Malta national football team

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Malta
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Knights of Malta, Ħomor (Reds), Falcons
Association Malta Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Pietro Ghedin
Captain Michael Mifsud
Most caps David Carabott (121)
Top scorer Michael Mifsud (39)
Home stadium Ta' Qali Stadium
FIFA code MLT
FIFA ranking 150 Decrease 18 (17 July 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking 66 (19 September 1995, 13 September 1994)
Lowest FIFA ranking 173 (27 July 2011)
Elo ranking 151
Highest Elo ranking 98 (February 1992)
Lowest Elo ranking 164 (October 2001)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Malta 2–3 Austria 
(Gżira, Malta; February 24, 1957)
Biggest win
 Malta 7–1 Liechtenstein 
(Ta' Qali, Malta; March 26, 2008)
Biggest defeat
 Spain 12–1 Malta Malta
(Seville, Spain; December 21, 1983)

The Malta national football team represents Malta in international football and is controlled by the Malta Football Association. Malta played its first international game on 24 February 1957 against Austria, and began competing for qualification to major tournaments in 1962. The side's first competitive victory arrived in 1975 against Greece. Considered to be one of the weaker sides in Europe, Malta has never made it to the finals of any major international competition. They have however never ranked at the bottom of the FIFA World Rankings, while getting as high as 66th in the top 100.

History[edit]

Malta played its first international game on 24 February 1957 at the Empire Stadium, losing 2–3 to Austria. That match was played in front of a capacity crowd at the old Empire Stadium. The Malta Football Association joined FIFA in 1959 and UEFA a year later. The international side first competed in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA European Nations Cup in 1962, and in FIFA World Cup qualification in 1971.[1]

Malta's first competitive draw ended 1–1 against Greece in 1970. Malta's first two competitive wins were victories of 2–0 and 2–1 at home to Greece and Iceland in European Championship qualifiers in 1975 and 1982 respectively. In 1979, Malta drew 0–0 with West Germany in a European championship qualifier and they met again on 16 December 1984 for a memorable World Cup Qualifier in front of a record attendance at the Ta'Qali stadium, where the 1982 & eventual 1986 World Cup runners-up only managed a 2-3 win. Another prestigious result was achieved in March 1987 when Malta drew 2-2 in Portugal, in a qualifier for Euro'88 and the side also twice drew against Hungary during the qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and recorded four friendly wins during 1991 and 1992.[2]

Malta's third competitive win came with a 1–0 victory away to Estonia in a 1993 World Cup qualifier in which Kris Laferla scored.[3] In October 1994 Malta held Czech Republic 0-0 in a qualifier for the Euro'96, in which the latter ended runners-up. Six years later, in October 2000 in a group qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup, once again Malta managed another 0-0 draw vs Czech Republic which eventually cost the latter a place at the following major tournament. Through November 2001 and May 2002 Malta played and remained undefeated in 6 international matches and in between they won the locally hosted (Rothmans) International Tournament. During 2005, Malta drew 1–1 against Croatia and Bulgaria. Another positive result was the 1–1 home draw in a friendly match against Northern Ireland. On 11 October 2006, Malta managed another competitive victory, a 2–1 triumph over Hungary in the European Championship qualifying with Andre Schembri scoring twice.[3]

On 7 February 2007, Malta drew 1–1 with one of the hosts of Euro 2008, Austria. The game was played to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first international match played by the Maltese national team.[4] Another friendly against Austria in June 2008 ended in a 5–1 defeat.[5] On 8 September 2007 Malta managed another draw against Turkey in a Euro 2008 qualifying match, the game finishing 2–2.[6] On 26 March 2008, Malta achieved its largest ever victory, a 7–1 defeat of Liechtenstein in a friendly at the Ta' Qali Stadium, with Michael Mifsud scoring five goals.[7] A 2–0 friendly win over Georgia followed in 2009.[8]

In May 2010, sponsorship of the Maltese national side was taken on by sportswear firm Givova, who also designed a range of new kits for the team.[9] One month later, however, the side had fallen to their lowest ever FIFA world ranking position, of 169th in the world.[8] In 2009, Malta had a 0–0 draw with Albania at home. This was their only point for the 2010 World Cup qualifying. On 11 August 2010 Malta drew 1–1 at home against FYR Macedonia in a European Championship qualifying game, with Michael Mifsud scoring a brilliant diving header for Malta.[10]

In February 2011 the side achieved a 0–0 draw against Switzerland, in which goalkeeper Justin Haber saved two penalties.[8] Mifsud scored twice on 10 August 2011, when Malta beat the Central African Republic 2–1 at home.[11] On 6 September 2011, Malta won their first Euro 2012 qualifying point, with a 1–1 draw against Georgia. During the years of 2010 and 2011, Malta did not get many positive results, and coach John Buttigieg and assistant coach Carmel Busittil were both sacked in October 2011.[12] Malta has been drawn in a group with Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Armenia for qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In their match vs Armenia in June 2013, Malta claimed their first world cup qualifying win in 20 years, nabbing a 1-0 victory.

