San Marino football, the smallest recognized soccer nation, has a record of one win, two draws, and 106 loses in 22 years of official competition. The team has not scored a goal since 2008, and over 22 years they have only scored 17 goals, and have had 468 goals scored against the team. They are ranked 203rd, tied for last place with American Somoa, Andorra and Montserrat. Much of the team has the mentality that every game they set out to lose by as few goals as possible, other team members begin every game by reminding themselves that the score always starts 0-0. It is difficult for this team to have success, their coach is not paid, only reimbursed for travel expenses, and the team only carries three professional players. The team does have a few things to their name, Gualtieri scored a goal against England eight seconds after the game began, holding the record for the fastest goal scored in World Cup qualifying history. San Marino states that they are trying to develop their youth athletes into better football players because they refuse to give citizenship to foreign players. The president of the football club states that their main goal is to demonstrate dignity.
Most of the athletes have a career, and football comes second in their life. I see the benefits of playing England, and the Dutch team, but I am also wondering if they should be playing at a different level. Most other teams in Europe that they play against have football as their everything, they do not have to worry about having a career, football is their career. I believe the San Marino team should play on a different level because they do not take football as seriously as their competitors.