Latvia national football team

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Latvia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Sarkanbaltsarkanie
(Red-white-red)
Association Latvian Football Federation
Confederation UEFA
Head coach Marian Pahars
Asst coach

Vitālijs Astafjevs

Andris Riherts
Captain Kaspars Gorkšs
Most caps Vitālijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorer Māris Verpakovskis (29)
Home stadium Skonto Stadium
FIFA code LVA
FIFA ranking 109 Steady
Highest FIFA ranking 45 (November 2009)
Lowest FIFA ranking 119 (June 2013)
Elo ranking 96
Highest Elo ranking 39 (September 1922)
Lowest Elo ranking 124 (April 1995)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Latvia Latvia 1–1 Estonia 
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
Biggest win
Latvia Latvia 9–0 Estonia 
(Tallinn, Estonia; 18 August 1942)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 12–0 Latvia Latvia
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
European Championship
Appearances 1 (First in 2004)
Best result Round 1, 2004

The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Valstsvienība) 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 have qualified for the European Championship, in 2004, under Aleksandrs Starkovs. The team is now being managed by Marian Pahars. Latvia's home ground is the Skonto Stadium in Riga, where they have played their matches since its opening in 2000.

History[edit]

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 have 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]

Latvian fans at Euro 2004

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, as well as the country itself's first ever appearance in the tournament.[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, finished fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.[14]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager Latvia Marian Pahars
Assistant manager Latvia Vitālijs Astafjevs
Assistant manager Latvia Andris Riherts
Goalkeeping coach Latvia Andrejs Piedels
Fitness coach Spain Alejandro Muñoz López
Kitman Latvia Jānis Zeltiņš
Physiotherapist Latvia Jurijs Ksenzovs
Physiotherapist Latvia Aleksandrs Jurovskis
Team doctor Latvia Oļegs Samoiļenko

Tournament records[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

  • 1930 to 1934Did not enter
  • 1938 – Finished top of qualifying group after Austria pulled out, but FIFA decided not to enter Latvia in the World Cup.
  • 1950 to 1990Was part of USSR
  • 1994 to 2010Did not qualify

European Championship record[edit]

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1960 to 1992 Part of  Soviet Union
1996 to 2000 Did not qualify
Portugal 2004 Group Stage 14th 3 0 1 2 1 5
2008 to 2012 Did not qualify
Total Group Stage 1/14 3 0 1 2 1 5

Baltic Cup Championship record[edit]

12 time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2014.

All-time team record[edit]

The following table shows Latvia's all-time international record, correct as of 31 May 2014 (as per LFF statistics).

Against Played Won Drawn * Lost GF GA GD
 Albania 5 0 5 0 6 6 0
 Andorra 3 3 0 0 9 1 +8
 Angola 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
 Armenia 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
 Austria 7 1 1 5 8 18 -10
 Azerbaijan 3 0 3 0 2 2 0
 Bahrain 1 0 1 0 2 2 0
 Belarus 6 1 1 4 7 13 -6
 Belgium 2 0 0 2 1 7 -6
 Bolivia 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 0 0 2 1 9 -8
 Brazil 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3
 Bulgaria 3 0 0 3 0 6 -6
 China PR 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1
 Croatia 4 0 0 4 1 10 −9
 Cyprus 2 0 0 2 0 3 -3
 Czech Republic 2 0 0 2 2 6 -4
 Czechoslovakia 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
 Denmark 4 0 1 3 1 7 -6
 Estonia 52 24 19 9 76 55 +21
 Finland 17 4 3 10 18 32 -14
 France 1 0 0 1 0 7 −7
 Georgia 7 3 2 2 10 9 +1
 Germany 3 0 1 2 1 6 −5
 Ghana 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1
 Greece 8 1 2 5 6 13 -7
 Honduras 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1
 Hungary 6 2 0 4 9 11 −2
 Iceland 4 2 1 1 9 6 +3
 Israel 6 1 1 4 5 12 -7
 Japan 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3
 Kazakhstan 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3
 Kuwait 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2
 Liechtenstein 9 7 1 1 15 4 +11
 Lithuania 50 26 10 14 108 68 +40
 Luxembourg 6 5 1 0 17 3 +14
 Macedonia 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1
 Malta 5 3 0 2 7 3 +4
 Moldova 3 2 0 1 6 5 +1
 Montenegro 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2
 Netherlands 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
 North Korea 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1
 Northern Ireland 6 2 0 4 4 7 −3
 Norway 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1
 Oman 2 1 0 1 4 4 0
 Poland 13 2 2 9 15 35 -20
 Portugal 4 0 0 4 3 11 -8
 Qatar 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2
 Republic of Ireland 5 0 0 5 1 14 -13
 Romania 5 0 1 4 0 9 -9
 Russia 4 0 1 3 2 7 -5
 San Marino 4 3 1 0 6 1 +5
 Scotland 4 0 0 4 1 7 -6
 Slovakia 5 0 2 3 6 12 -6
 Slovenia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1
 South Korea 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1
 Spain 4 0 1 3 0 9 −9
 Sweden 17 2 4 11 12 54 -42
  Switzerland 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2
 Thailand 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
 Tunisia 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
 Turkey 4 1 2 1 7 8 -1
 Ukraine 2 0 0 2 0 2 −2
 United States 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1
 Uzbekistan 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
 Wales 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2
Total 334 103 74 157 416 557 -141
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Results and fixtures[edit]

