Cuba national football team

Last updated

Cuba
Cuba FA.png
Nickname(s) Leones del Caribe(Lions of the Caribbean)
Association Football Association of Cuba
Confederation CONCACAF
(North America)
Sub-confederation CFU (Caribbean)
Head coach Pablo Elier Sánchez
Most caps Yénier Márquez (126)
Top scorer Lester Moré (30)
Home stadium Estadio Pedro Marrero
FIFA code CUB
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First colours
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Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 181 Decrease2.svg 1 (7 April 2021) [1]
Highest46 (November – December 2006)
Lowest182 (August 2017, March–May 2018)
First international
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 3–1 Jamaica  Flag of Jamaica (1906-1957).svg
(Havana, Cuba; 16 March 1930)
Biggest win
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 11–0 Turks and Caicos Islands  Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg
(Havana, Cuba; 8 September 2018)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 8–0 Cuba  Flag of Cuba.svg
(Antibes, France; 12 June 1938)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 8–0 Cuba  Flag of Cuba.svg
(Moscow, Soviet Union; 24 July 1980)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 1938 )
Best resultQuarter-finals (1938)
CONCACAF Championship
& Gold Cup
Appearances11 (first in 1971 )
Best resultFourth place (1971)

The Cuba national football team (Spanish : Selección de fútbol de Cuba) represents Cuba in men's international association football and it is controlled by the Football Association of Cuba, The team's nickname is Leones del Caribe (Lions of Caribbean), The team represents all three FIFA, Caribbean Football Union and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Contents

They were the first Caribbean team to get to the World Cup Quarter finals – they did so in 1938. There, they defeated Romania in a replay 2–1 after drawing against them 3–3. They were then eliminated in the quarter-finals by Sweden, 8–0. Cuba has not returned to the World Cup since.

Cuba finished second in the Caribbean Cup in 1996, 1999 and 2005 and won the 2012 Caribbean Cup.

Cuba finished second in the North American Nations Cup in 1947 in which they hosted the tournament .

History

Early history

Cuba played its first international football match on 16 March 1930 at that year's Central American and Caribbean Games. They beat Jamaica (then a British colony) 3–1 in Havana. Four days later, they beat Honduras 7–0. [2] Cuba were managed by José Tapia, who remained in charge until after Cuba's 1938 World Cup campaign.

Cuba's first World Cup qualification campaign was for the 1934 World Cup in Italy. All of the CONCACAF entrants were placed in Group 11. The winner of a best-of-three tournament between the two weakest nations, Cuba and Haiti would produce a winner to play 1930 qualifiers Mexico in another round of best-of-three. The winner of that would play 1930 semi-finalists the United States of America for a place in the finals. All of the matches between Cuba and Haiti in the first round were staged at Parc Leconte in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 28, 1 and 4 January–February 1934. Cuba won the first match 3–1 with Mario Lopez opening from a penalty and Hector Socorro scoring the second. The second match was a 1–1 draw with Lopez equalising in the 85th minute. In the final match, Cuba won 6–0 with two Lopez goals, one from Hector Socorro and one from his brother Francisco.

The second round against Mexico consisted of three matches at Parque Necaxa in Mexico City. Its first match, on 4 March 1934, saw Mexico go 3–0 up with a hat-trick by Dionisio Mejia, his goals scored in the 12th, 14th and 16th minutes. Mario Lopez scored twice for Cuba with one in each half, but Mexico won 3–2. A week later, Mejia scored another hat-trick as Mexico won 5–0, and seven days later, Mexico won 4–1 after Lopez opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Mexico did not qualify, their 4–2 play-off defeat to the United States was held in Rome during the finals, as the two teams had forgotten to stage it earlier.

1938–2000

The decision to stage the 1938 World Cup in France was poorly received in the Americas, who had hoped for it to return to South America after the 1934 World Cup in Italy. All nations in South America except Brazil withdrew, and all CONCACAF nations except Cuba, thus the two qualified by default.

The tournament was held as a straight knock-out tournament of 16 nations. Cuba were drawn to play their first-ever World Cup finals match against Romania (who were making their third finals appearance) at Stade du T.O.E.C. in Toulouse, on 5 June 1938. Silviu Bindea put Romania ahead after 35 minutes and Hector Socorro equalised nine minutes later. With three minutes remaining, Tomás Fernández gave Cuba the lead, but within a minute Iuliu Baratky forced extra time with a Romanian equaliser. Romania went 3–2 up in extra-time by Stefan Dobay's goal on 105 minutes, but Juan Tuñas equalised for Cuba with three minutes of extra-time remaining.

