San Marino national football team


San Marino
Nickname(s)La Serenissima
AssociationFederazione Sammarinese Giuoco Calcio
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachFranco Varrella
CaptainDavide Simoncini
Most capsAndy Selva (73)
Top scorerAndy Selva (8)
Home stadiumSan Marino Stadium
FIFA codeSMR
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 210 (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest118 (September 1993)
Lowest211 (November 2018 – July 2019)
First international
Unofficial:
 San Marino 0–1 Canada
(Serravalle, San Marino; 28 March 1986)
Official:
 San Marino 0–4 Switzerland  
(Serravalle, San Marino; 14 November 1990)
Biggest win
 San Marino 1–0 Liechtenstein 
(Serravalle, San Marino; 28 April 2004)
Biggest defeat
 San Marino 0–13 Germany 
(Serravalle, San Marino; 6 September 2006)

The San Marino national football team (Italian: Nazionale di calcio di San Marino) represents San Marino in men's international football competitions and it is controlled by the San Marino Football Federation (FSGC). The team represents the smallest population of any UEFA member.

The first official game played by a San Marino team was a 4–0 defeat in a European Championships qualifier by Switzerland in 1990. Previously, a San Marino side played an unofficial match against a Canadian Olympic team in 1986, losing 1–0. Since making their competitive debut, San Marino have competed in the qualifiers of every European Championship and World Cup, but have never won a match in either competition. They have only ever won one game, beating Liechtenstein 1–0 in a friendly match on 28 April 2004.

Until November 2014, San Marino were tied in last place in the FIFA World Rankings, a run that lasted since the rankings were given a new calculation methodology. They were tied for last with Bhutan (208th) in the October 2014 rankings,[2] but a 0–0 draw with Estonia during the Euro 2016 qualifying rounds ended their tenure at the bottom of the rankings. The national side scored their first away goal in fourteen years against another Baltic side, Lithuania, during the same qualifying rounds. When the ranking methodology got revised again, the team fell back to the bottom, following a 1–0 loss to Moldova in the Nations League.

San Marino's national team is sometimes considered the worst national side in the history of the sport, as they have only ever won a single match and concede an average of 4.2 goals per game, although as a member of UEFA they face stronger competition than many other low-ranked sides.[3]

History


Though the San Marino Football Federation formed in 1931, the federation did not establish a national team until 1986, when a team representing the Federation played Canada's Olympic team in an unofficial international. San Marino gained affiliation to governing bodies FIFA and UEFA in 1988,[4] allowing the team to participate in major championships. Prior to this, Sammarinese players had been considered Italian in international football contexts.[5]

San Marino's first match in a FIFA sanctioned competition was against Switzerland on 14 November 1990 in a qualifier for the 1992 European Championships. San Marino lost 4–0, and would go on to lose all eight of their tournament qualifiers. The team particularly struggled in away matches, losing every one by at least four goals. San Marino scored only one goal, which was a penalty in a 3–1 defeat at home by Romania,[6] and conceded 33 goals in total.[7]

For their first World Cup qualifying campaign, San Marino were drawn in a group with England, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Turkey. The opening match resulted in a 10–0 hammering at the hands of Norway. The return match was less one-sided, finishing 2–0 to the Norwegians. A 4–1 defeat in Turkey saw San Marino score their first World Cup goal, and a 0–0 draw against the same opposition on 10 March 1993 gave them their first ever point. In their final qualifier, against England, Davide Gualtieri scored the then-fastest goal in World Cup Qualifying history—after 8.3 seconds—though the team went on to lose 7–1.[8] San Marino finished the campaign with one point, and conceded 46 goals in 10 matches.[9]

The team's qualification campaign for Euro 1996 followed a similar pattern to that of the previous European championships, as they lost every game. A match away to Finland gave San Marino their first goal away from home in the European championships, but the team lost 4–1.[10] Their only other goal came in a 3–1 home defeat by the Faroe Islands; the two wins over San Marino were the only points gained by the Faroe Islands in the group. In the first match, a 3–0 scoreline in Toftir, is the Faroe Islands record competitive win.[11]

