Estonia Meistriliiga football league
The Meistriliiga (known for its sponsorship as A. Le Coq Premium Liiga) is the highest division of the Estonian Football Association's annual football championship. The league was founded in 1992 and is semi-professional. Amateur clubs are allowed to participate.
As in most low temperature winter countries, the season starts in March and ends in November. The Meistriliiga consists of ten clubs, all teams play four times against each other. After each season, the lowest team descends and the penultimate plays a two-legged playoff for a place in the Meistriliiga.
In February 2013, A. Le Coq, an Estonian brewery, signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the Estonian Football Association, which included the Meistriliiga's naming rights.
The Estonian national football team (Estonian: Eesti jalgpallikoondis) represents Estonia at international football matches and is controlled by the Estonian Football Association, the umbrella organization for football in Estonia. Estonia's home stadium is the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn.
Estonia's first game took place against Finland in 1920 and was a 0-6 defeat. The team participated in the 1924 Olympic Games, their only participation. In 1940, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and only in 1991, the independence (and the possibility of a national football team) back. Estonia's first FIFA-recognized game as an independent nation after the collapse of the Soviet Union took place against Slovenia on June 3, 1992, a 1-1 draw in the Estonian capital Tallinn.
Estonia have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. However, the team have reached the UEFA Euro 2012 play-offs by finishing second in their qualifying group before being defeated by Ireland in the play-off duel that became 2011 Annus Mirabilis of Estonian football.
Estonia also participated in the local subregional Baltic Cup Championship, which takes place every two years between the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Estonia has won the Baltic Cup tournament three times - most recently in 1938 - making it the least populated of the three Baltic states.
Martin Reim holds the record for the most internationals of a national player with 157 international matches, which held the European record from 2009 to November this year. Andres Oper holds the record for most goals at 38.
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