Skonto FC

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Skonto FC
Skonto-FC logo.png
Full nameSkonto Football Club
Founded15 December 1991; 22 years ago (1991-12-15)
as Forums-Skonto
GroundSkonto Stadium, Riga
Ground Capacity9,500[1]
ChairmanVladimirs Koļesņičenko
ManagerTamaz Pertia
WebsiteClub home page
Current season
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Skonto FC
Skonto-FC logo.png
Full nameSkonto Football Club
Founded15 December 1991; 22 years ago (1991-12-15)
as Forums-Skonto
GroundSkonto Stadium, Riga
Ground Capacity9,500[1]
ChairmanVladimirs Koļesņičenko
ManagerTamaz Pertia
WebsiteClub home page
Current season

Skonto FC is a Latvian football club, founded in 1991. The club plays at the Skonto Stadium in Riga. Skonto won the Virsliga in the first 14 seasons of the league's existence (15 in total), and often provides the core of the Latvia national football team. With those 14 national championships in a row, they set a European record, men and women's football combined,[2] until the women of KÍ Klaksvík won their 14th championship in row in 2013.[3]


Skonto FC was founded in 1991. It won the Latvian league championship 14 seasons in a row, and only in the 2005 season club finished second after FK Liepājas Metalurgs. In 2006, Skonto finished third in a close contest with FK Liepājas Metalurgs and FK Ventspils. Skonto FC have won the Latvia’s Cup on seven occasions, acquiring the Cup most recently in 2002.

Skonto FC was by no means among the favorites in the first years after its establishment, and the champion’s title had to be won in a fierce competition both with FK Olimpija from Liepāja and RAF Jelgava – even then an additional game was required since the regular championship in 1992 was insufficient to determine the winner of the season. In the same 1992 season, Skonto FC made its debut in the Champion’s League by beating the Faroe Islands champions Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag. After the season, a coach replacement was made and Aleksandrs Starkovs took over from Marks Zahodins.

For the next 10 years in the Domestic League none of their rivals were able to offer significant opposition to Skonto. For two seasons running the team did not lose a single match, surpassing their closest rivals by more than 20 points in the final standings, ensuring the regular title was awarded long before the end of the season.

During the 1998 season, Skonto FC thrashed FK Valmiera 15–2. This saw the highest number of goals scored in a single game in the club's history. During these years Skonto FC players were the source of the national teamMāris Verpakovskis, Marians Pahars, Aleksandrs Koļinko, Vitālijs Astafjevs, Igors Stepanovs, Imants Bleidelis, Juris Laizāns, Mihails Zemļinskis, Valentīns Lobaņovs, Andrejs Rubins and many others played for Skonto FC, while also playing for the national team.

An exciting battle for the Latvian championship title was seen again in the 2001 season when Skonto FC had a two-point deficit before the final round to the leading team FK Ventspils, and they had to face a tough game in Liepāja against FK Liepājas Metalurgs – a team which also had hopes of becoming champions. FK Ventspils players couldn't withstand the strain, whereas Skonto FC showed the spirit of champions.

Over the last few seasons FK Liepājas Metalurgs and FK Ventspils have been in close pursuit of Skonto FC players, their attempts in the last two years proving to be successful. It has to be noted that in 2004, the head coach, Aleksandrs Starkovs – one of the essential pillars of the club – left Skonto FC by accepting a proposal to work at FC Spartak Moscow, at that time champions of Russia. The leadership of the team was entrusted to Jurijs Andrejevs, his long-term assistant, but after the loss against Rabotnicki, of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje in the UEFA Champions League qualification tournament, he resigned from the post. Jurijs Andrejevs was replaced by Paul Ashworth, who had previously worked with FK Ventspils and FK Rīga in the Latvian Higher League and the Russian Premier League club FC Rostov.

The first major victory for Skonto FC players in Euro Cups was gained in 1994, when they defeated the Scottish club Aberdeen, the former European Super Cup winners. Also, in 1999 they managed a 0-0 draw at home with Chelsea FC in a UEFA Champions League qualifier (but lost the tie 3-0 on aggregate). Skonto FC also played against Spanish FC Barcelona and Inter Milan.

