Biggest wins in men’s international football: Where does France 14-0 Gibraltar rank in all-time list?

France achieved their most significant victory in history by defeating Gibraltar 14-0 in Euro 2024 qualifying on November 18, 2023.

Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick against a side that was reduced to 10 men in the 18th minute following Ethan Santos’ red card.

Teenage debutant Warren Zaire-Emery was also on the scoresheet as the 2018 World Cup winners produced an utterly ruthless showing against the European minnows, who endured their heaviest ever defeat.

France had already qualified for Euro 2024 as winners of Group B but that didn’t stop them taking their foot off the gas in this one. Indeed, their performance has only underlined why they are one of the favourites to win the tournament next year.

But where did this victory rank in the all-time list of the biggest wins in men’s international football? The Sporting News takes a look back at some of the most one-sided contests in history.

MORE: Who has qualified for Euro 2024?

What are the biggest wins in men’s international football?

Australia 31-0 American Samoa (2001)

In a 2002 World Cup qualifier six hours north of Sydney, a record-breaking performance took place that seems destined to stand the test of time. Archie Thompson, new to international football at that point, scored an astonishing 13 goals, setting an individual FIFA World Cup scoring record that appears unbeatable. The match ended with a staggering scoreline of 31-0 in favour of Australia against American Samoa. 

The game marked a pivotal moment for Australia, seeking redemption after a disappointing World Cup qualification attempt four years prior, while American Samoa navigated their first-ever World Cup qualifier with limited resources and experience. Passport issues meant the vast majority of their usual squad was not even available for the match.

It led to changes in the Oceania region: preliminary rounds were introduced to the qualification cycle for 2006 to avoid such one-sided matchups, while Australia were moved to the Asian Football Confederation so they could compete against teams of a similar standard.

Tahiti 30-0 Cook Islands (1971)

The second entry on the list is a 1971 triumph for Tahiti against the Cook Islands, witnessing an impressive 30 goals scored without a response.

It’s worth noting that this match occurred before either nation became a part of FIFA. Subsequently, in their following two matches, the Cook Islands demonstrated a modest improvement by suffering losses of 16-1 and 15-1, respectively.

Australia 22-0 Tonga (2001)

Incredibly, Australia managed to score 54 goals in two matches in the space of three days back in World Cup qualifying in 2001.

Their 22-0 win over Tonga set the record for the largest winning margin in a FIFA-observed international game. Two days later, the Socceroos faced American Samoa. You now know the rest.

North Korea 21-0 Guam (2005)

North Korea secured a spot in history by effortlessly overcoming Guam.

In the 2005 East Asian Football Championship, the small island nation found themselves in a one-sided contest with the host nation. Kwang-Hyok Kim dominated with seven goals, while four other players achieved hat-tricks.

Kuwait 20-0 Bhutan (2000)

Kuwait pulled off a fine display in an Asian Cup qualifier against Bhutan. Seven different players found their name on the scoresheet, with Jasem Al-Huwaid netting five and Bashar Abdullah hitting eight. Even the goalkeeper got in on the action, stepping up to score a penalty late in the second half.

France 14-0 Gibraltar (2023)

In a quite remarkable Euro 2024 qualifying match, France secured their largest-ever victory by overwhelming 10-man Gibraltar. Although they were already qualified for the tournament in Germany, Les Bleus displayed no mercy.

Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick, which featured a remarkable 40-yard strike, and seventeen-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery became France’s youngest player since 1914 to mark his debut with a goal. The first half saw seven different scorers.

Despite Gibraltar’s Ethan Santos’ early own goal and a red card, France relentlessly attacked and managed 39 shots in the match.

All-time biggest international wins in men’s football

Game Year
Australia 31-0 American Samoa 2001
Tahiti 30-0 Cook Islands 1971
Australia 22-0 Tonga 2001
North Korea 21-0 Guam 2005
Kuwait 20-0 Bhutan 2000
France 14-0 Gibraltar 2023
Germany 13-0 San Marino 2006
Netherlands 11-0 San Marino 2011
New Zealand 10-0 Tahiti 2004

What’s the biggest win in football history?

Even Australia’s defining 31-goal victory over American Samoa doesn’t come close to the official record for the biggest win in a football match.

On October 31, 2002, AS Adema beat SO L’Emyrne 149-0 in a top-flight match in Madagascar. It is considered the record-holder for the biggest scoreline in any official football match. Every single one of the 149 goals was an own goal.

No, this wasn’t some utterly unprecedented stroke of bad luck. SO L’Emyrne intentionally lost the match to their arch rivals in the African nation’s league as part of a planned protest against what they felt were unfair refereeing decisions in a previous game. It led to suspensions for the team’s coach and four of their players, while SOE had their season results forfeited. And that’s not all: the club itself was dissolved four years later, and the entire Malagasy Football Federation was reconstituted.

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