The Montserrat national football team represents the small Caribbean island of Montserrat in the CONCACAF football region. Football is the second most popular sport in Montserrat, after cricket. The team play at the Blakes Estate Stadium, near the village of Look Out. The Montserrat football team was formed in 1973, and has entered World Cup qualifying since the 2002 tournament, being eliminated in the first round on each occasion.
Due to the heavy volcanic activity on the island since 1995, the team has only played a handful of matches, and most of those have been away from home. Their only victories were against neighboring Anguilla in the qualifying tournament of the 1995 Caribbean Cup, winning 3–2 at home and 1–0 away. Apart from one other draw against Anguilla, all their other matches before 2012 have been lost.
On June 30, 2002, the day of the final match of the 2002 World Cup, Montserrat, then the lowest ranked team in the world, played against the second lowest team, Bhutan, in a friendly match known jokingly as "The Other Final", but lost 4–0 to become the worst team in the world. In June 2014, the team achieved a record-high FIFA rank of #166. Although the Montserrat team in the past has not had strong squads, this year the squad has looked a lot stronger with players Lyle Taylor, Anthony Griffith and James Comley.
The Montserrat national team is one of the newest in international football, having played its first senior match on 10 May 1991 during the 1991 Caribbean Cup tournament. The team suffered a 0–3 defeat to Saint Lucia at the Vieux Fort National Stadium in Saint Lucia. The team played their next match at the same venue, securing a 1–1 draw with Anguilla. This is the team's only draw in international matches to date. Montserrat again entered the Caribbean Cup the following year but were once more knocked out in the Group Stage following heavy defeats to Saint Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda. They were drawn against the same two teams for the 1994 Caribbean Cup, but again left the tournament at the Group Stage after conceding 17 goals in just two matches. In 1994, the Montserrat Football Association (MFA) was formed. Like all other Caribbean football teams, the MFA became a member of CONCACAF.
On 26 March 1995, Montserrat played their first ever home international match. They defeated Anguilla 3–2 in Plymouth, achieving their first win. The team beat Anguilla again in the next fixture to ensure progress to the Second Qualifying Round of the 1995 Caribbean Cup. The 1–0 win in the second leg was their only clean sheet in international football to date and is also their most recent victory. The side exited the competition in the next stage, losing 0–20 on aggregate over two legs against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Soon afterwards, the Soufriere Hills volcano became active and the eruptions destroyed Plymouth, the capital of Montserrat, severely disrupting all football on the island. Despite the lack of football action, the MFA became a full FIFA member in 1996. However, it was a further three years until the Montserrat team played another international fixture. This was mostly because many of the island's footballers had emigrated away from the area, many of them to England.
After a four-year hiatus, the team entered the 1999 Caribbean Nations Cup. However, they were knocked out in the Preliminary Round of the tournament, losing 1–6 over two legs to the British Virgin Islands. Due to the volcanic activity, Montserrat had been unable to enter the FIFA World Cup for the 1998 tournament, so their entry into the 2002 World Cup qualification campaign was their first. Their inaugural World Cup conquest was not a success as they were defeated 0–3 away by the Dominican Republic. In the second leg, played in Trinidad and Tobago, the team fell to a 1–3 loss in front of a crowd of only 50 spectators. In 2001, the MFA visited The Football Association to raise money for a new stadium. The Blakes Estate Stadium was opened near the village of Look Out. The team's next match happened on 30 June 2002, the day of the World Cup Final, when Montserrat played Bhutan in a game known as "The Other Final". The friendly match between the two lowest-ranked teams in the world ended with a 4–0 win for Bhutan in front of 15,000 fans in Thimphu.
Montserrat entered the World Cup qualifiers once more for the 2006 edition of the competition, but again lost in the First Qualifying Round, this time losing 0–20 on aggregate to Bermuda. In the first leg at the Bermuda National Stadium they lost 0–13, which is their heaviest-ever defeat. The second leg, a 0–7 loss, was the first international match played at the team's new ground and was watched by 250 supporters. Montserrat then competed in the 2005 Caribbean Cup, but once more failed to progress past the Premilinary Round. In the team's most recent match in 2008, they were defeated 1–7 by Suriname in the First Qualifying Round of the 2010 World Cup. The match was played in Macoya because neither team's stadiums met FIFA standards.
A friendly against a Network Rail XI was played at Charlton Athletic's Valley stadium on May 19, 2012, ending in a 4–4 draw.
Montserrat achieved their first victory since 1995 and their first ever victory since joining FIFA, beating the British Virgin Islands 7–0 in a 2012 Caribbean Championship qualifying match, held in Martinique.As of 3 June 2014
Note: teams in italic indicates that teams are not FIFA members.
The poor results of the team has seen them often frequenting the lower end of the FIFA World Rankings. The loss to Bhutan in "The Other Final" saw them fall to #203 in the rankings, becoming worst-ranked side in the world. After the addition of another two teams to FIFA, Montserrat achieved a new low of #205 between July and October 2004. In July 2006, they achieved a record high rank of #196 but they fell back down to #198 the following month. As of June 2014 Montserrat are #166 in the rankings, just ahead of Bangladesh.
Due to the number of losses incurred by Montserrat, the team have also traditionally languished at the lower reaches of the unofficial World Football Elo Ratings, which ranks teams directly based on their match results.
Since the team's first match in 1991, Montserrat have worn a first-choice kit of all olive-green. Currently, the away kit is red jersey, shorts and socks.
The following players were called up for the 2018 World Cup qualification. Caps/goals correct as of 31 March 2015.1930 to 1998 – Did not enter
2002 to 2018 – Did not qualify
1991 – Did not qualify
1993 – Did not enter
1996 – Did not qualify
1998 – Did not enter
2000 to 2002 – Did not qualify
2003 – Withdrew
2005 – Did not qualify
2007 to 2009 – Did not enter
2011 to 2015 – Did not qualify
1989 to 1990 – Did not enter
1991 to 1992 – Did not qualify
1993 – Did not enter
1994 to 1995 – Did not qualify
1996 to 1998 – Did not enter
1999 to 2005 – Did not qualify
2007 to 2008 – Did not enter
2010 to 2014 – Did not qualify
Lenny Hewlett (2013–2015)
Kenny Dyer (2008–2013)
Cecil Lake (2008)
Ruel Fox (2004)
Scott Cooper (2004)
William Lewis (2000–2004)
Paul Morris (2001–2002)