***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about two moons away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Latvia, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Euro 2004. Latvia were at Euro 2004. You know Euro 2004, right? Latvia were there, at Euro 2004
Nickname: 11 vilki (11 Wolves)
FIFA Ranking: 134 (October 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from group stage (UEFA) finishing below Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, and above Gibraltar
Hey hey hey hey hey… Euro 2004. You know Euro 2004, right? The one in Portugal. Remember that? Thoughts? Great! Well, Latvia can AND will tell you all about, okay?! Okay!
First, in November 2003 in Riga, Latvia did this in the first leg of the playoff against Turkey…
KABLAM! 1-0 up after the first leg. Heyyyooooo, Here we go! Euro 2004? Maybe! Maybe Euro 2004!
And then in the second leg in Turkey…
BOOM! Latvia 2-2 on aggregate. Would you believe thems?! Latvia beat Turkey on away goals and qualified for Euro 2004, becoming the first former Soviet nation (other than Russia) to reach a major tournament. HEYOOOO!!!! EURO 2004!! Yep, EURO 2004! EURO 2004!
Seven months later in Portugal, Latvia made its debut in a major international tournament, in its group opener against Czech Republic, and wow, Latvia scored, would you believe it?!
Even though Latvia fell 2-1, this was at Euro 2004, did I mention that?? I didn’t, did I? Or did I? Just in case I didn’t though, I’m talking about Euro 2004!
And wait for it, wait for it… by the way, we’re talking about Euro 2004 here, I mentioned that, right… Okay, good, so in Latvia’s second group match, this happened! At Euro 2004… I said that, right?….:
WOW. Yep, nil-nil against Germany, the then 3-time World Champions and 3-time European Champions. Nil-nil. At Euro 2004, you know that right? This was at Euro 2004. The European Championship, otherwise known as “Euro 2004”.
Lastly, although Latvia’s 3rd group match (at Euro 2004) would ultimately be its last (and the last match it’s played at a major tournament still to this day), history will remember that Latvia still took the field at Euro 2004–that’s the European Championships you know–against the Netherlands, and BOOM, Latvia didn’t lose by 4-0 or any score worse! PLONK!
Nothing happened in the 13 years before Euro 2004 and nothing’s happened since then either but, Euro 2004. Euro 2004. Latvia. Latvia were at Euro 2004, and if you would like to know more about Latvia at Euro 2004, read above, until you get to this point! And then repeat, if you would like to learn the tale of Latvia at Euro 2004 again!
One to watch: Yourself, if you’ve got the Kavorka (“the lure of the animal”)
If you’ve got the kavorka (“the lure of the animal”), woman find you irresistible. They are drawn to you, they would give anything to be possessed by you. Watch yourself, because you’re dangerous, you’re very, very dangerous, so you’ve gotta get some help. You can either go see the father at the local Latvian orthodox church, or just go buy ten cloves of garlic, three quarts of vinegar, and six ounces of (unknown). Then put it all together and bathe in vinegar, and darīts (done)! You’ve been healed, no longer have the kavorka and woman now find you repulsive! Apsveicu (congratulations)!
The Highpoint: Group stage, Euro 2004 (but definitely not losing to Malta in 2020)
Reaching Euro 2004 was undoubtedly the highlight in Latvian footballing history (see above). It sure as shit wasn’t losing to Malta in the 2019/2020 UEFA Nations League, in the process giving Malta only its 7th competitive win in its history. It was not that, so for the highpoint in the history of the Latvian national football team, don’t think that, think back to Euro 2004. Don’t think of the disastrous loss to Malta in 2020.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
2022 Baltic Cup
16 Nov 2022
LATVIA 🇱🇻 x 🇪🇪 ESTONIA
19 Nov 2022
LATVIA 🇱🇻 x 🇱🇹 LITHUANIA/ 🇮🇸 ICELAND