Malta national football team
The Malta national football team (Maltese: Tim nazzjonali tal-futbol ta' Malta) represents Malta in international football and is controlled by the Malta Football Association, the governing body for football in Malta.
|Nickname(s)||Knights of Malta, Ħomor (Reds), Falcons|
|Association||Malta Football Association|
|Head coach||Devis Mangia|
|Most caps||Michael Mifsud (142)|
|Top scorer||Michael Mifsud (41)|
|Home stadium||Ta' Qali Stadium|
|Current||184 (11 June 2020)|
|Highest||66 (September 1994, September 1995)|
|Lowest||191 (July 2017, September 2017)|
| Malta 2–3 Austria |
(Gżira, Malta; 24 February 1957)
| Malta 7–1 Liechtenstein |
(Ta' Qali, Malta; 26 March 2008)
| Spain 12–1 Malta |
(Seville, Spain; 21 December 1983)
The first official game played by Malta was a 2–3 defeat in a friendly against Austria in 1957. Their competitive debut arrived five years later, playing against Denmark in the preliminary round of the 1964 European Nations' Cup. Since becoming a UEFA member in 1960 and a FIFA member in 1959, Malta have competed in every qualifier for the European Championship and World Cup, without ever making it to the finals of any major international competition.
Malta played its first international game on 24 February 1957 at the Empire Stadium, losing 2–3 to Austria. That match was played in front of a capacity crowd at the old Empire Stadium. The Malta Football Association joined FIFA in 1959 and UEFA a year later. However, in late 1959, Malta played in the 1960 Summer Olympics African Qualifiers against Morocco and Tunisia, in which they finished last in the group with two draws and two losses.
The Maltese international side first competed in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA European Nations Cup in 1962, and in FIFA World Cup qualification in 1971. Malta's first competitive draw ended 1–1 against Greece in 1970. Malta's first two competitive wins were victories of 2–0 and 2–1 at home to Greece and Iceland in European Championship qualifiers in 1975 and 1982 respectively. In 1979, Malta drew 0–0 with West Germany in a European championship qualifier and they met again on 16 December 1984 for a memorable World Cup Qualifier in front of a record attendance at the Ta'Qali stadium, where the 1982 & eventual 1986 World Cup runners-up only managed a 2–3 win. Another prestigious result was achieved in March 1987 when Malta drew 2–2 in Portugal, in a qualifier for Euro'88 and the side also twice drew against Hungary during the qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and recorded four friendly wins during 1991 and 1992.
Malta's third competitive win came with a 1–0 victory away to Estonia in a 1993 World Cup qualifier in which Kris Laferla scored. In October 1994 Malta held Czech Republic 0–0 in a qualifier for the UEFA Euro 1996, in which the latter ended runners-up. Six years later, in October 2000, in a group qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup, once again Malta managed another 0–0 draw vs Czech Republic which eventually cost the latter a place at the following major tournament. In June 2000, Malta played England, then managed by Kevin Keegan. Trailing 2–1 going into the final minutes, Malta were awarded a penalty, however David Carabott's effort was saved by Richard Wright. Through November 2001 and May 2002, Malta played and remained undefeated in 6 international matches and in between they won the locally hosted (Rothmans) International Tournament. During 2005, Malta drew 1–1 against Croatia and Bulgaria. Another positive result was the 1–1 home draw in a friendly match against Northern Ireland, though George Mallia missed an injury time penalty which would have given them a win. On 11 October 2006, Malta managed another competitive victory, a 2–1 triumph over Hungary in the European Championship qualifying with André Schembri scoring twice.
On 7 February 2007, Malta drew 1–1 with one of the hosts of Euro 2008, Austria. The game was played to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first international match played by the Maltese national team. On 8 September 2007, Malta managed another draw against Turkey in a Euro 2008 qualifying match, the game finishing 2–2. On 26 March 2008, Malta achieved its largest ever victory, a 7–1 defeat of Liechtenstein in a friendly at the Ta' Qali Stadium, with Michael Mifsud scoring five goals. A 2–0 friendly win over Georgia followed in 2009.
In May 2010, sponsorship of the Maltese national side was taken on by sportswear firm Givova, who also designed a range of new kits for the team. One month later, however, the side had fallen to their lowest ever FIFA world ranking position, of 169th in the world. In 2009, Malta had a 0–0 draw with Albania at home. This was their only point for the 2010 World Cup qualifying. On 11 August 2010, Malta drew 1–1 at home against FYR Macedonia in a friendly game, with Michael Mifsud scoring a brilliant diving header for Malta.
In February 2011, the side achieved a 0–0 draw against Switzerland, in which goalkeeper Justin Haber saved two penalties. On 6 September 2011, Malta won their first Euro 2012 qualifying point, with a 1–1 draw against Georgia. During the years of 2010 and 2011, Malta did not get many positive results, and coach John Buttigieg and assistant coach Carmel Busittil were both sacked in October 2011. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, Malta won their first World Cup qualifying match in 20 years, nabbing a 1–0 win over Armenia in June 2013. In June 2017, Malta defeated Ukraine 1–0 in a friendly match, thanks to a lone goal by defender Zach Muscat.
- As of 9 July 2020
|Assistant Manager||Davide Mazzotta|
|Assistant Manager||Guillermo Giacomazzi|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Mario Capece|
|Physical Trainer||Luca Pagani|
|Sport Scientist||Francesco Zanasi|
The following 31 players were named for the return-to-activity programme in preparation for the fixtures against Faroe and Latvia on 3 and 6 September 2020 respectively.
Caps and goals are correct as of 19 November 2019, after the match against Norway .