The defender Mihails Zemļinskis has made 252 appearances, the largest number of matches played in the ranks of Skonto FC during the Latvian championships. His 52 games played in European cups are also the highest number within the team. Mihails Miholaps has been the top scorer for Skonto FC. He has scored 155 goals in 216 Latvian championship games, and 18 goals in 38 European cup competitions.

In the last few seasons, Skonto FC's average player age has become younger – experienced players have been replaced by youth football centre Skonto trainees. Young players from outside Latvia are also included in the squad.

On 8 July 2010, Skonto lost in the Europa League first qualifying round to Northern Ireland team Portadown FC. In the first leg Skonto drew 1–1 away from home after an equaliser in injury time. They lost 1–0 at home and went out to a team who hadn't won a European tie in 36 years. Consolation came later in the season, on 31 October 2010, when Skonto drew 2–2 at home to win the Latvian league title for the first time since 2004.

In 2012 Skonto won the Latvian Cup for the first time since 2002 and guaranteed themselves a spot in the first qualifying round of 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, even though this was later succeeded once again following the league achievements in 2012.[4]




Players and staff[edit]

First team squad[edit]

Entry for the 2014 Latvian Higher League season, according to[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

1LatviaGKDmitrijs Grigorjevs
2LatviaDFVladislavs Gabovs (captain)
3The GambiaDFAli Ceesay
4LatviaDFSergejs Kožans
5LatviaDFŅikita Bērenfelds
6LatviaMFRitvars Rugins
7LatviaMFArtjoms Osipovs
8LatviaMFViktors Morozs
9LatviaŅikita Ivanovs
10TurkmenistanMFRuslan Mingazov
11LatviaDFEdgars Jermolajevs
12LatviaFWVladislavs Gutkovskis
13Georgia (country)MFIrakli Klimiashvili
14LatviaMFJānis Grīnbergs
15GhanaDFOfosu Appiah
18LatviaDFDāvis Sandis Strods
19LatviaDFVjačeslavs Isajevs
27Georgia (country)DFLasha Dvali
28Georgia (country)DFLevan Tchatchiashvili
32LatviaGKAndrejs Pavlovs
LatviaDFVladislavs Kuzmins
AzerbaijanMFMurad Iskandarli
LatviaFWArtūrs Karašausks

For recent squad changes see: List of Latvian football transfers winter 2012-13 and List of Latvian football transfers summer 2013

Reserves squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

LatviaGKJaroslavs Morozs
LatviaGKVladislavs Lazarevs
RussiaGKAleksandr Sikorsky
LatviaDFArtjoms Jakuševs
LatviaDFVladislavs Sorokins
Georgia (country)DFMikhail Chumburidze
LatviaDFTigrans Bagdasarjans
LatviaDFPāvels Jaškins
LatviaDFRoberts Cipe
LatviaDFRendijs Šibass
LatviaDFOto Šeļegovičs
LatviaDFRomens Cvetanovičs
LatviaDFKirils Ustinovs
LatviaMFŅikita Pačko
LatviaMFNorberts Sovers
LatviaMFMārcis Orols
LatviaMFEduards Emsis
LatviaMFMareks Labanovskis
LatviaMFAtis Dēvits
LatviaMFViktors Osokins
LatviaFWElvis Stuglis
LatviaFWĒriks Šilings
LatviaFWJuris Krivošeja
LatviaFWArtūrs Ribakovs
LatviaFWMaksims Miskovs
LatviaFWElvis Studāns

International players[edit]

Foreign players[edit]

Non-EU Nationals

  • Georgia (country) Levan Tchatchiashvili
  • Ghana Ofosu Appiah

EU Nationals


ChairmanLatvia Vladimirs Koļesņičenko
DirectorLatvia Askolds Uldriķis
Technical directorLatvia Genādijs Karavajevs
ManagerGeorgia (country) Tamaz Pertia
Assistant managerLatvia Vitālijs Astafjevs
Assistant managerLatvia Mihails Miholaps
Assistant managerLatvia Andrejs Kiriļins
Goalkeeping coachLatvia Andrejs Piedels
Reserves managerLatvia Vladimirs Beškarevs
Reserves assistant managerLatvia Aleksejs Šarando
PhysiotherapistLatvia Deniss Bočkovs
Press secretaryLatvia Uldis Strautmanis

