Every country holds two squad:
- The senior national team, which regroup the selected players of any age, mainly over 20yo, as long as they have the right nationality.
- The U-20 national team, with players that are younger than 21 years and one day.
A player who is part of one team cannot be enrolled by another (until he is sacked from the first one). That is, if the senior team enrolls him first, the U-20 NT cannot use him.
Having a national team player is considered an honour. A player can only be a member of the national teams of his own country. He will also never be able to change his nationality.
The players page mentions the following: "Also part of Team ...!". Each national player will have a record for every cap in a official match and he also gets a memorable moment when he makes his debut with a national team, and another one each time he plays in a World Cup semifinal or final. National team games do not count towards a player's training. There are no loyalty bonuses for national teams, so a player's loyalty bonus is not applied in national team matches.
Many clubs around the globe fully dedicate their teams to training U20 and/or NT players and they are expected to not undermine national teams by sabotaging a national team player. The National Team Administrators, as a last resort, have the discretion to release players to the transfer market in the event of sabotage.
U-20 National team
A player typically needs to have higher skills and form than other nominees, in order to make it. The skill level required for a player to make it into the national team differ from country to country.
U-20 National teams consist only of players below 21 years of age from (born in) the national team's country. If a player currently in the squad has a birthday and becomes older than 20, he will still be in the squad but he will not be allowed to play matches.
In most countries, only the players that are pulled as 17 year olds with decent primary and secondary skills stand a chance to be trained to a high enough level to be selected before they turn 21. In large countries, this often means only players who are aged 17, pulled shortly after their birthday, with an excellent main skill and an appropriately-timed birthday are suitable U20 material. As such players are highly prized, they are often sold for incredibly high prices.
The prospect list will work as an intermediate step for players, between total obscurity and being part of the NT squad. Once a player is an official prospect, it will show on the player page, the owner will receive automatic updates about the player’s NT status as well as being added to a newsletter list, making it easier for the NT staff to communicate with owners about team news, training suggestions, and so on. Up to 150 players can be named as prospects for each NT and U20 team, and only players that have been on the list for at least one week can enter the main squads. However, after elections, coaches get two weeks when they can rearrange lists and squads without any such limits.
The prospects list creates more transparency about how NTs screen and select players, but it also moves the national teams closer to the community.
The two squad of every HT country take part to World Cup and U-20 World Cup.
Players gain experience by playing in national team matches. As well, a national team player will earn a salary reduction, when playing in a national team match, of 33-40% depending on whether or not he is playing in his home country. If a player gets injured and has to leave the field in a match for his national team, as well as the regular salary reduction, the club will get a compensation amounting to 100% of his base salary times the estimated number of weeks the injury is expected to last.
Furthermore, National team friendlies may be played each Friday at 8 PM (Hattrick Time) by national teams that do not have a World Cup match scheduled at that time. In order to schedule a friendly, the national team coach must either challenge another team or accept a challenge in a manner similar to club coaches. National team coaches must send messages or HT-mails to each other to set up the friendly. The challenger is able to choose which stadium the friendly should be played in. Any stadium may be chosen, including neutral ground. There are no fees for stadium rental.
The match lineup is fielded by the coach NT coach.
- Further reading: Elections
The NT coach, as the elected manager of a national team, stays in function for two seasons. He/She has to picks up to 26 players (from teams with real owners) freely from those players with the same nationality as the team he is representing. National coaches can't select players from bot teams (in early times they could but this has been changed when some team, particularly farm teams, started to exploid this).
Once picked, the NT coach can see the same data for the national team players as you do for your own team.
The national coach is also responsible for selecting a national team kit and the reserve kit that, as much as possible, adheres to the official colours of the country's national team.
Communication with the community is considered by many as another important task of the national coach.
The national coach can eventually selects a staff of 5 users that can help him:
- 1 Assistant coach
- 4 NT scouts.
They are appointed by the NT coaches and get some limited tools that help them with their tasks.
The NT scout was created formally on season 73 and, but the new role only made official something that has always existed: users that are devoted to their national teams and help the coaches find, and follow, promising players.
The NT trainer was a different figure existent in the early years of the game. He was a player converted to trainer in a club, he was apparently important only for his leadership and he neither could keep form high. Another difference was that trainer had to be of the same nationality of the NT.
- Main article: Tracking tool
Most teams use a database to keep track of their players. There usually is a tracking tool that has been granted the status of a global tracker and that any country can use if they want to.
Besides it, there are a few local trackers that were created by users that maintain a CHPP licence for a particular country.
- Main article: Rank
A World Cup begins every season and starts with a qualification round. Seeding for World Cup Round I is based on ranking, which is determined by previous World Cup results.