The replay was held at the same stadium, on 9 June. This was at the same time as Switzerland's 4–2 replay win over Germany. Dobay put Romania 1–0 up at half-time with a 35th-minute goal, but in the second half Cuba equalised through Socorro in the 51st minute. Six minutes later, Carlos Oliviera scored the winning goal and it ended 2–1. In the quarter-final, Cuba lost 8–0 to Sweden at Stade du Fort Carre in Antibes, on 12 June. Sweden's Tore Keller and Gustav Wetterström each scored hat-tricks. [3]

The NAFC Championship 1949 served as CONCACAF's qualification group for the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. Cuba, the United States of America and Mexico played each other twice in a tournament held in Mexico City in September 1949. The top two would qualify. Cuba came third and did not qualify, their only point was gained from their second match, a 1–1 draw against the United States on 14 September. Cuba did not compete in World Cup qualification again until 1966. They returned to participation in qualification for 1978, but the 1982 qualifiers represented a significant breakthrough- Cuba reached the final round of qualifying, and were only two points short of reaching the 1982 World Cup. In recent years, Cuban football has seen an improvement in results.

2000–present

They reached the quarter-finals of the 2003 Gold Cup (where they were beaten by the United States) by defeating Canada 2–0 in the Group stage. During the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, Cuba faced Costa Rica and were only eliminated on away goals. They held Costa Rica to a draw in Havana 2–2 and later battled it out for a 1–1 draw in Costa Rica.

During the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Cuba faced Antigua and Barbuda and the match ended in a 3–3 draw. Later in Pedro Marreo, Cuba won 4–1 to advance to the semi-final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. Cuba was with the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala. Cuba finished in the fourth place with only one victory against Guatemala 2–1 with a goal scored by Aliannis Urgellés. They finished in third place in the 2010 Caribbean Cup to take a place in the 2011 Gold Cup. In 2012, Cuba won the Caribbean Cup for the first time.

For the 2014 World Cup, the Cuban team qualified directly to the Third round as one of the six highest ranked teams and were placed in Group C with Honduras, Panama, and Canada. Although the Cuban team had several close games, they ended their qualification process with one draw and five defeats (losing home and away to Canada and Honduras and drawing to Panama in Havana in their final game after losing in Panama City). Their only goal of the qualifying campaign came from Alberto Gomes against Panama in the final game of the group stage.

Defection and economic migration by Cuban athletes

As well as Cuban athletes in other sports, a number of football players have made the move to the United States in recent years. During the 2002 Gold Cup in Los Angeles, two Cuban players Rey Ángel Martínez and Alberto Delgado chose to remain in the United States. Striker Maykel Galindo did so during the 2005 Gold Cup. Two more, Osvaldo Alonso and Lester More did so during the 2007 Gold Cup.

In 2008, defections occurred during two separate tournaments held in the United States. In March, seven players from the U-23 national football, including Yeniel Bermúdez, Yordany Álvarez and Yendry Díaz defected during the 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament while the team was based in Tampa, FL. In October, two days before the country's World Cup Qualifier versus the US, Reynier Alcántara and Pedro Faife walked away from the team's hotel near Washington, D.C.. During the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Yosniel Mesa defected while the team was in Charlotte, North Carolina. [4] During the 2015 Gold Cup, forward Keiler García defected to the United States before the team's first match against Mexico in Chicago. [5]

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

2021

24 March WC 1st Round Qualifying Guatemala  Flag of Guatemala.svg1–0Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba Guatemala City, Guatemala
18:00 UTC−6
Report Stadium: Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores
Referee: Benjamin Pineda Avila (Costa Rica)
28 March WC 1st Round Qualifying Cuba  Flag of Cuba.svg1–2Flag of Curacao.svg  Curaçao Guatemala City, Guatemala
15:00 UTC−6
Report
Stadium: Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores
Referee: Germán Stanley Martínez Miranda (El Salvador)
2 June WC 1st Round Qualifying Cuba Flag of Cuba.svg v Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg British Virgin Islands TBD
Stadium: TBD

