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The Northern Ireland men's national football team represents Northern Ireland in international association football. From 1882 to 1950, all of Ireland was represented by a single side, the Ireland national football team, organised by the Irish Football Association (IFA). In 1921, the jurisdiction of the IFA was reduced to Northern Ireland following the secession of clubs in the soon-to-be Irish Free State, although its team remained the national team for all of Ireland until 1950, and used the name Ireland until the 1970s.[note 1] The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) organises the separate Republic of Ireland national football team.
|Nickname(s)||Green and White Army,|
|Association||Irish Football Association (IFA)|
|Head coach||Michael O'Neill|
|Most caps||Steven Davis (140)|
|Top scorer||David Healy (36)|
|Home stadium||Windsor Park|
|Current||74 10 (21 September 2023)|
|Highest||20 (September 2017)|
|Lowest||129 (September 2012)|
| Ireland 0–13 England |
(Belfast, Ireland; 18 February 1882)
as Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland 1–4 England
(Belfast, Northern Ireland; 7 October 1950)
| Ireland 7–0 Wales |
(Belfast, Ireland; 1 February 1930)
as Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland 5–0 Cyprus
(Belfast, Northern Ireland; 21 April 1971)
Faroe Islands 0–5 Northern Ireland
(Landskrona, Sweden; 11 September 1991)
| Ireland 0–13 England |
(Belfast, Ireland; 18 February 1882)
as Northern Ireland
Netherlands 6–0 Northern Ireland
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 2 June 2012)
|Appearances||3 (first in 1958)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (1958)|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2016)|
|Best result||Round of 16 (2016)|
Although part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has always had a representative side that plays in major professional tournaments – whether alongside the rest of Ireland pre-1922 or as its own entity – though not in the Olympic Games, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has always recognised United Kingdom representative sides.
Northern Ireland has competed in three FIFA World Cups, reaching the quarter-final stage in the 1958 and 1982 tournaments. Northern Ireland held the accolade of being the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup Finals from their first appearance in 1958 until 2006, when Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the 2006 World Cup. At UEFA Euro 2016, the team made its first appearance at the European tournament and reached the round of 16. Northern Ireland last qualified for the World Cup in 1986.
On 18 February 1882, 15 months after the founding of the Irish FA, Ireland made their international debut against England, losing 13–0 in a friendly played at Bloomfield in Belfast. This remains the record defeat for the team, and also England's largest winning margin. On 25 February 1882, Ireland played their second international, against Wales at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, and an equaliser from Johnston became Ireland's first ever goal.
In 1884, Ireland competed in the inaugural British Home Championship and lost all three games. Ireland did not win their first game until 19 February 1887, a 4–1 win over Wales in Belfast. Between their debut and this game, they had a run of 14 defeats and 1 draw, the longest run without a win in the 1800s. Despite the end of this run, heavy defeats continued. On 3 March 1888, they lost 11–0 to Wales and three weeks later, on 24 March, lost 10–2 to Scotland. Further heavy defeats came on 15 March 1890 when they lost 9–1 to England, on 18 February 1899 when they lost 13–2 to England and on 2 February 1901 when they lost 11–0 to Scotland.
In 1899, the Irish FA also changed its rules governing the selection of non-resident players. Before then the Ireland team selected its players exclusively from the Irish League, in particular the three Belfast-based clubs Linfield, Cliftonville and Distillery. On 4 March 1899, for the match against Wales, McAteer included four Irish players based in England. The change in policy produced dividends as Ireland won 1–0. Three weeks later, on 25 March, one of these four players, Archie Goodall, aged 34 years and 279 days, became the oldest player to score in international football during the 19th century when he scored Ireland's goal in a 9–1 defeat to Scotland.
In 1920, Ireland was partitioned into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. In 1922, Southern Ireland gained independence as the Irish Free State, later to become a republic under the name of Ireland. Amid these political upheavals, a rival football association, the Football Association of Ireland, emerged in Dublin in 1921 and organised a separate league and international team. In 1923, at a time when the home nations had withdrawn from FIFA, the FAI was recognised by FIFA as the governing body of the Irish Free State on the condition that it changed its name to the Football Association of the Irish Free State. The Irish FA continued to organise its national team on an all-Ireland basis.