The following players have been called up within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|FW||Michael Mifsud (Captain)||17 April 1981||142||41||Birkirkara|
|FW||Alfred Effiong||29 November 1984||36||4||Balzan|
|GK||Justin Haber||9 June 1981||54||0||Gżira United|
|MF||Paul Fenech||20 December 1986||60||2||Balzan|
|MF||Juan Carlos Corbalan||3 March 1997||11||1||Gżira United|
|MF||Rowen Muscat||5 June 1991||47||1||Valletta|
|FW||Luke Gambin||16 March 1993||22||0||Colchester United|
|DF||Jonathan Caruana||24 July 1986||44||2||Valletta|
|DF||Karl Micallef||8 September 1996||1||0||Ħamrun Spartans|
|MF||Nikolai Muscat||13 July 1996||0||0||Gżira United|
|DF||Jurgen Pisani||3 September 1992||1||0||Floriana|
|MF||Brandon Paiber||5 June 1995||1||0||Floriana|
|DF||Joseph Zerafa||31 May 1988||35||0||Valletta|
|DF||Ferdinando Apap||29 July 1992||6||0||Hibernians|
|GK||Andrew Hogg||2 March 1985||67||0||Birkirkara||v. Faroe Islands, 15 October 2019|
Results and fixturesEdit
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|5 September UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Norway||2–0||Malta||Oslo, Norway|
|20:45 (UTC+2)||Berge 34'
King 45+1' (pen.)
|Report||Stadium: Ullevaal Stadion|
Referee: Dumitri Muntean (Moldova)
|8 September UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Romania||1–0||Malta||Ploiești, Romania|
|Pușcaș 47'||Report||Stadium: Ilie Oană Stadium|
Referee: Duje Strukan (Croatia)
|12 October UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Malta||0–4||Sweden||Ta' Qali, Malta|
|20:45 (UTC+2)||Report||Danielson 11'
Se. Larsson 58' (pen.), 71' (pen.)
Agius 66' (o.g.)
|Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Sergey Ivanov (Russia)
|15 October UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Faroe Islands||1–0||Malta||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands|
|Baldvinsson 71'||Report||Stadium: Tórsvøllur|
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez (Spain)
|15 November UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Spain||7–0||Malta||Cádiz, Spain|
|20:45 (UTC+1)||Morata 23'
|Report||Stadium: Ramón de Carranza|
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
|18 November UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Malta||1–2||Norway||Ta' Qali, Malta|
|20:45 (UTC+1)||Fenech 40'||Report||King 7'
|Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan)
|3 September 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Faroe Islands||v||Malta||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands|
|10 October 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Andorra||v||Malta||Andorra la Vella, Andorra|
|20:45||Stadium: Estadi Nacional|
|14 November 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Malta||v||Andorra||Ta' Qali, Malta|
|15:00||Stadium: National Stadium|
- As of 18 November 2019
Most capped playersEdit
Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.
Players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.
Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.
FIFA World CupEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Not a FIFA member||Not a FIFA member|
|1974||Did not qualify||6||0||0||6||1||20|
|2022||To be determined||To be determined|
UEFA European Football ChampionshipEdit
|UEFA European Championship record||UEFA European Championship qualifying record|
|1960||Not a UEFA member||Not a UEFA member|
|1964||Did not qualify||2||0||0||2||2||9|
|1968||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1972||Did not qualify||6||0||1||5||2||16|
|2024||To be determined||0||0||0||0||0||0|
UEFA Nations LeagueEdit
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||To be determined|
Mediterranean Games recordEdit
|Mediterranean Games record|
|1991 – present||See Malta national under-20 team|
|7th November Cup 1993||3rd|
All-time team recordEdit
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4||1||0||3||4||9||−5||25%|
|Central African Republic||1||1||0||0||2||1||+1||100%|
|Republic of Ireland||7||0||0||7||2||24||−22||0%|
|United Arab Emirates||2||0||2||0||1||1||0||0%|
- As of 14 October 2018
|Manager||Malta career||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win %|
|Joe A. Griffiths||1957–1961||6||2||2||2||33.3|
- 1 match with Janos Bedl
- assisted by Carmel Busuttil
- managed the team on a one-off basis as caretaker manager
|Worst Ever Rank||191||July 2017, September 2017|
|Best Ever Rank||66||September 1994, September 1995|
|Current Rank||184||July 2020|
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- Baldacchino, Carmel (6 February 2007). "Malta's late rally thrills home crowd on debut". Times of Malta. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "National Team All Time Results". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "Member associations – Malta". UEFA. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "History of the Malta Football Association". Malta Football Association. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- Brincat, Henry (15 October 2006). "Malta 2–1 Hungary". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- "Malta v England: Clockwatch". BBC. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Malta 1–1 Northern Ireland". BBC. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- "Malta to play Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria on 30 May". The Malta Independent. 22 December 2007. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Huggins, Trevor (9 September 2007). "England notch easy win against Israel". Reuters UK.
- "Five-goal Mifsud inspires Malta to massive win". The Times of Malta. 27 March 2008.
- "Malta make ground from Swiss denial". fifa.com. 7 April 2011.
- "High-profile friendly a useful test – Buttigieg". The Times of Malta. 11 May 2010.
- "Malta-Macedonia draw 1–1". The Times of Malta. 11 August 2010.
- "Malta fires national coach John Buttigieg". ESPN. 26 October 2011.
- Azzopardi, Kevin (7 June 2013). "Resilient Malta stun Armenia". Times of Malta.
- "Friendly match: Malta obtains encouraging win against Ukraine". The Malta Independent. 6 June 2017.
- "Capece and Zanasi join national team's coaching staff". Malta Football Association. 9 July 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- "Farrugia selects final squad for Faroe, Spain qualifiers". Malta Football Association. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- Mamrud, Roberto. "Malta – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Malta". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
- "Devis Mangia appointed national teams' head coach". Times of Malta. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
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