Latvia national football team
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Association||Latvian Football Federation|
|Head coach||Aleksandrs Starkovs|
|Asst coach||Jurijs Ševļakovs|
|Most caps||Vitālijs Astafjevs (167)|
|Top scorer||Māris Verpakovskis (29)|
|Home stadium||Skonto Stadium|
|Highest FIFA ranking||45 (November 2009)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||118 (October 2012)|
|Highest Elo ranking||39 (September 1922)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||124 (April 1995)|
| Latvia 1–1 Estonia
(Riga, Latvia; 24 September 1922)
Romania 2–0 Latvia
(Bucharest, Romania; 8 April 1992)
| Latvia 9–0 Estonia
(Tallinn, Estonia; 18 August 1942)
| Sweden 12–0 Latvia
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May 1927)
|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 who has been the current head coach since 2007. Latvia's home ground is the Skonto Stadium in Riga, where they have played their matches since its opening in 2000.
Latvia played their first match in 1922, a game against Estonia, which finished in a 1–1 draw. Latvia have won the Baltic Cup 10 times, and have played 99 official games during its pre-war period from 1922 to 1940.
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. Latvia beat Lithuania 4–2 in Riga, after an Fricis Kaņeps hat-trick and an Iļja Vestermans goal. In Kaunas, they won 5–1, after two goals each from Kaņeps, Vaclavs Borduško, and Vestermans, but lost 1–2 in the decisive match against Austria, despite an early goal from Vestermans. In April 1938, the Austrian Anschluss relegated the Austrian team, however, Latvia was not invited by FIFA as the group's runner-up.
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.
In September 2003, Latvia surprisingly finished second, ahead of Poland, in their qualifying group for Euro 2004. 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. The second leg finished in a 2–2 draw, with Latvia winning 3–2 on aggregate, thus qualifying for the tournament. 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. At the Euro 2004, Latvia were drawn in Group D, alongside Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands. Latvia faced Czech Republic in their opening match on 15 June 2004, with Verpakovskis scoring before half-time. However, the Czechs would later come back to win the game 2–1. Four days later, Latvia earned a respectable 0–0 draw against Germany to earn their first point in a major tournament. They lost their final match with 3–0 against Netherlands, and were eliminated, finished fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.
Coaching staff 
- As of 1 June 2012.
|Assistant manager||Jurijs Ševļakovs|
|Goalkeeping coach||Aleksandrs Kulakovs|
|Fitness coach||Vladimirs Serbins|
|Team doctor||Dags Čuda|
Tournament records 
World Cup record 
- 1930 to 1934 – Did not enter
- 1938 – Did not qualify
- 1950 to 1990 – Did not enter, was part of USSR
- 1994 to 2010 – Did not qualify
European Championship record 
|UEFA European Championship record|
|1960 to 1992||Part of Soviet Union|
|1996 to 2000||Did not qualify|
|2008 to 2012||Did not qualify|
Baltic Cup Championship record 
11 time winners – 1928, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012.
Apart from that won this tournament in 1940, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1974, 1976 as Latvian SSR.
Results and fixtures 
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying 
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying 
Recent and forthcoming matches 
|22 May 2012||Friendly||Klagenfurt||Poland||0–1|
|1 June 2012||Baltic Cup||Võru||Lithuania||5–0||Edgars Gauračs 2x, Aleksandrs Cauņa, Aleksejs Višņakovs, Vitālijs Smirnovs|
|3 June 2012||Baltic Cup||Võru||Finland||1–1 (6–5p)||Edgars Gauračs, (Vitālijs Smirnovs, Oļegs Laizāns, Vladimirs Kamešs, Artūrs Zjuzins, Oskars Kļava, Vladislavs Kozlovs)|
|15 August 2012||Friendly||Podgorica||Montenegro||0–2|
|7 September 2012||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Greece||1–2||Aleksandrs Cauņa|
|11 September 2012||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Zenica||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–4||Kaspars Gorkšs|
|12 October 2012||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Bratislava||Slovakia||1–2||Māris Verpakovskis|
|16 October 2012||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Liechtenstein||2–0||Vladimirs Kamešs, Edgars Gauračs|
|6 February 2013||Friendly||Kobe||Japan||0–3|
|22 March 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Vaduz||Liechtenstein||1–1||Aleksandrs Cauņa|
|24 May 2013||Friendly||Doha||Qatar|
|28 May 2013||Friendly||Duisburg||Turkey|
|7 June 2013||FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification||Riga||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Vitālijs Astafjevs has played for Latvia more times than anyone else, with 167 caps from 1992 to 2010. He also holds the European record for the most played matches in the national team. Astafjevs has netted 16 times. Juris Laizāns is the most capped active player for Latvia with 108 appearances, as of March, 2013. Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goalscorer with 29 goals. Other high scorers include Marians Pahars and Juris Laizāns, who both have scored 15 goals each for Latvia.
