The Cape Verde Islands might be among Africa's smallest countries but the considerable migration of its people over the last decades means they can tap in to a well of top-trained talent from across the globe. The former Portuguese colony is able to pick from players who compete in leagues across Europe and in the USA, where the population is as big as that on the island archipelago.
Cape Verdean footballers have made a major impact in recent years, notably in Portugal. Striker Dady, for example, was a leading scorer with Lisbon club OS Belenenses before a move to Osasuna in Spain. Others like Cafu, Calo, Emerson, Janicio and Marco Soares are also regulars on the European club circuit, giving new coach Joao de Deus a considerable squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 ™ qualifying campaign.
The Cape Verde Islands were real contenders in the last qualifying campaign for Germany 2006, pushing the likes of Ghana and South Africa before running out of steam in their group. The campaign included a first ever away win in Burkina Faso. Ironically, though, their win in the 2006 preliminary round against Swaziland was the islanders first ever win in the competition.
In their only other qualifying competition - for Korea/Japan 2002 - Cape Verde were drawn against Algeria and although they managed a credible goalless draw at home, they lost the return leg 2-0 to go out.
They might be among the less experienced teams in the South Africa 2010 qualifiers but they are expected to give the likes of Cameroon, Mauritius and Tanzania a run for their money in the first round group stage.