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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.

Malta
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Knights of Malta, Ħomor (Reds), Falcons
AssociationMalta Football Association
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRay Farrugia
CaptainMichael Mifsud
Most capsMichael Mifsud (138)
Top scorerMichael Mifsud (41)
Home stadiumTa' Qali Stadium
FIFA codeMLT
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 180 Increase 2 (4 April 2019)[1]
Highest66 (September 1994, September 1995)
Lowest191 (July 2017, September 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 163 Decrease 2 (27 March 2019)[2]
Highest98 (February 1992)
Lowest168 (20 March 2018)
First international
 Malta 2–3 Austria 
(Gżira, Malta; 24 February 1957)
Biggest win
 Malta 7–1 Liechtenstein 
(Ta' Qali, Malta; 26 March 2008)
Biggest defeat
 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.[3] Their competitive debut arrived five years later, playing against Denmark in the preliminary round of the 1964 European Nations' Cup.[4] Since becoming a UEFA member in 1960 and a FIFA member in 1959,[5] 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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

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. The international side first competed in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA European Nations Cup in 1962, and in FIFA World Cup qualification in 1971.[6]

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.[4]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] On 11 October 2006, Malta managed another competitive victory, a 2–1 triumph over Hungary in the European Championship qualifying with Andre Schembri scoring twice.[7]

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.[10] On 8 September 2007 Malta managed another draw against Turkey in a Euro 2008 qualifying match, the game finishing 2–2.[11] 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.[12] A 2–0 friendly win over Georgia followed in 2009.[13]

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.[14] One month later, however, the side had fallen to their lowest ever FIFA world ranking position, of 169th in the world.[13] 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 European Championship qualifying game, with Michael Mifsud scoring a brilliant diving header for Malta.[15]

In February 2011 the side achieved a 0–0 draw against Switzerland, in which goalkeeper Justin Haber saved two penalties.[13] 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.[16] 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.[17] In June 2017, Malta defeated Ukraine 1–0 in a friendly match, thanks to a lone goal by defender Zach Muscat.[18]

Coaching staffEdit

As of 8 May 2018
Manager   Ray Farrugia
Assistant Manager   Branko Nisevic
Goalkeeping Coach   Charles Sciberras
Physical Trainer   Luca Pagani

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following 23 players were named for the fixtures against Faroe Islands and Spain on 23 March and 26 March 2019 respectively.[19]
Caps and goals are correct as of 20 November 2018, after the match against Faroe Islands.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
23 1GK Justin Haber (1981-06-09) 9 June 1981 (age 37) 54 0   Gżira United
1 1GK Henry Bonello (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 30) 7 0   Valletta
12 1GK Nicholas Vella (1989-08-27) 27 August 1989 (age 29) 0 0   Pietà Hotspurs

2 2DF Jonathan Caruana (1986-07-24) 24 July 1986 (age 32) 42 2   Valletta
17 2DF Ryan Camilleri (1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 (age 30) 42 0   Valletta
4 2DF Steve Borg (1988-05-15) 15 May 1988 (age 30) 41 0   Valletta
22 2DF Zach Muscat (1993-08-22) 22 August 1993 (age 25) 30 1   Olhanense
19 2DF Joseph Zerafa (1988-05-31) 31 May 1988 (age 30) 29 0   Valletta
7 2DF Joseph Mbong (1997-07-15) 15 July 1997 (age 21) 8 0   Hibernians
3 2DF Karl Micallef (1996-09-08) 8 September 1996 (age 22) 0 0   Ħamrun Spartans
21 2DF Nikolai Muscat (1996-07-13) 13 July 1996 (age 22) 0 0   Gżira United

8 3MF Paul Fenech (1986-12-20) 20 December 1986 (age 32) 53 1   Birkirkara
11 3MF Rowen Muscat (1991-06-05) 5 June 1991 (age 27) 37 1   Valletta
18 3MF Bjorn Kristensen (1993-04-05) 5 April 1993 (age 26) 23 0   Hibernians
16 3MF John Mintoff (1988-08-23) 23 August 1988 (age 30) 8 0   Sliema Wanderers
15 3MF Juan Carlos Corbalan (1997-03-03) 3 March 1997 (age 22) 4 1   Gżira United
20 3MF Jake Grech (1997-11-18) 18 November 1997 (age 21) 3 0   Hibernians
13 3MF Dunstan Vella (1996-04-27) 27 April 1996 (age 22) 1 0   Hibernians
6 3MF Matthew Guillaumier (1998-04-09) 9 April 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Birkirkara
5 3MF Leighton Grech (1990-03-23) 23 March 1990 (age 29) 0 0   Senglea Athletic

9 4FW Michael Mifsud (Captain) (1981-04-17) 17 April 1981 (age 38) 138 41   Birkirkara
10 4FW Kyrian Nwoko (1997-07-04) 4 July 1997 (age 21) 4 0   Valletta
14 4FW Luke Montebello (1995-08-13) 13 August 1995 (age 23) 1 0   Birkirkara

