FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Kuwait have competed at one World Cup, at Spain 1982, where they locked horns with France, England and Czechoslovakia in a tough-looking Group 4. Despite being eliminated after drawing 1-1 with the Czechoslovakians and losing 4-1 and 1-0 to the French and English respectively, Al Azraq earned plaudits for their plucky and combative displays. Unfortunately, eight qualifying campaigns later, the Kuwaitis are still waiting to make their second appearance at the showpiece event. Their most recent attempt came to an abrupt halt in the third round of qualifying, in which they finished third in Group B behind Lebanon and Korea Republic.
Kuwait were at the peak of their powers in 1980, the year their golden generation lifted the AFC Asian Cup. Recently, they have qualified for four out of the last five continental contests, but have nothing to show for their efforts except for a quarter-final berth in 2000. Kuwait did capture the Gulf Cup of Nations in 2010, and followed that up by finishing third in 2013. They were unable to build on those promising showings, however, crashing out at the group stage in 2014.
Kuwait’s Tunisian coach, Nabil Maaloul, guided Tunis-based Esperance to two national championships and a CAF Champions League title between 2011 and 2013, prior to taking the reins of the Tunisian national team. Following a brief spell in charge of Qatari outfit El Jaish, the former Hanover midfielder committed himself to Kuwait, with whom he has already experienced the 2015 Asian Cup.
2 – The number of goals scored by Kuwait at Spain 1982, where they participated in three matches. Clinical striker Faisal Al Dakhil nabbed the goal that earned his country a precious point versus Czechoslovakia, while Abdulaziz Al Balushi notched a consolation strike against France.
The former stars
Jasem Yakoub, Faisal Al Dakhil, Abdulaziz Al Anbari, Fathi Kameel, Ahmed Al Tarabulsi, Jasem Al Huwaidi, Bashar Abdullah