Azerbaijan national football team
The Azerbaijan national football team (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan milli futbol komandası) is the national football team of Azerbaijan and is controlled by Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan. It represents Azerbaijan in international football competitions. The majority of Azerbaijan's home matches are held at the national stadium, Baku Olympic Stadium, with friendly matches sometimes hosted at club stadiums.
|Nickname(s)||Milli (The National)|
|Most caps||Rashad Sadygov (111)|
|Top scorer||Gurban Gurbanov (14)|
|Home stadium||Baku Olympic Stadium|
|Current|| 114 |
|Highest||73 (July 2014)|
|Lowest||170 (June 1994)|
|Current|| 112 |
|Highest||51 (28 June 1928)|
|Lowest||152 (2 June 2001)|
(Gurjaani, Georgia; 17 September 1992)
(Baku, Azerbaijan; 5 June 1999)
(Baku, Azerbaijan; 4 September 2017)
(Auxerre, France; 6 September 1995)
The Azerbaijan national football team has taken part in qualification for each major tournament since Euro 96, but has never qualified for the finals tournament of any World Cup or European Championships.
Early period (before the 1920s)
In the early twentieth century, football began to become popular in Azerbaijan, which was then part of the Russian Empire. In 1912, Azerbaijani football players had their first "international match" and they won in Tbilisi, Georgia against the local "Sokol" team with 4:2. During 1912–1913, matches between Azerbaijani and Georgian football teams were organized, first in Tbilisi and then in Baku. In 1914 the Football Union was founded in Azerbaijan. The Football Union undertook the organization of official city championships and other competitions.
Soviet era (1920s–1991)
The oldest records of football teams in Soviet Azerbaijan goes back to 1926–1927, when Trans-Caucasian Championship was organized in Tbilisi. Three South Caucasian countries participated: Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The Azerbaijan national football team held its first friendly matches against Georgia and Armenia in 1927 for the Trans-Caucasian Championship in Georgia. Also in 1926 footbal players from Azerbaijan played three matches with Football team from Iran in Baku. In 1929 there were played three matches between these teams in Tehran. In all matches Azerbaijan players won.
The 1960s is considered the Golden Age for Azerbaijani football as it produced great players like Anatoliy Banishevskiy, Alakbar Mammadov and the football referee Tofiq Bahramov, most famous for being the linesman who helped to award a goal for England in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany.
After Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991, AFFA — Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan — was created. In 1992, renowned Azerbaijani footballer Alekper Mamedov became the first head coach of the Azerbaijani national football team, compiling a 3–1 record as coach that includes the first ever national team victory, over Georgia on May 25, 1993. In 1994, the national team was accepted into FIFA and UEFA. The security issues, forced the team to play all of its home Euro 96 qualifiers in Trabzon, Turkey.
As of the early 2000s, AFFA started to integrate more players to the national team through FIFA's eligibility rules. In February 2004, Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of the Brazil team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup was appointed its national coach. Despite a poor start, a 0–6 defeat to Israel on February 18, Azerbaijan won their first ever away match, 3–2 against Kazakhstan on April 28. In June 2005, following a 3–0 defeat by Poland, Torres stood down from the position, to be replaced by former Neftchi coach Vagif Sadygov, his third spell as coach of Azerbaijan. Shahin Diniyev took over as manager in November 2005. He resigned on 31 October 2007, and Gjoko Hadzievski was named as care-taking coach of Azerbaijan.
In April 2008, former German football player and coach Berti Vogts was appointed as a manager of Azerbaijan on a two-year contract. Azerbaijan had a mixed qualifying campaign, finishing with 5 points, just missing out on a last place to Liechtenstein with 2 points.
In November 2009, AFFA extended Berti Vogts' contract a further two years, making him the first manager to manage Azerbaijani national team in two qualification cycles.
In 2010, following a shock win over Turkey, the team reached 90th place in FIFA World Rankings, Azerbaijan's highest position ever in country's football history. After victory over Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan also broke their scoring and points records by gaining 7 points and scoring 10 goals.
In November 2011, AFFA extended Berti Vogts' contract a further two years, until the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification cycle. Under Vogts, Azerbaijan had some poor results, not being able to defeat second-string sides. Vogts faced major criticism, protest and demonstration from local supporters and the media. However, Azerbaijan managed to finish qualification cycle in fourth place, the team's best ever finish. In December 2013, Vogts being granted a new two-year contract, with aim to lead Azerbaijan through EURO 2016 qualifying. In July 2014, Azerbaijan beat its ranking record by reaching 73rd place in FIFA World Rankings. Following three straight losses, Vogts resigned from his post after spending six years in charge of Azerbaijan.