Between 1928 and 1946, the IFA were not affiliated to FIFA and the two Ireland teams co-existed, never competing in the same competition. On 8 March 1950, however, in a 0–0 draw with Wales at the Racecourse Ground in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, the IFA fielded a team that included four players who were born in the Irish Free State. All four players had previously played for the FAI in their qualifiers and as a result had played for two different associations in the same FIFA World Cup tournament.
After complaints from the FAI, FIFA intervened and restricted players' eligibility based on the political border. In 1953 FIFA ruled neither team could be referred to as Ireland, decreeing that the FAI team be officially designated as the Republic of Ireland, while the IFA team was to become Northern Ireland.
Past performances Edit
British Home Championship Edit
Until the 1950s, the major competition for Northern Ireland/Ireland was the British Home Championship. The team won the competition eight times, taking the title outright on three occasions. They were the last winners of the now defunct competition held in 1984, and hence still are the British champions, and the trophy remains the property of the Irish FA.
FIFA World Cup Edit
Northern Ireland's best World Cup performance was in their first appearance in the finals, the 1958 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals after beating Czechoslovakia 2–1 in the play-off. They were knocked out by France, losing 4–0. In the 1958 competition, Northern Ireland became the least populous country to have qualified for the World Cup, a record that stood until Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the 2006 World Cup. Northern Ireland remains, however, the least populous country to have qualified for more than one World Cup finals tournament, to win a World Cup finals match, and to have progressed from the first round of the World Cup finals.
Captain of the national side at the 1958 World Cup was Danny Blanchflower, who also captained Tottenham Hotspur in the English league and was twice footballer of the year in England. His younger brother Jackie was also a key member of the national team, and won two league titles in England with Manchester United, until his career was ended by injuries suffered in the Munich air disaster of February 1958.
Despite the presence of world class forward George Best, another Manchester United player, for the 1960s and 1970s, Northern Ireland failed to qualify for any major tournaments.
Northern Ireland also qualified for the 1982 World Cup. Their opening game was against Yugoslavia at La Romareda stadium in Zaragoza. It was the international debut of 17-year-old Norman Whiteside, who became the youngest player ever in the World Cup finals, a record that still stands. The game finished goalless. Five days later, they drew 1–1 with Honduras, which was a disappointment, and many believed had doomed Northern Ireland's chances of advancing in the competition. They needed a win against hosts Spain in the third and final group game at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. They faced a partisan atmosphere with a mostly Spanish crowd and a Spanish-speaking referee in Héctor Ortiz who was unwilling to punish dirty play from the Spanish players. A mistake from Spain goalkeeper Luis Arconada, however, gifted Gerry Armstrong the only goal of the game, and despite having Mal Donaghy sent off on 60 minutes, Northern Ireland went on to record a historic 1–0 win and top the first stage group.
A 2–2 draw with Austria at the Vicente Calderón Stadium meant that a win against France would take them into the semi-finals, however, a French team inspired by Michel Platini won 4–1 and eliminated Northern Ireland from the competition.
Recent history Edit
Lawrie Sanchez was appointed in January 2004 after a run of ten games without a goal under the previous manager Sammy McIlroy, which was a European record for any international team until San Marino went over 20 games without scoring between October 2008 and August 2012. That run ended after his first game in charge, a 1–4 loss to Norway in a friendly in February 2004. The run of 16 games without a win ended after his second game, a 1–0 victory in a friendly over Estonia, with a largely experimental side, in March 2004.
On 7 September 2005, Northern Ireland beat England 1–0 in a 2006 World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park. David Healy scored the winner in the 73rd minute. Almost a year later, on 6 September 2006, Northern Ireland defeated Spain 3–2 in a qualifier for UEFA Euro 2008, with Healy scoring a hat-trick. In June 2007, Nigel Worthington was named manager in the place of Lawrie Sanchez, who took over at Fulham. Initially, Worthington took over until the end of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, but was later given a contract until the end of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Michael O'Neill became manager in February 2012 after Worthington had resigned in October 2011 after a poor Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
The Northern Ireland team qualified for its first ever UEFA European Championship, Euro 2016 in France, after beating Greece 3–1 at Windsor Park on 8 October 2015. At the tournament, Northern Ireland were beaten 1–0 by Poland on 20 June 2016 followed by a 2–0 win against Ukraine on 16 June 2016 and finally a 1–0 loss against Germany in the group stage. That was enough to qualify for a Round of 16 spot where they lost 1–0 to Wales due to an unfortunate own goal by Gareth McAuley.
