Belarus joined FIFA in 1992 but have yet to get a taste of the FIFA World Cup™ finals. Their best showing came in qualification for Korea/Japan 2002, when they thrashed group winners Poland 4-1 on the way to finishing third. After climbing as high as 38th in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in 2010, three years later they had nosedived to 99th. Though they have since bounced back to some extent, they once again fell short on the road to Brazil 2014.
In spite of his advancing years, silky playmaker Alexander Hleb, once of Arsenal and Barcelona, remains his country's classiest operator. Solid at the back and adept at keeping possession through their technically gifted midfield, Belarus are crying out for a top striker to take them to the next level.
Aleksandr Khatskevich was handed the reins on 4 December 2014, replacing Georgi Kondratiev. Formerly a cultured midfielder and best known for his time at Dinamo Minsk and Dynamo Kiev, Khatskevich was twice named the Belarusian footballer of the year (in 1998 and 2000) before hanging up his boots. His previous coaching experience includes a stint as part of the Ukrainian national side's backroom staff.
1 - Belarus contested their first official match on 20 July 1992, sharing the spoils in a 1-1 stalemate away to Lithuania in Vilnius.
The former stars
Sergei Gurenko, Maksim Romaschenko, Valentin Belkevich, Sergei Shtanyuk, Vitali Kutuzov