Cuba national football team

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CUBA
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Leones del Caribe (Lions of the Caribbean)
Association Football Association of Cuba
Sub-confederation CFU (Caribbean)
Confederation CONCACAF
(North America)
Head coach Raúl González Triana
Most caps Yénier Márquez (126)
Top scorer Lester Moré (29)
Home stadium Estadio Pedro Marrero
FIFA code CUB
FIFA ranking 104 Increase 3 (9 July 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 46 (November 2006)
Lowest FIFA ranking 175 (December 1994)
Elo ranking 118 (14 June 2015)
Highest Elo ranking 52 (February 2005)
Lowest Elo ranking 143 (January 1965)
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
First international
 Cuba 3–1 Jamaica 
(Havana, Cuba; March 16, 1930)
Biggest win
 Cuba 9–0 Puerto Rico 
(Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.; May 27, 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 8–0 Cuba 
(Antibes, France; June 12, 1938)
 Soviet Union 8–0 Cuba 
(Moscow, Soviet Union; July 24, 1980)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 1938)
Best result Quarter-finals: 1938
CONCACAF Championship
& Gold Cup
Appearances 7 (First in 1971)
Best result 4th: 1971
Caribbean Cup
Appearances 11 (First in 1991)
Best result Champions: 2012

The Cuba national football team is the national team of Cuba and is controlled by the Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba.[1] They are affiliated to the Caribbean Football Union of CONCACAF.

They were the first Caribbean team to make the World Cup, which they did in 1938. There, they defeated Romania in a replay 2–1 after drawing against them 3–3. They were then eliminated in the quarter-finals by Sweden, 8–0. Cuba has not returned to the World Cup since.

Cuba finished second in the Caribbean Cup in 1996, 1999 and 2005 and won the 2012 Caribbean Cup.

History[edit]

Cuba played its first international football match on 16 March 1930 at that year's Central American and Caribbean Games. They beat Jamaica (then a British colony) 3–1 in Havana. Four days later they beat Honduras 7–0.[2] Cuba were managed by José Tapia, who remained in charge until after Cuba's 1938 FIFA World Cup campaign. Cuba's first World Cup qualification campaign was for the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy. All of the CONCACAF entrants were placed in Group 11. The winner of a best-of-three tournament between the two weakest nations, Cuba and Haiti would produce a winner to play 1930 qualifiers Mexico in another round of best-of-three. The winner of that would play 1930 semi-finalists the United States of America for a place in the finals. All of the matches between Cuba and Haiti in the first round were staged at Parc Leconte in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 28 January, 1 February and 4 February 1934. Cuba won the first match 3–1 with Mario Lopez opening from a penalty and Hector Socorro scoring the second. The second match was a 1–1 draw with Lopez equalising in the 85th minute. In the final match Cuba won 6–0 with two Lopez goals, one from Hector Socorro and one from his brother Francisco. The second round against Mexico consisted of three matches at Parque Necaxa in Mexico City. Its first match, on 4 March 1934, saw Mexico go 3–0 up with a hat-trick by Dionisio Mejia, his goals scored in the 12th, 14th and 16th minutes. Mario Lopez scored twice for Cuba with one in each half, but Mexico won 3–2. A week later Mejia scored another hat-trick as Mexico won 5–0, and seven days later Mexico won 4–1 after Lopez opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Mexico did not qualify, their 4–2 play-off defeat to the United States was held in Rome during the finals, as the two teams had forgotten to stage it earlier

The decision to stage the 1938 World Cup in France was poorly received in the Americas, who had hoped for it to return to South America after the 1934 World Cup in Italy. All nations in South America except Brazil withdrew, and all CONCACAF nations except Cuba, thus the two qualified by default. The tournament was held as a straight knock-out tournament of 16 nations. Cuba were drawn to play their first-ever World Cup finals match against Romania (who were making their third finals appearance) at Stade Chapou in Toulouse, on 5 June 1938. Silviu Bindea put Romania ahead after 35 minutes and Hector Socorro equalised nine minutes later. With three minutes remaining Tomas Fernandez gave Cuba the lead, but within a minute Iuliu Baratky forced extra time with a Romanian equaliser. Romania went 3–2 up in extra-time by Stefan Dobay's goal on 105 minutes, but Juan Tunas equalised for Cuba with three minutes of extra-time remaining. The replay was held at the same stadium, on 9 June. This was at the same time as Switzerland's 4–2 replay win over Germany. Dobay put Romania 1–0 up at half-time with a 35th minute goal, but in the second half Cuba equalised through Socorro in the 51st minute. Six minutes later, Carlos Oliviera scored the winning goal and it ended 2–1. In the quarter-final Cuba lost 8–0 to Sweden at Stade du Fort Carre in Antibes, on 12 June. Sweden's Tore Keller and Gustav Wetterstrom each scored hat-tricks.[3]