Northern Ireland play their home matches at Windsor Park, Belfast, home of Linfield, which they have use of on a 108-year lease, giving the owners 15% of revenue, including gate receipts and TV rights.
There was a proposal to build a multisports stadium for Northern Ireland at the disused Maze prison outside Lisburn for the use of Rugby, Gaelic games and football. This plan was given an "in principle" go-ahead by the Irish Football Association. However, it was opposed by fans, over 85% of whom in a match day poll conducted by the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs ("AONISC") preferred to stay at a smaller new or redeveloped ground in the city of Belfast. The AONISC organised a protest against the move to the Maze at the game against Estonia in March 2006.
The issue assumed ever greater urgency by 2007, following a series of inspections which questioned the suitability of Windsor Park to host international football. Following a reduction of capacity due to the closure of the Railway Stand, the IFA made it known that they wished to terminate their contract for the use of the stadium. A report on health and safety in October 2007 indicated that the South Stand might have to be closed for internationals, which would further reduce the stadium's capacity to 9,000. In April 2008, Belfast City Council announced that they had commissioned Drivers Jonas to conduct a feasibility study into the building of a Sports Stadium in Belfast which could accommodate international football, which was followed at the beginning of May 2008 by speculation that the Maze Stadium project was going to be radically revised by Peter Robinson, the finance and personnel minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly, so that any construction might be used for purposes other than football, rugby union and Gaelic games. Given the time that is needed to build a new stadium, in the absence of significant work improving Windsor Park, it seemed to be likely that Northern Ireland might be forced to play their home games at a venue outside Northern Ireland for a period.
In March 2009, proposals were announced for the construction of a new 25,000-seat stadium in the Sydenham area of East Belfast as an alternative to the Maze proposal. This would form part of a major development, with links to both George Best Belfast City Airport and the Bangor railway line. The development would also include a hotel, and retail/leisure areas. The stadium itself would be used for both football and rugby union, with Glentoran and Ulster Rugby intended as tenants. Ulster GAA, however, who were a partner in the Maze proposal, stated that in the event of a new stadium being built in East Belfast, which is a major unionist area, their preference would then be to remain at Casement Park in nationalist west Belfast.
The IFA were initially non-committal about any of the proposals for improving their facilities, be it rebuilding Windsor Park, or supporting either the Maze or Sydenham proposals. In September 2009, however, they issued an announcement in favour of the redevelopment of Windsor Park. Although there were no specifics to this, Linfield had previously released a study with two proposals, of which the major one would be a £20 million rebuilding of the stadium, raising the spectator capacity to 20,000. In 2011, the Northern Ireland Executive allocated £138 million for a major programme of stadium redevelopment throughout Northern Ireland, with £28 million allocated to the redevelopment of Windsor Park. In June 2012, further details of the stadium's redevelopment were released. The plan was to redevelop Windsor Park into an 18,000 all-seater stadium with a series of phased works originally intended to begin in the summer of 2013. The redevelopment would include the demolition of the existing East and South Stand structures, to be replaced by new purpose built stands that would partially enclose the stadium; complete renovation of the existing North and West Stands; and construction of both new conferencing facilities and a new headquarters facility for the IFA.
In February 2013, planning permission for the redevelopment was granted. The cost of the project was estimated to be around £29.2 million, of which £25.2 million would come from government funding. It was initially planned for the work to begin in September 2013. Two months later, however, Irish Premiership club Crusaders began legal proceedings to have the process judicially reviewed. As owners of the site, rivals Linfield were in line to receive not only a redeveloped stadium, but also £200,000 per annum from the IFA in land rent instead of the existing agreement which entitled Linfield to 15% of match revenue. Crusaders believed this to be against European Union competition law as well as a form of state aid towards Linfield. In a hearing that took place on 22 May 2013, Crusaders' request was granted. It was ruled that it was a possibility for the redevelopment to be classed as state aid towards Linfield. The aspect of the challenge concerning competition law, however, was dismissed.
In July 2013, Crusaders agreed to a possible settlement brought forward by the judicial review. The details of the settlement were not made public, but Crusaders said that it had the "potential to benefit the entirety of the football family". In September 2013, sports minister Carál Ní Chuilín said that she was still committed to making sure the redevelopment went ahead as scheduled, after previously stating that she would not sign off on the funding until the IFA resolved "governance issues" surrounding David Martin's return to the role of deputy president. In December 2013, three months after the work was originally scheduled to begin, the redevelopment was finally given the green light. The sports minister signed off on £31 million to complete the project. The redevelopment finally got under way on 6 May 2014 after the 2013–14 domestic season had finished, eight months later than originally planned. The work is due to be completed in 2015.
