Man Screaming with Luxembourg Flag Painted on Face

Which Countries Have Never Qualified For The Euros?

In its early years, qualifying for the European Championships was an extremely challenging task as there was only room for a mere four teams in the first five finals. This number has increased over the years however, doubling to 8 in 1960, then again to 16 in 1996 before reaching the current total of 24 during for Euro 2016.

Thanks to this continued expansion, the number of nations that have experienced the finals of the tournament is a lot higher than it would have been otherwise. There is also an additional qualification route now with four teams able to book their place in the final courtesy of the Nations League.

With UEFA featuring 55 full member associates, this means that nearly half of the footballing continent qualifies for the present-day European championship finals. Despite this, there are still a large number of countries that have never successfully navigated their way through qualifying. In some cases, they have not come remotely close either, although in fairness many of the nations on our list are newer ones, formed following the break up of larger countries such as the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia.

In this article we take a look at all the nations still lacking European Championship involvement of any kind. You might call it a list of the worst sides in Europe but we are far too kind to label it that way!

Countries By Number of Qualification Attempts

Country Number of Attempts
Luxembourg 15
Cyprus 14
Malta 14
Faroe Islands 8
San Marino 8
Armenia 7
Azerbaijan 7
Belarus 7
Estonia 7
Georgia 7
Israel 7
Liechtenstein 7
Lithuania 7
Moldova 7
Andorra 6
Bosnia and Herzegovina 6
Kazakhstan 4
Serbia 4*
Montenegro 3
Gibraltar 2
Kosovo 1

Fifteen Attempts

Luxembourg Ball


For many decades, Luxembourg have been one of those teams you expect to be easily brushed to one side by even half-decent opposition. For Euro 2000 and 2004 qualification Les Lions Rouges didn’t manage to earn a single point from a combined 16 matches. In fact, during the latter they didn’t even manage to score a single goal. Although firmly one of the worst nations on the continent back then, Luxembourg have improved noticeably since. In the 2020-21 Nations League they won half of their six games and later they went on to beat Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier, a major embarrassment for the Irish. Further improvements would be needed for Luxembourg to ever reach the Euro finals but never say never for this small nation.

Fourteen Attempts

Cyprus Ball


Cyprus have been attempting to book a place in the European Championships since back in 1968 but so far it has proved an impossible task. In more recent efforts they have seldom disgraced themselves but still looked a tier or two below the required level. They do deserve a special mention for their attempt to qualify for Euro 2000 though. An opening game win over a top class Spain team, who went on to win their remaining 7 games with a +36 goal difference, put them in with a real shot. Ultimately they missed out though and ended up finishing a point shy of second spot.


There is little fun in being a supporter of the Malta national football team. The Mediterranean island holds the record for the longest continuous run of finishing rock bottom in their Euro qualifying group. They started off, in 1964, losing in the preliminary round 9-2 (before group stages existed) and then did not feature in the 1968 edition. Every tournament since then, Malta has been unable to avoid finishing last in their group. It is a horrible run they almost put to bed in 2020 but they missed out on the relative glory of fifth place due to an inferior head-to-head away goals record versus Faroe Island who had also amassed three points.

Eight Attempts

San Marino Ball

Faroe Islands

Having Faroe Islands drawn in your Euro qualifying group usually means two things. A rather unique away day and two victories. We will save talk of their landscape for another time but in terms of football, the tiny nation island have lost 65 of their 78 qualification bouts. This is unsurprising given their geographic isolation and tiny population of fewer than 50,000. Realistically, their only goal should be not to finish rock bottom of their qualifying group. This is something they managed in 2020 and very surprisingly in 2016 when former champions Greece finished beneath them.

San Marino

San Marino’s inclusion on our list is not a shock to anyone who has seen the La Serenissima play before. Prior to Euro 2021, their last victory against another nation, of any kind, was all the way back in 2004 when they narrowly edged past Liechtenstein 1-0. Indeed, as said, that remains their only victory! Their history since then has mainly consisted of heavy defeats with the likes of Germany, Poland, Netherlands and Croatia all able to knock double figures past them. Given their absolutely tiny population (approximately tied with Gibraltar at the bottom of UEFA members) it is hard to see their situation ever really improving.

