Gambia first set off down the qualifying path to a FIFA World Cup™ finals in 1982, falling at the initial hurdle after recording a draw and a loss against Libya. They have still never graced the global showcase but made a noteworthy attempt to reach South Africa 2010, finishing runners-up in their second-round section behind eventual qualifiers Algeria.
The current crop
The future looks bright for the senior team, which has made consistent progress over the last ten years and has been given an injection of quality by the generation that reached the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2005 and FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007.
The key players
A handful for any defender at 1.95m, rangy striker Momodou Ceesay boasts UEFA Champions League experience after helping Slovak club Zilina reach the group stage in 2010/11. He graduated from the side which shone at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005, as did twins Sanna and Sainey Nyassi, who have already made a name for themselves in the United States.
Coach: Peter Bonu Johnson
Best performance in a FIFA competition: FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 (Round of 16)
Former stars: Alhaji Momodo ‘Biri Biri’ Nije