Team image Edit
Northern Ireland traditionally wears green shirts, white shorts and green socks. The kit has been manufactured by Adidas since 2012. Prior to this, the kit was manufactured by Umbro.
Kit suppliers Edit
The Green and White Army is the name given to the fans that follow the Northern Ireland national football team.
Since the defeat of England in 2005, there has been an increased demand for tickets exceeding supply. Tongue-in-cheek songs such as "We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland" (sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, an American Civil War song), "It's Just Like Watching Brazil" and "Stand up for the Ulstermen" are popular at home matches.
One of the first footballing celebrities was former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best. The 1968 European Footballer of the Year, Best won 37 caps and scored 9 goals for his country.
Leading up to the Euro 2016, YouTuber Sean Kennedy released the song "Will Grigg's on Fire", a parody about Northern Irish national Will Grigg to the tune of "Freed From Desire" by Gala. The song became a popular chant and internet sensation. A studio version was released by London-based production duo Blonde, going on to reach number seven in the iTunes UK Top 100.
Historic controversy over sectarianism Edit
In 2000 the IFA launched the "Football For All" campaign to tackle sectarianism and racism at Northern Ireland games. Michael Boyd, the director of football development at the IFA, recalled how the team struggled to even get a sponsor for their kit because the image of Northern Irish football was so poor. Attendance at matches was low; at a 1999 game against France, then reigning World Cup champions, IFA could not sell out the ground and there were problems with "sectarian singing and racist abuse." Neil Lennon, a Roman Catholic Celtic player who had been subject to sectarian abuse from Northern Ireland fans while playing for Northern Ireland in Windsor Park, was issued a death threat by Loyalists and retired from international football in 2002 as a result. Former Security Minister Jane Kennedy said the threat against Lennon 'disgraced Northern Ireland in the eyes of the world' and widened the divide between the association and Catholic players and supporters. However, the incident represented a turning point in the campaign against sectarianism in the IFA which had seen slow progress in the previous two years.
Steps taken to eradicate the sectarian element within the support have been successful. Lennon has been quick to praise these initiatives. He also praised the "Football For All" Outstanding Achievement Award Winner Stewart MacAfee for the work he has done to create a more inclusive atmosphere at international games.
People like Stewart are the unsung heroes who have been brave enough to challenge sectarianism and who have actively created a more fun, safe and family-orientated atmosphere at international games. Fans like Stewart have made the atmosphere at Northern Ireland football games in recent years the envy of Fans across not only Europe but World football. From a personal point of view I would like to thank them for their efforts.
In 2006, Northern Ireland's supporters were awarded the Brussels International Supporters Award for their charity work, general good humour and behaviour and efforts to stamp out sectarianism. Representatives of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs received the award from UEFA and EU representatives prior to the Northern Ireland–Spain game at Windsor Park in September 2006.
Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín, the first senior Sinn Féin representative to attend an international at Windsor Park, commended "the very real efforts that have been made by the IFA to tackle sectarianism at their matches" after a match in August 2011. Twenty years after Lennon's resignation, Northern Ireland international games regularly sell out and women and children were "noticeable" amongst the spectators.
Media coverage Edit
Highlights of qualifiers are shown on BBC Northern Ireland with rights to World Cup Finals and European Championships held jointly by BBC and ITV - both channels shared coverage of Northern Ireland's games at Euro 2016.
Dating from the 1960s, Northern Ireland's games were shown live on BBC Northern Ireland, with highlights on network BBC via Sportsnight until the rights to home games were sold to Sky in 2007. In May 2013, Sky acquired the rights to all Northern Ireland qualifying games for UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. From 2008 to 2013, BBC Northern Ireland held the rights to highlights of all of Northern Ireland's home international qualifiers. But in May 2013, ITV secured a deal to show highlights of the European Qualifiers for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, including Northern Ireland games, between 2014 and 2017.
In 2015, BBC Northern Ireland acquired the live rights to show Northern Ireland's friendlies in the run-up to UEFA Euro 2016, but the next two subsequent home friendlies against Croatia and New Zealand were shown on Premier Sports/eirSport until the contract ended before the 2018 World Cup.
