Finland national football team (Sinivalkoiset)

Founded: 1907
Address: Suomen Palloliitto
Urheilukatu 5
PO Box 191
Helsinki 00251

Finland obtained their independence in 1917 from Russia, but the Finland national team was created in 1907 and played its first game on 22 October 1911 against Sweden in Helsinki losing 2-5.

Finland have never participated in a major tournament (FIFA World Cup and European Championship), but they have made a lot of progress since the end of 70?s in the FIFA ranking.

In the World Cup 2002 qualifying, they finished in third place just behind England and Germany. In this qualifying stage they managed two draws against Germany and a home draw against England. During this period, they had some good footballers including Sami Hyypia, Teemu Tainio and the most capped Finnish player Jari Litmanen.

In 2006, Roy Hodgson was hired as the new coach but Finland did not manage to qualify for Euro 2008, finishing in fourth place in their qualifying group. For the World Cup 2010 qualifying Finland, managed by the Scotsman Stuart Baxter, failed again, finishing this time in third place behind Germany and Russia.

Now the team is managed by Mixu Paatelainen, and is in a difficult qualification group for World Cup 2014 with Spain, France, Belarus and Georgia.

Finland 'A' international all-time totals

Games won: 216
Games drawn: 167
Games lost: 430
Goals for: 960
Goals against: 1663
Average goals for: 1.18
Average goals against: 2.05