San Marino national football team facts for kids
|Association||Federazione Sammarinese Giuoco Calcio|
|Head coach||Fabrizio Costantini|
|Most caps||Matteo Vitaioli (81)|
|Top scorer||Andy Selva (8)|
|Home stadium||Olympic Stadium of Serravalle|
|Current||211 (7 February 2019)|
|Highest||118 (September 1993)|
|Lowest||211 (November 2018 – July 2019, March 2022)|
|Current||204 1 (3 March 2019)|
|Highest||165 (16 September 1987)|
|Lowest||209 (November 2019)|
| San Marino 1–0 Liechtenstein
(Serravalle, San Marino; 28 April 2004)
| 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 association football competitions. The team is controlled by the San Marino Football Federation and represents the smallest population of any UEFA member.
The first official match played by a San Marino team was a 4–0 defeat in a European Championship qualifier to Switzerland in 1990. Previously, a San Marino side played an unofficial match against the Canadian U-23 team in 1986, losing 5–0. 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 once, defeating Liechtenstein 1–0 in a friendly match on 18 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, but a 0–0 draw with Estonia in the Euro 2016 qualifiers ended their tenure at the bottom of the rankings. San Marino scored their first away goal in fourteen years against another Baltic side, Lithuania, in the same qualifying phase. 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 once and conceded an average of 4.2 goals per match, although as a member of UEFA, they face stronger competition than many other low-ranked sides.
- Team image
- Results and fixtures
- Coaching staff
- Competitive record
- All-time record
- See also
Though the San Marino Football Federation was formed in 1931, the federation did not establish a national team until 1986, when a team representing the Federation played the Canadian U-23 team in an unofficial international, which ended in a 1–0 defeat. San Marino gained affiliation to FIFA and UEFA in 1988, allowing the team to participate in major championships. Prior to this, Sammarinese players had been considered Italian in international football contexts.
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 other qualifiers. The team particularly struggled in away matches, losing all of them by at least four goals. San Marino scored only one goal, which was a penalty in a 3–1 defeat at home by Romania, and conceded 33 goals in total.
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 San Marino went on to lose 7–1. San Marino finished the campaign with one point and conceded 46 goals in 10 matches.
The team's qualification campaign for Euro 1996 followed a similar pattern to that of the previous European championships as they lost every match. A match away to Finland gave San Marino their first goal away from home in the European championship qualifiers, but the team lost 4–1. 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 score in Toftir, is the Faroe Islands record competitive win.
Even by Sammarinese standards, qualification for the 1998 World Cup was disappointing. Losing every match by three goals or more, San Marino failed to score a single goal. 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 match. The closest San Marino got to gaining a point was against Cyprus, a 1–0 defeat on 18 November 1998.
In April 2001, San Marino gained their first ever away point, drawing 1–1 with Latvia in Riga. 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. Latvia went on to qualify for the final tournament.
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. 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.
San Marino's opening Euro 2008 qualifying match resulted in a record 13–0 defeat at home by Germany on 6 September 2006. 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.
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, and scored just once, in a 3–1 defeat by Slovakia. The Euro 2012 Qualifiers 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. 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 1–0 to Poland in the Stadio Olimpico, Della Valle headed in a free kick in the 22nd minute, beating goalkeeper Artur Boruc at his front post. Poland then regained the lead a minute later and eventually won 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 in 2012.
On 15 November 2014, San Marino drew 0–0 at home against Estonia. It was the first time in ten years that the team hadn't lost a match, ending a 61–match losing streak, and securing the country's first ever point in a European Championship qualifier.
In October 2016, Mattia Stefanelli scored for San Marino in their 4–1 loss to Norway.
On 16 November 2019, Filippo Berardi scored a goal in a 3–1 loss to Kazakhstan in a Euro 2020 qualifying match, which was the first goal for San Marino in two years (5–1 vs. Azerbaijan on 4 September 2017) and their first home goal in six years (5–1 vs. Poland on 10 September 2013).
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. 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 that they had gone unbeaten without conceding a single goal in two consecutive competitive matches.
On 7 December 2020, San Marino was drawn into Group I for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, an opportunity to pick up one or more points and/or get a historic first win in official competition as it would meet Andorra, the lowest placed team in the 5-pot, among its five opponents and which it had faced only once before in a friendly match. However, the team failed to get a single point and lost all their matches, including a 0–10 home loss against England and with a record of one goal scored, at home against Poland in a 1–7 loss, against 46 conceded.
