Lebanon will be playing in their sixth FIFA World Cup™ qualification campaign, having failed to reach finals in their five previous attempts. Their best performance was in 2002, when they finished runners-up in Group D, two points behind winners Thailand, but that was soon followed by their worst campaign which came four years ago, where they finished bottom and without a point.
The current crop
Prior to their qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014, the Lebanese team had not played a single competitive international for over a year. Still they showed their ability with a 4-0 home victory against Bangladesh carrying them through to Asia’s third qualifying round, despite losing 2-0 in the return.
The key players
Midfield maestro Roda Antar has been Lebanese football’s star man in recent years, having played for Freiburg and Cologne in the Bundesliga before moving to the Shandong Luneng in 2009 and winning the Chinese Super League. Other names to watch for include former Cologne captain Youssef Mohamed and current Lebanese Player of the Year Hassan Maatouk.
Coach: Emile Rustom
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Vartan Ghazarian, Moussa Hojeij, Wael Nazha