Though having never come to close to qualifying for the world’s greatest football stage, Afghanistan can lay claim to a fourth-place performance at the 1951 Asian Games. Their maiden FIFA World Cup™ campaign in 2006 saw the Central Asians concede 13 unanswered goals against Turkmenistan over two legs to crash out. However, four years later came a vastly improved showing against Syria. German-based striker Obaidullah Karimi opened the scoring in the second leg, only for the west Asians to prevail 2-1 for a 5-1 aggregate scoreline. In their third qualifying attempt for Brazil 2014, they went on to avoid defeat for the first time by drawing 1-1 with Palestine in their second-leg, but bowed out due to an opening 2-0 loss.
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Mohammad Saber Rohparwar, Obaidullah Karimi