Finland national football team

Finland
Nickname(s) Huuhkajat
(The Eagle-owls)[1]
Association Football Association of Finland
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Markku Kanerva
Captain Tim Sparv
Most caps Jari Litmanen (137)
Top scorer Jari Litmanen (32)
Home stadium Helsinki Olympic Stadium
FIFA code FIN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 62 1 (16 August 2018)
Highest 33 (March 2007)
Lowest 110 (JulyAugust 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 56 4 (24 July 2018)
Highest 30[2] (March 2002)
Lowest 125[2] (1962-3)
First international
Finland 2–5 Sweden 
(Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire; 22 October 1911)
Biggest win
 Finland 10–2 Estonia 
(Helsinki, Finland; 11 August 1922)
 Finland 8–0 San Marino 
(Helsinki, Finland; 17 November 2010)
Biggest defeat
 Germany 13–0 Finland 
(Leipzig, Germany; 1 September 1940)
World Cup
Appearances 0
European Championship
Appearances 0

The Finland national football team (Finnish: Suomen jalkapallomaajoukkue, Swedish: Finlands fotbollslandslag) represents Finland in international football competitions and is controlled by the Football Association of Finland.

Although the Finnish national team has never qualified for a finals tournament of the World Cup or the European Championships in spite of its long history, the Nordic nation made remarkable progression in the 2000s, reaching a peak of 30th on the Elo Rankings. Under coach Roy Hodgson they achieved notable results against much more established European teams. After a few years of poor results, they dipped to a FIFA ranking of 110, the lowest in their history. However, in the autumn of 2017, Finland began to rise up the FIFA rankings and, as of May 2018, they sit at 62nd.

Finland has also participated on two occasions in the European sub-regional Baltic Cup championship, which takes place every two years between the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Finland's best result in the Baltic Cup tournament was in 2012 when they finished as runners-up. In 2014 Finland finished the tournament in third place.

History

Early history

The Football Association of Finland was founded in 1907 and became a member of FIFA in 1908. At the time, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire. Finland played its first international on 22 October 1911, as Sweden beat the Finns at the Eläintarha Stadium in Helsinki. Finland participated the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, beating Italy and the Russian Empire, but losing the bronze medal match against the Netherlands.

Period of dispersion

After the 1918 Civil War, the Finnish sports movement was divided into the right-wing Finnish Gymnastics and Sports Federation (SVUL) and the leftist Finnish Workers' Sports Federation (TUL), Finnish Football Association was a member of the SVUL.[3] Both sides had their own championship series, and between 1919–1939 the Finland national team was selected of the Football Association players only. The Finnish Workers' Sports Federation football team in turn, participated the competitions of the international labour movement.[4]

However, since the late 1920s several top footballers defected from TUL and joined the Football Association to be eligible for the national team. During the 1930s, these ″defectors″ formed the spine of the national team. For example, the Finland squad at the 1936 Summer Olympics was composed of eight former TUL players.[4] In 1937, Finland participated the FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, losing all three matches against Sweden, Germany and Estonia.

Since 1939, TUL players were selected to the national team and finally in 1956, the TUL and Football Association series were merged.[4]

Post-war years

The 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki saw the Finnish hosts lose to Austria in the first round. Finland did, however, win the unofficial Nordic championship in 1964 and 1966.[5]

Finland also took part in European Championship qualifying since the 1968 event, but had to wait for its first win until 1978.

Later 20th century

The results of the team improved somewhat in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Finland missed out on qualification for Euro 1980 by just a point and for the 1986 World Cup by two points. Finland was invited to take part in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow after many Western countries announced they would boycott the games, but failed to progress from its group.