2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying[edit]

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 8 1 1 30 6 +24 25
 Greece 10 8 1 1 12 4 +8 25
 Slovakia 10 3 4 3 11 10 +1 13
 Lithuania 10 3 2 5 9 11 −2 11
 Latvia 10 2 2 6 10 20 −10 8
 Liechtenstein 10 0 2 8 4 25 −21 2
  Bosnia and Herzegovina Greece Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Slovakia
Bosnia and Herzegovina  3–1 4–1 4–1 3–0 0–1
Greece  0–0 1–0 2–0 2–0 1–0
Latvia  0–5 1–2 2–0 2–1 2–2
Liechtenstein  1–8 0–1 1–1 0–2 1–1
Lithuania  0–1 0–1 2–0 2–0 1–1
Slovakia  1–2 0–1 2–1 2–0 1–1


Recent and forthcoming matches[edit]

Date Tournament Location Opponent Result Latvia scorers
6 February 2013 Friendly Japan Kobe  Japan 0–3
22 March 2013 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification Liechtenstein Vaduz  Liechtenstein 1–1 Aleksandrs Cauņa
24 May 2013 Friendly Qatar Doha  Qatar 1–3 Jurijs Žigajevs
28 May 2013 Friendly Germany Duisburg  Turkey 3–3 Valērijs Šabala (2), Edgars Gauračs
7 June 2013 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification Latvia Riga  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0–5
14 August 2013 Friendly Estonia Tallinn  Estonia 1–1 Artūrs Zjuzins
6 September 2013 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification Latvia Riga  Lithuania 2–1 Nauris Bulvītis, Artūrs Zjuzins
10 September 2013 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification Greece Piraeus  Greece 0–1
11 October 2013 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification Lithuania Vilnius  Lithuania 0–2
15 October 2013 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification Latvia Riga  Slovakia 2–2 Valērijs Šabala, Renārs Rode
15 November 2013 Friendly Republic of Ireland Dublin  Republic of Ireland 0–3
18 November 2013 Friendly (FIFA Unofficial) England Yeovil England Yeovil Town 1–0 Valērijs Šabala
5 March 2014 Friendly Republic of Macedonia Skopje  Macedonia 1–2 OG
29 May 2014 2014 Baltic Cup Latvia Liepāja  Estonia 0–0 (4–2p)
31 May 2014 2014 Baltic Cup Latvia Liepāja  Lithuania 1–0 Nauris Bulvītis
9 September 2014 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification Kazakhstan Astana  Kazakhstan
10 October 2014 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification Latvia Riga  Iceland
13 October 2014 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification Latvia Riga  Turkey
16 November 2014 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification Netherlands  Netherlands

Players[edit]

Vitālijs Astafjevs has played for Latvia more than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010.[15] He also holds the European record for most matches played for the national team.[16] Astafjevs has netted 16 times.[16] Aleksandrs Koļinko is the most capped active player for Latvia with 88 appearances, as of May, 2014.[16] Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals.[16] Other high scorers include Ēriks Pētersons with 21 goals scored in the 1930s and Marian Pahars and Juris Laizāns, who both have scored 15 goals each for Latvia.[16]

Current squad[edit]

The following players have been called up for the 2014 Baltic Cup matches held on 29–31 May 2014.