Even by Sammarinese standards, qualification for the 1998 World Cup was disappointing. Losing every game by three goals or more, San Marino failed to score a single goal.[12] This is the only World Cup qualifying tournament in which they have failed to score. Qualification for Euro 2000 again resulted in defeats in every game. The closest game was against Cyprus, a 1–0 defeat on 18 November 1998.[13]

In April 2001, San Marino gained their first ever away point, drawing 1–1 with Latvia in Riga.[14] The team ended the 2002 World Cup qualifying group with a new best of three goals, though one of these came in a 10–1 defeat by Belgium. In Euro 2004 qualifying San Marino lost all eight matches, failing to score. The closest result was a 1–0 home defeat by Latvia, with the winner scored in the last minute.[15]

In April 2004, San Marino gained their first win after more than 70 attempts, a 1–0 victory over Liechtenstein in a friendly on 28 April 2004 courtesy of a fifth-minute goal by Andy Selva. The match was Martin Andermatt's debut as Liechtenstein manager.[16] Results during qualification for the 2006 World Cup followed a similar vein to previous qualifying groups. Matches were generally one-sided defeats, with the exception of single goal defeats at home by Lithuania and Belgium.[17]

San Marino's opening Euro 2008 qualifying match resulted in a record 13–0 defeat at home by Germany on 6 September 2006.[18] They scored only twice and conceded fifty-seven goals in losing all twelve matches, although the home matches against Ireland, Cyprus and Wales were each lost by a single goal.[19]

In the qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup, they lost all ten matches played and failed to qualify. They conceded 47 goals in those fixtures, including 10 in a defeat by Poland, which became Poland's highest scoring victory of all time,[20] and scored just once, in a 3–1 defeat by Slovakia.[21] The Qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2012 started in a similar way, the first nine matches all being defeats with an aggregate of 49 goals conceded and none scored, their best result being a one-goal loss to Finland at home, with the worst being a heavy 11–0 loss to the Netherlands, which became the Netherlands' highest scoring victory of all time and San Marino's worst-ever away defeat.[22] This was then followed up by two lighter defeats, a 5–0 home loss against Sweden, before completing the campaign with a 4–0 away loss to Moldova.

On 10 September 2013, Alessandro Della Valle scored San Marino's first competitive goal in five years. With the score 0–1 to Poland in the Serravalle stadium, he headed in a free-kick in the 22nd minute, beating A.F.C. Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc at his front post. Poland then regained the lead a minute later, eventually winning 5–1. It was the first international goal of any kind scored by San Marino since the national team lost 3–2 at home to Malta, the second time (after a 2–2 friendly draw against Liechtenstein away in 2003) the national team has scored more than once in any given international at senior level.

On 15 November 2014, San Marino drew 0–0 at home against Estonia.[23] It was the first time in ten years that the team had not lost a game, ending a 61–match losing streak,[23] and securing the country's first ever point in a European Championship qualifier.[23]

In October 2016, Mattia Stefanelli scored for San Marino in their 4–1 loss to Norway.[24]

On 16 November 2019, Filippo Berardi scored a goal in a 1–3 loss to Kazakhstan in a Euro 2020 qualifying match, which was the first goal for San Marino in two years (1–5 vs. Azerbaijan on 4 September 2017), and their first home goal in six years (1–5 vs. Poland on 10 September 2013).[25]

On 13 October 2020, San Marino recorded their 4th competitive draw and their first since 2014, after their Nations League match with Liechtenstein ended 0–0.[26] A month later they made history by holding Gibraltar to a goalless draw, surviving with 10 men after Davide Simoncini was sent off. This heralded several firsts for them: the first major tournament in which they had gained more than one point, the first time they had gained more than one point in a calendar year, and the first time they had gone unbeaten in two consecutive competitive games.

Team image


Kit suppliers

Period Kit manufacturer
1990–1994 Admiral
1994–2010 Virma
2011–2017 Adidas
2018– Macron

Home stadium

San Marino play home matches at the San Marino Stadium, a municipally owned stadium in Serravalle which also hosts the matches of club side San Marino Calcio.[27] It has a capacity of 7,000.[28] Crowds are low, and on occasion travelling supporters outnumber the Sammarinese support. For example, in the fixture against the Republic of Ireland in February 2007, 2,500 of the 3,294 crowd were Irish supporters.[29][30]

San Marino have played three "home" matches outside their borders. For World Cup qualifiers against England and the Netherlands in 1993 the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara in Bologna was used, and for UEFA Nations League match against Liechetenstein in 2020 at the Stadio Romeo Neri in Rimini.