Results and fixtures Edit
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss Fixture
|24 September 2022–23 UEFA Nations League C||Northern Ireland||2–1||Kosovo||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Report||Muriqi 58'||Stadium: Windsor Park|
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (Sweden)
|27 September 2022–23 UEFA Nations League C||Greece||3–1||Northern Ireland||Athens, Greece|
|Report||Lavery 18'||Stadium: Agia Sophia Stadium|
Referee: Filip Glova (Slovakia)
|23 March UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||San Marino||0–2||Northern Ireland||Serravalle, San Marino|
|Report||D. Charles 24', 55'||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle|
Referee: Gergő Bogár (Hungary)
|26 March UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Northern Ireland||0–1||Finland||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Report||Källman 28'||Stadium: Windsor Park|
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
|16 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Denmark||1–0||Northern Ireland||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Wind 47'||Report||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
Referee: Daniel Stefański (Poland)
|19 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Northern Ireland||0–1||Kazakhstan||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Report||Aymbetov 88'||Stadium: Windsor Park|
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (Israel)
|7 September UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Slovenia||4–2||Northern Ireland||Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|Šporar 3', 56'
Evans 17' (o.g.)
|Stadium: Stožice Stadium|
Referee: Marco Guida (Italy)
|10 September UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Kazakhstan||1–0||Northern Ireland||Astana, Kazakhstan|
|Samorodov 27'||Report||Stadium: Astana Arena|
Referee: Daniel Schlager (Germany)
|14 October UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Northern Ireland||v||San Marino||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Report||Stadium: Windsor Park|
|17 October UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Northern Ireland||v||Slovenia||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Report||Stadium: Windsor Park|
|17 November UEFA Euro 2024 Group H Qualifier||Finland||v||Northern Ireland||Helsinki, Finland|
|Report||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
Coaching staff Edit
Current coaching staff Edit
- As of 20 March 2023
|Assistant Manager||Jimmy Nicholl|
|Senior Coach||Aaron Hughes|
|Senior Coach||Diarmuid O'Carroll|
|Goalkeeping Coach||David Rouse|
|Team Doctor||David White|
|Head Physiotherapist||Caroline Woods|
|Sports Scientist||Ricky McCann|
|Equipment Manager||Raymond Millar|
|Equipment Assistants||Stevie Ferguson|
Manager history Edit
Last updated after match against Kazakhstan on 10 September 2023.
|Manager||First Game||Last Game||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Win %||Draw %||Loss %|
|Irish FA Selection Committee||18 February 1882 vs.||12 May 1951 vs.||177||29||27||121||200||568||-368||16.39%||15.25%||68.36%|
|Peter Doherty||6 October 1951 vs.||9 May 1962 vs.||51||9||14||28||67||119||-52||17.65%||27.45%||54.90%|
|Bertie Peacock||10 October 1962 vs.||12 April 1967 vs.||28||11||4||13||46||54||-8||39.29%||14.29%||46.42%|
|Billy Bingham||21 October 1967 vs.||22 May 1971 vs.||20||8||3||9||24||22||+2||40.00%||15.00%||45.00%|
|Terry Neill||22 September 1971 vs.||30 October 1974 vs.||20||6||6||8||16||18||-2||30.00%||30.00%||40.00%|
|Dave Clements||16 April 1975 vs.||14 May 1976 vs.||11||3||2||6||7||15||-8||27.27%||18.18%||54.55%|
|Danny Blanchflower||13 October 1976 vs.||21 November 1979 vs.||24||6||5||13||19||38||-19||25.00%||20.83%||54.17%|
|Billy Bingham||26 March 1980 vs.||17 November 1993 vs.||98||32||31||35||91||107||-16||32.65%||31.64%||35.71%|
|Bryan Hamilton||23 March 1994 vs.||11 October 1997 vs.||31||8||8||15||34||41||-7||25.81%||25.81%||48.38%|
|Lawrie McMenemy||25 March 1998 vs.||9 October 1999 vs.||14||4||3||7||9||25||-16||28.57%||21.43%||50.00%|
|Sammy McIlroy||23 February 2000 vs.||11 October 2003 vs.||29||5||7||17||19||40||-21||17.24%||24.14%||58.62%|
|Lawrie Sanchez||18 February 2004 vs.||28 March 2007 vs.||32||11||10||11||35||42||-7||34.38%||31.24%||34.38%|
