An international match is a sporting encounter between two national teams . An international match can be either a friendly match or a competitive match in a league , tournament or qualification for such a match . In sports where competition does not consist of a game, one speaks of an international match instead of an international match . In the past, the term international match was also used in football.
Anyone who has played at least one international match can call themselves a national player in their country. The international matches of a player are counted and usually represent an important proof of performance.
There are also international matches between youth and junior teams in many sports. The international matches in the individual age groups are recorded separately, generally only the matches in the senior national team count as international matches.
International matches in football are the most important in terms of audience and media interest, especially in Europe and South America. They usually take place in large stadiums and are televised. Before the spread of television, international matches were reported in the newsreels . In most cases, recordings from this period that are now being shown on television are newsreel reports.
The first official international match in the history of football took place on November 30, 1872 at Hamilton Crescent near Glasgow , when a Scottish and an English selection led by Cuthbert Ottaway faced each other. The game, followed by around 4,000 spectators, ended in a 0-0 draw. It was not until almost 30 years later, on July 20, 1902, that the first official international match of two non-British national teams followed, and at the same time the first international match outside of Europe: Uruguay and Argentina met in Montevideo . The special situation in South America with few opponents resulted in the fact that this is the most frequent encounter at the country level. On October 12, 1902, the first official international match between two non-British European national teams followed: The game between an Austrian and a Hungarian team in Vienna ended 5-0, Jan Studnicka contributed three goals - the match between an Austrian and a Swiss Selection of April 8, 1901 is considered non-official. The first game officially recognized by a Swiss selection dates back to February 12, 1905, when a French selection won 1-0 in Paris . The first official international match in the history of German football on April 5, 1908 in Basel ended with a 3: 5 defeat for the German against the Swiss team - previously there had been 7 games that went down in history as the first international matches .
The first international match between a European and a non-European team took place on August 20, 1916 in Stockholm between Sweden and the USA and ended 3-2 for the USA. In 1920 the first game between a European and an African team took place, on August 28, 1920 Italy defeated the Egyptian team at the Olympic Games in Ghent 2-1. In 1924, the first games between Europe and South America took place during the Olympic Games. On May 26, 1924, Uruguay defeated Yugoslavia 7-0 in Paris.
While the first international match between Germany and Switzerland was still called a “friendly international match”, over the past few decades there have been repeated clashes between so-called fans at international matches. In 1969 riots in a World Cup qualifier sparked a war, the " football war " between Honduras and El Salvador .
There are now 13 players with at least 100 internationals in Germany , but in contrast to the DFB, FIFA only counts 96 and 98 A internationals for Hans-Jürgen Dörner and Joachim Streich . The record national player in men's football is Lothar Matthäus with 150 internationals, who was also the European record holder for several years. Until the mid-1960s, substitutions in football were only possible in friendly matches. Since the senior national team no longer took part in the Olympic Games after the Second World War , Uwe Seeler was the first player after the war to beat Paul Janes' pre-war record with his 72nd and last international match . Because every mission counts as an international match, even if it only lasted a few minutes, even average players have played many international matches since then. In addition, the European football championships have added more qualifying games and the political upheavals in the former Eastern Bloc have resulted in more games, as the European qualifying groups for the world and European championships grew larger from the 1990s. The South American qualification for the World Cup was also changed: if it was played in small groups up to the 1994 World Cup, since qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, all ten South American teams have competed against each other twice, so that up to 18 games per team are necessary, if none South American team is directly qualified as the organizer. However, the number of unofficial cup competitions (e.g. Taça do Atlântico ) in South America decreased.
For women there are even 25 players from the German national team who have at least 100 international matches , with the no longer active Birgit Prinz (214), Kerstin Stegemann (191), Ariane Hingst (174), Anja Mittag (158) and Bettina Wiegmann (154) Sixty-four, forty-one, twenty-four, eight and four more than Matthew. However, it must be taken into account that the senior national team for women - if they qualify for it - takes part in the Olympic Games, while for men it was amateur teams from the mid-50s to the 80s and then U23 teams, with which the women come to more tournaments. In addition, many women started their international career earlier in their first few years and were injured less often. The only active German national players with more than 100 internationals are currently Babett Peter , Lena Goeßling and Simone Laudehr , who was recently injured frequently.
In Austria, Andreas Herzog is the only man who has reached a three-digit number with 103 games. It is now surpassed by Nina Burger , who was the first Austrian to reach the 100 mark and currently has 105 international matches. In Switzerland, four players and four female players have now reached more than 100 international matches, the record holder is the no longer active Heinz Hermann with 117 games for men and Lara Dickenmann for women with 135 games.
For a long time, the world record holder for men was Mohammad ad-Daʿayyaʿ with 181 internationals , of which FIFA now only rates 178 games as A internationals. On February 29, 2012, the Egyptian Ahmed Hassan made his 179th of 184 games. In the women's category, the no longer active American Kristine Lilly is the sole record player with 354 appearances. The first player to reach 100 caps was Englishman Billy Wright . He set this mark on April 11, 1959 and remained the record holder until June 14, 1970 . In the women's field, Norwegian Gunn Nyborg is the first player to have known the date of their 100th international match (November 30, 1991).
