Latvia national football team

Latvia
Nickname(s) 11 vilki
(11 Wolves)
Association Latvijas Futbola federācija
Confederation UEFA
Head coach Mixu Paatelainen
Captain Andris Vaņins
Most caps Vitālijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorer Māris Verpakovskis (29)
Home stadium Daugava Stadium
FIFA code LVA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 129 (16 August 2018)
Highest 45 (November 2009)
Lowest 148 (September 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 118 4 (20 August 2018)
Highest 45 (25 September 1938)
Lowest 124 (April 1995)
First international
Latvia 1–1 Estonia 
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
Biggest win
Latvia 6–1 Lithuania 
(Riga, Latvia; 30 May 1935)
Latvia 5–0 Lithuania 
(Võru, Estonia; 1 June 2012)
 Gibraltar 0–5 Latvia
(Gibraltar, Gibraltar; 29 March 2016)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 12–0 Latvia
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
European Championship
Appearances 1 (first in 2004)
Best result Group stage, 2004

The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Latvijas futbola izlase) represents the country in international football competitions, such as the World Cup and the European Championships. It is controlled by the Latvian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Latvia. They have never qualified for the World Cup, but they have, however, qualified for the European Championship in 2004, under Aleksandrs Starkovs.

Latvia alongside its Baltic rivals, Lithuania and Estonia, has also participated in the local sub-regional Baltic Cup tournament, which takes place every two years, and in which Latvia is the champion, having won the tournament in 2018. Latvia has won the Baltic Cup championship a record of 13 times, more than any other country in the history of the tournament.

Latvia's home ground is the Skonto Stadium in Riga, where they have played their matches since its opening in 2000.

History

Latvia played their first match in 1922, a game against Estonia, which finished in a 1–1 draw. Latvia have won the Baltic Cup 12 times, and played 99 official games during its pre-war period from 1922 to 1940.[1][2]

In 1937, the Latvian team participated in the first qualification tournament for the 1938 World Cup. Latvia were placed in Group 8, alongside Austria and Lithuania.[3] Latvia beat Lithuania 4–2 in Riga, after an Fricis Kaņeps hat-trick and an Iļja Vestermans goal.[3] In Kaunas, they won 5–1, after two goals each from Kaņeps, Vaclavs Borduško, and Vestermans,[3] but lost 1–2 in the decisive match against Austria, despite an early goal from Vestermans.[3] In April 1938, the Austrian Anschluss relegated the Austrian team, however, Latvia was not invited by FIFA as the group's runner-up.[4]

In 1940, Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union; the country regained its independence in 1991 and played their first match as a new nation against Estonia on 16 November of that year in the Baltic Cup, and their first FIFA-recognized match against Romania on 8 April 1992 in Bucharest, a match, which Latvia lost 2–0.[5]

In September 2003, Latvia surprisingly finished second, ahead of Poland, in their qualifying group for Euro 2004.[6] This meant they qualified for the play-offs, where they were drawn against Turkey. Latvia won the first leg 1–0, through top goalscorer, Māris Verpakovskis.[7] The second leg finished in a 2–2 draw, with Latvia winning 3–2 on aggregate, thus qualifying for the tournament.[8][9] This resulted in Latvia being the first and only Baltic team qualifying for a European Championship.[8][9] At the Euro 2004, Latvia were drawn in Group D, alongside Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands.[10] Latvia faced Czech Republic in their opening match on 15 June 2004, with Verpakovskis scoring before half-time.[11] However, the Czechs would later come back to win the game 2–1.[11] Four days later, Latvia earned a respectable 0–0 draw against Germany to earn their first point in a major tournament.[12] They lost their final match with 3–0 against Netherlands,[13] and were eliminated, finishing fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.[14]

Latvia have since failed to qualify for another major tournament, though they came close to qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After eight qualifying matches, Latvia were level on points with their next opponent, second-placed Greece, but a 5–2 defeat virtually ended all hopes of qualification and Latvia finished third in UEFA Group 2.

Stadium

The majority of home matches take place at the Daugava Stadium in Riga. Between 2000 and 2017 the main base for the team was the Skonto Stadium in Riga.

Home venues record

The following table provides a summary of Latvia's results at home venues since 1992.

Key: Pld–games played, W–games won, D–games drawn; L–games lost, %–win percentage
Stadium City / town Pld W D L Win % Last match hosted
Skonto stadions Rīga 62 19 15 28 030.6 2017
Daugavas stadions Rīga 31 11 7 13 035.5 2018
Daugavas stadions Liepāja 6 4 0 2 066.7 2016
Olimpiskais stadions Ventspils 1 1 0 0 100.0 2002
ASK stadions Rīga 1 0 0 1 000.0 1994
Ozolnieku stadions Ozolnieki 1 0 1 0 000.0 1994
Totals102352344&

Last updated: Latvia v. Azerbaijan, June 8 2018.