Seven Attempts

Armenia Ball


Unlike many of the small footballing nations on our list, Armenia have at least had the benefit of having one star man in their squad. Making his first national appearance in 2007, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has played over 80 times for his country, easily becoming their all-time leading goalscorer in the process. The former Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Arsenal midfielder has been a major asset to his country but he alone has been unable to get Armenia into a major competition. The closest they came was in 2012 when their hopes of clinching a play-off spot boiled down to their final group stage game, but they lost 2-1 to Ireland who they trailed by a point before kick off.


Since being an independent nation (from 1991 onwards), Azerbaijan have enjoyed little success on the footballing stage. In seven attempts at qualifying for the European Championships, second from last in the group is their best achievement. During this time, they have recorded a goal difference of -123 such has been the consistency of their poor showing. They did host the 2019 Europa League final, in Baku, and the city will also host games at Euro 2020, but there is little chance of them ever qualifying as Euros host given they only have one stadium with a capacity 35,000.


Belarus have never really been in contention for a Euros final spot, at least via the traditional group stage system. Through this, the best they have managed is fourth, doing so on four separate occasions. While far from a laughing stock, the Belarussian have long struggled to reach the next level required for a serious charge. The creation of the Nations League however put them within touching distance of a first ever showing at the 2020 Euros (ultimately played in 2021). Securing a play-off spot via this new means, Belarus only needed to beat two opponents but they fell at the first of the two final hurdles, losing 1-0 to Georgia.


If any country on this list can provide hope to the rest of the minnows, then perhaps it is Estonia. Their first qualifying campaign for Euro 1996 saw them lose every single game, a truly disastrous way to announce your first major UEFA involvement. Things improved after this, albeit not radically, with the Estonians at least able to avoid finishing last on the next three occasions. Then, for Euro 2012, seemingly out of nowhere, they mounted an unexpectedly strong charge. A genuinely impressive qualifying display saw Estonia beat Serbia and Slovenia to second spot. Unfortunately though, this was only good enough for a play-off berth and they lost their two-legged play-off clash 5-1 on aggregate. Despite the knockout defeat, it goes to show how sometimes these small countries are able to surprise us and steadily make progress as they adjust to international football.


Sporting their old wine-red flag, Georgia made a strong footballing start to life as an independent country. Five wins and five defeats saw the Georgians register a third-place finish in their Euro qualification group, an achievement they have failed to match or better since. In addition, they have had some fine players over the years such as Kakha Kaladze, Shota Arveladze and Georgi Kinkladze. Although hampered by a very noticeable decline from this point, Georgia were just 90 minutes from a Euro 2020 spot courtesy of the Nations League. They only needed to see off North Macedonia in an empty Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena but they were ultimately foiled by a sole Gordan Pandev goal.


Along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel are the other nation that has made it to the World Cup but not a European Championship. Their place on the world stage came in 1970 when they were the sole AFC representative (as opposed to UEFA). It is important to note that in Israel’s case they only became a UEFA member in 1990. As a result, they have had fewer attempts to qualify than some other nations on our list (seven up to 2020). They were just one play-off game from qualifying for Euro 2000 but embarrassingly lost 8-0 on aggregate to a Denmark side that only scored 11 times during their eight group stage matches.


Along with the likes of San Marino and Gibraltar, Liechtenstein are one of the countries we would consider to be without any hope of ever making a Euro finals appearance. Indeed, this tiny Principality has the unwanted honour of being the only team ever to lose to San Marino! In their last three qualifying attempts (2012, 2016, 2020), they have only managed to score an average of 2.33 goals during the entire group stage. Additionally, they have always been ranked outside the top 115 teams in the world, consistently among the lowest of UEFA members.


