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 (122)
Top scorer Michael Mifsud (40)
Home stadium Ta' Qali Stadium
FIFA code MLT
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 176 Steady (11 August 2016)
Highest 66 (September 1994, September 1995)
Lowest 176 (July–August 2016)
Elo ranking
Current 157 (9 September 2015)
Highest 98 (February 1992)
Lowest 164 (October 2001)
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 
(Seville, Spain; December 21, 1983)

The Malta national football team (Maltese: Tim nazzjonali tal-futbol ta' Malta) 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. They got 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 UEFA Euro 1996, 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. In June 2000 Malta played England, then managed by Kevin Keegan. Trailing 2-1 going into the final minutes Malta were awarded a penalty, however David Carabott's effort was saved by Richard Wright.[4] 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, though George Mallia missed an injury time penalty which would have given them a win.[5] 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.[6] On 8 September 2007 Malta managed another draw against Turkey in a Euro 2008 qualifying match, the game finishing 2–2.[7] 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.[8] A 2–0 friendly win over Georgia followed in 2009.[9]

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.[10] One month later, however, the side had fallen to their lowest ever FIFA world ranking position, of 169th in the world.[9] 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.[11]

In February 2011 the side achieved a 0–0 draw against Switzerland, in which goalkeeper Justin Haber saved two penalties.[9] Mifsud scored twice on 10 August 2011, when Malta beat the Central African Republic 2–1 at home.[12] 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.[13] 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. Michael Mifsud scored the all important goal for Malta.

Recent results and upcoming fixtures[edit]

2015[edit]

2016[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 20 players were named for Friendly matches against Czech Republic and Austria on 27 May and 31 May 2016.
Caps and goals are correct as of 31 May 2016 after the match against Austria.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Henry Bonello (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 27) 4 0 Malta Valletta

2DF Andrei Agius (1986-08-12) 12 August 1986 (age 30) 59 1 Malta Hibernians
2DF Clayton Failla (1986-01-08) 8 January 1986 (age 30) 49 2 Malta Hibernians
2DF Ryan Camilleri (1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 (age 28) 27 0 Malta Valletta
2DF Zach Muscat (1993-08-22) 22 August 1993 (age 23) 15 0 Italy Arezzo
2DF Ryan Camenzuli (1994-09-08) 8 September 1994 (age 21) 3 0 Malta Birkirkara
2DF Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (1988-02-09) 9 February 1988 (age 28) 4 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers
2DF Cain Attard (1994-09-10) 10 September 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Malta Birkirkara

3MF Roderick Briffa (Captain) (1981-08-24) 24 August 1981 (age 35) 91 1 Malta Valletta
3MF Gareth Sciberras (1983-03-29) 29 March 1983 (age 33) 44 0 Malta Birkirkara
3MF Paul Fenech (1986-12-20) 20 December 1986 (age 29) 35 1 Malta Balzan
3MF Rowen Muscat (1991-06-15) 15 June 1991 (age 25) 25 0 Malta Birkirkara
3MF Bjorn Kristensen (1993-04-05) 5 April 1993 (age 23) 14 0 Malta Hibernians
3MF Steve Pisani (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 24) 4 0 Malta Floriana
3MF Lui Cremona (1995-05-07) 7 May 1995 (age 21) 3 0 Malta Valletta
3MF Luke Gambin (1993-03-16) 16 March 1993 (age 23) 2 0 England Barnet

4FW Michael Mifsud (1981-04-17) 17 April 1981 (age 35) 116 40 Malta Valletta
4FW Alfred Effiong (1984-11-29) 29 November 1984 (age 31) 11 2 Malta Balzan
4FW Jean Paul Farrugia (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 24) 4 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up to the Maltese squad within the last year.(retired players will not appear in this following line up)

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Andrew Hogg (1985-03-02) 2 March 1985 (age 31) 44 0 Malta Hibernians v.  Moldova, 24 March 2016
GK Glen Zammit (1987-08-05) 5 August 1987 (age 29) 0 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Italy, 3 September 2015 PRE

