Qualification history
Qatar’s first FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign – for Argentina 1978 – ended in disappointment, as they propped up a group that also contained Kuwait and Bahrain. Despite reaching the final round of the Asian qualifiers in the run-up to Italy 1990, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, Al-Annabi (The Maroon) have never succeeded in booking a place at the tournament proper.

The team
The expansion of professionalism in Qatar in recent years has had a positive knock-on effect on results, paving the way for three Gulf Cup of Nations triumphs, including a memorable victory in 2014, when they defeated hosts Saudi Arabia in the final. The Qataris rely on a mix of evergreen stalwarts and rapidly maturing starlets, the majority of whom emerged victorious from the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship and thereby earned a slot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015.

The coach
Uruguayan coach Daniel Carreno, who previously guided Al-Nassr to the Saudi League title, was appointed Algeria coach in May 2015, replacing Algerian tactician Djamel Belmadi, who oversaw Qatar’s Gulf Cup success in 2014 and steered the maroon-clad side to the 2015 Asian Cup.

The stat
53 – The record number of international goals scored by Qatari forward Mansour Muftah over the course of 14 years.

The former stars
Ibrahim Khalfan, Mansour Muftah, Mubarak Mustafa, Khalid Salman