdit

Vitālijs Astafjevs played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010.[19] 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.[20] Astafjevs has netted 16 times.[20] Aleksejs Višņakovs is the most capped active player for Latvia with 81 appearances, as of November 2020.[20] Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals.[20] 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.[20]

Current squadEdit

The following players have been called up for the 2021 Baltic Cup and friendly match against Germany on 4, 7 and 10 June 2021.[21]
All caps and goals as of 10 June 2021 after the match against Estonia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Roberts Ozols (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 25) 8 0   Riga
1GK Krišjānis Zviedris (1997-01-25) 25 January 1997 (age 24) 0 0   Liepāja
1GK Rihards Matrevics (1999-03-18) 18 March 1999 (age 22) 0 0   Valmiera

2DF Vitālijs Maksimenko (1990-12-08) 8 December 1990 (age 30) 53 1   Olimpija Ljubljana
2DF Kaspars Dubra (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 (age 30) 43 3   Oleksandriya
2DF Igors Tarasovs (1988-10-16) 16 October 1988 (age 32) 38 2   Ethnikos Achna
2DF Roberts Savaļnieks (1993-02-04) 4 February 1993 (age 28) 31 1   RFS
2DF Mārcis Ošs (1991-07-25) 25 July 1991 (age 30) 20 1   Lugano
2DF Raivis Jurkovskis (1996-12-07) 7 December 1996 (age 24) 19 0   Dundalk
2DF Antonijs Černomordijs (1996-09-26) 26 September 1996 (age 24) 13 1   Riga
2DF Krišs Kārkliņš (1996-01-31) 31 January 1996 (age 25) 11 0   Liepāja
2DF Elvis Stuglis (1993-07-04) 4 July 1993 (age 28) 4 0   RFS
2DF Vladislavs Sorokins (1997-05-10) 10 May 1997 (age 24) 2 0   RFS

3MF Artūrs Zjuzins (1991-06-18) 18 June 1991 (age 30) 47 7   RFS
3MF Jānis Ikaunieks (1995-02-16) 16 February 1995 (age 26) 35 7   KuPS
3MF Vladimirs Kamešs (1988-10-28) 28 October 1988 (age 32) 30 3   Riga
3MF Andrejs Cigaņiks (1997-04-12) 12 April 1997 (age 24) 22 0   DAC Dunajská Streda
3MF Vladislavs Fjodorovs (1996-09-27) 27 September 1996 (age 24) 13 1   Riga
3MF Alvis Jaunzems (1999-06-16) 16 June 1999 (age 22) 11 0   Valmiera
3MF Eduards Emsis (1996-02-23) 23 February 1996 (age 25) 10 1   Noah
3MF Aleksejs Saveļjevs (1999-01-30) 30 January 1999 (age 22) 6 1   Mantova
3MF Renārs Varslavāns (2001-08-23) 23 August 2001 (age 19) 1 0   RFS
3MF Raivis Ķiršs (2000-01-15) 15 January 2000 (age 21) 0 0   Daugavpils

4FW Dāvis Ikaunieks (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 (age 27) 34 6   Liepāja
4FW Vladislavs Gutkovskis (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 (age 26) 25 2   Raków Częstochowa
4FW Roberts Uldriķis (1998-04-03) 3 April 1998 (age 23) 25 3   Sion
4FW Raimonds Krollis (2001-10-28) 28 October 2001 (age 19) 10 1   Valmiera

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 Pāvels Šteinbors (1985-09-21) 21 September 1985 (age 35) 18 0   Jagiellonia Białystok v.   Turkey, 30 March 2021
GK Kaspars Ikstens (1988-06-05) 5 June 1988 (age 33) 2 0 Free agent v.   Andorra, 17 November 2020
GK Dāvis Ošs (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 (age 26) 0 0   Spartaks Jūrmala v.   Andorra, 17 November 2020

DF Aleksandrs Solovjovs (1988-02-25) 25 February 1988 (age 33) 11 0   RFS v.   Turkey, 30 March 2021

MF Kristers Tobers (2000-12-13) 13 December 2000 (age 20) 12 0   Lechia Gdańsk v.   Turkey, 30 March 2021
MF Daniels Ontužāns (2000-03-07) 7 March 2000 (age 21) 5 0   SC Freiburg v.   Turkey, 30 March 2021
MF Eduards Tīdenbergs (1994-12-18) 18 December 1994 (age 26) 1 0   Liepāja v.   Turkey, 30 March 2021
MF Mārtiņš Ķigurs (1997-03-31) 31 March 1997 (age 24) 9 0   Liepāja v.   Montenegro, 24 March 2021INJ
MF Ritvars Rugins (1989-10-17) 17 October 1989 (age 31) 39 0   Riga v.   Andorra, 17 November 2020
MF Ingars Stuglis (1996-02-12) 12 February 1996 (age 25) 1 0   Liepāja v.   Andorra, 17 November 2020
MF Gļebs Kļuškins (1992-10-01) 1 October 1992 (age 28) 19 2 Free agent v.   Malta, 13 October 2020


Notes
  • INJ = It is not part of the current squad due to injury.

Player recordsEdit

As of 17 November 2020[22]
Players in bold are still active with Latvia.

Most capped playersEdit

# 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 100 0 2000–2019
9. Aleksandrs Koļinko 94 0 1997–2015
10. Kaspars Gorkšs 89 5 2005–2017

Top goalscorersEdit

# 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 15 113 0.13 1998–2013
6. Alberts Šeibelis 14 54 0.26 1925–1939
7. Iļja Vestermans 13 23 0.57 1935–1938
8. Aleksandrs Cauņa 12 45 0.27 2007–2015
Valērijs Šabala 12 52 0.23 2013–present
Mihails Zemļinskis 12 105 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 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
Pāvels Šteinbors 2
Roberts Ozols 2

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Krīgers, Renārs. "Jauna identitāte". www.lff.lv. LFF. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  3. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 24 July 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  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. ^ "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  21. ^ "JŪNIJA NOMETNĒ ČETRI POTENCIĀLI IZLASES DEBITANTI". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  22. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Latvia - Record International Players". RSSSF.

External linksEdit