Andorra national football team
|Association||Andorran Football Federation
(Federació Andorrana de Futbol)
|Head coach||Koldo Álvarez|
|Most caps||Óscar Sonejee (95)|
|Top scorer||Ildefons Lima (7)|
|Home stadium||Comunal d'Andorra la Vella|
|Highest FIFA ranking||125 (September 2005)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||206 (December 2011)|
|Highest Elo ranking||171 (February 2005, September 2005)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||189 (March 2013)|
| Andorra 1–6 Estonia
(Andorra la Vella, Andorra; 13 November 1996)
| Andorra 2–0 Belarus
(Andorra la Vella, Andorra; 26 April 2000)
Andorra 2–0 Albania
(Andorra la Vella, Andorra; 17 April 2002)
Czech Republic 8–1 Andorra
(Liberec, Czech Republic; 4 June 2005)
The Andorra national football team (Catalan: Selecció de futbol d'Andorra) represents Andorra in association football and is controlled by the Andorran Football Federation, the governing body for football in Andorra. The team has enjoyed very little success due to the Principality's tiny population, the fifth smallest of any UEFA country (only Liechtenstein, San Marino, Gibraltar and the Faroe Islands are smaller).
Andorra's first official game was a 6–1 defeat in a friendly match to Estonia in 1996. Since the qualifying rounds for the UEFA Euro 2000 tournament, Andorra have competed in qualifying for every European Championship and World Cup but have had very little success. They have only ever won three matches, all at home. They have one win in competitive matches, a 1–0 win against Macedonia in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition.
Though the Andorran Football Federation formed in 1994, and the Andorra domestic league started in 1995, the national team could not participate in major championships until it gained affiliation with governing bodies FIFA and UEFA in 1996. The national team played its first match against Estonia in Andorra La Vella and lost 6–1.
Andorra's first match in a FIFA-sanctioned competition was a 3–1 loss to Armenia on 5 September 1998 in a qualifier for UEFA Euro 2000. Andorra lost all ten qualifiers for the tournament. The team particularly struggled in away matches; each loss was by at least three goals. Andorra scored only three goals, two of which were penalties, and two of which were in the away matches. Andorra conceded 28 goals, and their biggest defeat of the qualifiers was a 6–1 away loss to Russia.
For their first World Cup qualifying campaign, Andorra were drawn in a group with Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal. They lost their opening match 1–0 loss to Estonia. In the next game, they lost 3–2 to Cyprus but scored their first World Cup qualifying goals. They were again defeated by Estonia, this time 2–1. They lost all their matches and their only away goal was in a 3–1 loss against Ireland. Their worst defeat was 7–1 to Portugal on a neutral ground in Lleida, Spain. Andorra finished the campaign with no points and conceded 36 goals in ten matches.
In the team's qualification campaign for Euro 2004 they again lost every game. They scored their only goal in a 2–1 away loss to Bulgaria. In this competition the scores were closer than before as they lost 3–0 to Bulgaria, Croatia and Belgium, 2–0 twice to Estonia, 2–0 to Croatia and 1–0 to Belgium.
By Andorran standards, qualification for the 2006 World Cup was successful. They won their first competitive game 1–0 at home against Macedonia. Andorra midfielder Marc Bernaus, who played in the Spanish second division, received a long throw in off his chest and volleyed in a goal early in the second half. Only 200 people were in Andorra la Vella to watch the game. After the game, Macedonia coach Dragan Kanatlarovski resigned and called the game "a shameful outcome, a humiliation." Andorra also drew two matches, 0–0 in Macedonia and 0–0 at home against Finland. This tournament has been the only one in which Andorra has scored points. In Euro 2008 qualifying, Andorra again lost every game. The closest game was against Russia, a 1–0 defeat on 21 November 2007, which helped Russia qualify at the expense of England. Their biggest defeat was a 7–0 loss to Croatia in Andorra La Vella, which is their worst defeat in UEFA competitions and matched their loss to the Czech Republic as their largest losing deficit. Andorra scored only two goals and conceded 42 in a total of 12 games.
In 2010 World Cup qualifying they lost all ten matches. For the tournament, they scored three goals, in defeats to Belarus and Kazakhstan, and conceded 39 goals, including six in a defeat to England, the largest margin in the group. Qualifying for UEFA Euro 2012 ended in a similar way; they lost all ten matches, scoring only one goal and conceding 25; their best results were two one-goal losses to Slovakia and a 3–1 loss in Ireland.
Andorra all-time record against all nations
- As of 15 October 2013.
|Republic of Ireland||4||0||0||4||2||11||−9||0%|
Andorra play home matches at the Comunal d'Andorra la Vella, Aixovall, in the parish Sant Julià de Lòria, near the capital Andorra la Vella. This stadium has a capacity of 1,800 and also hosts the matches of club sides FC Andorra, UE Sant Julia, FC Rànger's, FC Santa Coloma and FC Lusitanos. Andorra have occasionally played "home" matches outside their borders. For example, Andorra hosted France and England in the 2000 European Championship, 2008 European Championship and 2010 World Cup qualifiers in the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in Barcelona, which was the home of RCD Espanyol between 1997 and 2009.
Andorra's dismal record gives them a lowly reputation in world football. The nation has only won one competitive fixture, a 1–0 World Cup qualifying win against Macedonia. With the fourth smallest population of any UEFA country, the talent pool is small. Players are predominantly amateurs because the Andorra domestic league is only part-time. In September 2011, Andorra were last in the FIFA World Rankings, tied for 203. Since Andorra began playing in 1996 their average FIFA ranking is 163.