Tournament records

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 Declined participation
1934
1938 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 10 5
1950 Part of the  Soviet Union Part of the  Soviet Union
1954
1958
1962
1966
1970
1974
1978
1982
1986
1990
1994 Did not qualify 12 0 5 7 4 21
1998 10 3 1 6 10 14
2002 8 1 1 6 5 16
2006 12 4 3 5 18 21
2010 10 5 2 3 18 15
2014 10 2 2 6 10 20
2018 10 2 1 7 7 18
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
Total 0/21 75 19 15 41 82 130

European Championship record

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1960 to 1992 Part of the  Soviet Union
1996 to 2000 Did not qualify
2004 Group Stage 14th 3 0 1 2 1 5
2008 to 2016 Did not qualify
2020 To be determined
Total Group Stage 1/15 3 0 1 2 1 5

Baltic Cup Championship record

13-time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018

Baltic Cup (football) Record
Year Result GP W D L GF GA
1928Champions 220040
1929Runners-up 211053
1930Runners-up 211065
1931Runners-up 210123
1932Champions 220051
1933Champions 211032
1935Runners-up 202033
1936Champions 220042
1937Champions 211062
1938Runners-up 202022
1991Runners-up 211031
1992Runners-up 210144
1993Champions 211020
1994 Runners-up 210121
1995Champions 220040
1996Third place 201123
1997Runners-up 210122
1998Runners-up 210121
2001Champions 220072
2003Champions 211021
2005Runners-up 100102
2008Champions 220031
2010Runners-up 202000
2012Champions 220061
2014Champions 220010
2016Champions 211021
2018Champions 211021
Total27/2753281878445

Olympic games

Year Position GP W D L GS GA
1924 Olympics22nd100107
Total100107

All-time team record

As of 9 June 2018[15]

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Results and fixtures

2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Portugal 10 9 0 1 32 4 +28 27 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup
2   Switzerland 10 9 0 1 23 7 +16 27 Advance to second round
3  Hungary 10 4 1 5 14 14 0 13
4  Faroe Islands 10 2 3 5 4 16 12 9
5  Latvia 10 2 1 7 7 18 11 7
6  Andorra 10 1 1 8 2 23 21 4
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Recent and forthcoming matches

Date Competition City Opponent Result Scorers
25 March 2017 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Geneva   Switzerland 0–1
28 March 2017 Friendly Tbilisi  Georgia 0–5
9 June 2017 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Riga  Portugal 0–3
12 June 2017 Friendly Riga  Estonia 1–2 Dāvis Ikaunieks
31 August 2017 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Budapest  Hungary 1–3 Gints Freimanis
3 September 2017 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Riga   Switzerland 0–3
7 October 2017 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Tórshavn  Faroe Islands 0–0
10 October 2017 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Riga  Andorra 4–0 Dāvis Ikaunieks, Valērijs Šabala 2x, Igors Tarasovs
7 November 2017 FIFA unofficial friendly game Lisbon  Saudi Arabia 0–2
13 November 2017 Friendly Mitrovica  Kosovo 3–4 Gļebs Kļuškins 2x, Dāvis Ikaunieks
3 February 2018 Friendly Antalya  South Korea 0–1
22 March 2018 Friendly Marbella  Faroe Islands 1–1 Vladislavs Fjodorovs
25 March 2018 Friendly Gibraltar  Gibraltar 0–1
2 June 2018 Baltic Cup Riga  Estonia 1–0 Jānis Ikaunieks
5 June 2018 Baltic Cup Vilnius  Lithuania 1–1 Kaspars Dubra
9 June 2018 Friendly Riga  Azerbaijan 1–3 Roberts Uldriķis
6 September 2018 UEFA Nations League Riga  Andorra
9 September 2018 UEFA Nations League Tbilisi  Georgia
13 October 2018 UEFA Nations League Riga  Kazakhstan
16 October 2018 UEFA Nations League Riga  Georgia
15 November 2018 UEFA Nations League Astana  Kazakhstan
19 November 2018 UEFA Nations League Andorra la Vella  Andorra

Coaching staff

Position Name
Manager Mixu Paatelainen
General manager Roberts Mežeckis
Assistant manager(s) Mareks Zuntners
Gordon Young
Fitness coach Staņislavs Olijars
Goalkeeping coach Aleksandrs Koliņko
Physiotherapist Artūrs Ivuškāns
Masseur Aleksandrs Jurovskis
Jurijs Ksenzovs
Doctor Oļegs Samoiļenko
Video analyst Iļja Ščaņicins
Kitman Jānis Zeltiņš
Media officer Viktors Sopirins

