Iraq national football team
The Iraq national football team (Arabic: المنتخب العراقي لكرة القدم) represents Iraq in international football and is controlled by the Iraq Football Association (IFA), the governing body for football in Iraq. Most of Iraq's home matches are played at the Basra International Stadium.
|Nickname(s)||Lions of Mesopotamia|
|Association||Iraq Football Association (IFA)|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Dick Advocaat|
|Most caps||Younis Mahmoud (148)|
|Top scorer||Hussein Saeed (78)|
|Home stadium||Basra International Stadium|
|Current||72 2 (16 September 2021)|
|Highest||39 (6 October 2004)|
|Lowest||139 (3 July 1996)|
| Morocco 3–3 Iraq |
(Beirut, Lebanon; 19 October 1957)
| Iraq 13–0 Ethiopia |
(Irbid, Jordan; 18 August 1992)
| Turkey 7–1 Iraq |
(Adana, Turkey; 6 December 1959)
Brazil 6–0 Iraq
(Malmö, Sweden; 11 October 2012)
Chile 6–0 Iraq
(Copenhagen, Denmark; 14 August 2013)
|Appearances||1 (first in 1986)|
|Best result||Group stage (1986)|
|Appearances||9 (first in 1972)|
|Best result||Champions (2007)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 2000)|
|Best result||Champions (2002)|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2009)|
|Best result||Group stage (2009)|
Iraq are one of the more successful national teams in Asia, having made one FIFA World Cup appearance in 1986, losing their three games to Paraguay, Belgium and Mexico. They are one of eight AFC nations to have won the AFC Asian Cup, claiming the title in 2007 in spite of difficult conditions and limited preparation. Iraq defeated some of the favourites in the competition including Australia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. This qualified them for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup where they earned two points in the group stage, and they later finished fourth at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Iraq's team is famous across the continent, and is known for its passionate football fans. The national team is also seen as a symbol of hope and unity for Iraqi people. The team reached an all-time high of 39th in the FIFA World Rankings in October 2004.
As early as 1923, an Iraqi team known as Baghdad XI, controlled by the Baghdad Football Association, started to play matches against British Army teams. The Baghdad FA soon disbanded and it was not until 8 October 1948 that the Iraq Football Association was founded. The Iraq FA joined FIFA in 1950 and on 2 May 1951, Iraq played their first match: a 1–1 draw to a team named Basra XI.
Iraq's first ever official international game came in the opening game of the 1957 Pan Arab Games in Beirut where Iraq drew 3–3 to Morocco with goals from Ammo Baba, Youra Eshaya (both from Iraq's Assyrian minority) and Fakhri Mohammed Salman. One of the members of Iraq's first national team was Youra Eshaya, who in 1954 became the first Iraqi footballer to play abroad and in Europe for English Football League side Bristol Rovers.
In 1962, Iraq appointed their first foreign manager, Romanian coach Cornel Drăgușin. Iraq won their first trophy in 1964 when won the Arab Cup, winning three and drawing one of their four games. In the following edition, they retained their Arab Cup title, beating Syria 2–1 in the final in Baghdad.
In 1972, Iraq played at their first ever AFC Asian Cup but failed to win a game in the tournament. In March 1973, Iraq played their first ever FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. They finished second in their group, a point behind Australia, therefore failing to qualify for the next round. In the remaining years of the 1970s, Iraq reached the second round of the Asian Games (1974), lost the Arabian Gulf Cup final (1976), finished fourth at the AFC Asian Cup (1976), finished fourth in the Asian Games (1978) and finally hosted and won the Arabian Gulf Cup (1979). The 1976 Asian Cup would be the last Asian Cup that Iraq appeared in for the next 20 years, as they withdrew from the next four editions.
1980s – First Golden GenerationEdit
The 1980s was arguably Iraq's most successful period in their history. They started the decade off disappointingly, being knocked out in the first round of qualifiers for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. In 1982, they won the gold medal at the 1982 Asian Games. In 1984, Iraq won the Arabian Gulf Cup. The following year, they won the 1985 Arab Cup and also won the gold medal at the 1985 Pan Arab Games.