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have been called up within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Andrew Hogg (1985-03-02) 2 March 1985 (age 34) 67 0   Birkirkara v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018
GK Steve Sultana (1990-09-07) 7 September 1990 (age 28) 0 0   Ħamrun Spartans v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018

DF Andrei Agius (1986-08-12) 12 August 1986 (age 32) 81 4   Hibernians v.   Faroe Islands, 23 March 2019 INJ
DF Roderick Briffa (1981-03-16) 16 March 1981 (age 38) 100 1   Gżira v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018
DF Ferdinando Apap (1992-07-29) 29 July 1992 (age 26) 3 0   Victoria Hotspurs v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018
DF Cain Attard (1994-09-10) 10 September 1994 (age 24) 5 0   Birkirkara v.   Azerbaijan, 14 October 2018
DF Michael Johnson (1994-05-11) 11 May 1994 (age 24) 1 0   Balzan v.   Azerbaijan, 14 October 2018
DF Myles Beerman (1999-03-13) 13 March 1999 (age 20) 5 0   Birkirkara v.   Georgia, 1 June 2018
DF Jurgen Pisani (1992-09-03) 3 September 1992 (age 26) 0 0   Floriana v.   Georgia, 1 June 2018
DF Jean Borg (1998-01-08) 8 January 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Valletta v.   Finland, 26 March 2018

MF Kurt Zammit (1996-02-26) 26 February 1996 (age 23) 0 0   Birkirkara v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018
MF Clayton Failla (1986-01-08) 8 January 1986 (age 33) 58 2   Birkirkara v.   Faroe Islands, 23 March 2019 INJ
MF Steve Pisani (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 26) 18 0   Floriana v.   Azerbaijan, 14 October 2018
MF Ryan Fenech (1986-04-20) 20 April 1986 (age 33) 47 1   Balzan v.   Azerbaijan, 10 September 2018
MF Johann Bezzina (1994-05-30) 30 May 1994 (age 24) 0 0   Hibernians v.   Azerbaijan, 10 September 2018
MF Tristan Caruana (1991-09-15) 15 September 1991 (age 27) 1 0   Ħamrun Spartans v.   Finland, 26 March 2018

FW Alfred Effiong (1984-11-29) 29 November 1984 (age 34) 30 4   Balzan v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018
FW Luke Gambin (1993-03-16) 16 March 1993 (age 26) 17 0   Crawley Town v.   Faroe Islands, 22 November 2018
FW Jean Paul Farrugia (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 27) 14 1   Sliema Wanderers v.   Azerbaijan, 14 October 2018

Results and fixturesEdit

2018Edit

2019Edit

RecordsEdit

As of 26 March 2019[20]

Most capped playersEdit

Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

 
Striker Michael Mifsud is the most capped player with 136 caps and top goalscorer with 41 goals

Players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Michael Mifsud 2000– 138 41
2 David Carabott 1987–2005 122 12
3 Gilbert Agius 1993–2008 119 8
4 Carmel Busuttil 1982–2001 111 23
5 Joe Brincat 1988–2004 101 6
6 Roderick Briffa 2003– 100 1
7 John Buttigieg 1984–2000 97 1
8 Andre Schembri 2006–2018 94 3
9 Brian Said 1996–2009 91 5
10 Silvio Vella 1988–2000 90 1

Top goalscorersEdit

Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

# Name Career Goals Caps Average
1 Michael Mifsud 2000– 41 138 0.2971
2 Carmel Busuttil 1982–2001 23 111 0.2072
3 David Carabott 1987–2005 11 122 0.0902
4 Hubert Suda 1988–2003 8 70 0.1143
Gilbert Agius 1993–2008 8 119 0.0672
6 Raymond Xuereb 1971–1985 6 43 0.1395
Kristian Laferla 1986–1998 6 65 0.0923
Joe Brincat 1988–2004 6 101 0.0594
9 George Mallia 1999–2008 5 63 0.0794
Andrei Agius 2006– 5 82 0.061
Brian Said 1996–2009 5 91 0.0549

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

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 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
  1934
  1938
  1950
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966
  1970
  1974 Did not qualify 6 0 0 6 1 20
  1978 6 0 0 6 0 27
  1982 4 0 0 4 2 15
  1986 8 0 1 7 6 25
  1990 8 0 2 6 3 18
  1994 10 1 1 8 3 23
  1998 10 0 0 10 2 37
    2002 10 0 1 9 4 24
  2006 10 0 3 7 4 32
  2010 10 0 1 9 0 26
  2014 10 1 0 9 5 28
  2018 10 0 1 9 3 25
  2022 To be determined To be determined
      2026
Total 0/21 102 2 10 90 33 300

