Niger made their first bid to reach a FIFA World Cup™ final tournament in 1966 but they are still waiting to clear the initial qualifying hurdle. The team’s best showing came in the lead-up to Spain 1982, when they dispatched both Somalia and Togo before losing out to future finals participants Algeria. They also missed out on a second-round berth by a solitary point ahead of USA 1994.
The current crop
Capable of pulling off shock results, the Mena have added a little consistency to their game, participating in every CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign since 2000. Recent performances have suggested that progress continues, and the side can only benefit as more and more players are recruited by clubs overseas.
The key players
Forward Moussa Maazou is one of the first Nigerien players to have amassed experience in Europe. Most notably, the influential Mena spearhead has taken in spells at CSKA Moscow, Bordeaux and Monaco.
Coach: Gernot Rohr
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Jacques Komlan, Hassane Adamou, Moussa Kanfideni