By the mid-1990s Finland started to have more players in high-profile European leagues, led by the Ajax superstar Jari Litmanen. In 1996 Danish Euro 1992 winning coach Richard Møller Nielsen was hired to take Finland to the 1998 World Cup. The team enjoyed mixed fortunes in the campaign, high points of which were a draw and a win away to Norway and Switzerland respectively. Going into the last match, Finland would have needed a win at home to Hungary to earn a place in the play-offs. They led the game 1–0 going into injury time, but scored an own goal, and once again the dreams of qualification were over. Møller Nielsen also tried to lead Finland to Euro 2000. In this campaign the Finns recorded a sensational win away to Turkey, but couldn't compete with Germany and Turkey in the long run.

Antti Muurinen succeeded Møller Nielsen as coach in 2000. He had arguably the most talented group of Finnish players ever at his disposal, including players such as Antti Niemi, Sami Hyypiä, Teemu Tainio and Mikael Forssell in addition to the legendary Litmanen. The team also performed quite well under him in qualification for the 2002 World Cup despite a difficult draw, earning two draws against Germany and a home draw with England as well as beating Greece 5–1 in Helsinki. In the end, however, England and Germany proved too strong, and the Finns finished third in the group, but were the only team in that group not to lose at home. Hopes were high going into qualification for Euro 2004 after the promising last campaign and friendly wins over the likes of Norway, Belgium and Portugal (which seen the Finns jump from 40th–30th in the Elo ranking[2]). However, Finland started the campaign by losing to Wales and Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro, now two separate nations). These losses were followed by two defeats by Italy, and a 3–0 home win over Serbia and Montenegro was little consolation, as the Finns finished fourth in the group. In qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finland failed to score a single point in six matches against the top three teams in their group, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Romania. Muurinen was sacked in June 2005, and he was replaced by caretaker Jyrki Heliskoski, but results didn't improve.

In August 2005, it was announced that Roy Hodgson would become the new Finland coach in 2006, and he started in the job in January of that year. Hodgson stepped down as manager after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008.[6] His replacement was a Scotsman, Stuart Baxter, who signed a contract until the end of the 2012 European Championship qualification campaign.[7]

Recent history

During Euro 2008 qualifying, Finland was at the point of their "golden generation", with a team consisting of players such as Jari Litmanen, Sami Hyypiä, Mikael Forssell, Hannu Tihinen, Petri Pasanen, Joonas Kolkka, Mika Väyrynen and Teemu Tainio. Finland needed to win their last qualifying game away at Portugal to qualify for their first major football tournament. However, the match ended 0–0 meaning the team missed out on qualification to the tournament, with Finland ending the group stage with 24 points and Portugal with 27 points. However, the performance in qualifying led to the Finns gaining their best-ever FIFA world ranking to date at the position of 33rd.

The 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign under new head coach Stuart Baxter saw Finland again finish third in their group with five wins, three draws and two defeats. They were the only team in qualifying not to lose to eventual 3rd-place finishers Germany; in both the home and away matches Finland had led Germany only to concede late equalisers. Finland finished a disappointing fourth in Euro 2012 qualifying, with only three wins, two of them against minnows San Marino.

In the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, Finland's best result was a 1–1 draw at reigning world champions Spain. They finished third in the five-team Group I, behind Spain and France. Finland finished fourth in Euro 2016 qualifying but achieved another noteworthy result. Joel Pohjanpalo's goal gave the Finns a 1–0 win at former European champions Greece, who had reached the second round of the 2014 World Cup and were the top seeds of their qualifying group.

The 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign saw Finland finish a disappointing fifth in their group with only two wins, although one of them was over Iceland, who finished top of the qualifying group.

Stadia

Most of Finland's important home matches are played at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in the capital Helsinki. It has been Finland's principal home stadium ever since its construction was completed in 1938. Before that Pallokenttä in Helsinki was mainly used.

Today, some qualifying matches against lower profile opponents and some friendlies are hosted at the Ratina Stadion in Tampere. Helsinki's Telia 5G -areena, which has artificial turf, is also used for some friendlies and qualifiers. During reconstruction of Helsinki Olympic Stadium in 2016–19 Ratina Stadion serves as the main stadium for qualifying games.