Notable former players[edit]

Player of the season[edit]

2010Latvia Kaspars Dubra
2011Latvia Igors Tarasovs
2012Not specified
2013Lithuania Paulius Grybauskas


Latvia Marks Zahodins1991–922 league titles, 1 Latvian Football Cup
Latvia Aleksandrs StarkovsJuly 1, 1993–04, Jan 1, 2010–Dec 31, 201012 league titles, 6 Latvian Football Cups
Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs2004–051 league title
England Paul Ashworth2005–Dec 31, 2009
Latvia Marians PaharsJan 1, 2011–Dec 31, 20121 Baltic League title, 1 Latvian Football Cup
Georgia (country) Tamaz PertiaJan 1, 2013–

League and Cup history[edit]

Latvian SSR[edit]

SeasonDivision (Name)Pos./TeamsPl.WDLGSGAPLatvian Football CupTop Scorer (League)Head Coach
19911st (Latvian SSR Higher League)1/(20)362952831563Runner-upLatvia Marks Zahodins


SeasonDivision (Name)Pos./TeamsPl.WDLGSGAPLatvian Football CupTop Scorer (League)Head Coach
19921st (Virsliga)1/(12)241822511038WinnerLatvia Aleksejs Semjonovs – 12Latvia Marks Zahodins
19931st (Virsliga)1/(10)181701637341/2 finalsLatvia Aleksandrs Jeļisejevs – 19Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19941st (Virsliga)1/(12)222020769421/4 finalsLatvia Vladimirs Babičevs – 14Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19951st (Virsliga)1/(10)282530991578WinnerLatvia Vitālijs Astafjevs – 15Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19961st (Virsliga)1/(10)282341981273Runner-upUkraine Aleksandr Pindeyev – 17Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19971st (Virsliga)1/(9)24204089864WinnerGeorgia (country) David Chaladze – 25Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19981st (Virsliga)1/(8)282143982767WinnerLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 20Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19991st (Virsliga)1/(8)282305881569Runner-upGeorgia (country) David Chaladze – 16Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20001st (Virsliga)1/(8)282431861075WinnerLatvia Vladimirs Koļesņičenko – 17Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20011st (Virsliga)1/(8)282224942668WinnerLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 24Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20021st (Virsliga)1/(8)282341951973WinnerLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 23Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20031st (Virsliga)1/(8)28234191973Runner-upLatvia Māris Verpakovskis – 22Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20041st (Virsliga)1/(8)2822336518691/2 finalsLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 16Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs / Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs
20051st (Virsliga)2/(8)2822518519711/2 finalsLatvia Gatis Kalniņš – 15Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs / England Paul Ashworth
20061st (Virsliga)3/(8)281666552154Runner-upLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 15England Paul Ashworth
20071st (Virsliga)4/(8)2816755427551/2 finalsLatvia Astafjevs / Latvia Blanks / Latvia Višņakovs – 7England Paul Ashworth
20081st (Virsliga)3/(10)2815754331711/2 finalsGeorgia (country) Vladimir Dvalishvili – 9England Paul Ashworth
20091st (Virsliga)3/(9)322345983073Not HeldLatvia Ivans Lukjanovs – 14England Paul Ashworth / Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20101st (Virsliga)1/(10)2722328616691/2 finalsBrazil Nathan Júnior – 18Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20111st (Virsliga)4/(9)3217966221601/4 finalsBrazil Nathan Júnior – 22Latvia Marian Pahars
20122nd (Virsliga)2/(10)3621114582274WinnerLatvia Šabala / Lithuania Labukas – 11Latvia Marian Pahars
20132nd (Virsliga)2/(10)2718816811621/4 finalsLatvia Artūrs Karašausks – 16Georgia (country) Tamaz Pertia

Europe record[edit]