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF First Round. [6] Caps and goals updated as of 27 March, after match against Guatemala.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
1 GK Sandy Sánchez (1994-05-24) 24 May 1994 (age 26)211 Flag of Brazil.svg Navegantes
1 GK Elier Pozo (1995-01-28) 28 January 1995 (age 26)20 Flag of Cuba.svg Pinar del Río
1 GK Nelson Johnston (1990-02-25) 25 February 1990 (age 31)70 Flag of Cuba.svg Santiago de Cuba

2 DF Yosel Piedra (1994-03-27) 27 March 1994 (age 27)230 Flag of Guatemala.svg Sanarate
2 DF Jorge Corrales (1991-05-20) 20 May 1991 (age 29)351 Flag of the United States.svg FC Tulsa
2 DF Cavafe (1999-04-25) 25 April 1999 (age 21)10 Flag of Spain.svg Navalcarnero
2 DF Dariel Morejón (1998-12-22) 22 December 1998 (age 22)180 Flag of Cuba.svg Villa Clara
2 DF Erick Rizo (1991-02-28) 28 February 1991 (age 30)210 Flag of Cuba.svg Santiago de Cuba
2 DF Sandro Cutiño (1995-03-03) 3 March 1995 (age 26)30 Flag of Brazil.svg Navegantes
2 DF Yunior Pérez (2002-01-01) 1 January 2002 (age 19)00 Flag of Cuba.svg Guantánamo

3 MF Karel Espino (2001-10-27) 27 October 2001 (age 19)130 Flag of Cuba.svg Artemisa
3 MF Rolando Abreu (1992-05-15) 15 May 1992 (age 28)170 Flag of Cuba.svg Santiago de Cuba
3 MF Onel Hernández (1993-02-01) 1 February 1993 (age 28)21 Flag of England.svg Norwich City
3 MF Aricheel Hernández (1993-09-20) 20 September 1993 (age 27)263 Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg O&M
3 MF Norgeman Rodríguez (1996-04-10) 10 April 1996 (age 25)00 Flag of Cuba.svg Villa Clara
3 MF Jean Carlos Rodríguez (1999-05-27) 27 May 1999 (age 21)80 Flag of Cuba.svg Pinar del Río
3 MF Asmel Núñez (2000-01-01) 1 January 2000 (age 21)10 Flag of Cuba.svg Villa Clara
3 MF José Alberto Pérez (1999-09-15) 15 September 1999 (age 21)40 Flag of Cuba.svg La Habana

4 FW Luis Paradela (1997-01-21) 21 January 1997 (age 24)155 Flag of Costa Rica.svg Santos de Guápiles
4 FW Maikel Reyes (1993-03-04) 4 March 1993 (age 28)243 Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg Real Sociedad
4 FW Joel Apezteguía (1983-12-17) 17 December 1983 (age 37)20 Flag of San Marino.svg Tre Fiori
4 FW Sánder Fernández (1987-07-19) 19 July 1987 (age 33)130 Flag of Brazil.svg Navegantes
4 FW Yasniel Matos (2000-01-01) 1 January 2000 (age 21)10 Flag of Cuba.svg Holguín

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Cuba squad within the last twelve months.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
DF Leandro Perez (1999-01-01) 1 January 1999 (age 22)00 Flag of Cuba.svg Las Tunas v.Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala ; January 31, 2021 PRE
DF Darío Ramos (1996-02-02) 2 February 1996 (age 25)40 Flag of Cuba.svg Artemisa v.Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala ; January 31, 2021 PRE
MF York González (2002-02-14) 14 February 2002 (age 19)00 Flag of Cuba.svg Camagüey v.Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala ; January 31, 2021 PRE

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Player retired from the national team.
SUS Player is serving suspension.
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

