With Gibraltar preparing to embark on their maiden UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign on Sunday, UEFA.com provides an introduction to football in the territory.
Gibraltar can lay claim to being UEFA's only senior national team to include three brothers in the same side – the Casciaros (Lee, Ryan and Kyle) have been part of set-up for many years. Though Lee, the eldest, missed much of last season with a knee injury, he looks set to return for his nation's opening UEFA EURO 2016 assignment against Poland. Kyle, the youngest of the three, scored Gibraltar's winner against Malta in June and, with it, etched his name into Gibraltarian football folklore. Furthermore, the Casciaros are also club-mates at Lincoln FC.
The Victoria Stadium is located in a unique place. With an airport runway to the north and the spectacular Rock serving as an unmistakable backdrop, it is a stunning venue to both play and to watch football.
Despite Gibraltar having a modest population of around 30,000, top-flight matches there attract impressive crowds who rarely fail to create a striking atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone, ensuring a repartee in the stands that can rarely be matched elsewhere across the continent. The natives can be relied on to be especially vocal when the national team are playing, ensuring an intimidating atmosphere for their visitors.
Formed in 1895, the Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) is one of the oldest in the world. Indeed the league in Gibraltar commenced in 1907, with the period between 1949 and 1955 often referred to as the 'golden era'. Revered professional outfits such as Real Madrid CF, Club Atlético de Madrid and FC Admira Wacker Mödling came to the Rock to take on the national side, who acquitted themselves well despite being made up exclusively of amateurs. History is now repeating itself, with the current crop of internationals preparing to take on Europe's elite.
There may only be eight teams in the Premier League, but 243 goals were scored in just 56 fixtures last term. An average of more than four a game means no shortage of entertainment for those in attendance.
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