The NAFC Championship 1949 served as CONCACAF's qualification group for the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Cuba, the United States of America and Mexico played each other twice in a tournament held in Mexico City in September 1949. The top two would qualify. Cuba came third and did not qualify, their only point was gained from their second match, a 1–1 draw against the United States on 14 September. Cuba did not compete in World Cup qualification again until 1966. They returned to participation in qualification for 1978, but the 1982 qualifiers represented a significant breakthrough- Cuba reached the final round of qualifying, and were only 2 points short of reaching the 1982 World Cup. In recent years, Cuban football has seen an improvement in results.

They reached the Quarter-finals of the 2003 Gold Cup (where they were beaten by the USA) by defeating Canada 2–0 in the Group Stage. During the 2006 World Cup qualifiers Cuba faced Costa Rica and were only eliminated on away goals. They held Costa Rica to a draw in Havana 2–2 and later battled it out for a 1–1 draw in Costa Rica. During the 2010 World Cup qualifiers Cuba faced Antigua & Barbuda and drew 3–3 against Antigua & Barbuda. Later in Pedro Marreo Cuba won 4–1 to advance to the semifinal round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Cuba was with United States, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala. Cuba finished in the fourth place with only a victory against Guatemala 2–1 with a goal scored by Aliannis Urgellés. They finished in third place in the Caribbean Cup 2010 to take a place in Gold Cup 2011. In 2012 Cuba won the Caribbean Cup for the first time.

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Cuban team qualified directly to the Third Round as one of the six highest ranked teams and were place in Group C with Honduras, Panama, and Canada. Although the Cuban team had several close games, they ended their qualification process with 1 draw and 5 defeats (losing home and away to Canada and Honduras and drawing to Panama in Havana in their final game after losing in Panama City). Their only goal of the qualifying campaign came from Alberto Gomes against Panama in the final game of the group stage.

Competitive record[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Did Not Enter
Italy 1934 Did Not Qualify
France 1938 Quarter-Finals 8th 3 1 1 1 5 12
Brazil 1950 Did Not Qualify
Switzerland 1954 Entry Not Accepted[4]
Sweden 1958 Did Not Enter
Chile 1962
England 1966 Did Not Qualify
Mexico 1970 Entry Not Accepted[4]
West Germany 1974 Did Not Enter
Argentina 1978 Did Not Qualify
Spain 1982
Mexico 1986 Did Not Enter
Italy 1990 Did Not Qualify
United States 1994 Withdrew
France 1998 Did Not Qualify
South Korea Japan 2002
Germany 2006
South Africa 2010
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018
Qatar 2022 To Be Determined
Total Quarter-Final 1/22 3 1 1 1 5 12

Gold Cup record[edit]

  • 1991Withdrew
  • 1993Did not enter
  • 1996Did not qualify
  • 1998 – Round 1
  • 2000Did not qualify
  • 2002 – Round 1
  • 2003 – Quarterfinals
  • 2005 – Round 1
  • 2007 – Round 1
  • 2009Withdrew
  • 2011 – Round 1
  • 2013 – Quarterfinals
  • 2015 – Quarterfinals

CONCACAF Championship record[edit]

  • 1963Did not enter
  • 1965Did not enter
  • 1967Did not qualify
  • 1969Did not enter
  • 1971 – 4th place
  • 1973Did not enter
  • 1977Did not qualify
  • 1981 – 5th place
  • 1985Did not enter
  • 1989Did not qualify

NAFC Championship record[edit]

