Firstly a few facts about San Marino’s national football team. They are ranked 208th (of 208) in the FIFA World Rankings – tied with Bhutan. Now the FIFA World Rankings are often about as well-judged as a Paul Scholes tackle, however they have it pretty much nailed on in this instance. San Marino have played 123 matches since making their competitive bow in 1990. They have won just once – a friendly against Liechtenstein in April 2004. They’ve drawn three other games meaning their loss rate is a whopping 97 per cent.
Yet even just the one win in 24 years isn’t stopping punters having a piece of San Marino making history at Wembley tonight. The crazy fools.
- 13 punters have backed there to be no goalscorer at odds of 375/1
Now say what you like about San Marino, they offer entertainment. In their 123 games there have been 551 goals – an average of almost 4.5 goals a game. Fantastic if you’re a goal-fest-loving neutral. Not so good if you’re one of these 13 punters or a San Marino defender. The 0-0 draw with Turkey in March 1993 was the only time San Marino have featured in a game where there have been no goals, making this punt absolutely ridiculous.
- 11 punters have backed San Marino to win 2-0 at odds of 500/1
San Marino to win is optimistic enough. To win to nil is even crazier considering they’ve conceded in 98.3 per cent of their matches since 1990. To win 2-0 is just barmy. In just tow of their 123 games have San Marino managed more than a single goal – a 3-2 defeat at home to Malta in August 2012 and a 2-2 draw with Liectenstein in 2003. San Marino have failed to score in 54 of their 59 away matches (that’s 91.5 per cent), however they did find the net against England at home famously in 1993. David Gualtieri’s goal after 8.3 seconds against the Three Lions was the fastest ever goal in the history of the World Cup. Still, a bananas bet.
- One punter has backed Matteo Vitaioli to score first and San Marino to win 1-0 at odds of 2000/1
WOW! We reveal the careers of the San Marino starting XI tonight, amazing! pic.twitter.com/HyyqQBQyqQ
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) October 9, 2014
We’ve pretty much covered how ridiculous it would be for San Marino to a) keep a clean sheet, b) score, c) keep a clean sheet, but combining all of that and throwing in the name of the goalscorer is the cherry on top. A brief search of the internet tells me Matteo Vitaioli is 24 years old, and has racked up 32 caps for his country. He’s bagged as many international goals as the Paddy Power Blog team (none) and plays for club side Sammaurese. By day he works in a factory, and we’re taking a guess that he’s probably a pretty sound guy (although maybe not a wizard). That’s all we’ve got I’m afraid.
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