Recent results and upcoming fixtures[edit]

2012[edit]

2013[edit]

2014[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named for the friendly match against Gibraltar on 4 June 2014.
Caps and goals are correct as of 4 June 2014.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Justin Haber (1981-06-09) 9 June 1981 (age 33) 47 0 Malta Birkirkara
1GK Andrew Hogg (1985-03-02) 2 March 1985 (age 29) 34 0 Greece Kalloni
2DF Andrei Agius (1986-08-12) 12 August 1986 (age 27) 41 1 Italy Aprilia
2DF Clayton Failla (1986-01-08) 8 January 1986 (age 28) 34 1 Malta Hibernians Paola
2DF Jonathan Caruana (1986-07-24) 24 July 1986 (age 28) 32 2 Malta Valletta
2DF Alex Muscat (1984-12-14) 14 December 1984 (age 29) 24 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers
2DF Ryan Camilleri (1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 (age 26) 13 0 Malta Valletta
2DF Steve Borg (1988-05-15) 15 May 1988 (age 26) 3 0 South Africa Platinum Stars
3MF Roderick Briffa (1981-08-24) 24 August 1981 (age 32) 78 1 Malta Valletta
3MF André Schembri (1986-05-27) 27 May 1986 (age 28) 55 3 Germany FSV Frankfurt
3MF Ryan Fenech (1986-04-20) 20 April 1986 (age 28) 34 1 Malta Valletta
3MF Shaun Bajada (1983-08-19) 19 August 1983 (age 30) 34 0 Malta Valletta
3MF Paul Fenech (1986-12-20) 20 December 1986 (age 27) 20 0 Malta Birkirkara
3MF John Mintoff (1988-08-23) 23 August 1988 (age 25) 7 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers
3MF Rowen Muscat (1991-06-15) 15 June 1991 (age 23) 7 0 Hungary Dunaújváros
3MF Bjorn Kristensen (1993-04-05) 5 April 1993 (age 21) 2 0 Malta Hibernians Paola
3MF Stephen Pisani (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 21) 0 0 Malta Floriana
4FW Michael Mifsud (captain) (1981-04-17) 17 April 1981 (age 33) 104 39 Malta Sliema Wanderers
4FW Terence Vella (1990-04-20) 20 April 1990 (age 24) 9 0 Malta Birkirkara
4FW Jean Paul Farrugia (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Malta Hibernians Paola

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up to the Maltese squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Nicholas Vella (1989-08-27) 27 August 1989 (age 24) 0 0 Malta Valletta v.  Gibraltar, 4 June 2014 (preliminary)
GK Glen Zammit (1987-08-05) 5 August 1987 (age 26) 0 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Gibraltar, 4 June 2014 (preliminary)
GK Henry Bonello (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 25) 1 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Denmark, 15 October 2013
DF Steve Bezzina (1987-01-05) 5 January 1987 (age 27) 3 0 Malta Balzan v.  Gibraltar, 4 June 2014 (preliminary)
DF Ixmael Grech (1991-09-26) 26 September 1991 (age 22) 0 0 Malta Mosta v.  Gibraltar, 4 June 2014 (preliminary)
DF Joseph Zerafa (1988-05-31) 31 May 1988 (age 26) 2 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Albania, 5 March 2014
DF Zach Muscat (1993-08-22) 22 August 1993 (age 20) 0 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Albania, 5 March 2014
DF Mark Scerri (1990-01-16) 16 January 1990 (age 24) 2 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Faroe Islands, 19 November 2013
DF Clifford Baldacchino (1988-02-09) 9 February 1988 (age 26) 1 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Faroe Islands, 19 November 2013
DF Jacob Borg (1991-05-02) 2 May 1991 (age 23) 1 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Faroe Islands, 19 November 2013
DF Luke Dimech (1977-01-11) 11 January 1977 (age 37) 79 1 Malta Valletta v.  Denmark, 15 October 2013
MF Edward Herrera (1986-11-14) 14 November 1986 (age 27) 16 1 Malta Birkirkara v.  Gibraltar, 4 June 2014 (preliminary)
MF Andrew Cohen (1981-05-13) 13 May 1981 (age 33) 56 1 Malta Hibernians Paola v.  Albania, 5 March 2014
MF Gareth Sciberras (1983-03-29) 29 March 1983 (age 31) 38 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Albania, 5 March 2014
MF Leighton Grech (1990-03-23) 23 March 1990 (age 24) 0 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Albania, 5 March 2014
MF Justin Grioli (1987-09-20) 20 September 1987 (age 26) 0 0 Malta Balzan v.  Faroe Islands, 19 November 2013