Opponents anticipate easy wins in matches against Andorra and failure to win comfortably can reflect poorly on a team. In March 2007, coach Steve McClaren and his England team received abuse from supporters during a 3–0 win against the Andorrans. McClaren walked out of the post-match press conference after only two minutes of questions, saying, "Gentlemen, if you want to write whatever you want to write, you can write it because that is all I am going to say. Thank you."
When interviewed at half time by ITV Sport after collecting his belated 1966 World Cup winners medal for England, Jimmy Greaves reckoned Andorra were poor to a level that he and his World Cup colleagues would have beaten them. Greaves was quoted asking "Have you ever seen a team this bad at Wembley?".
Players and managers
In January 2006, the Andorran Football Association named Koldo, their goalkeeper from 1998 to 2009, as their greatest ever player. During Andorra's 6–0 loss to England at Wembley Stadium, in a World Cup Qualifier in June 2009, Koldo received a standing ovation from England's fans after he was substituted in injury time. They applauded him for his many saves to prevent a worse loss, and he also retired from international football after the match.
Ildefons Lima is the only Andorran player to have scored more than three career goals for the team; he has seven goals. Óscar Sonejee's 92 appearances are the most for the Andorra national team. Koldo has the second-most with 78 caps between 1998 and 2009.
Manuel Miluir was the first coach of the team and managed their first three matches of European Championship qualifying. He departed in 1999 to make way for David Rodrigo, whose first competitive match was a 2–0 European Championship qualifying defeat at home to Iceland on 27 March of that year. Rodrigo had been in charge of the team until February 2010, when it was announced that Koldo took over this role. In September 2006 Rodrigo drew the ire of many when he reportedly told Israel captain Yossi Benayoun that Israel was a "nation of killers" and threatened to have Benayoun's legs broken.
World Cup record
European Championship record
Caps and goals correct as of 15 October 2013, after the match against Hungary.
The following players have been called up to the Andorra squad in the last 12 months.
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
|1||ECQ||5 September 1998||Armenia||Jesús Lucendo||1–3|
|2||ECQ||31 March 1999||Russia||Emiliano González||1–6|
|3||ECQ||8 September 1999||Russia||Justo Ruiz||1–2|
|4||WCQ||2 September 2000||Cyprus||Emiliano González||2–3[c]|
|6||WCQ||7 October 2000||Estonia||Justo Ruiz||1–2|
|7||WCQ||25 April 2001||Republic of Ireland||Ildefons Lima||1–3|
|8||WCQ||1 September 2001||Portugal||Roberto Jonas||1–7|
|9||ECQ||16 October 2002||Bulgaria||Antoni Lima||1–2|
|10||WCQ||8 September 2004||Romania||Marc Pujol||1–5|
|11||WCQ||13 October 2004||Macedonia||Marc Bernaus||1–0[d]|
|12||WCQ||26 March 2005||Armenia||Fernando Silva||1–2|
|13||WCQ||4 June 2005||Czech Republic||Gabriel Riera||1–8|
|14||ECQ||6 September 2006||Israel||Juli Fernández||1–4|
|15||ECQ||22 August 2007||Estonia||Fernando Silva||1–2|
|16||WCQ||10 September 2008||Belarus||Marc Pujol||1–3|
|17||WCQ||6 June 2009||Belarus||Ildefons Lima||1–5|
|18||WCQ||9 September 2009||Kazakhstan||Óscar Sonejee||1–3|
|19||ECQ||7 September 2010||Ireland||Cristian Martínez||1–3|
a ECQ = UEFA European Football Championship qualification match, WCQ = FIFA World Cup qualification match
b The Andorra score is always listed first.
c The Andorra-Cyprus match in 2000 is the only game Andorra has scored two goals in any competitive match.
d The Andorra-Macedonia match in 2004 is the only competitive match Andorra has won.
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- "Macedonia's coach offers resignation". Associated Press (Sports Illustrated). 14 October 2004. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
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- "European Championship 2008". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "General info – Andorra". UEFA. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- "World Cup 2010 qualifications". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "Euro 2012 qualifying tables". BBC. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- "Estadi Comunal d Aixovall". Football-Lineups.com. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- "European Championship 2008 detailed information". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "World Cup 2010 qualifications detailed information". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- James Appell (8 September 2010). "It´s raining… apples?". The Football Ramble. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- "FIFA current ranking". FIFA.com.
- "FIFA Rankings – Andorra". FIFA. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- "McClaren appeals to England fans". BBC Sport. 29 March 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- Jim White (12 June 2009). "England v Andorra: Jimmy Greaves has a point, which is more than Andorra usually do". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- "The UEFA Jubilee 52 Golden Players". rsssf. 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- Griffiths, Frank (2009-06-10). "Andorra loses 6–0 to England but prevents ridicule". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
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- Ynetnews (English)
- "Andorra - Preconvocatòria" (in Catalan). Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- Andorra's weapons of Mac's destruction Daily Mail, 28 March 2007. accessed 22 April 2007.
- Official website
- RSSSF archive of international results 1996–2002 (list of results)
- RSSSF archive of most capped players, highest goalscorers and coaches
- ITV Football-Statistics/Andorra
- National Football Teams