- List of the first international football matches
- List of the first international women's football matches
- List of football players with at least 100 international matches
- List of female soccer players with at least 100 international matches
Fourteen countries have played more than 800 international matches, most (9) from Europe, three from South America and one each from North America and Asia:
- Sweden : 1036 (since July 12, 1908), 800th game on March 24, 2001
- Argentina : 999 to 1012, depending on the count (since July 20, 1902), 800th game on November 17, 2004 (according to RSSSF count) or February 9, 2005 (according to FIFA count)
- South Korea : 891 to 1001, depending on the count (since August 2, 1948), 800th game on September 11, 2012 (according to FIFA census)
- England : 989 (since November 30, 1872), 800th game on March 29, 2003
- Brazil : 980 to 1097, depending on the census (since September 20, 1914), 800th game on June 18, 2006 (according to FIFA census)
- Germany : 949 (since April 5, 1908), 800th game on March 26th 2008
- Hungary : 904 to 953, depending on the count (since October 12, 1902), 800th game on September 3, 2005 (according to association census) or November 17, 2007 (according to FIFA census)
- Mexico : 850 or 910, depending on the census (since January 1, 1923 according to the association census or May 30, 1928 according to the FIFA census), 800th game on July 26, 2015 (according to the FIFA census)
- Uruguay : 899 to 907, depending on the count (since July 20, 1902), 800th game on March 29, 2011 (according to FIFA census)
- France : 847 (since May 1, 1904), 800th game on October 8, 2015
- Denmark : 841 (since October 19, 1908), 800th game on November 18, 2014
- Norway : 837 (since July 12, 1908), 800th game on November 12, 2014
- Poland : 825 to 858, depending on the count (since December 18, 1921), 800th game on June 25, 2016
- Italy : 812 (since May 15, 1910), 800th game on October 6, 2017
Four teams have managed to score at least 2000 goals so far (without goals on penalties, but including own goals by the opponent):
- 1. England on November 15, 2011 (currently: 2156, 2.18 per game)
- 2. Brazil on March 5, 2014 (currently: 2121, 2.18 per game)
- 3. Germany on July 8, 2014 (currently: 2123, 2.24 per game)
- 4. Sweden on September 4, 2014 (currently: 2086, 2.01 per game)
In the women's field, since the first international match recognized by FIFA on 17 April 1971, fifteen countries have played at least 300 games:
- United States : 641 (since August 18, 1985), 300th game on July 13, 2003 (according to association census)
- People's Republic of China : 575 and 586 (since July 20, 1986), 300th game on August 27, 2006 (according to FIFA census)
- Sweden : 509 to 526, depending on the count (since August 25, 1973), 300th game on August 11, 2004 (according to association census )
- Norway : 501 to 505, depending on the count (since July 7, 1978), 300th game on March 9, 2005 (according to FIFA census) or May 31, 2005 (according to association census)
- Germany : 459 (since November 10, 1982), 300th game on October 28, 2007
- Denmark : 448 and 450 (since July 27, 1974), 300th match on March 7, 2008 (according to FIFA census) and March 12, 2008 (according to association census)
- France : 428 or 437, depending on the count (since April 17, 1971), 300th game on June 15, 2011 (according to association census) or June 30, 2011 (according to FIFA census)
- Italy : 406 according to FIFA counts / 465 games according to RSSSF count (since November 28, 1971), 300th game on March 8, 2006 (according to RSSSF count) and March 31, 2010 (according to FIFA count)
- Netherlands : 405 and 409 (since April 17, 1971), 300th game on November 24, 2011 (according to FIFA census)
- Canada : 384 (since July 7, 1986), 300th game on March 11, 2013
- England : 387 and 378 according to FIFA census (since June 2, 1971), 300th match on July 12, 2013 (according to FIFA census)
- Japan : 372 by FIFA census (since September 6, 1981), 300th game on May 14, 2014
- Australia : 361, including matches that were not considered by FIFA, e.g. B. at continental championships against non-FIFA members (since August 25, 1975), 300th game on March 9, 2015 (based on FIFA census)
- Finland : 358 by FIFA counting / 359 by RSSSF counting (since July 26, 1974), 300th game on July 10, 2013
- Scotland : 328 , (since November 18, 1973), 300th game on June 7, 2016
(As of October 17, 2018)
Five teams have so far managed to score at least 1000 goals (excluding goals on penalties, but including own goals by the opponent):
- USA on February 3, 2004 (currently: 1937, 3.02 per game)
- China on July 15, 2009 (currently: 1292, 2.20 per game)
- Germany on February 15, 2012 (currently: 1324, 2.88 per game)
- Sweden on April 5, 2014 (currently: 1141, 2.17 per game)
- Norway on June 18, 2014 (currently: 1131, 2.24 per game)
Most common pairings
The most common encounters took place between neighbors:
- Argentina - Uruguay : 204 games (including 183 official games) between 1901 and 2017
- Austria - Hungary : 137 games between 1902 and 2016
- Belgium - Netherlands : 127 games between 1905 and 2018
- England v Scotland : 114 games between 1872 and 2017
- Scotland - Wales : 107 games between 1876 and 2015 (most common pairing between 2 countries without a common land border)
- Argentina - Brazil : 107 games (105 of which were counted by FIFA) between 1914 and 2018
- Sweden v Norway : 107 games between 1908 and 2017
- Denmark v Sweden: 106 (107) matches between 1913 and 2018
- England v Wales : 102 games between 1879 and 2016
- England - Ireland (until 1920) / Northern Ireland (from 1921): 98 games between 1882 and 2005, including 35 against Ireland before 1921
- Argentina - Paraguay 99 games (97 of which were counted by FIFA) between 1919 and 2016
Germany played most often against Switzerland (51 games), Switzerland most often against Italy (58 games). This is the most common pairing for Italy as well.