DF Steve Borg (1988-05-15) 15 May 1988 (age 28) 19 0 Malta Valletta v.  Czech Republic, 27 May 2016 PRE
DF Jonathan Caruana (1986-07-24) 24 July 1986 (age 30) 37 2 Malta Valletta v.  Czech Republic, 27 May 2016 PRE
DF Justin Grioli (1987-09-20) 20 September 1987 (age 28) 2 0 Malta Balzan v.  Moldova, 24 March 2016
DF Ryan Scicluna (1993-07-30) 30 July 1993 (age 23) 4 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Moldova, 24 March 2016
DF Joseph Zerafa (1988-05-31) 31 May 1988 (age 28) 8 0 Malta Birkirkara v.  Moldova, 24 March 2016
DF Manwel Briffa (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 (age 22) 1 0 Malta Floriana v.  Jordan, 11 November 2015
DF Alex Muscat (1984-12-14) 14 December 1984 (age 31) 31 0 Malta Sliema Wanderers v.  Croatia, 13 October 2015
DF Ayrton Azzopardi (1993-09-12) 12 September 1993 (age 22) 1 0 Malta Tarxien Rainbows v.  Italy, 3 September 2015 PRE
DF Alex Cini (1991-10-28) 28 October 1991 (age 24) 0 0 Malta Pembroke Athleta v.  Italy, 3 September 2015 PRE

MF André Schembri (1986-05-27) 27 May 1986 (age 30) 72 3 Portugal Boavista v.  Moldova, 24 March 2016
MF Adrian Zahra (1990-09-24) 24 September 1990 (age 25) 0 0 Australia Port Melbourne training camp, August 2016
MF Clyde Borg (1992-03-20) 20 March 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Malta Floriana v.  Jordan, 11 November 2015
MF Dylan Grima (1990-06-18) 18 June 1990 (age 26) 0 0 Malta Balzan v.  Italy, 3 September 2015 PRE

FW Terence Vella (1990-04-20) 20 April 1990 (age 26) 11 0 Malta Qormi v.  Moldova, 24 March 2016 PRE
FW Luke Montebello (1995-08-13) 13 August 1995 (age 21) 0 0 Malta Tarxien Rainbows v.  Jordan, 11 November 2015
FW Andrew Cohen (1981-05-13) 13 May 1981 (age 35) 66 1 Malta Hibernians v.  Croatia, 13 October 2015
FW JP Mifsud Triganza (1986-07-24) 24 July 1986 (age 30) 1 0 Malta Valletta v.  Azerbaijan, 6 September 2015

Records[edit]

As of 13 October 2015[14]

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did Not Enter
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974 Did Not Qualify 6 0 0 6 1 20
Argentina 1978 6 0 0 6 0 27
Spain 1982 4 0 0 4 2 15
Mexico 1986 8 0 1 7 6 25
Italy 1990 8 0 2 6 3 18
United States 1994 10 1 1 8 3 23
France 1998 10 0 0 10 2 37
South KoreaJapan 2002 10 0 1 9 4 24
Germany 2006 10 0 3 7 4 32
South Africa 2010 10 0 1 9 0 26
Brazil 2014 10 1 0 9 5 28
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022
Total 0/20 92 2 9 81 30 275

UEFA European Football Championship[edit]

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did not enter
Spain 1964 Did not qualify
Italy 1968 Did not enter
1972 to 2016 Did not qualify
European Union 2020 To be determined
Total 0/15

All-time team record[edit]

Managers[edit]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Manager Pietro Ghedin

Assistant Manager Silvio Vella

Goalkeepers Coach Charles Sciberras

Physical trainer Luca Pagani

Managerial history[edit]

As of May 1, 2015
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
Germany 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 29 6 3 20 20.7
  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 176[9] July 2016
Best Ever Rank 66 (twice) September 1994, September 1995
Current Rank 176 [18] July 2016

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 v England: Clockwatch". BBC. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Malta 1-1 Northern Ireland". BBC. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Malta to play Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria on 30 May". The Malta Independent. 22 December 2007. 
  7. ^ Huggins, Trevor (9 September 2007). "England notch easy win against Israel". Reuters UK. 
  8. ^ "Five-goal Mifsud inspires Malta to massive win". The Times of Malta. 27 March 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Malta make ground from Swiss denial". fifa.com. 7 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "High-profile friendly a useful test - Buttigieg". The Times of Malta. 11 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Malta-Maceddonia draw 1–1". The Times of Malta. 11 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Grech, Kevin (10 August 2011). "Mifsud the hero as Malta defeat Central African Republic". maltatoday.com. 
  13. ^ "Malta fires national coach John Buttigieg". ESPN. 26 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Roberto Mamrud. "Malta - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  15. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". fifa.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 

External links[edit]