Succeeding Vogts as full-time manager was former Croatia international Robert Prosinečki. He guided the Azerbaijani team to another record points haul (10) in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, but the team still finished fifth in the six-team Group C. Prosinečki resigned after deciding not to extend his contract with the Azerbaijan football federation.
As of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying round, Azerbaijan's home colours are all-red kit. The team wears an all-blue kit for away games. This combination of colours is traditional for the national team since their first game. At the beginning of 90s, the team wore a white shirt, but towards the end of the decade it was transformed into blue-white striped shirts. At the beginning of the 2000s, the kit was replaced by the white shirt with a vertical tricolour stripe, formed of the colors from the national flag of Azerbaijan on the chest. The kit was changed into blue shirts, red shorts and green socks only for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying round. After the tournament, the national team went back to their usual combination of colours.
Azerbaijan national team's away colours were yellow-black striped shirts, black shorts and yellow socks until UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying round, when it was decided to abandon this kit in favor of the completely blue. During the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying round games the team has used an all red kit.
Since 2017, Azerbaijan's kit has been supplied by Nike. They took over from Puma who were Azerbaijan's kit suppliers between 2004 and 2006. Before that Umbro were Azerbaijan's kit suppliers between 2002 and 2004.
Azerbaijan is often referred to by the media and supporters as Milli (The National), which is the nickname associated with all of Azerbaijan's international sporting teams due to the team's utilization of the country's national colors.
Media coverage and public relations
Most of Azerbaijan's home matches are played at the new Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku. It has been Azerbaijan's primary home stadium ever since the move from Tofiq Bahramov Stadium in 2015. Today, some qualifying matches and friendly matches are still hosted at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, whereas others are hosted at the Lankaran City Stadium, Bakcell Arena and Dalga Arena after it met UEFA stadium criteria.
FIFA World Cup
Runners-up Third place Fourth placeChampions
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|as Part of
||as Part of |
|Did not enter||Did not enter||—|
|Did not qualify||4||2||0||2||5||3||1978|
|Second group stage||7th||5||2||2||1||7||4||8||6||2||0||20||2||1982|
|Round of 16||10th||4||2||1||1||12||5||8||4||2||2||13||8||1986|
||as Part of |
|Did not enter|
|Did not qualify||8||1||0||7||3||22||5/5|
|To be determined|
UEFA European Championship
Runners-up Third place Fourth placeChampions
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualification record|
|as Part of
||as Part of |
|Did not qualify||8||4||1||3||12||10||1976|
|as Part of
|Did not qualify||10||0||1||9||2||29||6/6|
|To be determined|
Performance in recent competitions
UEFA Nations League
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||C||To be determined|
|2022–23||To be determined||To be determined|
2018–19 UEFA Nations League D
|1||6||4||2||0||15||2||+13||14||Promotion to League C||—||4–0||2–0||3–1|
- Due to revamp of the format for the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, the second-placed teams in each group and the best third-placed team among all groups were also promoted.
2020 UEFA Euro qualifying
|1||8||5||2||1||17||7||+10||17||Qualify for final tournament||—||2–1||3–1||3–0||2–1|
Fixtures and results
- For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page
|17 November 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Azerbaijan ||2–0||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|21:00 AZST (UTC+4)||Nazarov
|Report||Stadium: Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Demetrios Masias (Cyprus)
|21 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Croatia ||2–1||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb|
||Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)|
|25 March 2019 Friendly||Azerbaijan ||0–0||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||Report||Referee: Horațiu Fesnic (Romania)|
|8 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan ||1–3||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||
||Report||Referee: Kevin Blom (Netherlands)|
|11 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan ||1–5||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||
||Report||Referee: John Beaton (Scotland)|
|6 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Wales ||2–1||Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff|
|20:45 (19:45 UTC+1)||Report||
||Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (Malta)|
|9 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan ||1–1||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (20:00 UTC+4)||
