Finland national football team
The Finland national football team (Finnish: Suomen jalkapallomaajoukkue, Swedish: Finlands fotbollslandslag) represents Finland in international football competitions and is controlled by the Football Association of Finland.
|Association||Football Association of Finland|
|Head coach||Markku Kanerva|
|Most caps||Jari Litmanen (137)|
|Top scorer||Jari Litmanen (32)|
|Current|| 58 |
|Highest||33 (March 2007)|
|Lowest||110 (July–August 2017)|
|Current|| 49 |
|Highest||30 (March 2002)|
(Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire; 22 October 1911)
(Helsinki, Finland; 11 August 1922)
(Helsinki, Finland; 17 November 2010)
(Leipzig, Germany; 1 September 1940)
|Appearances||1 (first in 2020)|
Finland had not qualified for a major tournament until securing a spot in the 2020 European Championship, and are the only Nordic team alongside minnows Faroe Islands to have never reached the FIFA World Cup finals. After many decades of relative obscurity, the nation made progression in the 2000s, achieving notable results against established European teams and reaching a peak of 33rd in the FIFA World Rankings in 2007. After a few years of poor results, they dipped to an all-time low of 110th in the FIFA rankings in 2017, but then began to rise up again and, as of October 2019, they sit at 55th.
The Football Association of Finland was founded in 1907 and became a member of FIFA in 1908. At the time, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire. Finland played its first international on 22 October 1911, as Sweden beat the Finns at the Eläintarha Stadium in Helsinki. Finland participated the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, beating Italy and the Russian Empire, but losing the bronze medal match against the Netherlands.
Period of dispersion
After the 1918 Civil War, the Finnish sports movement was divided into the right-wing Finnish Gymnastics and Sports Federation (SVUL) and the leftist Finnish Workers' Sports Federation (TUL), Finnish Football Association was a member of the SVUL. Both sides had their own championship series, and between 1919–1939 the Finland national team was selected of the Football Association players only. The Finnish Workers' Sports Federation football team in turn, participated the competitions of the international labour movement.
However, since the late 1920s several top footballers defected from TUL and joined the Football Association to be eligible for the national team. During the 1930s, these ″defectors″ formed the spine of the national team. For example, the Finland squad at the 1936 Summer Olympics was composed of eight former TUL players. In 1937, Finland participated the FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, losing all three matches against Sweden, Germany and Estonia.
Finland also took part in European Championship qualifying since the 1968 event, but had to wait for its first win until 1978.
Later 20th century
The results of the team improved somewhat in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Finland missed out on qualification for Euro 1980 by just a point and for the 1986 World Cup by two points. Finland was invited to take part in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow after many Western countries announced they would boycott the games, but failed to progress from its group.
By the mid-1990s Finland started to have more players in high-profile European leagues, led by the Ajax superstar Jari Litmanen. In 1996 Danish Euro 1992 winning coach Richard Møller Nielsen was hired to take Finland to the 1998 World Cup. The team enjoyed mixed fortunes in the campaign, high points of which were a draw and a win away to Norway and Switzerland respectively. Going into the last match, Finland would have needed a win at home to Hungary to earn a place in the play-offs. They led the game 1–0 going into injury time, but scored an own goal, and once again the dreams of qualification were over. Møller Nielsen also tried to lead Finland to Euro 2000. In this campaign the Finns recorded a sensational win away to Turkey, but couldn't compete with Germany and Turkey in the long run.
Antti Muurinen succeeded Møller Nielsen as coach in 2000. He had arguably the most talented group of Finnish players ever at his disposal, including players such as Antti Niemi, Sami Hyypiä, Teemu Tainio and Mikael Forssell in addition to the legendary Litmanen. The team also performed quite well under him in qualification for the 2002 World Cup despite a difficult draw, earning two draws against Germany and a home draw with England as well as beating Greece 5–1 in Helsinki. In the end, however, England and Germany proved too strong, and the Finns finished third in the group, but were the only team in that group not to lose at home. Hopes were high going into qualification for Euro 2004 after the promising last campaign and friendly wins over the likes of Norway, Belgium and Portugal (which seen the Finns jump from 40th–30th in the Elo ranking). However, Finland started the campaign by losing to Wales and Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro, now two separate nations). These losses were followed by two defeats by Italy, and a 3–0 home win over Serbia and Montenegro was little consolation, as the Finns finished fourth in the group. In qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finland failed to score a single point in six matches against the top three teams in their group, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Romania. Muurinen was sacked in June 2005, and he was replaced by caretaker Jyrki Heliskoski, but results didn't improve.
In August 2005, it was announced that Roy Hodgson would become the new Finland coach in 2006, and he started in the job in January of that year. Hodgson stepped down as manager after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008. His replacement was a Scotsman, Stuart Baxter, who signed a contract until the end of the 2012 European Championship qualification campaign.
In the Euro 2008 qualifying Finland needed to win their last qualifying game away at Portugal to qualify for their first major football tournament. However, the match ended 0–0 meaning the team missed out on qualification to the tournament, with Finland ending the group stage with 24 points and Portugal with 27 points. However, the performance in qualifying led to the Finns gaining their best-ever FIFA world ranking to date at the position of 33rd.