Caps and goals are correct as 31 May 2014, after the game against Lithuania.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
12 1GK Aleksandrs Koļinko (1975-06-18) 18 June 1975 (age 39) 88 0 Russia Baltika Kaliningrad
1 1GK Andris Vaņins (1980-04-30) 30 April 1980 (age 34) 63 0 Switzerland Sion
23 1GK Pāvels Šteinbors (1985-09-21) 21 September 1985 (age 28) 0 0 Poland Górnik Zabrze
13 2DF Kaspars Gorkšs (Captain) (1981-11-06) 6 November 1981 (age 32) 61 5 Unattached
14 2DF Ritvars Rugins (1989-10-17) 17 October 1989 (age 24) 23 0 Latvia Skonto Rīga
3 2DF Nauris Bulvītis (1987-03-15) 15 March 1987 (age 27) 16 2 Switzerland Aarau
2 2DF Vitālijs Maksimenko (1990-12-08) 8 December 1990 (age 23) 10 0 England Brighton & Hove Albion
20 2DF Antons Kurakins (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) 3 0 Latvia Ventspils
4 2DF Kaspars Dubra (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 (age 23) 2 0 Latvia Ventspils
21 2DF Oļegs Timofejevs (1988-11-28) 28 November 1988 (age 25) 2 0 Latvia Ventspils
6 2DF Gints Freimanis (1985-05-09) 9 May 1985 (age 29) 1 0 Latvia Jelgava
7 3MF Aleksejs Višņakovs (1984-02-03) 3 February 1984 (age 30) 53 7 Poland Widzew Łódź
8 3MF Jurijs Žigajevs (1985-11-14) 14 November 1985 (age 28) 32 2 Latvia Ventspils
18 3MF Aleksandrs Fertovs (1987-06-16) 16 June 1987 (age 27) 27 0 Unattached
5 3MF Oļegs Laizāns (1987-03-28) 28 March 1987 (age 27) 20 0 Russia Yenisey Krasnoyarsk
15 3MF Artis Lazdiņš (1986-05-03) 3 May 1986 (age 28) 19 0 Latvia Jelgava
17 3MF Artūrs Zjuzins (1991-06-18) 18 June 1991 (age 23) 15 2 Russia Baltika Kaliningrad
19 3MF Andrejs Kovaļovs (1989-03-23) 23 March 1989 (age 25) 7 0 Moldova Dacia Chișinău
22 3MF Visvaldis Ignatāns (1991-08-03) 3 August 1991 (age 22) 1 0 Latvia Ventspils
9 4FW Māris Verpakovskis (1979-10-15) 15 October 1979 (age 34) 104 29 Latvia Liepāja
16 4FW Edgars Gauračs (1988-03-10) 10 March 1988 (age 26) 20 5 Latvia Spartaks Jūrmala
10 4FW Valērijs Šabala (1994-10-12) 12 October 1994 (age 19) 10 3 Belgium Club Brugge

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up within the last twelve months. Retired players not included.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Germans Māliņš (1987-10-12) 12 October 1987 (age 26) 0 0 Belarus BATE Borisov v.  Republic of Ireland, 15 November 2013
DF Vladislavs Gabovs (1987-07-13) 13 July 1987 (age 27) 9 0 Latvia Skonto Rīga v.  Estonia, 29 May 2014
DF Renārs Rode (1989-04-06) 6 April 1989 (age 25) 4 1 Czech Republic Teplice v.  Macedonia, 5 March 2014
DF Vitālijs Jagodinskis (1992-02-28) 28 February 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Ukraine Dynamo-2 Kyiv v.  Slovakia, 15 October 2013
MF Roberts Savaļnieks (1993-02-04) 4 February 1993 (age 21) 0 0 Latvia Liepāja v.  Macedonia, 5 March 2014
MF Alans Siņeļņikovs (1990-05-14) 14 May 1990 (age 24) 11 0 Latvia Ventspils v.  Republic of Ireland, 15 November 2013
MF Ivans Lukjanovs (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987 (age 27) 15 0 Russia Volgar Astrakhan v.  Slovakia, 15 October 2013
MF Aleksandrs Cauņa (1988-01-19) 19 January 1988 (age 26) 40 11 Russia CSKA Moscow v.  Greece, 10 September 2013
FW Eduards Višņakovs (1990-05-10) 10 May 1990 (age 24) 4 0 Poland Widzew Łódź v.  Estonia, 29 May 2014
FW Artjoms Rudņevs (1988-01-13) 13 January 1988 (age 26) 27 1 Germany Hamburg v.  Macedonia, 5 March 2014
FW Daniils Turkovs (1988-02-17) 17 February 1988 (age 26) 4 0 Poland GKS Bełchatów v.  Republic of Ireland, 15 November 2013
FW Vladimirs Kamešs (1988-10-28) 28 October 1988 (age 25) 11 1 Russia Amkar Perm v.  Slovakia, 15 October 2013
FW Deniss Rakels (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 (age 21) 5 0 Poland Cracovia v.  Slovakia, 15 October 2013
FW Artūrs Karašausks (1992-01-29) 29 January 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Latvia Skonto Rīga v.  Greece, 10 September 2013

