Qualification history
Madagascar last flirted with FIFA World Cup™ qualification in 1985, when they lost to Egypt on penalties in the second round. Since then, the island nation has regularly failed to advance past the first hurdle, as evidenced by their defeat by Equatorial Guinea in the qualifiers for Brazil 2014.

The team
Madagascar’s star man is Lalaina Nomenjanahary, who is currently on the books of French outfit Lens. He is joined in the side by a handful of other France-based performers plus a significant number of players who compete in the national championship. In search of a solid and reliable spine to the team, the Malagasy have their sights set on reaching at least the second round of the African qualifying campaign for Russia 2018.

The coach
Franck Rajaonarisamba, who achieved success with several clubs in Madagascar, was brought back into the national fold in 2014, having previously coached the Barea from 2011 to 2012. With 75 caps for Madagascar on his CV, he is well placed to pass on experience and enthusiasm to a new generation of Malagasy footballers.

The stat
1982 – The first World Cup for which Madagascar attempted to qualify.

The former stars
Mamisoa Razafindrakoto, Eric Rabesandratana