The 19 teams that have never played in a European Championship: from Andorra to San Marino

The 19 teams that have never played in a European Championship: from Andorra to San Marino
The 19 teams that have never played in a European Championship: from Andorra to San Marino

Euro 2024 started on June 14 in Munich and will end on July 14 in Berlin. 24 European teams are competing for the continental throne this month. 24 teams that will have the honor of battling to be the best national team on the old continent.

Among the usual powers such as Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Germany, host of the contest, Georgia has made its debut in this edition in a tournament of this magnitude. The country of Mamardashvili, Kvaratskhelia and company had never reached the final phase of a European Championship. Until now. Even so, there are 19 teams that have never reached a final phase yet. Next, the national teams that have never participated in a European tournament.

Andorra

The level of the Principality’s team has increased in recent years thanks, in part, to the stability of Koldo Álvarez on its bench. However, he is still a long way from being able to reach high levels and compete, for example, in a Euro Cup. He has not won an official match since 2022 (they did it in the Nations League against Liechtenstein) and, in the qualifying phase for the Euro in Germany, they could only get two draws. Currently, he is ranked 164 in the FIFA ranking.

Armenia

Henrikh Mkhitaryana player who has competed for so many seasons in the European elite, He has never managed to take the Armenian national team to the final phase of a European Championship. The time he came closest to achieving it was in 2012., when they were third in the qualifying phase behind Russia and the Republic of Ireland. The Spanish Joaquin Caparros He was only two years ago on his bench and achieved the best streak in the history of the Caucasian country, adding nine games in a row without losing. Today, this selection is the number 95 in the FIFA ranking.

Azerbaijan

This country has large oil reserves and, therefore, has invested in large sports infrastructures. An example of this is the Formula 1 Grand Prix. However, this ambition has not been extended to football and, although it hosted a Europa League final in Baku, it has not been able to lay the foundations for a team capable of having a presence in big competitions. The Azeri national cast He finished fourth in the group in the qualifying phase for this Euro Cup reaping two victories, one draw and five defeats. Right now, he is ranked 112 in the FIFA ranking.

Belarus

The beginning of the millennium was the peak moment for the Belarusian team: they were just two points away from competing in the playoff to play in the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. In recent times, despite the fact that Bate Borisov has had some progress in continental competition, the national team has not been able to make the definitive leap to fight to compete in the final phases. On the way to the European Championship in Germany, they closed their group with two victories against Kosovo and another against Andorra. Is he 96th ranked in the FIFA ranking at the moment.

Bosnia Herzegovina

The Bosnian national team has the peculiarity of having played in a World Cup and never having qualified for a European Championship. He arrived at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a golden generation made up of Dzeko, Pjanic and Ibisevic, among others, and even won a match in the competition. However, his good times were short-lived and, In the qualifying phase for this year’s Euro Cup, they had three wins and seven losses. A decline that has translated into a drop in the FIFA ranking: currently, It is ranked 74th.

Cyprus

This selection is often remembered in our geography for the victory against Spain in 1998 that ended up costing Javier Clemente his job as coach. A night that is remembered with great affection on this Mediterranean island, but its reality is very different: it has never played in a major national team tournament and, In qualifying for this Euro Cup, they were last in the group with full defeats. Currently, Cyprus occupies the 124th position in the FIFA ranking.

Estonia

The Estonian national team was very, very close to playing in the Euro Cup in 2012. They came second in the qualifying phase beating teams like Serbia or Slovenia, but fell in the play-off against Ireland. In its attempt to play in the 2024 edition, the Baltic team failed miserably, remaining last of group. A disappointment in light of their great participation in the Nations League, where they have been promoted to League C. Right now, it occupies position 123 in the FIFA ranking.

Gibraltar

The inclusion in UEFA of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory and not a normal country, generated great controversy. Furthermore, it had the added difficulty of not being able to play matches within its ‘borders’ (the Victoria Stadium did not meet the conditions required by UEFA to host matches). In the qualifying phase for Euro 2024 he made full of defeats and has not won a game since 2022. It is the 198th selection in the FIFA ranking.