  • 1947 – Runner-up
  • 1949 – Third place

Caribbean Cup record[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following squad was selected for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Caps and goals updated as July 18, 2015 after the match against United States.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Sandy Sánchez (1994-05-24) 24 May 1994 (age 21) 2 0 Cuba Las Tunas
21 1GK Diosvelis Guerra (1989-05-21) 21 May 1989 (age 26) 13 0 Cuba Artemisa
2 2DF Andy Vaquero (1994-03-12) 12 March 1994 (age 21) 4 0 Cuba La Habana
3 2DF Yénier Márquez (1979-01-03) 3 January 1979 (age 36) 126 15 Cuba Villa Clara
4 2DF Ángel Horta (1984-03-17) 17 March 1984 (age 31) 2 0 Cuba Camagüey
5 2DF Jorge Luís Clavelo (1982-08-08) 8 August 1982 (age 33) 52 2 Cuba Villa Clara
6 2DF Yaisnier Nápoles (1987-10-20) 20 October 1987 (age 27) 4 0 Cuba Camagüey
13 2DF Jorge Luis Corrales (1991-05-20) 20 May 1991 (age 24) 34 1 Cuba Pinar del Río
15 2DF Adrián Diz (1994-03-04) 4 March 1994 (age 21) 13 0 Cuba La Habana
16 2DF Hánier Dranguet (1982-09-02) 2 September 1982 (age 32) 35 1 Cuba Guantánamo
7 3MF Darío Suárez DEF (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 (age 23) 2 0 Cuba La Habana
8 3MF Alberto Gomez (1988-02-12) 12 February 1988 (age 27) 37 1 Cuba Guantánamo
14 3MF Arichel Hernández (1993-09-20) 20 September 1993 (age 21) 7 1 Cuba Villa Clara
17 3MF Libán Pérez (1990-08-05) 5 August 1990 (age 25) 10 0 Cuba Camagüey
18 3MF Daniel Luís (1994-05-11) 11 May 1994 (age 21) 3 0 Cuba La Habana
19 3MF Yasmany López (1987-10-11) 11 October 1987 (age 27) 12 1 Cuba Ciego de Ávila
23 3MF Félix Guerra (1989-01-14) 14 January 1989 (age 26) 11 0 Cuba Granma
9 4FW Maikel Reyes (1993-03-04) 4 March 1993 (age 22) 9 2 Cuba Pinar del Río
10 4FW Ariel Martínez DEF (1986-05-09) 9 May 1986 (age 29) 54 11 Cuba Sancti Spíritus
20 4FW Armando Coroneaux (1985-07-02) 2 July 1985 (age 30) 22 4 Cuba Camagüey
22 4FW Alain Cervantes (1983-11-17) 17 November 1983 (age 31) 67 8 Cuba Ciego de Ávila

Recent call-ups[edit]

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Arael Argüellez DEF (1987-04-30) 30 April 1987 (age 28) 1 0 Cuba Cienfuegos 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup
GK Delvis Lumpuy (1994-02-21) 21 February 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Cuba Villa Clara 2014 Caribbean Cup
DF Aliannis Urgellés (1985-06-25) 25 June 1985 (age 30) 44 2 Cuba Guantánamo v.  Curaçao, 14 June 2015
DF Renay Malblanche (1991-08-08) 8 August 1991 (age 24) 19 0 Cuba La Habana v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
DF Yolexis Collado (1994-02-21) 21 February 1994 (age 21) 2 0 Cuba La Habana v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
DF Yennier Rosabal (1983-06-02) 2 June 1983 (age 32) 3 0 Cuba Las Tunas 2014 Caribbean Cup
DF Michel Márquez (1987-04-07) 7 April 1987 (age 28) 1 0 Cuba Isla de La Juventud v.  Guatemala, 23 August 2014
MF Reinier Cerdeira (1987-05-25) 25 May 1987 (age 28) 0 0 Cuba Cienfuegos v.  Curaçao, 14 June 2015
MF Tomás Cruz (1981-08-13) 13 August 1981 (age 34) 5 0 Cuba Ciego de Ávila v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
MF Yannier Martínez (1988-05-28) 28 May 1988 (age 27) 3 0 Cuba Villa Clara v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
MF Dairon Blanco (1992-02-10) 10 February 1992 (age 23) 7 0 Cuba Las Tunas 2014 Caribbean Cup
MF Dairon Pérez (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Cuba Camagüey v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
FW Keiler García DEF (1990-01-14) 14 January 1990 (age 25) 0 0 Cuba Camagüey 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup
FW Yoandir Puga (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 (age 27) 11 0 Cuba Isla de La Juventud v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
FW Yordan Santa Cruz (1993-10-07) 7 October 1993 (age 21) 3 1 Cuba Cienfuegos v.  Jamaica, 30 March 2015
FW José Ciprian Alfonso (1984-03-28) 28 March 1984 (age 31) 10 2 Cuba La Habana 2014 Caribbean Cup
FW Orisbel Leiva (1990-09-14) 14 September 1990 (age 24) 3 1 Cuba Ciego de Ávila 2014 Caribbean Cup
FW Jesús Rodríguez (1988-10-23) 23 October 1988 (age 26) 2 0 Cuba Ciego de Ávila 2014 Caribbean Cup