1992–93UEFA Champions LeaguePRFaroe IslandsKÍ Klaksvík3–03–16–1Symbol keep vote.svg
1PolandLech Poznań0–00–20–2Symbol delete vote.svg
1993–94UEFA Champions LeaguePRSloveniaOlimpija Ljubljana0–11–01–1 (11–10 p)Symbol keep vote.svg
1RussiaSpartak Moskva0–50–40–9Symbol delete vote.svg
1994–95UEFA CupPrRScotlandAberdeen F.C.0-01-11–1 (a)Symbol keep vote.svg
1ItalyS.S.C. Napoli1–10–31–4Symbol delete vote.svg
1995–96UEFA CupPrRSloveniaNK Maribor0–21–01–2Symbol delete vote.svg
1996–97UEFA CupPrRWalesNewtown FC3–04–17–1Symbol keep vote.svg
QRSwedenMalmö FF1–10–31–4Symbol delete vote.svg
1997–98UEFA Champions League1QRMaltaValletta F.C.2–00–12–1Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRSpainFC Barcelona0–12–32–4Symbol delete vote.svg
1997–98UEFA Cup1SpainReal Valladolid1–00–21–2Symbol delete vote.svg
1998–99UEFA Champions League1QRBelarusFC Dynamo Minsk0–02–12–1Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRItalyF.C. Internazionale Milano1–30–41–7Symbol delete vote.svg
1998–99UEFA Cup1RussiaFC Dynamo Moscow2–32–24–5Symbol delete vote.svg
1999–00UEFA Champions League1QRLuxembourgJeunesse Esch8–02–010–0Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRRomaniaRapid Bucureşti2–13–35–4Symbol keep vote.svg
3QREnglandChelsea F.C.0–00–30–3Symbol delete vote.svg
1999–00UEFA Cup1PolandWidzew Łódź1–00–21–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2000–01UEFA Champions League1QRAzerbaijanShamkir FK2–11–43–5Symbol delete vote.svg
2001–02UEFA Champions League1QRLuxembourgF91 Dudelange0–16–16–2Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRPolandWisla Kraków0–11–21–3Symbol delete vote.svg
2002–03UEFA Champions League1QRWalesBarry Town F.C.1–05–06–0Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRBulgariaPFC Levski Sofia0–20–00–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2003–04UEFA Champions League1QRMaltaSliema Wanderers F.C.3–10–23–3 (a)Symbol delete vote.svg
2004–05UEFA Champions League1QRWalesRhyl F.C.4–03–17–1Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRTurkeyTrabzonspor0–31–11–4Symbol delete vote.svg
2005–06UEFA Champions League1QRRepublic of MacedoniaFK Rabotnički1–00–61–6Symbol delete vote.svg
2006–07UEFA Cup1QRLuxembourgJeunesse d'Esch3–02–05–0Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRNorwayMolde FK1–20–01–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2007–08UEFA Cup1QRBelarusDinamo Minsk0–21–11–3Symbol delete vote.svg
2009–10UEFA Europa League2QRRepublic of IrelandDerry City F.C1–10–11–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2010–11UEFA Europa League1QRNorthern IrelandPortadown F.C.0–11–11–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2011–12UEFA Champions League2QRPolandWisla Kraków0–10–20–3Symbol delete vote.svg
2012–13UEFA Europa League2QRCroatiaHajduk Split1–00–21–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2013–14UEFA Europa League1QRMoldovaFC Tiraspol0–11–01–1 (4–2 p.)Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRCzech RepublicSlovan Liberec2–10–12–2 (a)Symbol delete vote.svg
2014–15UEFA Europa League1Q

UEFA Team ranking 2012/13[edit]

297BulgariaPFC Beroe Stara Zagora3.450
298SerbiaFK Rad3.425
299LatviaSkonto FC3.408
300HungaryPaksi SE3.350
301SlovakiaDukla Banska Bystrica3.341


  1. ^ LFF: Skonto stadions
  2. ^ "KÍ maintain Faroe Islands monopoly". UEFA. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011. "European record, set by Latvia's Skonto FC between 1991 and 2004" 
  3. ^ "KÍ er føroyameistari" (in Faroese). 12 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. "KÍ-kvinnurnar settu eina tjúkka striku undir sítt 14. føroyameistaraheiti á rað, tá tær í dag vunnu 9-0 á ÍF í Fuglafirði." 
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]