Syria’s first bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ finals came in 1978 with two unsuccessful outings against Iran and Saudi Arabia. Ahead of the 1986 edition in Mexico, their dream was within reach after they earned a play-off berth for the second qualification spot, only to be denied by Iraq. Since then, Syria have never reached the final round of qualifiers, their best performance in recent editions coming in 2002, when Oman pipped them to top spot in their first-round group. Their bid for Brazil 2014 ended in unexpected fashion, with the West Asians disqualified from the campaign due to fielding an ineligible player in both legs against Tajikistan in the second qualifying phase.
Best performances in a FIFA competition: FIFA U-20 World Cup Portugal 1991, Netherlands 2005 (Quarter-finals)
Former stars: Abdel Qader Karadagli, Nizar Mahrous, Mohamad Afash