Testing themselves at a FIFA World Cup™ finals remains the dream for Congo, who failed to make the grade even during the golden era in which they were crowned African champions in 1972. They came closest to joining the global elite ahead of France 1998, when they were pipped by South Africa following a 1-0 loss to their rivals in their last outing.
The current crop
The heady days of the 1970s belong to the distant past, but the Red Devils have a number of up-and-coming talents, not least from the side which reached the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup finals. Given that several stalwarts also possess experience in Europe's leading leagues, Congo will demand serious respect on the road to Brazil 2014.
The key players
Midfield pair Delvin Ndinga and Oscar Ewolo have both honed their skills in France for several years, while defender Christopher Samba knows all about top-level football from successful stints in Germany and England.
Coach: Kamel Djabour
Best performance in a FIFA competition: FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 (Round of 16)
Former stars: Paul Moukila, Jean-Michel Mbono, Germain Ndzabana