The Luxembourg national football team has never been a world power. It is a small country with a small population. A combination that limits the chances of its national football on the international stage. However, Luxembourg’s best players are determined to change that.
The Luxembourg national team hit rock bottom in 2006. At that time it was at the bottom of the FIFA rankings in Europe. It was ranked 195th out of 208 nations. Now, Luxembourg’s best players are fighting for places at European Championships and World Cups. This is how the Luxembourg national football team has boomed.
Luxembourg national football team
Luxembourg’s national football team has fought toe-to-toe with Portugal and Serbia in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They had a tougher time qualifying for the UEFA European Championship France 2020. However, their greatest current successes are in the UEFA Nations League.
Luxembourg’s current successes
Luxembourg had a great first edition of the UEFA Nations League. They fought until the last matchday of League C against Montenegro for the top spot. That first place would have earned them a place in the play-offs to compete for their first-ever European Championship.
At the moment, Luxembourg is fighting against Turkey for first place. That would mean promotion to League B, where teams such as Sweden, Iceland, Serbia and Slovenia compete. Quite an achievement for a tiny country with little football history.
Luxembourg’s best players
The Luxembourg national football team is made up of professional players with a reputation in European football. Some of them play for top international teams. For example, Leandro Barreiro plays for Mainz 05, Christopher Martins for Spartak Moscow and Sebastien Thill for Sheriff Tiraspol. The latter is known for his goal to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Behind them comes a very promising generation. They all play in the youth teams of the big German clubs. Timothé Rupil and Florian Bohnert at Mainz or Yvandro Borges at Borussia Monchengladbach. All of them are 18 and 19 years old. They have already made their debut for the Luxembourg senior national team.
Why does Luxembourg succeed?
The success of the Luxembourg national team in recent years is due to many reasons. New investments in players, in clubs like Dudelange, and the improvement of sports facilities. But to a greater extent it has to do with the footballers who come and go from the small state.
Immigration of players
Luxembourg is a very small country with the highest per capita income in Europe. Many people from France, Germany, Switzerland or Belgium immigrate to Luxembourg temporarily or permanently. Many of the players in the Luxembourg national football team have roots in other countries.
The job of the Luxembourg Football Association in recent years has been to recruit young players to compete for Luxembourg. They use familiar pasts and promise them a lot of international matches. So they exchange competing in Germany, France or Switzerland for competing in Luxembourg.
Young Luxembourgers with potential do not train in their country. There is still not enough infrastructure and opportunities for Luxembourg’s best stars. Thanks to their very high per capita income, they can emigrate to neighbouring countries to improve their football in international academies.
This is the case of the SIA Academy in Spain. The international football academy of Soccer Inter-Action has Luxembourg players. They come to improve their level, to learn Spanish football and to have a chance to become a professional footballer. Both in Spain and in Luxembourg.
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