The 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign under new head coach Stuart Baxter saw Finland again finish third in their group with five wins, three draws and two defeats. They were the only team in qualifying not to lose to eventual 3rd-place finishers Germany; in both the home and away matches Finland had led Germany only to concede late equalisers. Finland finished a disappointing fourth in Euro 2012 qualifying, with only three wins, two of them against minnows San Marino.
In the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, Finland's best result was a 1–1 draw at reigning world champions Spain. They finished third in the five-team Group I, behind Spain and France. Finland finished fourth in Euro 2016 qualifying but achieved another noteworthy result. Joel Pohjanpalo's goal gave the Finns a 1–0 win at former European champions Greece, who had reached the second round of the 2014 World Cup and were the top seeds of their qualifying group.
On 15 November 2019, Finland managed to qualify to the first major tournament, UEFA Euro 2020, in their history after defeating Liechtenstein 3–0. The successful qualifying campaign in Group J, was aided by a distinctive performance of Teemu Pukki, who scored ten goals in the qualifications.
Most of Finland's important home matches are played at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in the capital Helsinki. It has been Finland's principal home stadium ever since its construction was completed in 1938. Before that Pallokenttä in Helsinki was mainly used.
Today, some qualifying matches against lower profile opponents and some friendlies are hosted at the Ratina Stadion in Tampere and Veritas Stadion in Turku. Helsinki's Telia 5G -areena, which has artificial turf, is also used for some friendlies and qualifiers. During reconstruction of Helsinki Olympic Stadium in 2016–19 Ratina Stadion serves as the main stadium for qualifying games.
World Cup record
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|Did not enter||Did not enter|
|Did not qualify||3||0||0||3||0||7|
|Withdrew during qualifying||2||0||1||1||1||4|
|Did not qualify||4||0||2||2||7||13|
|To be determined||To be determined|
European Championship record
|UEFA European Championship record||UEFA European Championship qualifying record|
|Did not enter||Did not enter|
|Did not qualify||6||0||2||4||5||12|
|To be determined||To be determined|
UEFA Nations League
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||B||To be determined|
|was not involved|
|Since 1917, Declaration of Independence |
|Did not qualify|
|Round of 16||14th||1||0||0||1||3||7|
|Did not qualify|
|Round of 16||9th||1||0||0||1||3||4|
|Did not qualify|
|Did not qualify|
Nordic Football Championship
|Nordic Football Championship record|
- *Gold background color indicates that the tournament was won.
All–time record against all nations
Recent fixtures and results
|15 November 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Greece ||1–0||Athens, Greece|
||Report||Stadium: Olympic Stadium|
Referee: Luca Banti (Italy)
|18 November 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Hungary ||2–0||Budapest, Hungary|
|Report||Stadium: Groupama Arena|
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
|8 January 2019 Friendly||Sweden ||0–1||Doha, Qatar|
||Stadium: Al Sadd Sports Club|
Referee: Abdulla Al-Marri (Qatar)
|11 January 2019 Friendly||Estonia ||2–1||Doha, Qatar|
Referee: Khalid Al-Shaqsi (Oman)
|23 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Italy ||2–0||Udine, Italy|
|Report||Stadium: Stadio Friuli|
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel)
|26 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Armenia ||0–2||Yerevan, Armenia|
|Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium|
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (Montenegro)
|8 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Finland ||2–0||Tampere, Finland|
||Report||Stadium: Tampere Stadium|
Referee: Daniel Stefanski (Poland)
|11 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Liechtenstein ||0–2||Vaduz, Liechtenstein|
|Stadium: Rheinpark Stadion|
Referee: Jens Maae (Denmark)
|5 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Finland ||1–0||Tampere, Finland|
||Report||Stadium: Tampere Stadium|
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (Spain)
|8 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Finland ||1–2||Tampere, Finland|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+2)||Pukki
|Stadium: Tampere Stadium|
Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland)
|12 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Bosnia and Herzegovina ||4–1||Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
||Stadium: Bilino Polje|
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
|15 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Finland ||3–0||Turku, Finland|
|Report||Stadium: Veritas Stadion|
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)
|15 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Finland ||3–0||Helsinki, Finland|
|Report||Stadium: Telia 5G -areena|
Referee: Benoît Bastien (France)
|18 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying||Greece ||2–1||Heraklion, Greece|
||Stadium: Pankritio Stadium|
Referee: Aleksei Eskov (Russia)
|13 June 2020 UEFA Euro 2020||Denmark ||v||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|18:00 (UTC+2)||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
|17 June 2020 UEFA Euro 2020||Finland ||v||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|16:00 (UTC+3)||Stadium: Krestovsky Stadium|
The following players were called up for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Liechtenstein and Greece on 15 November and 18 November 2019.
