Northern Ireland: Euro 2016


Population: 1,810,863 (2011 census)

Language: English, Irish, Uslter Scots

Symbols: Cross of St. Patrick

Capital: Belfast

National Anthem: God Save the Queen

Highest FIFA Ranking: 26

Lowest FIFA Ranking: 129

Current FIFA Ranking: 26

First International: 13-0 loss to England, February 1882

The drought is finally over. In October 2015, Northern Ireland finally qualified for its first ever UEFA European Championship. After winning 3-1 against Greece, Northern Ireland won their group outright.

Now at their highest FIFA rank of 26, Northern Ireland is fielding what is possibly their best team in the last 50 years, if not all time. However, what is most surprising is that none of their players would be classified as superstars. Most do not even compete in top division leagues. Their arguably “best” player would probably be Kyle Lafferty, the 28-year-old forward for Birmingham City. Lafferty has scored the second most goals in Northern Irish history, netting 16 goals in 49 caps.

For the group stages of the tournament, Northern Ireland has been placed in Group C, along with Germany, Ukraine, and Poland. While the German squad is certainly the favorite at FIFA rank 5, Northern Ireland certainly has more than a fighting chance against the other two. Ukraine is ranked 22, and Poland is at 27, just below Northern Ireland. It will be interesting to see how they fair in this competitive group. If they can earn a tough second place, or even a competitive third place, then Northern Ireland can advance to the Round of 16.


Michael O’Neill


Roy Carroll (Notts County)
Michael McGovern (Hamilton Academmical)
Alan Mannus (St. Johnstone)


Aaron Hughes (Melbourne City)
Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion)
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion)
Craig Cathcart (Watford)
Lee Hodson (Milton Keynes Dons)
Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town)
Daniel Lafferty (Burnley)
Luke McCullough (Doncaster Rovers)
Paddy McNair (Manchester United)
Michael Smith (Peterborough United)


Steven Davis (Southhampton)
Niall McGinn (Aberdeen)
Oliver Norwood (Reading)
Shane Ferguson (Millwall)
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United)
Paul Paton (Dundee United)


Kyle Lafferty (Birmingham City)
Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest)
Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock)
Bill Mckay (Dundee Unnited)
Liam Boyce (Ross County)
Conor Washington (Queens Park Rangers)

Association History

Performance History

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Works Cited:

How to cite this page:

“Northern Ireland: Euro 2016” by Kevin Rhine (2016), European Cup 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University,, (accessed on (date))