List of managers

Players

Vitālijs Astafjevs played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010.[16] He also held the European record for 7 years for most matches played for the national team from 2009 until March 2017, when his record was beaten by Gianluigi Buffon .[17] Astafjevs has netted 16 times.[17] Andris Vaņins is the most capped active player for Latvia with 90 appearances, as of June 2018.[17] Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals.[17] Other high scorers include Ēriks Pētersons with 24 goals scored in the 1930s and Marians Pahars and Juris Laizāns, who both scored 15 goals each for Latvia.[17]

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Nations League matches against Andorra on 6 September 2018 and Georgia on 9 September 2018.
All caps and goals as of 9 June 2018 after match against Azerbaijan.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Andris Vaņins (1980-04-30) 30 April 1980 90 0 Zürich
1GK Pāvels Šteinbors (1985-09-21) 21 September 1985 4 0 Arka Gdynia
12 1GK Kaspars Ikstens (1988-06-05) 5 June 1988 2 0 RFS

2 2DF Vitālijs Maksimenko (1990-12-08) 8 December 1990 37 1 Olimpija Ljubljana
6 2DF Vladislavs Gabovs (1987-07-13) 13 July 1987 36 0 Riga
20 2DF Kaspars Dubra (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 22 2 RFS
19 2DF Vitālijs Jagodinskis (1992-02-28) 28 February 1992 22 0 Ventspils
4 2DF Gints Freimanis (1985-05-09) 9 May 1985 13 1 Spartaks Jūrmala
2DF Aleksandrs Solovjovs (1988-02-25) 25 February 1988 7 0 RFS
2DF Vjačeslavs Isajevs (1993-08-27) 27 August 1993 0 0 RFS

16 3MF Aleksandrs Fertovs (1987-06-16) 16 June 1987 38 0 RFS
7 3MF Ritvars Rugins (1989-10-17) 17 October 1989 27 0 Ventspils
13 3MF Vladimirs Kamešs (1988-10-28) 28 October 1988 17 1 Liepāja
21 3MF Gļebs Kļuškins (1992-10-01) 1 October 1992 17 2 RFS
3MF Ivans Lukjanovs (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987 17 0 Riga
17 3MF Roberts Savaļnieks (1993-02-04) 4 February 1993 7 0 RFS
8 3MF Kristians Torress (1985-06-18) 18 June 1985 7 0 Liepāja

10 4FW Valērijs Šabala (1994-10-12) 12 October 1994 44 12 Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała
4FW Deniss Rakels (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 20 0 Riga
4FW Dāvis Ikaunieks (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 16 4 Jablonec
11 4FW Artūrs Karašausks (1992-01-29) 29 January 1992 15 0 Akzhayik Oral
24 4FW Roberts Uldriķis (1998-04-03) 3 April 1998 6 1 Sion
4FW Vladislavs Gutkovskis (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 5 0 Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza

Recent call-ups

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Jevgēņijs Ņerugals (1989-02-26) 26 February 1989 1 0 Spartaks Jūrmala v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018

DF Igors Tarasovs (1988-10-16) 16 October 1988 27 1 Śląsk Wrocław v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
DF Dmitrijs Hmizs (1992-07-31) 31 July 1992 6 0 Liepāja v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
DF Mārcis Ošs (1991-07-25) 25 July 1991 3 0 Neuchâtel Xamax v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
DF Ņikita Koļesovs (1996-09-25) 25 September 1996 8 0 Ventspils v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
DF Krists Gulbis (1997-01-15) 15 January 1997 0 0 METTA/LU v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
DF Vadims Žuļevs (1988-03-01) 1 March 1988 0 0 Ventspils v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
DF Kaspars Gorkšs RET (1981-11-06) 6 November 1981 89 5 Riga v.  Faroe Islands, 7 October 2017

MF Aleksejs Višņakovs (1984-02-03) 3 February 1984 81 9 Spartaks Jūrmala v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
MF Jānis Ikaunieks (1995-02-16) 16 February 1995 20 3 Liepāja v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
MF Raivis Jurkovskis (1996-12-07) 7 December 1996 4 0 Liepāja v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
MF Vitālijs Rečickis (1986-09-08) 8 September 1986 1 0 Ventspils v.  Azerbaijan, 9 June 2018
MF Oļegs Laizāns (1987-03-28) 28 March 1987 46 0 Riga v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
MF Dāvis Indrāns (1995-06-06) 6 June 1995 9 0 RFS v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
MF Jevgēņijs Kazačoks (1995-08-12) 12 August 1995 8 0 RFS v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
MF Eduards Emsis (1996-02-23) 23 February 1996 1 0 METTA/LU v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
MF Ingars Stuglis (1996-02-12) 12 February 1996 1 0 Spartaks Jūrmala v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
MF Alans Siņeļņikovs (1990-05-14) 14 May 1990 11 0 Jelgava v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
MF Daniils Ulimbaševs (1992-03-12) 12 March 1992 2 0 Jelgava v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
MF Edgars Vardanjans (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 4 0 Spartaks Jūrmala v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017
MF Eduards Tīdenbergs (1994-12-18) 18 December 1994 0 0 Ventspils v.   Switzerland, 3 September 2017

