Finland National Football Team History
Finland became a FIFA member in 1908 when they were still a part of the Russian empire. They lost their first-ever match to Sweden but participated in the 1912 Olympics. They managed to finish in fourth place out of 11 teams. After the Finnish Civil War, in 1918, the national team was only made up of right-wing Finnish Gymnastics and Sports Federation athletes, until 1939.
After a merging of separate football associations in 1956, Finland once again had a united national team. Despite this, Finland didn’t get their first win in UEFA Euro qualifiers until 1978. Finland couldn’t manage to qualify for major tournaments during this era but there were some close calls. They missed out on Euro 1980 by one point and the 1986 World Cup by two points.
During the 1990s, Finland’s profile was raised by players who went abroad, like Jari Litmanen. The team of the 2000s was one of Finland’s best ever, but they still couldn’t manage to qualify for their first major tournament. In the Euro 2008 qualifying, they were an away win at Portugal away from qualification.
There were some Finland soccer betting triumphs during this time. They drew with Germany twice in the 2010 World Cup qualifying. Then, Finland drew 1-1 with reigning World Cup winners Spain in 2013. Finally, Finland qualified for Euro 2020 as Teemu Pukki scored ten goals in the qualifiers.
- Teemu Pukki – Goals: 37
- Jari Litmanen – Goals: 32
- Mikael Forssell – Goals: 29
- Jonatan Johansson– Goals: 22
- Ari Hjelm –Goals: 20
Filand Soccer Leagues & Clubs:
Finland’s top-tier soccer league is called the Veikkausliiga. The league, which is sponsored by national betting agency Veikkaus, became professional in 1990. The season runs from April to October and initially follows a double-round robin format with 12 clubs. Then, the table splits into two for a single-round robin championship and relegation round. The last-place team is relegated, while the 11th-place team contests a relegation playoff with a team from the second tier.
The Ykkonen is Finland’s second-tier soccer league. The league is mainly played during the Summer and follows a similar format to the Veikkausliiga. The first place team is promoted to the Veikkausliiga, while the second place team plays a two-legged promotion/relegation playoff versus the Veikkausliiga’s 11th-place team. The bottom three clubs are relegated to the third level on the Finnish soccer pyramid.
Finland Cups & Tournaments
Finland’s soccer teams participate in the annual single-elimination knockout tournament, called the Finnish Cup. The format has changed multiple times in recent years but over 300 teams participated in 2022. KuPS won a second straight Finnish Cup in 2022, but HJK Helsinki is the most successful tournament in the history of the competition.
Finland Soccer Betting Information
Domestic Finland soccer betting is primarily done on the Veikkausliiga and Finnish Cup. Because the Veikkausliiga is one of the few leagues that runs throughout the Summer, it is a good option for bettors.
The league was reasonably high scoring in 2022, with 2.95 goals per game. Home teams won 43 percent of the time and away teams were victorious in 36 percent of matches. That means 21 percent of matches finished in a draw. Both teams scored in 56 percent of matches, which means a significant amount of action.
The Veikkausliiga has been highly competitive for the last couple of years. HJK Helsinki won the title by just a one-point margin over KuPS in both 2021 and 2022. The last place team also finished with under 10 points in both 2021 and 2022.
The Finland National team has exceeded expectations in the last few years. With their first major tournament appearance, at Euro 2020, they’ve built some momentum. Finland have solidified themselves as a second-tier European team. They’ll make their third consecutive UEFA Nations League B appearance in 2024-25. That, and UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, will be the next major opportunities to bet on Finland.
Finland have finished with a positive goal difference in each of their last three UEFA Nations League appearances. However, they had under a 50 percent win percentage in both 2021 and 2022. In the three years prior to those years, they had managed to win over 50 percent of their games. Betting tips don’t typically recommend consistently betting on the Finland National team given their erratic form.
Finland’s Veikkausliiga could be a good betting option during the dog days of Summer. The league isn’t very well known, which could present good opportunities for punters willing to do research. HJK Helsinki and KuPS are the two clubs who have been in contention the most in recent years.
On the other hand, the Finland national team has sometimes punched above their weight. They can certainly string together a few results, but they’re too inconsistent to be among Europe’s best teams. Plus, not many Finnish footballers play in the top European leagues.