30-goal drubbings and awesome club names: why Estonia is the greatest footballing nation on Earth

Why Estonia is the greatest footballing nation on Earth

01/07/2015 at 14:27Updated 01/07/2015 at 14:49

England may be the most profitable, Germany the best-run and Spain the biggest hotbed of talent, but Estonia is truly where it's at.

You may have encountered a story a couple of weeks ago concerning a team which defeated another 36-0 in a cup match.

That match was in Estonia. The rampant victors were FC Infonet, based in capital city Tallinn. The hapless opponents were Virtsu Jalgpalliklubi. You'll forgive us if we refer to them as 'Virtsu' from now on, right?

Now, it's easy to spot that story and just assume these things are not only rare, but happen in random under-developed footballing nations. For instance, in 2002 the world record was set at 149-0 as AS Adema absolutely maimed Stade Olympique I'Emyrne 149-0 in Madagascar. That said, all 149 were own-goals, in protest over controversy in a previous match.

However, Estonia gets a lot of this. And it's all legit, seemingly.

In fact, this week that 36-0 scoreline was almost matched as Paide Linnameeskond went 19-0 up against JK Raudteetoolised in the cup - they were on course to best Infonet's result, but only put away a miserly 12 in the second half to win 31-0.

At least the defeated JK players had a sense of humour and posed in front of the scoreboard after the match (see top).

According to Reuters, there were 70 (!) goals in three matches when Infonet went to town on Virtsu. Kuressaare won 20-0 against Rapla Lokomotiv. Trans Narva, meanwhile, probably got the same 'banter' from rivals that Chelsea would get for 'only' beating Grimsby Town by one or two after they stuck just 14 past Eestimaa Kasakad.

Think it's worth following the action in Estonia just for the goals? How about this - they have clubs with names such as 'Joker' (they play today against 'Batman' - just kidding, it's against Kuusalu JK Rada), 'Moe FC' (mere 1-0 losers to Lelle) and 'Ice Bears' (battered 10-1 by Taaksi).

I guess many self-respecting football fans will stand firm and insist that places such as England, Italy, Spain and Brazil are far better countries to track for quality football and big news.

But let's face it: once you've learned all of the above about the hotbed of hilarity that is Estonia, you're going to start paying a little more attention to them on live score websites.