|Nigel Worthington||22 August 2007 vs.||11 October 2011 vs.||41||9||10||22||35||55||-20||21.95%||24.39%||53.66%|
|Michael O'Neill||29 February 2012 vs.||19 November 2019 vs.||72||26||18||28||75||83||-8||36.11%||25.00%||38.89%|
|Ian Baraclough||4 September 2020 vs.||27 September 2022 vs.||28||6||8||14||27||36||-9||21.43%||28.57%||50.00%|
|Michael O'Neill||23 March 2023 vs.||6||1||0||5||4||8||-4||16.67%||0.00%||83.33%|
Statistics include official FIFA recognised matches only
Current squad Edit
Recent call-ups Edit
The following players have been called up to the Northern Ireland squad during the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|DF||Ciaron Brown||14 January 1998||17||0||Oxford United||v. Kazakhstan, 10 September 2023 INJ|
|DF||Jamal Lewis||25 January 1998||30||0||Watford||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
|DF||Conor Bradley||9 July 2003||13||0||Liverpool||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
|DF||Aaron Donnelly||8 June 2003||0||0||Dundee||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
|DF||Tom Flanagan||21 October 1991||15||0||Shrewsbury Town||v. Greece, 27 September 2022|
|DF||Kofi Balmer||19 September 2000||0||0||Port Vale||v. Greece, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Gavin Whyte||31 January 1996||30||5||Portsmouth||v. Slovenia, 7 September 2023 INJ|
|MF||Ethan Galbraith||11 May 2001||2||0||Leyton Orient||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
|MF||Sean Goss||1 October 1995||0||0||Asteras Tripolis||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
|MF||Shane Ferguson||12 July 1991||57||2||Rotherham United||v. Finland, 26 March 2023|
|MF||Cameron McGeehan||6 April 1995||1||0||Colchester United||v. Finland, 26 March 2023|
|MF||Steven Davis||1 January 1985||140||13||Rangers||v. Greece, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Corry Evans||17 July 1990||70||2||Sunderland||v. Greece, 27 September 2022|
|FW||Shayne Lavery||8 December 1998||19||3||Blackpool||v. Slovenia, 7 September 2023 INJ|
|FW||Dale Taylor||12 December 2003||3||0||Wycombe Wanderers||v. Slovenia, 7 September 2023 INJ|
|FW||Callum Marshall||28 November 2004||1||0||West Ham United||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
|FW||Lee Bonis||3 August 1999||0||0||Larne||v. Kazakhstan, 19 June 2023|
COVID = Player withdrew due to a positive COVID test or from being in close contact with someone with a positive COVID test.
Individual records Edit
- As of 10 September 2023 after the match against Kazakhstan.
Most appearances Edit
Top goalscorers Edit
|1||David Healy (list)||36||95||0.38||2000–2013|
Most clean sheets Edit
- A goalkeeper is awarded a clean sheet if he does not concede a goal during his time on the pitch.
|Rank||Player||Caps as Captain||Total Caps||Captaincy Span|
- Captaincy appearances are only awarded to players who were assigned the captaincy at the start of a game.
Competitive record Edit
For the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page
FIFA World Cup Edit
|FIFA World Cup finals record||Qualification record||Manager(s)|
|1930||Not a FIFA member||Not a FIFA member||None|
|1950||did not qualify||3||0||1||2||4||17||Irish FA Committee|
|1962||did not qualify||4||1||0||3||7||8|
|1982||Second group stage||9th||5||1||3||1||5||7||Squad||8||3||3||2||6||3||Billy Bingham|
|1990||did not qualify||8||2||1||5||6||12|
|2026||to be determined|
UEFA European Championship Edit
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualification record||Manager(s)|
|1960||did not enter||did not enter||None|
|1964||did not qualify||4||2||1||1||5||2||Bertie Peacock|
|1968||6||1||1||4||2||8||Bertie Peacock, Billy Bingham[note 2]|
|1972||6||2||2||2||10||6||Billy Bingham, Terry Neill[note 3]|
|1976||6||3||0||3||8||5||Terry Neill, Dave Clements[note 4]|
|2008||12||6||2||4||17||14||Lawrie Sanchez, Nigel Worthington[note 5]|
|2016||Round of 16||16th||4||1||0||3||2||3||Squad||10||6||3||1||16||8||Michael O'Neill|
|2020||did not qualify||10||4||2||4||11||16||Michael O'Neill, Ian Baraclough[note 6]|
|2024||to be determined||6||1||0||5||4||8||Michael O'Neill|
|Total||Round of 16||1/16||4||1||0||3||2||3||—||126||45||27||54||135||162||—|
UEFA Nations League Edit
|UEFA Nations League record||Manager(s)|
|2024–25||C||to be determined|
Summary of results Edit
- All competitive matches
Results updated after match against Kazakhstan on 19 June 2023.
