- Cuba national football team
Cuba Nickname(s) Leones del Caribe
(Lions of the Caribbean)
Association Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba Sub-confederation CFU (Caribbean) Confederation CONCACAF
Head coach Raúl González Triana Most caps Odelín Molina &
Yenier Márquez (107)
Top scorer Lester Moré (29) Home stadium Estadio Pedro Marrero FIFA code CUB FIFA ranking 100 Highest FIFA ranking 46 (November 2006) Lowest FIFA ranking 175 (December 1994) Elo ranking 98 Highest Elo ranking 52 (February 2005) Lowest Elo ranking 143 (January 1965)Home coloursAway colours First international Cuba 3–1 Jamaica
(Cuba; March 16, 1930)
Biggest win Cuba 9–0 Puerto Rico
(Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.; May 27, 1995)
Biggest defeat Sweden 8–0 Cuba
(Antibes, France; June 12, 1938)
World Cup Appearances 1 (First in 1938) Best result Quarter-finals; 1938 CONCACAF Championship
& Gold Cup
Appearances 7 (First in 1971) Best result 4th; 1971
They were the first Caribbean team to make the World Cup, which they did 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Competition records
- 3 Current squad
- 4 Defection and economic migration by Cuban athletes
- 5 Coaches
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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.  Cuba were managed by José Tapia, who remained in charge until after Cuba's 1938 FIFA World Cup campaign.
1934 World Cup qualification
Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts 1 Cuba 3 2 1 0 10 2 5.00 5 2 Haiti 3 0 1 2 2 10 0.20 1
Cuba's first World Cup qualification campaign was for the 1934 FIFA 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 January, 1 February and 4 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.
Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts 1 Mexico 3 3 0 0 12 3 4.00 6 2 Cuba 3 0 0 3 3 12 0.25 0
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 World Cup
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 drew to play their first-ever World Cup finals match against Romania (who were making their third finals appearance) at Stade Chapou 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 Tomas Fernandez 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 Tunas 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 as it ended 2-1.
1950 World Cup qualification
Team Pts GP W T L GF GA Dif 1 Mexico 8 4 4 0 0 17 2 +15 2 United States 3 4 1 1 2 8 15 -7 3 Cuba 1 4 0 1 3 3 11 -8
The NAFC Championship 1949 served as CONCACAF's qualification group for the 1950 FIFA 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 2 points short of reaching the 1982 World Cup. In recent years, Cuban football has seen an improvement in results. They reached the Quarter-finals of the 2003 Gold Cup (where they were beaten by the USA) 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 & Barbuda and drew 3–3 against Antigua & Barbuda. Later in Pedro Marreo Cuba won 4–1 to advance to the semifinal round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Cuba was with United States, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala. Cuba finished in the fourth place with only a victory against Guatemala 2–1 with a goal scored by Aliannis Urgellés.
They finished in third place in the Caribbean Cup 2010 to take a place in Gold Cup 2011.
World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA 1930 Did Not Enter 1934 Did Not Qualify 1938 Quarter-Final 8th 3 1 1 1 5 12 1950 Did Not Qualify 1954 Did Not Enter 1958 1962 1966 Did Not Qualify 1970 Did Not Enter 1974 1978 Did Not Qualify 1982 1986 Did Not Enter 1990 Did Not Qualify 1994 Withdrew 1998 Did Not Qualify 2002 2006 2010 2014 To Be Determined 2018 2022 Total Quarter-Final 1/19 3 1 1 1 5 12
Gold Cup record
- 1991 – Withdrew
- 1993 – Did not enter
- 1996 – Did not qualify
- 1998 – Round 1
- 2000 – Did not qualify
- 2002 – Round 1
- 2003 – Quarterfinals
- 2005 – Round 1
- 2007 – Round 1
- 2009 – Withdrew
- 2011 – Round 1
CONCACAF Championship record
- 1963 – Did not enter
- 1965 – Did not enter
- 1967 – Did not qualify
- 1969 – Did not enter
- 1971 – 4th place
- 1973 – Did not enter
- 1977 – Did not qualify
- 1981 – 5th place
- 1985 – Did not enter
- 1989 – Did not qualify
NAFC Championship record
The following players were called up for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
No. Pos. Player DoB/Age Caps Club 1 GK Odelín Molina August 3, 1974 (aged 36) 102 Villa Clara 2 MF Carlos Francisco May 22, 1990 (aged 21) 19 Santiago de Cuba 3 DF Yénier Márquez March 1, 1979 (aged 32) 91 Villa Clara 4 DF Hánier Dranguet April 27, 1982 (aged 29) 21 Guantánamo 5 DF Jorge Luís Clavelo August 8, 1982 (aged 28) 27 Villa Clara 6 MF Yoel Colomé October 15, 1982 (aged 28) 24 Barcelona B 7 MF Marcel Hernández April 11, 1989 (aged 22) 11 Ciudad de La Habana 8 MF Jaime Colomé (c) June 30, 1979 (aged 31) 63 Ciudad de La Habana 9 FW Alain Cervantes November 17, 1983 (aged 27) 56 Ciego de Ávila 10 FW Roberto Linares February 10, 1986 (aged 25) 28 Villa Clara 12 DF Andres Valdes October 11, 1994 (aged 16) 1 España 14 DF Aliannis Urgellés June 25, 1985 (aged 25) 28 Guantánamo 15 FW Yaudel Lahera February 9, 1991 (aged 20) 5 Ciudad de La Habana 16 DF Reysander Fernández August 22, 1984 (aged 26) 57 Ciego de Ávila 17 FW Yosniel Mesa May 11, 1984 (aged 27) 6 Cienfuegos 18 MF Dagoberto Quesada October 6, 1987 (aged 23) 7 Camagüey 19 MF Francisco Carrazana December 23, 1985 (aged 25) 1 Cienfuegos 20 MF Alberto Gómez February 12, 1988 (aged 23) 5 Guantánamo
Defection and economic migration by Cuban athletes
As well as Cuban athletes in other sports, a number of football players (such as Maykel Galindo and Osvaldo Alonso) have made the move to the United States in recent years. During the 2002 Gold Cup in Los Angeles, two Cuban players Rey Angel Martinez 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 Bermudez, Yordany Alvarez and Yendry Diaz 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 USA, Reynier Alcantara 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.
- Giovanni Campari (1990–92)
- William Bennett (1998)
- Miguel Company (2000–04)
- Armelio Luis (2005)
- Reinhold Fanz (2006–08)
- Raúl González Triana (2008–)
- ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cuba-intres.html
- ^ "Cuba's Yosniel Mesa defects". Associated Press. ESPN. http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/6655128/cuba-yosniel-mesa-defects-gold-cup-tourney. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
Football Association of Cuba
- Cuba at FIFA.com
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