Estonia have never made it to a FIFA World Cup™ finals and their attempts to reach Germany 2006 ended in accustomed disappointment . However their campaign was a considerable improvement on four years earlier and they finished only six points behind Slovakia who were in second place.
They had no trouble putting points on the board against the group strugglers but their failure to get closer to the main protagonists could be traced to their struggles in head-to-head combat with them. A 1-1 draw against Russia in Tallinn was a notable result but it was the only time they took points off that team, Slovakia and Portugal, the three sides above them.
In the qualifying round for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan tournament, the Baltic team finished fourth in their group, with eight points from their two wins over Andorra and two draws with Cyprus. That compares with their haul of 17 points from 12 games four years later.The Estonians also scored eight points in the qualifying competition for EURO 2004, earning fourth place out of five in their group after defeating last-placed Andorra twice.
The optimism that surrounded the squad after their 2006 campaign had evaporated by the time the qualifiers for the UEFA EURO 2008 had reached the mid-point stage and it led to the departure of Dutch coach Jelle Goes. The first seven games all ended in defeat and the misery was compounded by the fact that Estonia could not manage a single goal in any of those matches. It is often a struggle for this small nation who have been on a downward slide in the FIFA Coca Cola World Rankings for the last two years but with former Denmark international Viggo Jensen in charge, they will hope that the fight to claim a place at 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa yields more success.