On 28 March 2022, San Marino played the first official match in its history against a non-European team in a friendly match against Cape Verde played on neutral venue in Spain, the result being a 2–0 loss. San Marino then took on a 2nd African side with a much lower standard than the previous one, the 198th ranked Seychelles, whom they host in a friendly at Stadio Olimpico on September 21, 2022. San Marino ended an 18-game losing streak with a goalless draw, but disappointed overall, failing to capitalize on their chances and win at home against an opponent within its reach, who played defensively in a 4-5-1 formation. The 2022–2023 edition of the UEFA Nations League sees the selection again in Group B of League D composed of 3 teams, but it loses its 4 games without scoring a goal. As a result, San Marino is the only European team that has not yet managed to score a goal in 3 participations.
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. It has a capacity of 7,000. Crowds are low but there is always a fan group called "Brigata Mai 1 Gioia", mainly composed of Italians from Emilia-Romagna. 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.
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 Liechtenstein in 2020 at the Stadio Romeo Neri in Rimini.
San Marino has the smallest population of any UEFA country. As of 2 June 2022, the republic has never won a competitive fixture. A 2004 1–0 friendly win against Liechtenstein remains their sole victory.
The national side is mainly composed of amateur players. Only a small number of players are at least semi-professionals, as many hold second jobs outside of the sport. Their 13–0 defeat at home by Germany is a European Championship record 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.
In 2001, Latvia manager Gary Johnson resigned after failing to beat San Marino in a World Cup qualifier. The Republic of Ireland's 2–1 win over San Marino in February 2007 (from a last-second goal) resulted in scathing press criticism for the Irish team.
San Marino held the record for the fastest goal in FIFA World Cup qualifying history for 22 years when they stunned England with a goal after only 8.3 seconds in 1993. England went on to win the match 7–1. San Marino do however still hold the record as far as scoring against professional opponents is concerned, as Belgium's Christian Benteke scored against Gibraltar.
San Marino set a European record when they went over 20 matches without scoring between October 2008 and August 2012. On 8 September 2015, San Marino scored its first away goal in 14 years when Matteo Vitaioli scored against Lithuania in Euro 2016 qualification.
An interesting result of San Marino's weaknesses is that many people see them as football's biggest underdogs; as a result, they have gained a substantial following online from across the world. This is fairly evident on Twitter with many fan accounts dedicated to following the team.
Results and fixtures
Win Draw Lose
|Friendly 25 March 2022||San Marino||1–2||Lithuania||Serravalle, San Marino|
|https://int.soccerway.com/matches/2022/03/25/world/friendlies/san-marino/lithuania/3713264/||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)
|Friendly 28 March 2022||San Marino||0–2||Cape Verde||San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain|
|17:00||https://int.soccerway.com/matches/2022/03/28/world/friendlies/san-marino/cape-verde-islands/3768406/||Stadium: Pinatar Arena
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández (Spain)
|2022–23 UEFA Nations League 2 June 2022||Estonia||2–0||San Marino||Tallinn, Estonia|
|21:45||https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/match/2034420/||Stadium: Lilleküla Stadium
Referee: Ioannis Papadopoulos (Greece)
|2022–23 UEFA Nations League 5 June 2022||San Marino||0–2||Malta||Serravalle, San Marino|
|15:00||https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/match/2034441/||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan)
|Friendly 9 June 2022||San Marino||0–1||Iceland||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45 CEST||https://int.soccerway.com/matches/2022/06/09/world/friendlies/san-marino/iceland/3787591/||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Referee: Michael Fabbri (Italy)
|2022–23 UEFA Nations League 12 June 2022||Malta||1–0||San Marino||Ta' Qali, Malta|
|20:45||https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/match/2034500/||Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Dennis Higler (Netherlands)