Reputation

San Marino once had the smallest population of any UEFA country,[28] until the May 2013 election of Gibraltar.[31] The republic has never won a competitive fixture. A 2004 1–0 friendly win against Liechtenstein remains their sole victory to date.

The national side is mainly composed of amateur players. Only a small number of players are professionals, with many holding second jobs outside of the sport. Their 13–0 defeat at home by Germany is a European Championship record,[18] and they have conceded ten goals on four other separate occasions.

In the FIFA World Rankings, San Marino traditionally have the lowest rank of any UEFA country. Since the creation of FIFA rankings in 1992, San Marino's average position has been 176th.[32]

In 2001, Latvia manager Gary Johnson resigned after failing to beat San Marino in a World Cup qualifier.[33] The Republic of Ireland's 2–1 win in February 2007 (due to a last-second goal) resulted in scathing press criticism.[34]

San Marino set a European record when they went over 20 games without scoring between October 2008 and August 2012.[35] On 8 September 2015, San Marino scored its first away goal in 14 years when Matteo Vitaioli scored against Lithuania in Euro 2016 qualification.[36][37]

Results and fixtures


Legend

  Win   Draw   Lose

2020

5 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Gibraltar  1–0  San Marino Gibraltar
15:00 CET (UTC+01:00) Torrilla  42' Report Stadium: Victoria Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (Latvia)
8 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League San Marino  0–2  Liechtenstein Rimini, Italy
20:45 CET (UTC+01:00) Report Hasler  3' (pen.)
Y. Frick  14'
Stadium: Stadio Romeo Neri
Attendance: 0
Referee: Enea Jorgji (Albania)
7 October 2020 (2020-10-07) Friendly Slovenia  4–0  San Marino Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45
Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 500
Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (Austria)
13 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Liechtenstein  0–0  San Marino Vaduz, Liechtenstein
20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00) Report Stadium: Rheinpark Stadion
Referee: Jørgen Daugbjerg Burchardt (Denmark)
11 November 2020 Friendly San Marino  0–3  Latvia Serravalle, San Marino
Report Brolli  32' (o.g.)
Dubra  71'
Gutkovskis  78' (pen.)
Stadium: San Marino Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Fabio Maresca (Italy)
14 November 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League San Marino  0–0  Gibraltar Serravalle, San Marino
15:00 CET (UTC+01:00) Report Stadium: San Marino Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine)

2021

31 March 2021 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification San Marino  0–2  Albania Serravalle, San Marino
20:45 Report
Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (Norway)
28 May 2021 Friendly Italy  7–0  San Marino Cagliari, Italy
20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)
Report Stadium: Sardegna Arena
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (Malta)
1 June 2021 Friendly Kosovo  4–1  San Marino Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 Muriqi  28', 45+1', 46', 76' (pen.) Report D. Tomassini  85' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Referee: Yaşar Kemal Uğurlu (Turkey)

Coaching staff


Current technical staff: [38]

Head coachFranco Varrella
Technical assistantStefano Ceci
Fitness coachTomaso Mazzoli
Goalkeeping coachMarcello Teodorani
Team doctorPietro Bugli
PhysiotherapistLoris Balzani
MasseurTiziano Giacobbi
Official accompanyingCesare Vitaioli
Match analystLorenzo Vagnini
WarehousemanBenito Ballato
Marco Crescentini
Mauro Montanari

Manager history

As of 4 June 2021[39]
Manager Start End Games Won Drawn Lost
Giulio Casali28 March 198620 September 19876024
Giorgio Leoni14 November 199015 November 1995290128
Massimo Bonini2 June 199610 September 19978008
Giampaolo Mazza10 October 199815 October 2013851282
Pierangelo Manzaroli8 June 20148 October 2017280127
Franco Varrella8 September 2018present270225

Players


Current squad

The following players were called up for the Friendly against Kosovo on 1 June 2021 and the and unofficial friendly against Italy Under-20 on 6 June 2021.[40][41]