FIFA Rankings Edit
Last updated on 16 February 2022. 
Worst Ranking Best Ranking Worst Mover Best Mover
|54||2021||12||4||3||5||45||4 (September)||58||11 (October)|
|45||2020||8||0||3||5||36||0 (February)||45||4 (November)|
|36||2019||10||6||1||3||28||5 (June)||36||4 (October)|
|35||2018||9||2||2||5||24||2 (March)||35||6 (October)|
|24||2017||9||5||1||3||20||9 (April)||35||3 (October)|
|32||2016||13||5||3||5||25||4 (November)||36||6 (October)|
|30||2015||9||4||4||1||29||8 (March)||51||4 (April)|
|48||2014||7||3||1||3||43||28 (October)||95||6 (August)|
|89||2013||8||1||2||5||86||23 (September)||119||22 (April)|
|96||2012||7||0||4||3||86||17 (November)||129||28 (September)|
|88||2011||10||1||1||8||38||5 (February)||89||25 (April)|
|43||2010||10||1||3||4||39||14 (September)||59||11 (March)|
|40||2009||9||3||3||3||27||15 (April)||52||9 (November)|
|52||2008||8||2||2||4||32||2 (June)||52||10 (December)|
|32||2007||9||4||2||3||27||14 (April)||49||9 (September)|
|48||2006||8||4||1||3||45||21 (July)||103||3 (November)|
|103||2005||10||2||2||6||101||15 (September)||116||4 (August)|
|107||2004||11||3||6||2||107||9 (April)||124||2 (July)|
|122||2003||8||0||2||6||106||1 (June)||122||7 (October)|
|103||2002||6||0||3||3||89||1 (April)||103||8 (September)|
|88||2001||8||2||1||5||88||10 (September)||107||4 (June)|
|93||2000||7||3||1||3||84||5 (October)||98||5 (May)|
|84||1999||8||1||2||5||67||19 (January)||84||7 (October)|
|86||1998||6||3||1||2||86||7 (October)||99||6 (February)|
|93||1997||9||1||3||5||63||5 (April)||93||10 (December)|
|64||1996||7||1||3||3||48||11 (December)||75||9 (October)|
|45||1995||8||3||2||3||45||10 (September)||55||5 (February)|
|45||1994||7||3||0||4||33||7 (April)||45||8 (June)|
|39||1993||8||4||1||3||39||3 (August)||42||2 (October)|
FIFA ranking history Edit
The following is a chart of the yearly averages of Northern Ireland's FIFA ranking.
Graphs are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues.
See also Edit
- The last match played as Ireland was in 1978 against Scotland. However, apart from this match, all British Championship matches had been played as "Northern Ireland" since the 1973–74 tournament. In the 1972–73 tournament, the first two matches were played as "Ireland" and the third as "Northern Ireland". In the 1971–72 tournament, the first was played as "Ireland" and the second and third as "Northern Ireland". 1970–71 was the last tournament in which all matches were played under the name "Ireland".
- Bertie Peacock managed for the first three qualifying matches. Billy Bingham managed the remainder of the qualification campaign.
- Billy Bingham managed for the first three qualifying matches. Terry Neill managed the remainder of the qualification campaign.
- Terry Neill managed for the first two qualifying matches. Dave Clements managed the remainder of the qualification campaign.
- Lawrie Sanchez managed for the first six qualifying matches. Nigel Worthington managed the remainder of the qualification campaign.
- Michael O'Neill managed the team for the eight qualifying group stage matches. Ian Baraclough managed the team in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 21 September 2023. Retrieved 21 September 2023.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 13 September 2023. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
- Matthew Taylor (2008). The Association Game: A History of British Football. Harlow:Pearson Education Ltd.
- "NIFG: Northern Ireland Programmes 1975–1978". Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "NIFG: Northern Ireland Programmes 1972–1975". Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "NIFG: Northern Ireland Programmes 1968–1972". Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "When Northern Ireland won the last ever British Home Championship". Guardian. 15 June 2022. Archived from the original on 15 June 2022. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
- Whiteside, Norman (2007). Determined. Headline Publishing Group. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-7553-1598-7.
