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.

Malta
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Knights of Malta, Ħomor (Reds), Falcons
AssociationMalta Football Association
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachMichele Marcolini
CaptainSteve Borg
Most capsMichael Mifsud (143)
Top scorerMichael Mifsud (42)
Home stadiumTa' Qali Stadium
FIFA codeMLT
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 167 Increase 1 (22 December 2022)[1]
Highest66 (September 1994, September 1995)
Lowest191 (July 2017, September 2017)
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)
Websitemfa.mt

The first official game played by Malta was a 3–2 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, but have never made it to the finals of any major international competition.

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. 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. Since then, Malta has largely maintained the status as one of Europe's weakest teams, though its fortunes have increased since late 2010s.

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.[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 André 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 friendly game, with Michael Mifsud scoring a brilliant diving header for Malta.[15]

In February 2011, the national football team of Malta 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] Malta recorded their 7th all-time competitive win (and their first in the UEFA Nations League) on October 13, 2020, defeating Latvia 1–0 in Riga, scoring the winning goal in the 97th minute.

KitsEdit

Kit provider Period
  Adidas 1978–1988
  Umbro 1988–1990
  Lotto 1990–1999
  Kronos 1999–2001
  Erreà 2001–2005
  Diadora 2005–2009
  Givova 2009–2022
  Erreà 2022–

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.

2022Edit

25 March Friendly Malta   1–0   Azerbaijan Ta' Qali, Malta
19:00 UTC+01:00
  • Degabriele   55'
Report Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: César Soto Grado (Spain)
29 March Friendly Malta   2–0   Kuwait Ta' Qali, Malta
19:00 UTC+01:00
Report Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Thomas Owen (Wales)
1 June Friendly Malta   0–1   Venezuela Ta' Qali, Malta
19:00 UTC+01:00 Report Rondón   34' Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Kristo Tohver (Estonia)
5 June 2022–23 UEFA Nations League San Marino   0–2   Malta Serravalle, San Marino
15:00 UTC+01:00 Report
Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Attendance: 558
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan)
9 June 2022–23 UEFA Nations League Malta   1–2   Estonia Ta' Qali, Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00
Report
Stadium: National Stadium
Attendance: 3,422
Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland)
12 June 2022–23 UEFA Nations League Malta   1–0   San Marino Ta' Qali, Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00
Report Stadium: National Stadium
Attendance: 2,646
Referee: Dennis Higler (Netherlands)
23 September 2022–23 UEFA Nations League Estonia   2–1   Malta Tallinn, Estonia
19:00 UTC+01:00
Report
Stadium: Lilleküla Stadium
Attendance: 5,539
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
27 September Friendly Malta   2–1   Israel Ta' Qali, Malta
21:00 UTC+01:00
Report
Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Eldorjan Hamiti (Albania)
17 November Friendly Malta   2–2   Greece Ta' Qali, Malta
18:00 UTC+01:00
Report
Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Alain Durieux (Luxembourg)
20 November Friendly Malta   0–1   Republic of Ireland Ta' Qali, Malta
20:00 UTC+01:00 Report
Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Chrysovalantis Theouli (Cyprus)

2023Edit

23 March UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying North Macedonia   v   Malta Skopje, North Macedonia
20:45 UTC+01:00 Stadium: Philip II Arena
26 March UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Malta   v   Italy Ta' Qali, Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00 Stadium: National Stadium
16 June UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Malta   v   England Ta' Qali, Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00 Stadium: National Stadium
19 June UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Ukraine   v   Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00
14 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Italy   v   Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00
17 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Malta   v   Ukraine Ta' Qali, Malta
20:45 UTC+01:00 Stadium: National Stadium
17 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying England   v   Malta London, England
20:45 UTC+01:00 Stadium: Wembley Stadium

Coaching staffEdit

As of 7 November 2022[19]
Manager (Caretaker)   Michele Marcolini
Assistant Manager   Davide Mandelli
  Davide Mazzott
Goalkeeping Coach   Mario Capece
Fitness Coaches   Luca Pagani
  Francesco Zanasi
Match Analyst   Facundo Styk
Team Manager   Keith Fenech