Caps and goals as of 18 November 2019 after the game against Greece.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Lukáš Hrádecký (Vice captain)||24 November 1989||57||0|
|12||GK||Jesse Joronen||21 March 1993||9||0|
|23||GK||Anssi Jaakkola||13 March 1987||3||0|
|2||DF||Paulus Arajuuri||15 June 1988||43||3|
|3||DF||Daniel O'Shaughnessy||14 September 1994||3||0|
|4||DF||Joona Toivio||4 April 1988||66||3|
|5||DF||Leo Väisänen||23 July 1997||2||0|
|15||DF||Sauli Väisänen||5 June 1994||18||0|
|16||DF||Juha Pirinen||22 October 1991||18||0|
|18||DF||Thomas Lam||18 December 1993||22||0|
|22||DF||Jukka Raitala||15 September 1988||50||0|
|DF||Albin Granlund||1 September 1989||18||0|
|6||MF||Glen Kamara||28 October 1995||19||1|
|8||MF||Robin Lod||17 April 1993||38||3|
|9||MF||Fredrik Jensen||9 September 1997||11||4|
|11||MF||Rasmus Schüller||18 June 1991||39||0||Free agent|
|13||MF||Pyry Soiri||22 September 1994||22||5|
|14||MF||Tim Sparv (Captain)||20 February 1987||73||1|
|17||MF||Simon Skrabb||19 January 1995||14||0|
|19||MF||Joni Kauko||12 July 1990||16||0|
|21||MF||Robert Taylor||21 October 1994||10||0|
|7||FW||Jasse Tuominen||12 November 1995||14||1|
|10||FW||Teemu Pukki||29 March 1990||80||25|
|20||FW||Rasmus Karjalainen||4 April 1996||10||1|
The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months. Only players available for call-up, not retired players.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Walter Viitala||9 January 1992||2||0||v. |
|GK||Rasmus Leislahti||16 June 2000||0||0||v. |
|GK||Hugo Keto||9 February 1998||0||0||v. |
|DF||Jere Uronen||13 July 1994||40||1||v. |
|DF||Niko Markkula||27 June 1990||0||0||v. |
|DF||Mikko Sumusalo||12 March 1990||7||1||v. |
|DF||Valtteri Moren||15 June 1991||5||1||v. |
|DF||Juhani Ojala||19 June 1989||26||1||v. |
|DF||Robert Ivanov||19 September 1994||3||0||v. |
|DF||Niko Hämäläinen||5 March 1997||1||0||v. |
|DF||Henri Toivomäki||21 February 1991||1||0||v. |
|DF||Juho Pirttijoki||30 July 1996||1||0||v. |
|DF||Jonas Levänen||12 January 1994||0||0||v. |
|MF||Petteri Forsell||16 October 1990||10||1||v. |
|MF||Kasper Hämäläinen||8 August 1986||62||9||v. |
|MF||Sebastian Dahlström||5 November 1996||3||0||v. |
|MF||Saku Ylätupa||4 August 1999||3||0||v. |
|MF||Kaan Kairinen||22 December 1998||2||0||v. |
|FW||Joel PohjanpaloINJ||13 September 1994||31||7||v. |
|FW||Lassi Lappalainen||24 August 1998||8||0||v. |
|FW||Benjamin Källman||17 June 1998||2||1||v. |
|FW||Eero Markkanen||3 July 1991||17||2||Free agent||v. |
|FW||Tim Väyrynen||30 March 1993||12||0||v. |
- INJ = Withdrew due to an injury.
- As of 18 November 2019
- Players who are still active and available for selection are in bold
Most capped players
Last updated: 13 Oct 2015.
|1996–99||Richard Møller Nielsen||34||9||12||13||26.47|
|2005||Jyrki Heliskoski (caretaker)||6||2||2||2||33.33|
|2010-2011||Olli Huttunen (caretaker)||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|2011||Markku Kanerva (caretaker)||2||0||1||1||0.00|
|2015||Markku Kanerva (caretaker)||5||3||2||0||60.00|
Kits and crest
- Palkittu Bubi käväisi yllättäen palkitsemistilaisuudessa HS.fi – Kaupunki
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Finland". World Football Elo Ratings. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- Andersen, Svein S.; Ronglan, Lars Tore (2012). Nordic Elite Sports: Same Ambitions - Different Tracks. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press. pp. 85–88. ISBN 978-876-30024-5-5.
- Syrjäläinen, Antti (2008). Miksi siksi loikkariksi? Huippu-urheilijoiden loikkaukset TUL:sta SVUL:oon 1919–1939. Joensuu: University of Joensuu. pp. 45–47. ISBN 978-952-21913-7-3.
- rsssf Nordic championship 1964–66.
- Hodgson to return for Inter role BBC Sport, 1 December 2007
- Suomen Palloliitto – Etusivu Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine (in Finnish)
- "Finland 3–0 Liechtenstein". BBC. 15 November 2019.
- "Teemu Pukki: From failures in Europe to Finland great - the fall and rise of the Norwich striker". BBC. 12 October 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2015-08-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Huuhkajat nimetty EM-karsinnan päätösotteluihin
- Granlund ja O’Shaghnessy mukaan Huuhkajiin
- "Markku Kanerva A-maajoukkueen päävalmentajaksi". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
- Kari Martonen Huuhkajien valmennusryhmään
- Valmennus ja joukkueenjohto
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Finland national association football team.|