|Friendly 21 September 2022||San Marino||0–0||Seychelles||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45 CEST||https://int.soccerway.com/matches/2022/09/21/world/friendlies/san-marino/seychelles/3964183/||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Referee: David Šmajc (Slovenia)
|2022–23 UEFA Nations League 26 September 2022||San Marino||0–4||Estonia||Serravalle, San Marino|
|19:45||https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/match/2034562/||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine)
|Friendly 17 November 2022||Saint Lucia||1–1||San Marino||Gros Islet, Saint Lucia|
|18:00 UTC−4||https://www.fsgc.sm/nazionale-con-santa-lucia-matura-al-903-un-pareggio-che-sta-stretto-ai-titani/||Stadium: Daren Sammy Cricket Ground
Referee: Moeth Gaymes (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
|Friendly 20 November 2022||Saint Lucia||1–0||San Marino||Gros Islet, Saint Lucia|
|16:00 UTC−4||Frederick 68' (pen.)||https://us.soccerway.com/matches/2022/11/20/world/friendlies/st-lucia/san-marino/3974038/||Stadium: Daren Sammy Cricket Ground
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 23 March 2023||San Marino||v||Northern Ireland||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036306/||Stadium: Olympic Stadium of Serravalle
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 26 March 2023||Slovenia||v||San Marino||Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|18:00||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036327/||Stadium: Stožice Stadium
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 16 June 2023||San Marino||v||Kazakhstan||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036352/||Stadium: Olympic Stadium of Serravalle
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 19 June 2023||Finland||v||San Marino||Helsinki, Finland|
|21:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036374/||Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 7 September 2023||Denmark||v||San Marino||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 10 September 2023||San Marino||v||Slovenia||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036421/||Stadium: Olympic Stadium of Serravalle
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 14 October 2023||Northern Ireland||v||San Marino||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|19:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036442/||Stadium: Windsor Park
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 17 October 2023||San Marino||v||Denmark||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036467/||Stadium: Olympic Stadium of Serravalle
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 17 November 2023||Kazakhstan||v||San Marino||Astana, Kazakhstan|
|21:00||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036489/||Stadium: Astana Arena
|UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying 20 November 2023||San Marino||v||Finland||Serravalle, San Marino|
|20:45||https://www.uefa.com/european-qualifiers/match/2036513/||Stadium: Olympic Stadium of Serravalle
Current technical staff:
|Head coach||Fabrizio Costantini|
|Technical assistant||Stefano Ceci|
|Fitness coach||Tomaso Mazzoli|
|Goalkeeping coach||Marcello Teodorani|
|Team doctor||Pietro Bugli|
|Official accompanying||Cesare Vitaioli|
|Match analyst||Lorenzo Vagnini|
Caps and goals correct as of 20 November after the second match against Saint Lucia.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Aldo Junior Simoncini||30 August 1986||64||0||Cosmos|
|GK||Elia Benedettini||22 June 1995||39||0||Cailungo|
|GK||Simone Benedettini||21 January 1997||8||0||Murata|
|DF||Mirko Palazzi||21 March 1987||72||1||Cattolica|
|DF||Andrea Grandoni||23 March 1997||36||0||La Fiorita|
|DF||Alessandro D'Addario||9 September 1997||22||0||Cosmos|
|DF||Michele Cevoli||22 July 1998||15||0||Juvenes-Dogana|
|DF||Alessandro Tosi||8 April 2001||4||0||Victor San Marino|
|DF||Simone Franciosi||3 September 2001||2||0||Valfoglia|
|MF||Danilo Rinaldi||18 April 1986||49||1||La Fiorita|
|MF||Alessandro Golinucci||10 October 1994||40||0||Virtus|
|MF||Enrico Golinucci||16 July 1991||37||0||Folgore|
|MF||Marcello Mularoni||8 September 1998||33||0||Tropical Coriano|
|MF||Fabio Ramon Tomassini||5 February 1996||32||0||CBR Carli Pietracuta|
|MF||Tommaso Zafferani||19 February 1996||19||0||La Fiorita|
|MF||David Tomassini||14 March 2000||14||1||Tropical Coriano|
|MF||Lorenzo Capicchioni||19 January 2002||2||0||United Riccione|
|MF||Lorenzo Lazzari||6 June 2003||2||1||Victor San Marino|
|MF||Mattia Ceccaroli||3 February 1999||1||0||Domagnano|
|MF||Elia Ciacci||13 November 2001||0||0||Virtus|