Caps and goals correct as of: 1 June 2021, after the match against  Kosovo.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Elia Benedettini (1995-06-22) 22 June 1995 (age 26) 24 0 Cesena
12 1GK Simone Benedettini (1997-01-21) 21 January 1997 (age 24) 8 0 Murata
15 1GK Matteo Zavoli (1996-07-06) 6 July 1996 (age 25) 0 0 Libertas
29 1GK Alex Stimac (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 25) 0 0 Virtus

2 2DF Alessandro D'Addario (1997-09-09) 9 September 1997 (age 23) 11 0 Tre Fiori
3 2DF Mirko Palazzi (1987-03-21) 21 March 1987 (age 34) 58 1 Marignanese
5 2DF Cristian Brolli (1992-02-28) 28 February 1992 (age 29) 38 0 Folgore
6 2DF Dante Rossi (1987-07-12) 12 July 1987 (age 34) 10 0 Chions
13 2DF Andrea Grandoni (1997-03-23) 23 March 1997 (age 24) 22 0 La Fiorita
14 2DF Michele Cevoli (1999-07-21) 21 July 1999 (age 22) 8 0 Juvenes-Dogana
16 2DF Filippo Fabbri (2002-01-07) 7 January 2002 (age 19) 4 0 Correggese
25 2DF Filippo Quaranta (1998-09-11) 11 September 1998 (age 22) 0 0 Juvenes-Dogana
27 2DF Giacomo Conti (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 23) 2 0 San Giovanni

8 3MF Enrico Golinucci (1991-07-16) 16 July 1991 (age 30) 28 0 Libertas
11 3MF Kevin Zonzini (1997-08-01) 1 August 1997 (age 23) 5 0 Cosmos
17 3MF Alessandro Golinucci (1994-10-10) 10 October 1994 (age 26) 24 0 Virtus
21 3MF Lorenzo Lunadei (1997-07-11) 11 July 1997 (age 24) 22 0 San Giovanni
22 3MF Fabio Tomassini (1996-02-05) 5 February 1996 (age 25) 22 0 Pennarossa
23 3MF Michael Battistini (1996-10-08) 8 October 1996 (age 24) 10 0 Tre Penne

4 4FW Samuel Pancotti (2000-10-31) 31 October 2000 (age 20) 0 0 La Fiorita
7 4FW Matteo Vitaioli (1989-10-27) 27 October 1989 (age 31) 64 1 Pennarossa
9 4FW Filippo Berardi (1997-05-18) 18 May 1997 (age 24) 21 1 Vibonese
10 4FW David Tomassini (2000-03-14) 14 March 2000 (age 21) 3 1 Murata
18 4FW Pietro Sopranzi (1998-01-29) 29 January 1998 (age 23) 0 0 Libertas
19 4FW Nicola Nanni (2000-05-02) 2 May 2000 (age 21) 18 0 Cesena
20 4FW Adolfo Hirsch (1986-01-31) 31 January 1986 (age 35) 43 0 Pennarossa
24 4FW Marco Bernardi (1994-01-02) 2 January 1994 (age 27) 8 0 Folgore
26 4FW Jacopo Raschi (1998-04-28) 28 April 1998 (age 23) 0 0 Juvenes-Dogana

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Davide Simoncini (captain) (1986-08-30) 30 August 1986 (age 34) 67 0 Tre Fiori v.  Italy, 28 May 2021INJ
DF Manuel Battistini (1994-07-11) 11 July 1994 (age 27) 34 0 Virtus v.  Italy, 28 May 2021
DF Luca Nanni (1995-01-30) 30 January 1995 (age 26) 0 0 Folgore v.  Albania, 31 March 2021

MF Luca Ceccaroli (1995-07-05) 5 July 1995 (age 26) 8 0 Tre Penne v.  Italy, 28 May 2021INJ
MF Mattia Giardi (1991-12-15) 15 December 1991 (age 29) 13 0 Folgore v.  Albania, 31 March 2021
MF Tommaso Zafferani (1996-02-19) 19 February 1996 (age 25) 9 0 La Fiorita v.  Albania, 31 March 2021
MF Michele Cervellini (1988-04-14) 14 April 1988 (age 33) 35 0 Cosmos v.  Gibraltar, 14 November 2020
MF Giovanni Bonini (1986-09-05) 5 September 1986 (age 34) 29 0 Tre Fiori v.  Liechtenstein, 13 October 2020
MF Luca Tosi (1992-11-04) 4 November 1992 (age 28) 19 0 Pietracuta v.  Liechtenstein, 8 September 2020