Current squad 
Caps and goals are correct as 22 March 2013, after the game against Liechtenstein.
Recent callups 
Players called-up within last 12 months.
|Name||Date of Birth (Age)||Club||Caps||Goals|
|Andris Vaņins||30 April 1980||Sion||55||0|
|Andrejs Pavlovs||22 February 1979||Spartaks Jūrmala||2||0|
|Deniss Romanovs||2 September 1978||Pro Duta||5||0|
|Aleksandrs Koļinko||18 June 1975||Baltika Kaliningrad||86||0|
|Germans Māliņš||12 October 1987||BATE Borisov||0||0|
|Ritus Krjauklis||23 April 1986||Golden Arrows||22||0|
|Igors Savčenkovs||3 November 1982||Daugava Daugavpils||4||0|
|Vladimirs Bespalovs||22 June 1988||Ventspils||1||0|
|Deniss Kačanovs||27 November 1979||Daugava Rīga||29||0|
|Antons Kurakins||1 January 1990||Ventspils||0||0|
|Antons Jemeļins||19 February 1984||Liepājas Metalurgs||1||0|
|Aleksandrs Fertovs||16 June 1987||Skonto Riga||17||0|
|Artūrs Zjuzins||18 June 1991||Baltika Kaliningrad||7||0|
|Andrejs Kovaļovs||23 March 1989||Daugava Daugavpils||2||0|
|Ivans Lukjanovs||24 January 1987||Volgar Astrakhan||14||0|
|Igors Tarasovs||16 January 1988||Ventspils||3||0|
|Maksims Rafaļskis||14 May 1984||ÍA Akranes||13||0|
|Andrejs Perepļotkins||27 December 1984||Trans Narva||36||3|
|Vladislavs Kozlovs||30 November 1987||Ventspils||3||0|
|Daniils Turkovs||17 February 1988||Ventspils||4||0|
Most capped players 
- Players in bold are still active.
Top goalscorers 
|1.||Māris Verpakovskis||1999–present||29 (97)|
|2.||Ēriks Pētersons||1929–1939||21 (63)|
|3.||Vitālijs Astafjevs||1992–2010||16 (167)|
|4.||Marians Pahars||1996–2007||15 (75)|
|5.||Juris Laizāns||1998–present||15 (108)|
|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 (38)|
|10.||Vīts Rimkus||1995–2008||11 (73)|
- Players in bold are still active.
See also 
- Latvia national under-21 football team
- Latvia national under-19 football team
- Latvia national under-17 football team
- "Latvian national team history". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "1922–1940. gads (99 spēles)". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "World Cup 1938 – Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "1938 FIFA World Cup France ™ Preliminaries". International Federation of Association Football. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "1992. gads". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "How they qualified: Latvia". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Verpakovskis sparks Latvian joy". Unions of European Football Associations. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Joyful Latvia make history". Unions of European Football Associations. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Latvia claim historic win". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 November 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Euro 2004 draw". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Czech Rep 2–1 Latvia". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 15 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Latvia 0–0 Germany". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Holland 3–0 Latvia". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 23 June 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Group D". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 May 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Players and staff". Latvian Football Federation (in Latvian). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "Vitalijs Astafjevs – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "Latvia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Latvia national football team|
- Official website (Latvian) (English)
- Latvia national team results at Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
- Latvia national team most capped players and highest goalscorers at Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
- Latvia official profile at Unions of European Football Associations