Previous squads[edit]

Defection and economic migration by Cuban athletes[edit]

As well as Cuban athletes in other sports, a number of football players (such as Maykel Galindo and Osvaldo Alonso) have made the move to the United States in recent years. During the 2002 Gold Cup in Los Angeles, two Cuban players Rey Ángel Martínez and Alberto Delgado chose to remain in the United States. Striker Maykel Galindo did so during the 2005 Gold Cup. Two more, Osvaldo Alonso and Lester More did so during the 2007 Gold Cup.

In 2008, defections occurred during two separate tournaments held in the United States. In March, seven players from the U-23 national football, including Yeniel Bermúdez, Yordany Álvarez and Yendry Díaz defected during the 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament while the team was based in Tampa, FL. In October, two days before the country's World Cup Qualifier versus the USA, Reynier Alcántara and Pedro Faife walked away from the team's hotel near Washington, D.C.. During the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Yosniel Mesa defected while the team was in Charlotte, North Carolina.[9] During the 2015 Gold Cup, forward Keiler García defected to the United States before the team's first match against Mexico in Chicago.[10]

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
20/8/2014 Panama Panama City, Panama  Panama 0-4 Friendly
23/8/2014 Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala  Guatemala 0-1 Friendly
11/11/2014 Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica  French Guiana 1-1 2014 Caribbean Cup
13/11/2014 Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica  Curaçao 3-2 2014 Caribbean Cup
15/11/2014 Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica  Trinidad and Tobago 0-0 2014 Caribbean Cup
18/11/2014 Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica  Haiti 1-2 2014 Caribbean Cup
25/3/2015 Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  Dominican Republic 3-0 Friendly
30/3/2015 Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica  Jamaica 0-3 Friendly
10/6/2015 Curaçao Willemstad, Curaçao  Curaçao 0-0 2018 WCQ
14/6/2015 Cuba Havana, Cuba  Curaçao 1-1 2018 WCQ
9/7/2015 United States Chicago, United States  Mexico 0-6 2015 Gold Cup
12/7/2015 United States Glendale, United States  Trinidad and Tobago 0-2 2015 Gold Cup
15/7/2015 United States Charlotte, United States  Guatemala 1-0 2015 Gold Cup
18/7/2015 United States Baltimore, United States  United States 0-6 2015 Gold Cup

Coaches[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rainsford, Sarah (2012-06-28). "BBC News – Euro 2012 football fever hits baseball-loving Cuba". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  2. ^ "Cuba – List of International Matches". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Baseball in Their Veins, but a New Ball at Their Feet". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  4. ^ a b "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Deserta otro jugador cubano en Chicago" (in Spanish). Univision (Miami). 10 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Deserta futbolista cubano en Copa Oro". Voz de América. 
  7. ^ "Tercer desertor cubano en la Copa Oro" (in Spanish). futbol.univision.com. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ariel Martínez también abandona la selección de Cuba en la Copa Oro" (in Spanish). futbol.univision.com. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Cuba's Yosniel Mesa defects". ESPN. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Keilen García, el premio-castigo de la libertad". ESPN Deportes. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 

External links[edit]