||Report||Referee: Sandro Schärer (Switzerland)|
|9 October 2019 Friendly||Bahrain ||2–3||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa|
|22:30 (19:30 UTC+3)||Report|
|13 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Hungary ||1–0||Groupama Arena, Budapest|
||Report||Referee: Dennis Higler (Netherlands)|
|16 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Azerbaijan ||0–2||Bakcell Arena, Baku|
|18:00 (21:00 UTC+4)||Report||Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)|
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Salahat Aghayev||4 January 1991||19||0|
|12||GK||Emil Balayev||17 April 1994||5||0|
|23||GK||Mehdi Jannatov||26 January 1992||0||0|
|6||DF||Badavi Huseynov||11 July 1991||49||0|
|21||DF||Pavel Pashayev||4 January 1988||21||0|
|19||DF||Tamkin Khalilzade||6 August 1993||17||3|
|3||DF||Shahriyar Rahimov||6 April 1989||9||0|
|18||DF||Anton Krivotsyuk||20 August 1998||7||0|
|4||DF||Bahlul Mustafazade||27 February 1997||6||0|
|16||DF||Abbas Huseynov||13 June 1995||3||0|
|15||DF||Shahriyar Aliyev||25 December 1992||0||0|
|22||MF||Javid Huseynov||9 March 1988||58||2|
|2||MF||Gara Garayev||12 October 1992||56||0|
|13||MF||Dimitrij Nazarov||4 April 1990||43||8|
|7||MF||Araz Abdullayev||18 April 1992||38||3|
|20||MF||Richard Almeida||20 March 1989||22||3|
|10||MF||Aghabala Ramazanov||20 January 1993||18||1|
|8||MF||Emin Mahmudov||27 April 1992||14||1|
|14||MF||Eddi Israfilov||2 August 1992||13||0|
|5||MF||Elvin Jamalov||4 February 1995||1||0|
|9||MF||Vusal Isgandarli||3 November 1995||1||0|
|11||FW||Ramil Sheydayev||15 March 1996||26||4|
|17||FW||Renat Dadashov||17 May 1999||6||0|
The following players have also been called up to the Azerbaijan squad within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Shahruddin Mahammadaliyev||12 June 1994||0||0||v. |
|DF||Maksim Medvedev||29 September 1989||60||3||v. |
|DF||Omar Buludov||15 December 1998||1||0||v. |
|DF||Rahil Mammadov||24 November 1995||9||0||v. |
|MF||Namik Alaskarov||3 February 1995||16||0||v. |
|MF||Rashad Eyyubov||3 December 1992||7||0||v. |
|MF||Eli Babayev||1 November 1990||1||0||v. |
|MF||Aleksey Isayev||9 November 1995||0||0||v. |
|FW||Rufat Dadashov||29 September 1991||24||5||v. |
|FW||Mahir Emreli||1 July 1997||19||4||v. |
|FW||Mirabdulla Abbasov||24 July 1995||3||0||v. |
- INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury.
- PRE = Preliminary squad
- RET = Retired from international football.
All time record against other national teams
|Manager||Azerbaijan career||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win %|
|17 September 1992||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|25 May 1993 – 8 June 1993||4||3||1||0||75.00|
|19 April 1994||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|2 September 1994 – 6 September 1995||9||0||0||9||0.00|
|11 October 1995 – 10 November 1996||11||3||3||5||27.27|
|1 March 1997 – 28 November 1998||20||6||3||11||30.00|
|6 March 1999 – 9 October 1999||9||1||2||6||11.11|
|6 February 2000 – 4 June 2000||4||0||2||2||0.00|
|26 July 2000 – 7 October 2001||15||2||2||11||13.33|
|20 February 2002 – 27 March 2002||2||0||0||2||0.00|
|17 April 2002 – 12 October 2002||8||1||4||3||12.50|
|20 November 2002 – 20 December 2003||9||1||2||6||11.11|
|18 February 2004 – 4 June 2005||18||2||6||10||11.11|
|17 August 2005 – 12 October 2005||4||0||1||3||0.00|
|28 February 2006 – 17 October 2007||20||4||7||9||20.00|
|17 November 2007 – 3 February 2008||3||0||1||2||0.00|
|26 March 2008||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|1 June 2008 – 13 October 2014||71||15||22||34||21.13|
|16 November 2014||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|28 March 2015 – 8 October 2017||23||6||6||11||26.09|
|30 January 2018 – 20 November 2018||12||4||5||3||33.33|
|11 February 2019 – 13 December 2019||10||1||2||7||10.00|
Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for Azerbaijan, as of 9 September 2019 (players in bold are still available for selection):
- Azerbaijan national under-23 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-21 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-20 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-19 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-18 football team
- Azerbaijan national under-17 football team
- Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan
- Azerbaijan Premier League
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- Azərbaycan futbolunun bir əsrlik tarixindən səhifələr
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- Матч Азербайджан-Финляндия пройдет в Лянкяране (in Russian)
- Milli komandamız yenidən Lənkəran stadionunda (in Azerbaijani)
- Refused to play the return leg of a play-off in Chile in the aftermath of that country's 1973 military coup
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Azerbaijan national football team.|
- Azerbaycan Futbol Federasiyaları Assosiasiyası
- Azerbaijanifootball.com (in Russian)
- Archive of international results 1979–2004 from Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
- UEFA match report on the first away win
- Complete List of teams and results