Cyprus have never graced the FIFA World Cup™ finals. They have been part of the furniture in qualifying since 1962 and have produced the odd giant-killing, but have been unable to build on such exploits to put together a consistent run.
The Galanolefki (Blue and Whites) kicked off their UEFA EURO 2016 qualification campaign with a bang, recording a 2-1 win away to Bosnia and Herzegovina courtesy of a Dimitris Christofi double. This result was viewed as a turning point by the squad. In the words of influential attacking midfielder Vincent Laban: "The team realised that we had to come out of our shells and have faith in ourselves. A new generation is emerging and there is a good blend between players with a bit more experience and youngsters. We have reason to be optimistic."
Pambos Christodoulou has spent his entire career to date in his native Cyprus, both as a player – he was a holding midfielder – and now as a coach. After taking on the national team job on 9 January 2014, he amassed four wins and four draws apiece in his first eight matches.
3-2 - Cyprus's pedigree for pulling off upsets includes a 3-2 victory over Spain in EURO 2000 qualification. France have also fallen victim to the plucky Cypriots, being held to a draw during their unsuccessful campaign on the road to Italy 1990.
The former stars
Pambos Pittas, Marios Agathokleous