|MF||Giacomo Matteoni||11 April 2002||0||0||Tre Fiori|
|FW||Matteo Vitaioli (captain)||27 October 1989||81||1||La Fiorita|
|FW||Adolfo Hirsch||31 January 1986||58||0||Fiorentino|
|FW||Mattia Stefanelli||12 March 1993||18||1||Pennarossa|
|FW||Samuel Pancotti||31 October 2000||2||0||La Fiorita|
|FW||Pietro Sopranzi||29 January 1998||1||0||Virtus|
The following players have been called up within the last 12 months and are still eligible to represent.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Mattia Manzaroli||3 October 1991||0||0||Murata||v. Seychelles, 21 September 2022|
|GK||Matteo Zavoli||6 July 1996||0||0||Libertas||v. Estonia, 2 June 2022 PRE|
|DF||Manuel Battistini||11 July 1994||44||0||Virtus||v. Estonia, 26 September 2022|
|DF||Dante Rossi||12 July 1987||20||0||Tropical Coriano||v. Estonia, 26 September 2022|
|DF||Filippo Fabbri||7 January 2002||16||1||Olbia||v. Estonia, 26 September 2022|
|DF||Davide Cesarini||16 February 1995||16||0||Tre Penne||v. Malta, 12 June 2022|
|DF||Giacomo Conti||21 July 1999||5||0||San Giovanni||v. Estonia, 2 June 2022 PRE|
|MF||Lorenzo Lunadei||11 July 1997||30||0||La Fiorita||v. Estonia, 26 September 2022|
|MF||Michael Battistini||8 October 1996||19||0||Tre Penne||v. Estonia, 26 September 2022|
|MF||Luca Ceccaroli||5 July 1995||16||0||Tre Penne||v. Estonia, 26 September 2022|
|MF||Luca Censoni||18 July 1996||10||0||Tre Fiori||v. Malta, 12 June 2022|
|MF||Maicol Berretti||1 May 1989||26||0||Libertas||v. Estonia, 2 June 2022 PRE|
|MF||Luca Tosi||4 November 1992||19||0||CBR Carli Pietracuta||v. Estonia, 2 June 2022 PRE|
|FW||Nicola Nanni||2 May 2000||27||1||Olbia||v. Malta, 12 June 2022|
|FW||Marco Bernardi||2 January 1994||10||0||Murata||v. Malta, 12 June 2022|
|FW||Filippo Berardi||18 May 1997||21||1||Ancona-Matelica||v. Estonia, 2 June 2022 PRE|
|FW||Jacopo Raschi||28 April 1998||2||0||Virtus||v. Estonia, 2 June 2022 PRE|
INJ Withdrew due to injury
- Players in bold are still active with San Marino.
Most capped players
|6||Alessandro Della Valle||65||1||2002–2017|
|7||Aldo Junior Simoncini||64||0||2006–present|
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Declined participation|
|1994||Did not qualify||10||0||1||9||2||46|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
UEFA European Championship
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualification record|
|1960||Did not enter||Declined participation|
|1992||Did not qualify||8||0||0||8||1||33|
|2024||To be determined||To be determined|
UEFA Nations League
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2024–25||D||To be determined|
|Mediterranean Games record|
|1951–1983||Did not enter|
|1991–present||See San Marino national under-20 team|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2||0||0||2||1||6||−5||0.00|
|Serbia and Montenegro||2||0||0||2||0||8||−8||0.00|
List of matches not lost by San Marino
|10 March 1993
World Cup qualification
|San Marino||0–0||Turkey||Stadio Olimpico, San Marino
Referee: Michel Piraux (Belgium)
|25 April 2001
World Cup qualification
|Latvia||1–1||San Marino||Skonto Stadium, Latvia
Referee: Karen Nalbandyan (Armenia)
|20 August 2003
|Liechtenstein||2–2||San Marino||Rheinpark Stadion, Liechtenstein
Referee: Guido Wildhaber (Switzerland)
|A. Gasperoni 39'
|28 April 2004
|San Marino||1–0||Liechtenstein||Stadio Olimpico, San Marino
Referee: Ruaidhri Laird (Scotland)
|15 November 2014
Euro 2016 qualification
|San Marino||0–0||Estonia||Stadio Olimpico, San Marino
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
|13 October 2020
2020–21 UEFA Nations League D
|Liechtenstein||0–0||San Marino||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz
Referee: Jørgen Daugbjerg Burchardt (Denmark)
|14 November 2020
2020–21 UEFA Nations League D
|San Marino||0–0||Gibraltar||Stadio Olimpico, San Marino
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine)
|21 September 2022
|San Marino||0–0||Seychelles||Stadio Olimpico, San Marino
Referee: David Šmajc (Slovenia)
|17 November 2022
|Saint Lucia||1–1||San Marino||Daren Sammy Cricket Ground
Referee: Moeth Gaymes (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
In Spanish: Selección de fútbol de San Marino para niños
- Sport in San Marino
- Football in San Marino
- San Marino Football Federation
- San Marino national football B team
- San Marino national under-21 football team
- San Marino national under-19 football team
- San Marino national under-17 football team
- San Marino women's national football team
San Marino national football team Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.