Pre-match Talk: 5 Facts on Malta‘s National Football Team
There are some games that you know your team will struggle to win and will need to give their absolute best. Then there are those where the opponent looks weaker, but could very well give the Three Lions a run they will never forget, and that it would be unwise to underestimate your contender. And then there‘s Malta, where the TonyBet bookies give them the odds of 60/1 at winning vs England. So, let‘s take a look at what they‘re up to!
- Malta‘s national football team is pretty young - their first international game was on February 24th in 1957 against Austria. The team itself is only 59 years old, which is a drop in the ocean compared to some other teams, like the England‘s national team that‘s been around for 144 years!
- However, their first competetive winning match took a while and it was in 1975 against Greece. It took Malta‘s national team no less than 18 years to score a victory – that‘s a bit more than a third of their entire existance time! However, despite such a miserable record, they have never been ranked at the bottom of the FIFA World Rankings.
- Throughout the 59 years, Malta has played 370 matches in total – that‘s including the friendlies. Out of these, they managed to clock in only 47 victories – that means that only 12.7% of their meets ended in triumph, and 87.3% were either losses or draws!
- Malta’s team has way better success rate when playing friendly games though. Out of these 370 meets, 139 were friendly (that’s nearly 40%), and Knights of Malta managed to win 28 of those. That means 20% were actually successful – although that’s still not a great rate, only 8.2% of the competitive games ended in victories.
- In 2016, Malta‘s national football team has had just five games so far, of which four were friendly, and wone none. They did best against Moldova and Estonia, which were draws, and worst against Chezh Republic and Scotland, which were a 0:6 and 1:5 losses respectively.
While the Knights of Malta have managed to get a taste of victory throughout the years, it has been pretty scarce to say the least. In any case, this should be an easy game for England – maybe they will even manage to top the biggest Malta’s loss which was a 12:1 defeat vs Spain in 1983? One thing’s certainly very clear: if the Three Lions somehow lost, it would be the worst upset in a very, very long time.