UEFA European Football ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  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
  1976 6 1 0 5 2 20
  1980 6 0 1 5 2 21
  1984 8 1 0 7 5 37
  1988 8 0 2 6 4 21
  1992 8 0 2 6 2 23
  1996 10 0 2 8 2 22
    2000 8 0 0 8 6 27
  2004 8 0 1 7 5 24
    2008 12 1 2 9 10 31
    2012 10 0 1 9 4 21
  2016 10 0 2 8 3 16
  2020 To be determined 1 1 0 0 2 1
Total 0/15 103 4 14 85 51 289

UEFA Nations LeagueEdit

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
  2018–19 D Group stage 4th 6 0 3 3 5 14
  2020–21 To be determined
Total 1/1 6 0 3 3 5 14

Mediterranean Games recordEdit

Mediterranean Games record
Year Round GP W D L GS GA
  1951 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1955 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1959 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1963 - 4 0 0 4 4 18
  1967 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1971 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
 1975 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1979 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1983 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1987 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
1991 – present See Malta national under-20 team
Total 1/10 4 0 0 4 4 18

All-time team recordEdit

As of 26 March 2019[21]

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

  1. ^ Includes matches against   Czechoslovakia.
  2. ^ Includes matches against   West Germany.

ManagersEdit

Managerial historyEdit

As of 14 October 2018
Manager Malta career Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
  Joe A. Griffiths 1957–1961 6 2 2 2 033.3
  Carm Borg 1961–1964 9 0 2 7 000.0
  Janos Bedl 1966 2 2 0 0 100.0
  Tony Formosa[1] 1966 10 1 1 8 010.0
  Joseph Attard 1969 1 0 0 1 000.0
  Saviour Cuschieri 1970 1 0 1 0 000.0
  Victor Scerri 1973 2 1 0 1 050.0
  Terrenzio Polverini 1974–1976 9 1 2 6 011.1
  John Calleja 1976–1978 11 2 1 8 018.2
  Victor Scerri 1978–1983 26 3 3 20 011.5
  Guentcho Dobrev 1984–1987 21 1 4 16 004.8
  Horst Heese 1988–1991 36 3 8 25 008.3
  Pippo Psaila 1991–1993 17 5 4 8 029.4
  Nikola Bokun 1993 4 1 0 3 025.0
  Pietro Ghedin 1993–1995 24 4 5 15 016.7
  Robert Gatt 1996 3 0 1 2 000.0
  Milorad Kosanović 1996–1997 15 0 2 13 000.0
  Josif Ilić 1997–2001 41 5 4 32 012.2
  Sigfried Held 2001–2003 21 4 5 12 019.0
  Horst Heese[2] 2003–2006 15 1 2 12 006.7
  Dušan Fitzel[2] 2006–2009 34 3 4 27 008.8
  John Buttigieg[2] 2009–2011 21 2 3 16 009.5
  Robert Gatt[3] 2012 1 1 0 0 100.0
  Pietro Ghedin 2012–2017 48 7 6 35 014.6
  Tom Saintfiet 2017–2018 3 0 0 3 000.0
  Ray Farrugia 2018– 10 1 4 5 010.0
  1. ^ 1 match with Janos Bedl
  2. ^ a b c assisted by Carmel Busuttil
  3. ^ managed the team on a one-off basis as caretaker manager

FIFA rankingEdit

Rank Date
Worst Ever Rank 191[13] July 2017, September 2017
Best Ever Rank 66 (twice) September 1994, September 1995
Current Rank 180[25] April 2019

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  3. ^ Baldacchino, Carmel (6 February 2007). "Malta's late rally thrills home crowd on debut". Times of Malta. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b "National Team All Time Results". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Member associations – Malta". UEFA. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  6. ^ "History of the Malta Football Association". Malta Football Association. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  7. ^ a b Brincat, Henry (15 October 2006). "Malta 2–1 Hungary". The Malta Independent.
  8. ^ "Malta v England: Clockwatch". BBC. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Malta 1–1 Northern Ireland". BBC. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Malta to play Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria on 30 May". The Malta Independent. 22 December 2007.
  11. ^ Huggins, Trevor (9 September 2007). "England notch easy win against Israel". Reuters UK.
  12. ^ "Five-goal Mifsud inspires Malta to massive win". The Times of Malta. 27 March 2008.
  13. ^ a b c d "Malta make ground from Swiss denial". fifa.com. 7 April 2011.
  14. ^ "High-profile friendly a useful test – Buttigieg". The Times of Malta. 11 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Malta-Macedonia draw 1–1". The Times of Malta. 11 August 2010.
  16. ^ "Malta fires national coach John Buttigieg". ESPN. 26 October 2011.
  17. ^ Azzopardi, Kevin (7 June 2013). "Resilient Malta stun Armenia". Times of Malta.
  18. ^ "Friendly match: Malta obtains encouraging win against Ukraine". The Malta Independent. 6 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Farrugia selects final squad for Faroe, Spain qualifiers". Malta Football Association. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  20. ^ Roberto Mamrud. "Malta – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  21. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Malta". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  22. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". fifa.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011.

External linksEdit