Competitive record

World Cup record

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 Did not enter
1934
1938 Did not qualify 3 0 0 3 0 7
1950 Withdrew during qualifying 3 0 1 2 2 12
1954 Did not qualify 4 0 2 2 7 13
1958 4 0 0 4 2 19
1962 4 0 0 4 3 12
1966 6 1 0 5 5 20
1970 6 1 0 5 6 28
1974 6 1 1 4 3 21
1978 6 2 0 4 11 16
1982 8 1 0 7 4 27
1986 8 3 2 3 7 12
1990 6 1 1 4 4 16
1994 10 2 1 7 9 18
1998 8 3 2 3 11 12
2002 8 3 3 2 12 7
2006 12 5 1 6 21 19
2010 10 5 3 2 14 14
2014 8 2 3 3 5 9
2018 10 2 3 5 9 13
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
Total 0/21 123 30 20 73 128 280

European Championship record

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 Did not enter Did not enter
1964
1968 Did not qualify 6 0 2 4 5 12
1972 6 0 1 5 1 16
1976 6 0 1 5 3 13
1980 6 2 2 2 10 15
1984 6 0 1 5 3 14
1988 6 1 1 4 4 10
1992 8 1 4 3 5 8
1996 10 5 0 5 18 18
2000 8 3 1 4 13 13
2004 8 3 1 4 9 10
2008 14 6 6 2 13 7
2012 10 3 1 6 16 16
2016 10 3 3 4 9 10
2020 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/15 104 27 24 53 109 162

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Group Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA
2018–19 C 2 To be determined
Total 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Summer Olympics

Olympics record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1912Fourth Place4th4202516
1936Round of 1614th100137
1952Round of 169th100134
1980Group stage9th311132
Total4/230 Titles93151429

Nordic Football Championship

Nordic Football Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
1929–32 Fourth place 4th 12 2 2 8 23 52
1933–36 12 3 1 8 18 36
1937–47 12 1 1 10 12 51
1948–51 12 1 3 8 11 28
1952–55 12 1 1 10 13 53
1956–59 12 0 1 11 8 44
1960–63 12 2 2 8 14 37
1964–67 Third place 3rd 12 5 2 5 14 17
1968–71 Fourth place 4th 12 0 4 8 10 31
1972–77 12 1 4 7 10 26
1978–80 6 1 4 7 10 26
1981–85 6 1 1 4 7 11
2000–01 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 7 3
Total 1 Title 13/14 137 21 24 92 150 401
*Gold background color indicates that the tournament was won.

Baltic Cup

Baltic Cup (football) Record
Year Result GP W D L GS GA
2012Runners-up211032
2014Third place210121
Total2/27421153

All–time record against all nations

This list is Finland national team complete records, both friendlies and competitive matches.[8]

Recent fixtures and results

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Nations League matches against Hungary on 8 September 2018 and Estonia on 11 September 2018.[12][13]
Caps and goals as of 9 June 2018 after the game against Belarus.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Lukáš Hrádecký (1989-11-24) 24 November 1989 44 0 Bayer Leverkusen
1GK Jesse Joronen (1993-03-21) 21 March 1993 5 0 Copenhagen
1GK Anssi Jaakkola (1987-03-13) 13 March 1987 3 0 Reading

2DF Joona Toivio (1988-03-10) 10 March 1988 47 3 Häcken
2DF Jukka Raitala (1988-09-15) 15 September 1988 40 0 Montreal Impact
2DF Markus Halsti (1984-03-19) 19 March 1984 34 0 Esbjerg
2DF Paulus Arajuuri (1988-06-15) 15 June 1988 28 2 Brøndby
2DF Jere Uronen (1994-07-13) 13 July 1994 28 1 Racing Genk
2DF Sauli Väisänen (1994-06-05) 5 June 1994 11 0 Crotone
2DF Albin Granlund (1989-09-01) 1 September 1989 7 0 Örebro
2DF Henri Toivomäki (1991-02-21) 21 February 1991 1 0 KuPS