Coaching historyEdit

As of 30 November 2022
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[a] 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
  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[b] 2003–2006 15 1 2 12 006.7
  Dušan Fitzel[b] 2006–2009 34 3 4 27 008.8
  John Buttigieg[b] 2009–2011 21 2 3 16 009.5
  Robert Gatt[c] 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 2018–2019 18 1 4 13 005.6
  Devis Mangia 2019–2022 26 9 5 12 034.6
  Gilbert Agius[d] 2022 2 0 1 1 000.0
  Michele Marcolini 2023–
  1. ^ One match was managed with Janos Bedl
  2. ^ a b c Assisted by Carmel Busuttil
  3. ^ Managed the team on a one-off basis as caretaker manager
  4. ^ Managed the team as caretaker manager

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

  • The following players were called-up for the friendly matches.[20]
  • Match dates: 17 and 21 November 2022
  • Opposition:   Greece and   Republic of Ireland
  • Caps and goals correct as of: 17 November 2022, after the match against   Greece
No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Rashed Al-Tumi (2000-10-14) 14 October 2000 (age 22) 0 0   Sliema Wanderers
1GK Henry Bonello (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 34) 43 0   Ħamrun Spartans
1GK Jake Galea (1996-04-15) 15 April 1996 (age 26) 5 0   Etzella Ettelbruck

2DF Ferdinando Apap (1992-07-29) 29 July 1992 (age 30) 12 1   Hibernians
2DF Jean Borg (1998-01-08) 8 January 1998 (age 25) 14 0   Fidelis Andria
2DF Steve Borg (1988-01-08) 8 January 1988 (age 35) 70 3   Ħamrun Spartans
2DF Karl Micallef (1996-09-08) 8 September 1996 (age 26) 8 0   Gudja United
2DF Zach Muscat (1993-08-22) 22 August 1993 (age 29) 56 3   Farense
2DF Adam Magri Overend (2000-05-03) 3 May 2000 (age 22) 3 0   Floriana
2DF Enrico Pepe (1989-11-12) 12 November 1989 (age 33) 16 0   Birkirkara
2DF Kurt Shaw (1999-04-01) 1 April 1999 (age 23) 18 0   Hibernians

3MF Ryan Camenzuli (1994-09-08) 8 September 1994 (age 28) 31 0   Ħamrun Spartans
3MF Shaun Dimech (2001-08-08) 8 August 2001 (age 21) 16 2   Valletta
3MF Matthew Guillaumier (1998-04-09) 9 April 1998 (age 24) 23 2   Ħamrun Spartans
3MF Bjorn Kristensen (1993-04-05) 5 April 1993 (age 29) 35 0   Hibernians
3MF Brandon Diego Paiber (1995-06-05) 5 June 1995 (age 27) 7 0   Floriana
3MF Steve Pisani (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 30) 37 0   Gżira United
3MF Teddy Teuma (1993-09-30) 30 September 1993 (age 29) 26 3   Union SG
3MF Dunstan Vella (1996-04-27) 27 April 1996 (age 26) 14 0   Hibernians

4FW Juan Corbalan (1997-03-03) 3 March 1997 (age 25) 18 1   Ħamrun Spartans
4FW Jurgen Degabriele (1996-10-10) 10 October 1996 (age 26) 24 6   Hibernians
4FW Luke Gambin (1993-03-16) 16 March 1993 (age 29) 35 1   Sutton United
4FW Jodi Felice Jones (1997-10-22) 22 October 1997 (age 25) 3 0   Notts County
4FW Joseph Essien Mbong (1997-07-15) 15 July 1997 (age 25) 43 2   Ħamrun Spartans
4FW Paul Mbong (2001-09-02) 2 September 2001 (age 21) 15 0   Birkirkara
4FW Luke Montebello (1995-08-13) 13 August 1995 (age 27) 26 0   Ħamrun Spartans
4FW Kyrian Nwoko (1997-07-04) 4 July 1997 (age 25) 21 3   Floriana
4FW Alexander Satariano (2001-10-25) 25 October 2001 (age 21) 23 3   Balzan

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

DF Tristan Caruana (1991-09-15) 15 September 1991 (age 31) 11 1   Valletta v.   Israel, 27 September 2022
DF James Brown (1998-01-12) 12 January 1998 (age 25) 1 0   St Johnstone v.   Israel, 27 September 2022

