A nation renowned for its passion for football, Mali
has produced a number of talented players over the years. The best-known include Salif Keita «Domingo» and Mamadou Keita «Capi», who both won countless honours at domestic and international level. Impressive performances at the African Cup of Nations (finalists in 1972, semi-finalists in 1994 and 2002) and in various African age-group championships have gone some way to show the extent of Mali
's pool of football talent. The Malians also reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Youth Championship 1999 in Nigeria on their way to the bronze medal. Positive moves are also underway in women's football. The number of women players is increasing all the time, and the national association has entered all continental championships, both with and without age restrictions, in recent years.