3MF Tim Sparv (1987-02-20) 20 February 1987 61 1 Midtjylland
3MF Rasmus Schüller (1991-06-18) 18 June 1991 27 0 Minnesota United
3MF Robin Lod (1993-04-17) 17 April 1993 22 3 Sporting Gijón
3MF Pyry Soiri (1994-09-22) 22 September 1994 8 3 Admira Wacker
3MF Joni Kauko (1990-07-12) 12 July 1990 8 0 Esbjerg
3MF Simon Skrabb (1995-01-19) 19 January 1995 7 0 IFK Norrköping
3MF Glen Kamara (1995-10-28) 28 October 1995 5 0 Dundee
3MF Robert Taylor (1994-10-21) 21 October 1994 4 0 Tromsø

4FW Teemu Pukki (1990-03-29) 29 March 1990 63 12 Norwich
4FW Eero Markkanen (1991-07-03) 3 July 1991 12 0 Dalkurd
4FW Jasse Tuominen (1995-11-12) 12 November 1995 4 0 BATE Borisov
4FW Rasmus Karjalainen (1996-04-04) 4 April 1996 2 0 KuPS

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months. Only players available for call-up, not retired players.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Walter Viitala (1992-01-09) 9 January 1992 1 0 Malmö v.  Belarus, 9 June 2018
GK Hugo Keto (1998-02-09) 9 February 1998 0 0 Brighton & Hove Albion v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018

DF Juha Pirinen (1991-10-22) 22 October 1991 10 0 HJK v.  Belarus, 9 June 2018
DF Juhani Ojala (1989-06-19) 19 June 1989 23 1 Häcken v.  Malta, 26 March 2018
DF Kalle Taimi (1992-01-27) 27 January 1992 2 1 Lahti v.  Malta, 26 March 2018
DF Daniel O'Shaughnessy (1994-09-14) 14 September 1994 2 0 HJK v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018
DF Juho Pirttijoki (1996-07-30) 30 July 1996 1 0 KuPS v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018
DF Joel Mero (1995-02-07) 7 February 1995 0 0 SJK v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018
DF Dani Hatakka (1994-03-12) 12 March 1994 0 0 SJK v.  Turkey, 9 October 2017
DF Valtteri Moren (1991-06-15) 15 June 1991 4 1 Waasland-Beveren v.  Kosovo, 5 September 2017 INJ

MF Thomas Lam (1993-12-18) 18 December 1993 18 0 PEC Zwolle v.  Belarus, 9 June 2018
MF Moshtagh Yaghoubi (1994-11-08) 8 November 1994 6 1 HJK v.  Belarus, 9 June 2018
MF Alexander Ring (1991-04-09) 9 April 1991 43 2 New York City v.  Malta, 26 March 2018
MF Fredrik Jensen (1997-09-09) 9 September 1997 6 2 Augsburg v.  Malta, 26 March 2018
MF Kasper Hämäläinen (1986-08-08) 8 August 1986 60 8 Legia Warsaw v.  Malta, 26 March 2018 INJ
MF Riku Riski (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 27 4 HJK v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018
MF Kaan Kairinen (1998-12-22) 22 December 1998 0 0 Inter Turku v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018

FW Berat Sadik (1986-09-14) 14 September 1986 13 1 Doxa v.  Belarus, 9 June 2018
FW Tim Väyrynen (1993-03-29) 29 March 1993 10 0 Roda JC v.  Belarus, 9 June 2018
FW Joel Pohjanpalo (1994-09-13) 13 September 1994 29 6 Bayer Leverkusen v.  Malta, 26 March 2018
FW Akseli Pelvas (1989-02-08) 8 February 1989 7 1 HJK v.  Malta, 26 March 2018
FW Benjamin Källman (1998-06-17) 17 June 1998 1 0 Dundee v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018
FW Santeri Hostikka (1997-09-30) 30 September 1997 0 0 Lahti v.  Jordan, 11 January 2018
FW Aleksandr Kokko (1987-06-04) 4 June 1987 1 0 RoPS v.  Turkey, 9 October 2017 PRE
  • INJ = Withdrew due to an injury.
  • * = Roman Eremenko is suspended from competitive football until December 2018.

