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Latvia national football team


Latvia national football team


The Latvia national football team (Latvian: Latvijas futbola izlase) represents Latvia in men's international football, and is controlled by the Latvian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Latvia. They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, but did qualify for the European Championship in 2004 under head coach Aleksandrs Starkovs.

Latvia, alongside their Baltic rivals, Lithuania and Estonia, have also participated in the local sub-regional Baltic Cup tournament, which takes place every two years. Latvia has won the Baltic Cup championship a record 13 times, more than any other country in the history of the tournament, most recently in 2018.

Latvia's current home ground is the Daugava Stadium in Riga, although since the autumn of 2022 most games have been held at Skonto Stadium.

History

Early years

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 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 a 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 away match against Austria, despite an early goal from Vestermans. In April 1938, the Austrian Anschluss made the Austrian team unable to participate, however, despite being the group's runner-up, Latvia was not invited to the tournament by FIFA to replace Austria.

In 1940, Latvia was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union; the country regained its independence in 1991 and played their first match 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, as well as being the second former-Soviet state in Europe at the time (after Russia) to qualify for a European Championship. At 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, finishing fourth, with one point from their draw and two losses.

Latvia have since failed to qualify for another major tournament, although they came close to qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After eight qualifying matches, Latvia were level on points with their next opponent, second-placed Greece, but a 5–2 defeat virtually ended all hopes of qualification and Latvia finished third in UEFA Group 2. Recent years have seen a sharp decline with many losses. In the EURO 2020 qualifiers, Latvia lost 9 out of 10 games, including a woeful 0-5 home loss to Slovenia.

MAPoleon

Team image

Kits

Latvia's kit is traditionally a carmine red jersey with white trim, carmine red shorts and socks, whilst their current away kit is all predominantly white. Latvia's kits have been produced by various manufacturers.

Crest

Until July 2018, the team crest consisted of the Latvian Football Federation logo, when it was switched to a shield with a football in the colors of the Latvian flag and 'LATVIJA' written above. A similar crest with a head of a howling wolf was also unveiled as a secondary logo for use in souvenirs etc as part of the #11vilki (#11wolves) brand.

Kit suppliers

Media coverage

All Latvian matches are broadcast with full commentary on Viaplay Group. From the 2022 season until the 2028 season, Latvia's home and away qualifiers, and friendlies both home and away were broadcast live. On 20 July 2023, Viaplay announced that the Swedish streaming service provider "Viaplay" will leave the market of the Baltic countries.

Stadium

The majority of home matches take place at the Daugava Stadium in Riga. Between 2000 and 2018, the main base for the team was the Skonto Stadium, which was built as a temporary location due to the planned renovation of Daugava Stadium, which started only in 2017, with the first stage completed a year later.

Home venues record

The following table provides a summary of Latvia's results at home venues since 1992.

As of 14 June 2023.

Results and fixtures

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023

Giuseppe Zanotti Luxury Sneakers

Coaching staff

As of 20 February 2020

Coaching history

Players

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Armenia on 12 October 2023 and Turkey on 15 October 2023.

Caps and goals as of 11 September 2023, after the match against Wales.

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up within the last twelve months.

Player records

As of 4 January 2023
Players in bold are still active with Latvia.

Most capped players

Top goalscorers

Hat-tricks

  • 4 Player scored 4 goals

Clean sheets

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

UEFA European Championship

UEFA Nations League

Baltic Cup

Olympic Games

Head-to-head record

As of March 29 2022 after match against  Azerbaijan

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Honours

  • King's Cup
    • Winners : 2005
  • Baltic Cup
    • Winners : 13 times
    • Runner-up : 14 times
    • Third place : 1 times

See also

  • Latvia men's national under-21 football team
  • Latvia men's national under-19 football team
  • Latvia men's national under-17 football team
  • Latvia women's national football team
  • Latvia women's national under-17 football team

References

External links

  • Official website (in Latvian)
  • Latvia at FIFA
  • Latvia at UEFA
  • Latvia at RSSSF

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Latvia national football team by Wikipedia (Historical)



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