Congo have yet to grace a FIFA World Cup™ despite enjoying a golden era several decades back, which yielded a continental title in 1972. The closest they came was a spot at France 1998, when their ticket ultimately went to South Africa after a 1-0 loss to their closest rivals in the final round of group games. Congo's last two attempts have seen the team unable to force their way into the third round on both occasions.
Their 1970s heyday may be long gone, but Les Diables Rouges (Red Devils) can draw on a considerable pool of talent, including the generation of players who appeared at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2011. They likewise boast a number of stalwarts enriched by spells in Europe's biggest leagues, and they will be hopeful of having their say on the road to Russia. In particular, midfielders Delvin Ndinga and Prince Oniangue have both showcased their talents in French Ligue 1, while forward Thievy Bifouma knows all about top-level football thanks to stints in England and Spain.
Former Congo captain Barthelemy Ngatsono took charge on 27 December 2016, replacing Frenchman Pierre Lechantre following the team's failure to reach the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
16 – Congo's all-time leading scorer is Macchambes Younga-Mouhani, who holds that title despite a modest haul of 16 goals for Les Diables Rouges. His record thus lies tantalisingly within reach for the nation's current forwards.
The former stars
Paul Moukila, Jean-Michel Mbono, Germain Ndzabana