|Nickname(s) La Vinotinto|
Top scorer Juan Arango (23)
Current 59 (9 March 2017)
Manager Rafael Dudamel
Head coach Rafael Dudamel
|Most caps Juan Arango (129)|
FIFA code VEN
Captain Tomás Rincón
Confederation CONMEBOL (South America)
|Home stadium Estadio José Antonio Anzoátegui
Estadio Pueblo Nuevo|
Association Venezuelan Football Federation
Arenas/Stadiums Polideportivo Cachamay, Estadio Polideportivo de Pueblo Nuevo, Estadio José Antonio Anzoátegui
Venezuela dark horses give hope
The Venezuela national football team (Spanish: La selección de fútbol de Venezuela) represents Venezuela in men's international association football and is controlled by the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF), the governing body for football in Venezuela. It is nicknamed "La Vinotinto" ("The Burgundy") because of the traditional burgundy color of their shirts. When playing at home in official games, they usually rotate between three stadiums: The Polideportivo Cachamay in Puerto Ordaz, the Estadio José Antonio Anzoátegui in Puerto La Cruz and the Estadio Pueblo Nuevo in San Cristóbal. In friendly matches, they tend to rotate between the rest of the stadiums in the country.
- Venezuela dark horses give hope
- César Farías era
- Noel Sanvicente era
- Rafael Dudamel era
- Copa América history
- 2011 Copa América
- Recent and forthcoming matches
- Current squad
- Recent call ups
- Most caps
- Top scorers
Unlike other South American nations, and akin to some Caribbean nations, baseball is extremely popular in Venezuela, which diverts athletic talent away from football, contributing to its historic lack of success in CONMEBOL competitions. As of 2018, they are the only CONMEBOL side to have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup. Often Venezuela would go through entire qualification tournaments without recording a single win, although this has changed in the last two qualifying rounds. Until 2011, their best finish in the Copa América was fifth in their first entry, in 1967. It is only recently with the spread of the World Cup's popularity in nations where football was not the primary sport (such as Japan, the United States and Australia) that the national team found incentives to increase player development and fan support.
Venezuela did not participate in FIFA World Cup qualification until the 1966 qualifiers in which they were drawn with Uruguay and Peru, but failed to register a point in four games. In the 1970 qualifiers they managed to register a point, and after withdrawing from the 1974 series, repeated that in the 1978 qualifiers. The 1982 qualifiers saw them register their first win, over Bolivia. They wouldn't register another World Cup qualifying win until the 1994 series when they defeated Ecuador. A highlight of the 1998 qualifiers was goalkeeper Rafael Dudamel scoring against Argentina in a 5–2 defeat.
Despite poor results during the 1960s and 1970s, outstanding players like Luis Mendoza and Rafael Santana achieved recognition.
The team failed to qualify for both the 2002, and 2006 World Cups. The latter failure resulted in the resignation of manager Richard Páez.
César Farías era
With new coach César Farías, Venezuela national team improved their performances. At the beginning of 2010, during qualifying, Venezuela won its first game in World Cup qualifying against the long unbeaten Ecuador in Quito. Something similar happened to Bolivia in La Paz, where Venezuela won for the first time at Bolivian altitude. Also, they received their first point against Brazil in qualifying. Despite not ultimately reaching the 2010, Venezuela achieved their best result in qualifying. They finished this round with 22 points in 18 matches, surpassing Peru and Bolivia for eighth place in the region.
On 6 June 2008, Venezuela achieved their second-ever triumph over Brazil, defeating the Seleção 2–0 in a friendly match in Boston, United States. Venezuela obtained excellent results in the 2011 Copa América when they finished fourth, their highest finish in the tournament to date. With a squad composed mostly of players playing in Europe, they began 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification with a historic result (1–0) against Argentina in Puerto La Cruz, beating the Argentines for the first time.
Noel Sanvicente era
On 4 September 2014, Noel Sanvicente was made coach of the Venezuela national team. On 5 September 2014, the team lost its first match with Sanvicente under the helm 3–1 against South Korea in Bucheon.
Sanvicente's first tournament came in the 2015 Copa América, with Venezuela drawn in Group C of the competition. Their opening game finished with an upset victory over tournament favorites Colombia by 1–0, but subsequent defeats to Peru and Brazil saw La Vinotinto eliminated.
Venezuela began the World Cup qualification campaign with a 1–0 defeat against Paraguay at home, and would not earn their first point until their match against Peru, a 2–2 draw in Lima where Venezuela led until the last minute of stoppage time. Their match with Chile ended in a disappointing 4–1 defeat, Sanvicente announced his resignation a week later after mutual consent with the FVF. At the time of Sanvicente's departure, Venezuela was last in the qualification standings with a sole point.
Rafael Dudamel era
Sanvicente was replaced by former Vinotinto goalkeeper Rafael Dudamel. Under his coaching, La Vinotinto quickly improved and reached the quarterfinals in the Copa América Centenario, with two 0–1 wins over Jamaica and Uruguay and a 1–1 draw against Mexico in the group stage and then a 4–1 defeat to Argentina in the quarter-finals. In the 7th matchday of the 2018 World Cup qualifier, Venezuela lost to Colombia 2–0 in Barranquilla, the first loss against Los Cafeteros since 2009. Later, on matchday 11, Venezuela won for the first time in the qualifier, 5–0 over Bolivia in Maturín with a hat-trick from Josef Martínez and goals from Jacobo Koufatti and Rómulo Otero.
Copa América history
Venezuela first participated in the Copa América in 1967, and finished fifth after defeating Bolivia 3–0 with a side containing Mendoza and Santana. The 1975 tournament saw Venezuela drawn in a group with Brazil and Argentina, and finished bottom with an 11–0 defeat to Argentina. In the 1979 edition, which would be the international swansong for Mendoza and Santana, they drew 0–0 with Colombia and 1–1 with Chile. A highlight of the 1989 tournament was midfielder Carlos Maldonado's four goals. In the 1993 series, Venezuela drew with Uruguay and the United States.
The team's overall Copa América record has been relatively poor (goal difference 33–145 before the 2011 Copa América), but the "Auge Vinotinto" (Vinotinto Rise) period in the early 2000s (decade) brought increased attention to the sport in the country, which in turn brought increased support from both government and private institutions. Said support contributed greatly to the "Vinotinto's" rise in quality. In 2007, during the Copa América held in Venezuela, the team progressed to the quarterfinals for the first time in its history after finishing first in a group containing Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay. Venezuela's 2–0 victory over Peru during the competition was its first Copa América victory since 1967.
2011 Copa América
At the 2011 Copa América championship, Venezuela reached the semi-finals round for the first time by defeating Chile in the quarter-final, 2–1. Despite their commanding presence against Paraguay in their semifinal, Venezuela were unable to convert their chances into goals. They would eventually lose 5–3 to Paraguay in a penalty shootout after remaining scoreless in normal and extra time. Venezuela and Peru played for third place at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, where Venezuela would suffer their biggest loss of the tournament, losing 4–1 to Peru and falling into fourth place overall. Nonetheless, it was their best ever finish at the competition.
Recent and forthcoming matches
Matches from the past 12 months as well as any future scheduled matches.
The following 28 players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification games against Peru on March 23, and Chile on March 28, 2017.
Caps and goals are correct as of March 28, 2017, after the game against Chile.
The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.
Blue highlights denotes active players.
Blue highlights denotes active players.