FW Edgars Gauračs (1988-03-10) 10 March 1988 22 5 Spartaks Jūrmala v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
FW Vladislavs Fjodorovs (1996-09-27) 27 September 1996 3 1 METTA/LU v.  Gibraltar, 25 March 2018
FW Ņikita Ivanovs (1996-03-25) 25 March 1996 1 0 METTA/LU v.  South Korea, 3 February 2018
FW Eduards Višņakovs (1990-05-10) 10 May 1990 15 0 RFS v.  Kosovo, 13 November 2017

Most capped players

  • Progression of Latvia association football caps record
# Name Career Caps Goals
1. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 167 16
2. Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 117 10
3. Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 113 15
4. Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 106 10
5. Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 105 12
6. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 104 29
7. Igors Stepanovs 1995–2011 100 4
8. Aleksandrs Koļinko 1997–2015 94 0
9. Andris Vaņins 2000–present 90 0
10. Kaspars Gorkšs 2005–2017 89 5
11. Andrejs Štolcers 1994–2005 81 7
Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 81 9
13. Marians Pahars 1996–2007 75 15
14. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 73 11
15 Oļegs Blagonadeždins 1992–2004 70 2
16. Valērijs Ivanovs 1992–2001 68 1
Dzintars Zirnis 1997–2010 68 0
18. Oskars Kļava 2005–2013 65 1
19. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 63 24
20. Deniss Ivanovs 2003–2013 60 2
Players in bold are still active.

Top goalscorers

  • Latvia goalscoring record
# Player Career Goals (Caps)
1. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 29 (104)
2. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 24 (63)
3. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 16 (167)
4. Marians Pahars 1996–2007 15 (75)
Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 15 (113)
6. Alberts Šeibelis 1925–1939 14 (54)
7. Iļja Vestermans 1935–1938 13 (23)
8. Valērijs Šabala 2013–present 12 (44)
Aleksandrs Cauņa 2007–present 12 (45)
Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 12 (105)
11. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 11 (73)
12. Arnolds Tauriņš 1925–1935 10 (39)
Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 10 (106)
Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 10 (117)
15. Ādolfs Sīmanis 1932–1940 9 (9)
Voldemārs Plade 1923–1929 9 (16)
Aleksandrs Vanags 1937–1940 9 (18)
Arkādijs Pavlovs 1924–1933 9 (37)
Ģirts Karlsons 2003–present 9 (51)
Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 9 (81)
Players in bold are still active.

Hat-tricks

PlayerCompetitionAgainstHome/AwayResultDate
Voldemārs Žins International Friendly LithuaniaHome6–327 July 1927
Voldemārs Plade 1929 Baltic Cup LithuaniaHome3–114 August 1929
Ēriks Pētersons 1930 Baltic Cup LithuaniaAway3–317 August 1930
Ēriks Pētersons 4International Friendly LithuaniaHome5–230 June 1931
Ēriks Pētersons International Friendly LithuaniaHome6–212 June 1933
Hugo VītolsInternational Friendly LithuaniaHome6–130 May 1935
Fricis Kaņeps 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification LithuaniaHome4–229 July 1937
  • 4 Player scored 4 goals

Clean sheets

Rank Player Games
1 Andris Vaņins 23
2 Aleksandrs Koļinko 21
3 Oļegs Karavajevs 13
4 Raimonds Laizāns 12
5 Arvīds Jurgens 5
Jānis Bebris 5
7 Jānis Kļaviņš 4
8 Andrejs Piedels 2
9 Harijs Lazdiņš 1
Andrejs Pavlovs 1

See also

References

  1. "Latvian national team history". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  2. "1922–1940. gads (99 spēles)". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "World Cup 1938 – Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  4. "1938 FIFA World Cup France ™ Preliminaries". International Federation of Association Football. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  5. "1992. gads". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  6. "How they qualified: Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  7. "Verpakovskis sparks Latvian joy". Unions of European Football Associations. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  8. 1 2 "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Latvia claim historic win". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  10. "Euro 2004 draw". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  11. 1 2 "Czech Rep 2–1 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  12. "Latvia 0–0 Germany". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  13. "Holland 3–0 Latvia". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  14. "Group D". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  15. "World Football Elo Ratings: Latvia". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  16. "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
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