Most capped players[edit]

# 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–present 88 0
9. Andrejs Štolcers 1994–2005 81 7
10. Marian Pahars 1996–2007 75 15
11. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 73 11
12. Oļegs Blagonadeždins 1992–2004 70 2
13. Valērijs Ivanovs 1992-2001 69 1
14. Dzintars Zirnis 1997–2010 68 0
15. Oskars Kļava 2005–present 65 1
16. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 63 21
Andris Vaņins 2000–present 63 0
18. Kaspars Gorkšs 2005–present 61 5
19. Deniss Ivanovs 2003–present 60 2
20. Aleksandrs Isakovs 1997–2005 58 0
21. Valentīns Lobaņovs 1994–2005 57 1
22. Jānis Lidmanis 1931–1940 55 2
Artūrs Zakreševskis 1995–2007 55 1
24. Alberts Šeibelis 1925–1939 54 14
25. Aleksejs Višņakovs 2004–present 53 7
Players in bold are still active.

Top goalscorers[edit]

# Player Career Goals (Caps)
1. Māris Verpakovskis 1999–2014 29 (104)
2. Ēriks Pētersons 1929–1939 21 (63)
3. Vitālijs Astafjevs 1992–2010 16 (167)
4. Marian Pahars 1996–2007 15 (75)
5. Juris Laizāns 1998–2013 15 (113)
6. Alberts Šeibelis 1925–1939 14 (54)
7. Iļja Vestermans 1935–1938 13 (23)
8. Mihails Zemļinskis 1992–2005 12 (105)
9. Aleksandrs Cauņa 2007–present 11 (40)
10. Vīts Rimkus 1995–2008 11 (73)
11. Arnolds Tauriņš 1925–1935 10 (39)
12. Imants Bleidelis 1995–2007 10 (106)
13. Andrejs Rubins 1998–2011 10 (117)
14. Ādolfs Sīmanis 1932–1940 9 (9)
15. Voldemārs Plade 1923–1929 9 (16)
16. Aleksandrs Vanags 1937-1940 9 (18)
17. Arkādijs Pavlovs 1924–1933 9 (37)
18. Ģirts Karlsons 2003–2011 9 (49)
19. Vaclavs Borduško 1934–1939 8 (25)
Players in bold are still active.

Hat-tricks[edit]

Player Competition Against Home/Away Result Date
, Voldemārs ŽinsVoldemārs Žins International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 6–3 27 July 1927
, Voldemārs PladeVoldemārs Plade 1929 Baltic Cup Lithuania Lithuania Home 3–1 14 August 1929
, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons 1930 Baltic Cup Lithuania Lithuania Away 3–3 17 August 1930
, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons 4 International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 5–2 30 June 1931
, Ēriks PētersonsĒriks Pētersons International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 6–2 12 June 1933
, Hugo VītolsHugo Vītols International Friendly Lithuania Lithuania Home 6–1 30 May 1935
, Fricis KaņepsFricis Kaņeps 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification Lithuania Lithuania Home 4–2 29 July 1937
  • 4 Player scored 4 goals

Clean Sheets[edit]

Rank Player Games
1 Aleksandrs Koļinko 19
2 Andris Vaņins 17
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

Managers[edit]

Manager Latvia career
Latvia Jānis Gilis 1992–1997
Georgia (country) Revaz Dzodzuashvili 1998–1999
England Gary Johnson 1999–2001
Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs 2001–2004
Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs 2004–2007
Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs 2007–2013
Latvia Marian Pahars 2013–present

Kit suppliers[edit]

Since 2002, Latvia's kits have been supplied by Adidas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b c d "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. ^ a b "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "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. ^ a b "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. ^ "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 

External links[edit]