Records[edit]

As of 4 June 2014

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

UEFA European Football Championship[edit]

  • 1960Did not enter
  • 1964Did not qualify
  • 1968Did not enter
  • 1972 to 2012Did not qualify

All-time team record[edit]

Managers[edit]

As of June 7, 2013
Manager Malta career Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
Malta Joe A. Griffiths 1957–1961 6 2 2 2 33.3
Malta Carm Borg 1961–1964 9 0 2 7 00.0
Hungary Janos Bedl 1966 2 2 0 0 100.00
Malta Tony Formosa[1] 1966 10 1 1 8 10.0
Malta Joseph Attard 1969 1 0 0 1 00.0
Malta Saviour Cuschieri 1970 1 0 1 0 00.0
Malta Victor Scerri 1973 2 1 0 1 50.0
Italy Terrenzio Polverini 1974–1976 9 1 2 6 11.1
Malta John Calleja 1976–1978 11 2 1 8 18.2
Malta Victor Scerri 1978–1983 26 3 3 20 11.5
Bulgaria Guentcho Dobrev 1984–1987 21 1 4 16 04.8
Malta Horst Heese 1988–1991 36 3 8 25 08.3
Malta Pippo Psaila 1991–1993 17 5 4 8 29.4
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Bokun 1993 4 1 0 3 25.0
Italy Pietro Ghedin 1993–1995 24 4 5 15 16.7
Malta Robert Gatt 1996 3 0 1 2 00.0
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milorad Kosanović 1996–1997 15 0 2 13 00.0
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Josif Ilić 1997–2001 41 5 4 32 12.2
Germany Sigfried Held 2001–2003 21 4 5 12 19.0
Germany Horst Heese[2] 2003–2006 15 1 2 12 06.7
Czech Republic Dušan Fitzel[2] 2006–2009 34 3 4 27 08.8
Malta John Buttigieg[2] 2009–2011 21 2 3 16 09.5
Malta Robert Gatt[3] 2012 1 1 0 0 100.00
Italy Pietro Ghedin 2012–present 10 4 1 5 40.0
  1. ^ 1 match with Janos Bedl
  2. ^ a b c assisted by Carmel Busuttil
  3. ^ managed the team on a one-off basis as caretaker manager

FIFA ranking[edit]

Rank Date
Worst Ever Rank 173[8] July 2011
Best Ever Rank 66 (twice) September 1994, September 1995
Current Rank 132 [17] December 2013

Coaching Staff Head coach Pietro Ghedin Ass Coach Silvio Vella Goalkeepers Coach Charles Sciberras Physical trainer Luca Pagani

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of the Malta Football Association". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Malta's International 'A' Matches". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Brincat, Henry (15 October 2006). "Malta 2–1 Hungary". The Malta Independent. 
  4. ^ "Malta to play Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria on 30 May". The Malta Independent. 22 December 2007. 
  5. ^ Azzopardi, Kevin (1 June 2008). "Fitzel hopes debacle serves as 'wake-up call'". The Times of Malta. 
  6. ^ Huggins, Trevor (9 September 2007). "England notch easy win against Israel". Reuters UK. 
  7. ^ "Five-goal Mifsud inspires Malta to massive win". The Times of Malta. 27 March 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Malta make ground from Swiss denial". fifa.com. 7 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "High-profile friendly a useful test - Buttigieg". The Times of Malta. 11 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Malta-Maceddonia draw 1–1". The Times of Malta. 11 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Grech, Kevin (10 August 2011). "Mifsud the hero as Malta defeat Central African Republic". maltatoday.com. 
  12. ^ "Malta fires national coach John Buttigieg". ESPN. 26 October 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Roberto Mamrud. "Malta - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  14. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". fifa.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 

External links[edit]