FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Only an occasional participant in the qualifiers in the years after joining FIFA in 1964, Benin failed to make much of an impression in their first campaigns. Still known as Dahomey on their qualifying debut in the preliminaries for Germany 1974, they were easily beaten by Ghana, returning to the fray 12 years later to lose to Tunisia. Benin enjoyed no more in the way of success on the roads to USA 1994 and Korea/Japan 2002, going out in the preliminary round on both occasions. The Squirrels finally made it past the first hurdle in the Germany 2006 qualifying campaign, only to be knocked out by Madagascar. Their attempts to reach South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 ended with respective defeats to Ghana and Algeria, both of whom went on to impress on the big stage.

The team
The Squirrels have fared little better on the African scene, having appeared in only three CAF Africa Cup of Nations in their history, a modest record that can be attributed to an inability to get results away from home. Charged with the task of addressing that problem in the qualifiers for Russia 2018 are the experienced Stephane Sessegnon, a playmaker well known to Ligue 1 and Premier League fans, and Razak Omotoyossi, who performed with distinction at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Netherlands 2005.

The coach

The stat
- the number of coaches who have taken charge of the team since the departure in 2010 of Michel Dussuyer, who had held the position for two years. The last man in the Benin hotseat was Didier Olle-Nicole, who stepped down in November 2014.

The former stars
Jimmy Adjovi-Boco, Oumar Tchomogo, Alain Gaspoz.