***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 Liechtenstein, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Don’t mention 28th April 2004
Nickname: The Blues-Reds
FIFA Ranking: 194 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from group stage (UEFA) finishing below Germany, North Macedonia, Iceland and Armenia
Despite being the 2nd least visited country in Europe, Liechtensteiners are a welcoming bunch, open to chatting about the fact that they’re the only nation in the continent to be entirely located within the Alps, how much it sucks being one of only two countries in the world to be doubly landlocked, how crime there is pretty much unheard of, about how it has the second highest GDP per capita in the world. But while they are always keen to have a a laugh at San Marino’s expense, about how it’s San Marino–not Liechtenstein–that’s the least visited country in Europe, just do not mention the 28th of April 2004, the day of its greatest shame, the day that Liechtenstein got a taste of its own medicine, and gave San Marino a reason to laugh at Liechtenstein’s expense, after it lost 1-0 in a friendly to San Marino, the lowest ranked team in the world and a result that till this day remains the only match that the 211th-ranked sammarinesi have ever won.
The 28th of April back in 2004, started like every other day for regular Liechtenstieners–waking up, saluting the king, going for their daily 1200km stroll through the alps, before a touch of extreme ski-jumping before breakfast. Little did they know that in a matter of hours the Liechtenstein National Football Team would live a nightmare the scale of which it hadn’t suffered since Napoleon’s invasion in 1799.
The whole ordeal all happened in the blink of an eye, a free kick awarded just outside the Liechtenstein box, a curled free kick that sailed toward the corner, and the net, a few fruitless chances and full-time. Liechtenstein blinked and a their worst nightmare had occurred, losing to the world’s worst team, and still to this day being recorded as the only side San Marino has defeated.
While fans are willing to talk about their World Cup record, which has yielded just two wins in seven qualifying campaigns, or the fact that the team hasn’t won a game in 24 matches stretching back to September 2020, but when it comes to what happened on 29/4/04… too soon. It’s still too soon. It all happened less than 2o years ago, Liechtensteiners need more time before they can talk about the event of that day.
One to watch: A Liechtenstein team in the Champions League
Among UEFA’s 55 member nations, Liechtenstein is the only one that does not have its own national league. While it does have a cup competition, its clubs play in the Swiss league, which should mean that its not possible for a Liechtenstein club to compete in the Champions League, right? WRONG. If you’re a fan of FC Vaduz, FC Balzen, , USV Eschen/Mauren, FC Ruggell, FC Shaan, FC Triesen or FC Triesenberg, and are clinically depressed because you think you’ll never seen your club in the Champions League, hold your horses, because to see your club playing in the Champions as early as 2026/27 this is all that needs to happen:
- The club wins the Swiss first division in 2023/24 (it first it just needs to get there, at the moment, FC Vaduz are the best chance playing in the second division–if you’re a fan of any other club tack on at least another year or two)
- Win the 1st division, which qualifies them for the Conference League
- Win the 2024/25 UEFA Conference League, which qualifies them for the following year’s UEFA Europa League
- Win the 2025/26 UEFA Europa League, which then qualifies them for the following year’s UEFA Champions League
- Win two qualifying rounds and then a playoff in the 2026/27 UEFA Champions League
- Badda Bing, Badda Boom, you’re Liechtenstein club is in the Champions League in 2026 (2027 or 2028 if you’re a fan of a club that’s not FC Vaduz). It’s as easy as that!
The Highpoint: 2006 World Cup qualifying (defeating Luxembourg twice)
Liechtenstein’s two defeats of Luxembourg, (3-0 at home and 4-0 away) in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup are its only ever victories in World Cup qualifying. But while the two wins were less than twenty years ago, it might as well be 20,000 years ago because since then, Luxembourg have become a competitive outfit capable of not at least troubling, then defeating almost any team in Europe on their day. On the flip side, Liechtenstein have gone backwards a thousand steps, reversing at a record pace, even getting crushed 2-0 by Andorra in the current edition of the UEFA Nations League.
Nowadays, Liechtenstein should cherish those two wins, because although Luxembourg used to be duds just like them back then, if they faced Luxembourg today, they’d get absolutely flattened.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE | LEAGUE D
26 Sep 2022
MOLDOVA 🇲🇩 x 🇱🇮 LIECHTENSTEIN