Previous squads

Player records

As of 19 November 2019 [7]
Players in bold are still active with Cuba

Coaches

Competitive record

World Cup record

Cuba's FIFA World Cup recordQualification record
Host nation(s)
and year
RoundPosPldWD*LGFGASquadOutcomePldWDLGFGA
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1930 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg 1934 Did not qualify2nd62131314
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg 1938 Quarter-finals 7th3111512 Squad Bye
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1950 Did not qualify3rd4013311
Flag of Switzerland.svg 1954 Not accepted [8] Not accepted
Flag of Sweden.svg 1958 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Chile.svg 1962
Flag of England.svg 1966 Did not qualify3rd411235
Flag of Mexico.svg 1970 Not accepted [8] Not accepted
Flag of Germany.svg 1974 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Argentina.svg 1978 Did not qualifyPlayoff522175
Flag of Spain.svg 1982 5th9432118
Flag of Mexico.svg 1986 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Italy.svg 1990 Did not qualify2nd201212
Flag of the United States.svg 1994 WithdrewWithdrew
Flag of France.svg 1998 Did not qualify4th104151718
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg Flag of Japan.svg 2002 Playoff825173
Flag of Germany.svg 2006 Playoff422084
Flag of South Africa.svg 2010 4th83051321
Flag of Brazil.svg 2014 4th6015110
Flag of Russia.svg 2018 Playoff202011
Flag of Qatar.svg 2022 TBD200213
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 2026 To be determinedTo be determined
TotalQuarter-finals1/2231115127020203186105

CONCACAF Championship/Gold Cup record

CONCACAF Championship
YearResultPositionPldWTLGFGA
Flag of El Salvador.svg 1963 Did not enter
Flag of Guatemala.svg 1965 Withdrew
Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg 1967 Did not qualify
Flag of Costa Rica.svg 1969 Did not enter
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 1971 Fourth place4th512257
Flag of Haiti (1964-1986).svg 1973 Did not enter
Flag of Mexico.svg 1977 Did not qualify
Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg 1981 Final Round5th512248
1985 Did not enter
1989 Did not qualify
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Flag of the United States.svg 1991 Withdrew
Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 1993 Did not enter
Flag of the United States.svg 1996 Did not qualify
Flag of the United States.svg 1998 Group stage10th2002210
Flag of the United States.svg 2000 Did not qualify
Flag of the United States.svg 2002 Group stage11th201101
Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 2003 Quarter-finals8th310228
Flag of the United States.svg 2005 Group stage12th300339
Flag of the United States.svg 2007 Group stage12th301239
Flag of the United States.svg 2009 Withdrew
Flag of the United States.svg 2011 Group stage12th3003116
Flag of the United States.svg 2013 Quarter-finals8th4103613
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of the United States.svg 2015 Quarter-finals8th4103114
Flag of the United States.svg 2017 Did not qualify
Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Costa Rica.svg Flag of Jamaica.svg 2019 Group stage16th3003017
Flag of the United States.svg 2021 In progress
Total11/2513/2737562627112

CONCACAF Nations League

CONCACAF Nations League record
YearDivisionGroupPldWD*LGFGAP/RRank
Flag of the United States.svg 2019−20 A A 4004018Red Arrow Down.svg12th
Flag of None.svg 2022–23 BTo be determined
Total400401812th

NAFC Championship record

Caribbean Cup record

CFU Caribbean Cup
YearRoundPldWDLGFGA
Flag of Barbados.svg 1989 Did not enter
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 1990
Flag of Jamaica.svg 1991 Withdrew
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 1992 Fourth Place522142
Flag of Jamaica.svg 1993 Did not enter
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 1994 Withdrew
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg Flag of Jamaica.svg 1995 Third Place530296
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 1996 Second Place531172
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg 1997 Did not enter
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg Flag of Jamaica.svg 1998 Did not qualify
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 1999 Second Place540193
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 2001 Fourth Place512257
Flag of Barbados.svg 2005 Second Place320152
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg 2007 Third Place521276
Flag of Jamaica.svg 2008 Fourth Place522174
Snake Flag of Martinique.svg 2010 Third Place540152
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg 2012 Champions540152
Flag of Jamaica.svg 2014 Fourth Place412155
Snake Flag of Martinique.svg 2017 Did not qualify
Total1 Championship522810146841

Honours

Major competitions

Minor competitions

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References

  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 7 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. "Cuba – List of International Matches". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  3. "Baseball in Their Veins, but a New Ball at Their Feet". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  4. "Cuba's Yosniel Mesa defects". ESPN. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  5. "Keilen García, el premio-castigo de la libertad". ESPN Deportes. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  6. http://www.ahora.cu/es/deportes/11584-holguinero-continua-en-preseleccion-cubana-de-futbol
  7. Passo Alpuin, Luis Fernando. "Cuba - Record International Players". RSSSF.
  8. 1 2 "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 13 December 2011.