San Marino, whom FIFA ranked as the world’s worst-ranked nation, made history on Monday against Finland by scoring in their third competitive game.
Indeed, the small enclave in north central Italy has now played 206 international games, losing all but 10 of those. Indeed, they have only ever won one game – a 1-0 friendly victory over Liechtenstein back in 2004.
San Marino have scored just 31 goals in their 37-year existence and conceded 834 in return. They have shipped 10 on seven occasions, and have lost by four or more goals some 99 times.
Which is why when La Serenissima do score, it is a moment to savour.
Against Finland, San Marino netted for the third game in succession with the goals sending the entire team into pandemonium.
With Finland leading 2-0, Filippo Berardi stepped up to take a 97-minute penalty for San Marino. Berardi kept his composure to cooly send the keeper the wrong way to score.
While it was merely a consolation goal, the San Marino players flocked to celebrate with the winger, including the entire bench, who jubilantly galloped onto the pitch in celebration.
While it was inconsequential for their standings it was a moment of joy that represented a small slice of history for the nation.
And the country’s pride is best encapsulated by the series of tweets sent out by San Marino Fan Account on X.
Upon the penalty, the account said: “PENALTY SAN MARINO PENALTY SAN MARINO”, followed by: “THREE GOALS IN A ROW INCOMING?????? PLEASE.”
When Berardi found the net it excitedly tweeted out a random sprawl of letters before adding: “WE WRITE HISTORY BY SCORING THREE MATCHES IN A ROW.”
Next, the account said: “WE F****NG DID IT WE F****NG DID IT WE F****NG DID IT WE F****NG DID IT.” and “I AM SO F****NG PROUD”.
Berardi rounded off the Tweets by adding: “OUR MAN OF GLASS FILIPPO BERARDI MAKING THE NATION PROUD I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.”
Next up on the bucket list for San Marino would be to claim a competitive victory or point.
They have only ever picked up three points in a combined 152 competitive qualifiers, while they once went 3,853 days without avoiding a defeat.
But for a team that has managed to go a whole year without scoring on 14 occasions, three goals in succession is a moment to savour.