It has all rather gone downhill for Lithuania following their first attempt at qualifying for the continent’s best summer tournament. During their 1996 Euros qualifying campaign, the Baltic nation amassed a credible 16 points from 10 qualifying games, enough to secure third in the group. During this period, they were officially ranked as one of the top 50 nations in the world. This is the best they have reached since though with the Rinktine suffering a noticeable decline in recent years. Reaching a new low ahead of Euro 2020, they amassed just a single point for qualifying as their global ranked stayed close to 130th.


At this stage Moldova have a better record in the Eurovision Song Contest than they do in European Championship qualification. Even during the 2012 qualifiers, which is arguably their best effort so far, they only managed 12 points from 12 contests. With their strongest offering borderline relegation form in many domestic leagues, Moldova need massive improvements if they are to stand any real chance of featuring among Europe’s elites.

Six Attempts

Andorra Ball


It should be no shock to see minnows Andorra, population 77,000, present on our list. The tiny nation wedged between Spain and France does not have a rich footballing past despite their neighbours’ success. With limited resources and a small talent pool, they are one of the countries with no realistic hopes of ever qualifying for the European Championships. This is unless UEFA loses the plot completely and decides to allow even more nations into the finals. The only positive thing we can say about Andorra is that in 2020 they managed not to finish bottom of their group for the first time. Their total of 4 points was enough to see them beat Moldova to sixth place.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia are one of the stronger sides and undoubtedly the unluckiest one to feature on our list, and one of just two nations that have managed to qualify for the finals of a World Cup but not the Euros. Despite being able to feature on the world stage, a significantly harder task, European Championship qualification has continually proved out of their reach. In 2012, 2016 and 2020 they managed to secure a play-off spot (in 2020 doing so via the Nations League rather than traditional qualification) but stumbled at this stage each time. Given their track record though, it seems only a matter of time before Bosnia do put this rather cursed record behind them.

Four Attempts

Kazakhstan ball


Kazakhstan is the most populous nation to feature within this list, featuring close to 20m inhabitants, most of whom do not match the Borat sterotype! Around a third of this number consists of people under the age of 20, so the world’s largest landlocked country has the potential for some improvements if they devote some time and effort into grass roots football. As a nation not gripped by footballing fever though, this is something not too likely to happen. Without this, they will struggle to qualify for the Euros given they have not managed to finish better than fifth in the qualifying group stages before.


FIFA considers Serbia to be the direct successor to both Yugoslavia, and Serbia and Montenegro, so they hold the records of both these now no longer extant nations. This means that Serbia are considered to have participated in several European Championships before. As modern-day Serbia however (2008 onwards) they are still yet to qualify despite several credible efforts. In 2020, they were a mere penalty shootout away from being involved but Aleksander Mitrovic saw his decisive attempt saved by Scotland’s David Marshall. Serbia may well be the best side without Euros qualification to their credit and they will certainly be in with a chance in the years ahead.

Three Attempts

Montenegro Ball


As with Estonia, Montenegro can consider themselves unlucky that their second-place finish in the group stage didn’t result in Euros qualification in 2012. The Brave Falcons made the mistake of finishing runner-up one tournament too early. Had they waited until 2016, automatic promotion would have been theirs. As it was though, for 2012, finishing second was only enough for a winner takes all play-off clash with Czech Republic which they lost 3-0. None the less, Montenegro remain one of the better sides yet to feature at a Euros final and 2024 could be the tournament for them.

Two Attempts

Gibraltar Ball


It is going to be an extremely long time, if ever, that we see Gibraltar playing on Europe’s biggest stage. In their two qualification efforts so far, the British overseas territory have been unable to register even a single point. This should not be considered an embarrassment for ‘The Rock’ however as they are a nation with just one domestic football league and a population of under 40,000.

One Attempt

Kosovo Ball


We have had to include Kosovo here but in their defence, they are the newest nation on our list and have only been a UEFA member since 2016. Having only had one shot of qualification so far, never qualifying for the Euro finals is hardly anything to be ashamed about. They will take confidence from their first attempt too as they secured a third-place group finish and secured a play-off spot via the Nations League. It was here where they narrowly lost 2-1 to North Macedonia who themselves went on to qualify for the first ever time in their history.