Can Scotland finally lift Hampden hoodoo in the Nations League?

Scotland's results at Hampden since France 98
Scotland's results at Hampden since France 98

Scotland stand three wins away from a place at Euro 2020. To achieve it, at least one of those victories will have to come at their Hampden Park home.

However, has the old lady of Scottish football been the reason for Scotland's long wait for an invite back to a major tournament?

In the 20 years before Hampden became an all-seated stadium in 1993, Scotland reached five out of five World Cups.

In the period between that and the last stage of its redevelopment, Scotland made the European Championships twice and the 1998 World Cup.

But since Hampden was returned to Scottish football with a fancy new main stand in 1999, there has been nothing. Five World Cups, five European Championships, all of them missing the Tartan Army.

Here, BBC Scotland delves into the stats of Scotland's national stadium, to see if the heartbreak of the Hampden hoodoo is close to being lifted.

The good old days

Between 1980 and Scotland's goodbye to the old main stand in 1995, Scotland won 17 qualifiers out of 26, losing just twice. A win rate of 65%.

In the four years before it's re-opening, Ibrox, Celtic Park, Pittodrie, Tynecastle and Rugby Park hosted competitive games. Scotland won all five of their home World Cup qualifiers on their way to France 98.

Post-France, Scotland won three of their four qualifiers away from Hampden. Then they posted a 3-0 victory over Lithuania in the first game back at the swanky new pad.

And then the new home became haunted by ghosts of the past.


It all began with a 2-0 defeat by England at Hampden in the Euro 2000 play-offs. A 1-0 win at Wembley could not salvage qualification or indeed halt the downward spiral that would follow.

Scotland have played 46 competitive games at Hampden since its re-opening. They have won 22 of them, a win rate of 48%. The more telling statistic has been the 11 defeats.

In the three competitive home games played outside Hampden - two at Celtic Park and one at Ibrox - Scotland have won all three, scoring eight goals and conceding none.

In friendlies, Scotland's record at Hampden is poor. In 17 games, they have won just four. Yet, in friendlies elsewhere - at Pittodrie and Easter Road - they boast seven wins from 10.

All in all, in 63 games at Hampden in front of the upgraded main stand, Scotland have 26 wins. A win record of 41%.

Win percentage graphic
Scotland's home record since the revamped Hampden was opened in 1999

Signs for optimism?

Scotland were temporarily deposed from their home due to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. They boasted Euro 2016 qualifying wins over Georgia at Ibrox, Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park, and a friendly win over Qatar at Easter Road. There was just one defeat, in a friendly to England.

Back to Glasgow's south side they went. A 6-1 thrashing of Gibraltar began a return to form in competitive games.

Nine games, five wins, three draws, and just one defeat - to the then-world champions Germany.

They have lost a few friendlies, but another three points against Israel would boost their win percentage to 60% in competitive games since returning to Hampden after the Commonwealth Games.

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