Coaching staff

[14][15][16]

Position Name
Head coach Markku Kanerva
Assistant coach Mika Nurmela
Assistant coach Kari Martonen
Goalkeeping coach Antti Niemi

Player records

Most capped players

Rank Name Career Caps Goals
1Jari Litmanen1989–201013732
2Sami Hyypiä1992–20101055
Jonatan Johansson1996–201010522
4Ari Hjelm1983–199610020
5Joonas Kolkka1994–20109811
6Mikael Forssell1999–20148729
7Erkka Petäjä1983–1994840
8Arto Tolsa1964–19817710
9Hannu Tihinen1997–2010765
Petri Pasanen2000–2013761
10Toni Kuivasto1997–2009751

Top goalscorers

Rank Name Career Goals Caps
1Jari Litmanen1989–201032137
2Mikael Forssell1999–20142987
3Jonatan Johansson1996–201022105
4Ari Hjelm1983–199620100
5Mika-Matti Paatelainen1986–20001870
6Verner Eklöf1919–19271732
7Aulis Koponen1924–19351639
Gunnar Åström1923–19371644
9Alexei Eremenko2003–20131457
10Jorma Vaihela1947–19541333
William Kanerva1922–19381351
Kai Pahlman1954–19681356
  • Correct as of March 24, 2017
  • Players who are still active and available for selection are in bold

Managers

Last updated: 13 Oct 2015.

Tenure Nat Coach Record
G W D L Win %
1911–21None 17 6 2 9 035.29
1922 Jarl Öhman 4 1 0 3 025.00
1923–35None 77 22 12 43 028.57
1936–37 Ferdinand Fabra 8 1 1 6 012.50
1937–38None 9 3 0 6 033.33
1939 Gábor Obitz 6 1 0 5 016.67
1939–43None 7 0 1 6 000.00
1945 Axel Mårtensson 2 0 0 2 000.00
1946 Niilo Tammisalo 3 0 0 3 000.00
1947–55 Aatos Lehtonen 51 7 9 35 013.73
1955–58 Kurt Weinreich 23 3 1 19 013.04
1959–61 Aatos Lehtonen 19 3 0 16 015.79
1962–74 Olavi Laaksonen 91 16 21 54 017.58
1975 Martti Kosma 2 0 1 1 000.00
1975–78 Aulis Rytkönen 30 8 4 18 026.67
1979–81 Esko Malm 27 4 6 17 014.81
1982–87 Martti Kuusela 53 9 11 33 016.98
1988–92 Jukka Vakkila 48 7 21 20 014.58
1993–94 Tommy Lindholm 25 5 7 13 020.00
1994–96 Jukka Ikäläinen 21 7 4 10 033.33
1996–99 Richard Møller Nielsen 34 9 12 13 026.47
2000–05 Antti Muurinen 72 34 12 26 047.22
2005 Jyrki Heliskoski (caretaker) 6 2 2 2 033.33
2006–07 Roy Hodgson 22 6 11 5 027.27
2008–10 Stuart Baxter 31 8 6 17 025.81
2010 Olli Huttunen (caretaker) 1 1 0 0 100.00
2011 Markku Kanerva (caretaker) 2 0 1 1 000.00
2011–2015 Mixu Paatelainen 43 17 11 15 039.53
2015 Markku Kanerva (caretaker) 5 3 2 0 060.00
2016 Hans Backe 11 0 2 9 000.00
2016– Markku Kanerva 0 0 0 0 !
Total 749 182 160 407 024.30

Honours

Minor tournaments

Kits and crest

Finland's kit are currently supplied by American brand Nike, Inc. They replaced German company Adidas who supplied Finland's kits between 1979 and 2014.

Kit sponsorship

Kit supplier Period
Adidas 1979–2014
Nike 2014-

See also

References

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.