Faroe Islands

This archipelago that is part of Denmark is known for its beautiful landscapes, but its soccer team has never been competitive internationally. On their way to Euro 2024, they were only able to score two draws and finished last in their group. Its records in the Nations League are somewhat better and it is part of League C. Currently, it occupies the position 139 in the FIFA ranking.

Israel

The Israeli national team has never played in a European Championship, but it did participate in a World Cup: in Mexico 70. At that time, it was attached to the Asian confederation. In 1994 it was placed under the umbrella of UEFA and, In 2000, they were one step away from playing in the European Championship, falling in the play-off against Denmark. In this year’s Euro qualifier, Israel was third in the group behind Romania and Switzerland. It is the current 79th classified in the FIFA ranking.

Kazakhstan

Despite being geographically located in Asian territory, Kazakhstan has been a full member of UEFA since 2002. His national team has never been as close to playing in a European Championship as this year. He entered the play-offs due to his good performance in the Nations League, but lost against Greece. Thus, he was two games away from being in Germany. Today, it occupies the position number 109 in the FIFA ranking.

Kosovo

The complex diplomatic situation in Kosovo (its establishment as an independent state is not recognized today by many countries) led to was not an official member of UEFA and FIFA until 2016. Muriqi and company finished fifth in their group in the qualifier for the Euro 2024 Championship, adding two wins, five draws and three losses. Currently, they hold the position number 105 in the FIFA ranking.

Liechtenstein

This small Central European country has the third highest per capita income in the world, but not a football team that has ever reached high levels on the international scene. A clear example of this is their results in the qualifier for Euro 2024: full of defeats, only one goal for and 28 goals against in ten games played. Today, it is located in the 199th place in the FIFA ranking.

Lithuania

A power in basketball, but not in football, The Baltic team has never been as close to playing in a European Championship as it was in 1996, when she was third in the group. Since then, she has made it through the qualifiers without pain or glory. In the qualifier for the 2024 edition, she was fourth behind Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro. Today, it holds the position number 136 in the FIFA ranking.

Luxembourg

The Luxembourg team is a team that has been growing over the years and that He is only 180 minutes away from achieving a historic participation in the Euro 2024. They were third in the group in the qualifying phase and, in the play-offs, they lost in the semifinals against Georgia, ultimately classified for the contest. Right now, He is ranked 85th in the FIFA rankingonly two places below his record.

malt

This Mediterranean team is remembered in Spanish territory, mainly, for the legendary 12-1 at Benito Villamarín that qualified ‘La Roja’ for the 1984 Euro Cup. In the qualifier for Euro 2024, Malta suffered a total of defeats with two goals for and 20 against. His last official victory dates back to 2022, when they beat San Marino 1-0 in the Nations League. Currently, he holds the position 172 in the FIFA ranking.

Moldova

The Moldovan national team has existed since 1991at which time it achieved independence from the Soviet Union. His best international moment was in the 2014 World Cup qualifier.when he scored 11 points. On the road to the 2024 Euro Cup, they have been fourth in the group behind Albania, Czech Republic and Poland. It is 152nd in the FIFA ranking right now.

Montenegro

The Montenegro team, established as such after achieving independence from Serbia in 2006, He was just one step away from playing in the Euro Cup in 2012. They were second in the group stage behind England and, In the play-offs, they lost against the Czech Republic. In the Euro 2024 qualifier, Stefan Savic and company came third, surpassed by Hungary and Serbia. Occupies the 72nd position in the FIFA ranking Today.

San Marino

The San Marino team holds the dubious honor of currently being the one with the worst FIFA ranking in the world: it is ranked 210. Since its debut in 1986, it has played 208 games and has only won one: a friendly in 2004 against Liechtenstein in which they won 1-0. In the qualifier for Euro 2024, He managed to score a goal in three consecutive games. Including the match against Denmarksemi-finalist of the Euro Cup held in 2021.

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