MF Cain Attard (1994-09-10) 10 September 1994 (age 28) 14 2   Birkirkara v.   Israel, 27 September 2022
MF Matías García (1996-07-22) 22 July 1996 (age 26) 1 0   Floriana v.   Israel, 27 September 2022
MF Yannick Yankam (1997-12-12) 12 December 1997 (age 25) 0 0   Birkirkara Training camp, May 2022
MF Nikolai Muscat (1996-07-13) 13 July 1996 (age 26) 4 0   Gżira United v.   Kuwait,29 March 2022

FW Jan Busuttil (1999-03-06) 6 March 1999 (age 23) 2 1   Floriana v.   Israel, 27 September 2022
FW Jake Grech (1997-11-18) 18 November 1997 (age 25) 20 0   Hibernians v.   Venezuela, 1 June 2022
FW Mattia Veselji (2002-03-14) 14 March 2002 (age 20) 1 0   Floriana v.   Venezuela, 1 June 2022

INJ Player is injured
COV Withdrew due to covid
PRE Preliminary squad / standby
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

Player recordsEdit

As of 7 September 2021[21]
Players in bold are still active with Malta.

Most capped playersEdit

 
Michael Mifsud is Malta's most capped player and all-time top scorer.
Rank Name Caps Goals Career
1 Michael Mifsud 143 42 2000–2020
2 David Carabott 122 12 1987–2005
3 Gilbert Agius 120 8 1993–2008
4 Carmel Busuttil 113 23 1982–2001
5 Andrei Agius 103 6 2006–2022
Joe Brincat 103 6 1988–2004
7 Roderick Briffa 100 1 2003–2018
8 John Buttigieg 97 1 1984–2000
9 André Schembri 94 3 2006–2018
10 Brian Said 91 5 1996–2009

Top goalscorersEdit

Rank Name Goals Caps Average Career
1 Michael Mifsud 42 143 0.29 2000–2020
2 Carmel Busuttil 23 113 0.21 1982–2001
3 David Carabott 12 122 0.09 1987–2005
4 Hubert Suda 8 70 0.11 1988–2003
Gilbert Agius 8 120 0.07 1993–2008
6 Jurgen Degabriele 6 22 0.27 2018–
Raymond Xuereb 6 45 0.13 1971–1985
Kristian Laferla 6 65 0.09 1986–1998
Andrei Agius 6 103 0.06 2006–2022
Joe Brincat 6 103 0.06 1988–2004

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record 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 10 1 2 7 9 30
      2026 To be determined
Total 0/22 112 3 12 97 42 330

UEFA European ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship record Qualification 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 10 1 0 9 3 27
  2024 To be determined 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0/16 106 4 14 94 52 315

UEFA Nations LeagueEdit

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Group Round Position Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
2018–19 D 3 Group stage 4th 6 0 3 3 5 14   54th
2020–21 D 1 Group stage 2nd 6 2 3 1 8 6   52nd
2022–23 D 2 Group stage 2nd 4 2 0 2 5 4   52nd
2024–25 D To be determined
Total Group stage 3/3 16 4 6 6 18 24 52nd

Other recordsEdit

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
  7th November Cup 1993 Third place 3rd 2 1 0 1 2 4
  Football at the 1963 Mediterranean Games 9th 9th 4 0 0 4 4 18

Head-to-head recordEdit

As of 13 June 2022[22][23]

  Positive record   Neutral record   Negative record

  1. ^ Includes matches against Czechoslovakia.
  2. ^ Includes matches against West Germany.
  3. ^ Includes matches against FR Yugoslavia.

FIFA rankingsEdit

As of 10 February 2022[24]

See alsoEdit

Malta International Football Tournament

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 22 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 18 December 2022. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  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. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  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. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  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 "Malta make ground from Swiss denial". fifa.com. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 10 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. ^ "Capece and Zanasi join national team's coaching staff". Malta Football Association. 9 July 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  20. ^ "28-Man Squad Announced For November Friendlies". Malta Football Association. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  21. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Malta – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  22. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Malta". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Malta's Head to Head stats against all teams". eu-football.info. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Malta". Fifa.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 25 March 2022.

External linksEdit