For women, Canada and the USA have so far met each other most frequently (60 games). The most common pairing in Europe is Denmark against Sweden (55 games, also a game rated for Sweden in qualifying for the 2019 World Cup, as the Danes did not play). The most frequent opponent of the German women is Norway (40 games), the Swiss women played most often (24 games plus 2 games with uncertain status) against Italy , the Austrians , like their male colleagues, played most of the games (14) against Hungary .
Most intercontinental comparisons were made between Brazil and Mexico for men (36 and 40, depending on the count) and between the United States and China for women (58). Brazil also played the most games against teams from other confederations: 313 (= highest number of a country against teams from another confederation) against European teams, 87 against CONCACAF teams, 34 against African teams, 41 against AFC teams, ten against OFC teams and one against Israel when it was not part of a confederation, d. H. 486 of 974 games, almost 50% of its games. Australia played the largest proportion of its games against teams from other confederations: 325 of 515 games = 63.1%.
In the list of the highest international game victories there are a noticeable number of games against Pacific island states. A team has scored more than 20 goals in 14 FIFA-recognized games. The highest result in which the defeated opponent scored a goal is 1:17 between France and Denmark at the 1908 Olympic Games .
- Australia - American Samoa 31-0 ( Coffs Harbor , Australia ; April 11, 2001, see international football match Australia - American Samoa 2001 )
- Tahiti - Cook Islands 30: 0 ( Papeete , Tahiti ; September 2, 1971)
- Fiji - Kiribati 24: 0 ( Suva , Fiji ; 24 August 1979)
- North Korea (Women) - Singapore (Women) 24-0 ( Taipei , Taiwan ; December 6, 2001)
- Australia 22-0 Tonga (Coffs Harbor, Australia; April 9, 2001)
- Libya - Oman 21: 0 ( Baghdad , Iraq ; April 1, 1966)
- China (Women) - Philippines (Women) 21-0 ( Kota Kinabalu , Malaysia ; September 24, 1995)
- Japan (Women) 21-0 Guam (Women) ( Panyu , China ; Dec 5, 1997)
- Canada (Women) 21-0 Puerto Rico (Women) ( Etobicoke , Canada ; Aug 28, 1998)
- New Zealand (Women) 21-0 Samoa (Women) ( Auckland , New Zealand ; October 9, 1998)
- Australia women v American Samoa women 21-0 ( Auckland , New Zealand ; October 9, 1998)
- North Korea - Guam 21: 0 (Taipei, Taiwan; March 11, 2005)
- Cuba (Women) v British Virgin Islands (Women) 21-0 ( Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic ; October 3, 2007)
- Jordan (Women) - Kuwait (Women) 21-0 ( Amman , Jordan ; June 7, 2013)
The first international match in handball history took place on September 13, 1925 in Halle (Saale) . The field handball game between the two men's teams from Germany and Austria ended 3: 6 for Austria.
Almost exactly five years later, on September 7, 1930, the first German women's international match was played. As with the men, Germany and Austria faced each other this time too . Austria also won this field handball game held in Prague (4: 5).
In rugby, international matches are usually referred to as tests . In contrast to many other sports, but similar to cricket, in rugby not only games with national teams are counted as international matches, but also games from recognized multinational selections. In rugby union, the British and Irish Lions represent the associations of Great Britain and Ireland and the Pacific Islanders represent five Pacific island states.
- The record was reported by FIFA on March 1st  , according to an Egyptian source it was his 180th international match. 
- In the rsssf statistics (as of June 14, 2016) 93 games are counted, but 3 are also characterized as unsafe. 
- contrast to FIFA and DBU, the Swedish Association counts the game on January 31, 2000 in La Manga
- DHB.de, Milestones in the sport of handball from 1908 to 2003 ( Memento of the original from January 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.