- Whiteside, Norman (2007). Determined. Headline Publishing Group. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7553-1598-7.
- "Northern Ireland 3 Greece 1". BBC Sport. 8 October 2015. Archived from the original on 11 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
At the tournament, the Northern Ireland fans made the famous chant 'Will Grigg's on fire' famous
- Jackson, Lyle (16 June 2016). "Ukraine 0, Northern Ireland 2". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "IFA wants out of Windsor contract". BBC News. 17 July 2007. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Lord's Hansard on the question of building an NI national stadium". Archived from the original on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Tide Turns Against The Maze". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
- Report slams Windsor Park safety Archived 15 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine BBC News
- IFA wants out of Windsor contract Archived 15 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine BBC News
- South Stand future under threat Archived 26 January 2020 at the Wayback Machine BBC News
- Plans for £128m Belfast stadium unveiled Archived 22 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine – The Independent, 25/03/09
- IFA 'backs Windsor as NI stadium' Archived 15 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine – BBC News, 07/09/09
- Linfield FC has £20m stadium plan Archived 15 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine – BBC News, 12/06/09
- "Stadiums fit for our heroes on way at last Belfast Telegraph". Belfast Telegraph. 11 March 2011. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "WINDSOR PARK REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT". Irish Football Association. 25 June 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "GREEN LIGHT FOR STADIUM REDEVELOPMENT". Irish Football Association. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Windsor Park funding faces legal challenge from Crusaders". BBC Sport. 17 April 2013. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Crusaders win right to oppose government funding for Windsor". BBC Sport. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- "Crusaders support settlement on Windsor Park upgrade". BBC Sport. 16 July 2013. Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin 'committed' to Windsor upgrade". BBC Sport. 26 September 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "WORK BEGINS AT WINDSOR PARK". Irish Football Association. 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- "BBC news story on NI ticket sales". BBC News. 5 April 2006. Archived from the original on 24 December 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "Football: George Best: Football's first icon". The Guardian. London. 27 November 2005. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Will Grigg's on fire: Parody song reaches number seven in ITunes UK Top 100". BBC. 2 June 2016. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Brian McNally (5 March 2010). "Why Northern Ireland continue to pay the price for abuse dished out to Neil Lennon". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Horne, John. "Racism, sectarianism and football in Scotlandaccessdate=18 October 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 July 2013.
- Gilmour, Paul. "Neil Lennon threat 'a turning point' for Northern Ireland campaign". Archived from the original on 25 November 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
- Tim Rich (23 August 2002). "Death threat forces Lennon to place family feelings first". The Independent. London. Retrieved 21 February 2011.[dead link]
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- "Lennon hails anti-sectarian drive". BBC News. 25 October 2006. Archived from the original on 8 November 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "PRAISE FOR IFA'S FOOTBALL FOR ALL AWARDS NIGHT". Archived from the original on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2007.
- "Northern Ireland Fans Are Officially The Best In Europe". Irishfa.com. 24 August 2006. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- "Caral Ni Chuilin attends NI game at Windsor Park". BBC News. 11 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 January 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "Premier Sports agrees deal to broadcast Northern Ireland games from 2022-2024". Irish FA. 20 May 2022. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
- "Sky TV deal to net IFA over £10m". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 April 2007. Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Beacom, Steven (15 May 2013). "Northern Ireland fans can reach for the Sky again with new TV deal". Belfast Telegraph. INM. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "San Marino vs. Northern Ireland" (JSON). Union of European Football Associations. 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
- "Michael O'Neill reveals Northern Ireland squad for Euro qualifiers". 29 August 2023. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
- "Northern Ireland senior men's squad update". 1 September 2023. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- "Most Northern Ireland Caps - EU-Football.info". eu-football.info. Archived from the original on 23 July 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
- "Historical Results – Fixtures And Results – International – The Irish Football Association". Irishfa.com. 16 July 2012. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Irish Football Association (2009). Official Souvenir Programme: Northern Ireland vs Serbia. Belfast:Irish Football Association
- Jackson, Lyle (14 November 2009). "BBC:Northern Ireland 0–1 Serbia". BBC News. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - Associations - Northern Ireland - Men's - FIFA.com". Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.