FW Mattia Stefanelli (1993-03-12) 12 March 1993 (age 28) 15 1 Pennarossa v.  Liechtenstein, 8 September 2020

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad / standby
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

Records


As of 4 June 2021[42]
Players in bold are still active with San Marino.
The Sammarinese most capped player and top goal scorer Andy Selva

In January 2006, the Sammarinese Football Association named Massimo Bonini as their greatest ever player.[5] Three-times Italian Serie A champion, he is the only Sammarinese player to have won an official international competition including the European Champions' Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. Bonini represented Italy at under-21 level in the early 1980s, and he played for Juventus from 1981 to 1988, but was prevented from gaining full honours due to a rule change.[5] By the time San Marino became a full UEFA member, Bonini was in his thirties, but gained 19 caps between 1990 and 1995.[43]

After retiring from playing, Bonini became San Marino's manager,[5] succeeding Giorgio Leoni. He held the position until 1998, when he was replaced by Giampaolo Mazza. As of 2012, Mazza is the longest-serving manager of any European national team. However, he gave up his position after their 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualification campaign, giving way to former U-21 boss Pierangelo Manzaroli.[44][45]

The appearance record for San Marino is held by Andy Selva (pictured), who has 74 caps. He is also the record goalscorer with eight goals.[46]

San Marino's player Davide Gualtieri scored the second fastest goal ever in a FIFA match against England. In the match, which took place in Bologna, Italy, San Marino had the kick-off and the ball was quickly played through the inside-right channel. England defender Stuart Pearce attempted a back-pass to goalkeeper David Seaman. Pearce's pass was under-hit and Gualtieri ran on to touch the ball past Seaman. The goal was timed at 8.3 seconds, which remains the fastest World Cup goal scored in either qualifying or the finals. England took 20 minutes to equalise and eventually finished by winning the match 7–1.

Competitive record


FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1930 to 1990 Did not enter Did not enter
1994 Did not qualify 10 0 1 9 2 46
1998 8 0 0 8 0 42
2002 8 0 1 7 3 30
2006 10 0 0 10 2 40
2010 10 0 0 10 1 47
2014 10 0 0 10 1 54
2018 10 0 0 10 2 51
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
Total 0/21 66 0 2 64 11 310

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1960 Did not enter Did not enter
1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992 Did not qualify 8008133
1996 100010236
2000 8008144
2004 8008030
2008 120012257
2012 100010053
2016 10019136
2020 100010151
2024 To be determined To be determined
Total0/167601758340

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Group Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
2018–19 D 2 4th600601655th
2020–21 D 2 3rd40220354th
2022–23 D TBA To be determined
Total2/21002801954th

Mediterranean Games

Mediterranean Games record
Year Round GP W D L GS GA
19511983 Did not enter
1987Group Stage001207
1991–present See San Marino national under-20 team
Total1/1001207

San Marino's all-time record


Official matches

As of 4 June 2021

Unofficial matches

As of 15 October 2013
Opponent P W D L GF GA GD Win %
 Lebanon 10100000%
 Syria 100103−30%
 Turkey 100104−40%
  Vatican City[47] 10100000%
Total402207−70%

List of matches not lost by San Marino


Latvia 1–1 San Marino
Pahars  1' Report
(FIFA)
Albani  59'
Attendance: 4,000
Referee: Karen Nalbandyan (Armenia)

Liechtenstein 2–2 San Marino
Frick  16'
Burgmeier  23'
Report
(Footballdatabase)
B. Gasperoni  39'
Ciacci  45'
Attendance: 850
Referee: Guido Wildhaber (Switzerland)

San Marino 1–0 Liechtenstein
Selva  5' Report
(Footballdatabase)
Attendance: 700
Referee: Ruaidhri Laird (Scotland)


Liechtenstein 0–0 San Marino
Report
(UEFA)
Referee: Jørgen Daugbjerg Burchardt (Denmark)

See also


References


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