Despite being one of 12 founding members of the AFC (Asian Football Association), Afghanistan have made little impression on the international stage. They have never qualified for the AFC Asian Cup and the South Asians' qualifying attempts for the past three FIFA World Cups™ have invariably ended in early exits.
Having spent two decades in the wilderness due to political turmoil, the conflict-ravaged country started a rebuilding campaign from 2002. Their progress culminated two years ago when the Lions of Khorasan defied all the odds to win the 2013 SAFF Championship title. The current squad features a series of overseas-based stars with Moss FK forward Balal Arezou and German-based Sandjar Ahmadi the most notable.
Born in Bosnia, Slaven Skeledzic made his name in Germany as a successful manager. He has boasted tremendous experiences at the youth level, having coached the junior sides of Hannover 96, Hansa Rostock and FSV Frankfurt.
1 - The regional title at the 2013 SAFF Championship remains the only silverware Afghanistan have won at international level.
The former stars
Ali Askar Lali, Mohammad Yousef Kargar