Soviet Union national football team

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Soviet Union Soviet Union
Nickname(s) Red Army
Association Football Federation of the Soviet Union (SvFF)
Confederation EFU
FIFA ranking 7 Decrease 1 (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 4 (1960)
Lowest FIFA ranking 47
First international  Russia 4-0  Sweden
(Stockholm, Sweden, June 29, 1912)
World Cup appearances 3 (First in 1954)
Best result Third Place (1958)
European Nations Cup appearances 1 (First in 1960)
Best result Champions (1960)

Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Gold medal – first place 1952 Helsinki Team

The Soviet Union national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Soviet Union in international competition and is controlled by Football Federation of the Soviet Union. They have participated in three FIFA World Cup's with their best performance being a third place at the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history[edit | edit source]

The first official match that the Soviet Union played (as the Russian Empire) was in the first round of the 1912 Summer Olympics which was held in Sweden. After upsetting Sweden 4-0 in what was an upset of the Olympics. The second round though would see the team lose to Italy to be knocked out. The next tournament that the team would enter was qualifying for the 1914 FIFA World Cup where at home they would lose 2-1 to Chile who was also first time debutants in competing for World Cup.

After the first World War and the Russian Revolution delayed the progression in Russian football, the Soviet Union and wouldn't play their first official match until November 16, 1924, where they took on Turkey. With matches being very limited, it would be true as they didn't qualify to the next two World Cups in 1926 (Spain) and 1930 (Uruguay).

Despite playing unofficial matches against Turkey, the first official tournament that the team played in was the 1952 Summer Olympics. In the opening round, they defeated Bulgaria 4-0. In the first official round, the team was 5-1 behind against Yugoslavia with 15 minutes to go but the team would score five goals in the time with Vsevolod Bobrov scoring four goals overall and three in that period to get the team through to the quarter-finals. After smashing Poland (4-1) and West Germany (4-2), they would meet Romania in the final where they would take the gold medal after Bobrov scored the winning goal in the 59th minute.

With the new confidence, they would breeze through qualifying to headline Group C with Romania, France and Korea. After two draws in the opening two games, the Soviets would put the foot on Korea with five going passing the net of Hong Deok-young to record a solid win where Vsevolod Bobrov scoring a hat-trick. The quarter-finals would see the end for the debutants with a 1-0 loss to Hungary in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Champions of Europe[edit | edit source]

After a shock quarter-final loss to Bulgaria at the 1956 Summer Olympics and with them not entering the qualifiers for the 1956 European Nations' Cup, their next major tournament was the qualifiers for the 1958 FIFA World Cup where they would qualify through on goal difference with a 9-0 win over debutants Cyprus being the critical part in qualifying through to the finals. After finishing top of the group which featured Great Britain, Egypt and the hosts, they advanced to the semi-finals after knocking off Argentina (3-0) at Geneva. This meant that they set up a semi-final against France where they would be eliminated despite a late goal from Konstantin Krizhevsky as they would go on to finish in third.

In 1959, the Soviet Union competed in qualifying for the 1960 European Nations' Cup which was held in Czechoslovakia. After defeating the Netherlands and Hungary, the Soviets made the finals of the tournament where Valentin Ivanov scored the winning goal to secure the Soviets their first title. Finishing second in their qualifying group, they were drawn in Group D of the 1962 FIFA World Cup with their opponents being France, Romania and Colombia. After only just losing the first match against France 1-0, Ivanov scored the only hat-trick of the World Cup as they defeated Romania 3-0. The final match of the group was against debutants Colombia. After going behind by two goals early from Antonio Rada, the Soviets brought the lead back and took the lead for themselves with the score being 3-2. But two late goals from Colombia sealed the Soviets fate in the World Cup.

Competitive record[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Did Not Exist
England 1914 Did Not Qualify
Netherlands 1922 Did Not Enter
Spain 1926 Did Not Qualify
Uruguay 1930
Italy 1934 Did Not Enter
Argentina 1938
Sweden 1950
Chile 1954 Quarter Finalist 6th 4 1 2 1 7 3
Switzerland 1958 Semi Finalist 3rd 6 4 1 1 12 4
Mexico 1962 Group Stage 10th 3 1 0 2 6 5
Total Semi Finalist 3/12 13 6 3 4 25 12

European Nations Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

European Nations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1956 Did Not Enter
Czechoslovakia 1960 Champion 1st 2 2 0 0 4 2

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Football in the Soviet Union Template:Summer Olympics football tournament winners

Template:National sports teams of the Soviet Union