1986 FIFA World CupEdit
Iraq were seeded into the first round of qualifiers where they faced Qatar and Jordan. Iraq topped Group 1B with 6 points, and advanced to the second round. Iraq faced United Arab Emirates in two legs. Iraq defeated UAE 3–2 in Dubai. Iraq lost with 2–1 to UAE in the second leg. Iraq won 4–4 aggregate on away goals and advanced to the final round. In the final round, Iraq tied Syria 0–0 in Damascus. Iraq defeated Syria 3–1 in the second leg in Taif. Iraq won 3–1 on aggregate and qualified to the 1986 FIFA World Cup
At their first game of the Group B at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Iraq played well against Paraguay, losing narrowly 1–0 despite scoring a goal that was controversially disallowed by the referee. Iraq recorded their first World Cup goal in the second game, scoring against Belgium in a 1–2 defeat despite having ten men, with Ahmed Radhi scoring a goal for Iraq. Iraq played against hosts Mexico in the third game, losing 1–0 and being eliminated from the World Cup.
In the following years, Iraq won the 1988 Arabian Gulf Cup and won the 1988 Arab Cup. Overall, Iraq won nine competitions in the 1980s and played in their only World Cup, leading many to believe that this was the golden era of Iraqi football. In 1989, Iraq competed in qualifying for a berth in the 1990 World Cup finals, but they lost a crucial game against Qatar.
1990s – The Dark EraEdit
In 1993, Iraq participated in qualifiers for the 1994 FIFA World Cup and reached the final round but finished fourth in the group, missing out on a World Cup spot by two points. By drawing their last game with Japan 2–2, they denied the Japanese a place in the finals in a match referred to by the Japanese media as the Agony of Doha.
Iraq participated in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, their first Asian Cup campaign for 20 years of withdrawing from the previous four. They reached the quarter-finals but lost to the United Arab Emirates due to a golden goal scored by Abdulrahman Ibrahim. In 1996, Iraq was ranked 139th in the world, which is their worst FIFA ranking in their history due to inactivity after withdrawing from several tournaments.
This period is known as 'The Dark Era' as Uday Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein, abused his control of Iraqi football and tortured players who played poorly, punishing them by sending them to prison, making them bathe in raw sewage and kick concrete balls, and shaving their heads among many other punishments.
2000s – Second Golden GenerationEdit
The 2000s was widely considered to be the rebirth and rise of one of Iraq's greatest football generation second only to the 1980s generation.
However, Iraq had a rocky beginning. It played in the 2000 AFC Asian Cup but were knocked out at the quarter-final stage again, this time by Japan in a 4–1 loss. Iraq reached the second round of 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification but lost five of their eight second-round games and therefore failed to make the finals. Iraq won their first ever WAFF Championship in 2002, beating Jordan 3–2 in the final after extra time despite being two goals down.
In 2004, Iraq once again reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup before getting knocked out by China. In the same year they were knocked out at the second round of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers by Uzbekistan.
Iraq were ranked as high as 39th in the World Rankings in October 2004 which is their highest ranking position in their history. The following year, Iraq won the gold medal in the West Asian Games by beating Syria in the final via a penalty shootout. In 2007, Iraq were knocked out at the group stage of the Arabian Gulf Cup. The exit from the Gulf Cup happened in very controversial circumstances as Iraq attempted to make an agreement with Saudi Arabia to draw the final game which would put both teams through to the next round; the Iraq manager Akram Salman told the Iraqi players not to win the game but the Saudi Arabian players were unaware of any agreement and went on to win the game and knock Iraq out of the cup. Akram Salman was sacked and Jorvan Vieira appointed as head coach. Under him, Iraq reached the final of the WAFF Championship but lost 2–1 to Iran.
2007 AFC Asian CupEdit
In July 2007, Iraq kicked off their 2007 AFC Asian Cup campaign. The squad was made mainly of players that had finished fourth at the 2004 Olympic Games and finished second at the 2006 Asian Games. Vieira only had two months to prepare his team for the tournament, and the team suffered from very poor facilities. The Iraq FA struggled to provide the team with enough kits for the tournament and Iraq had not been able to play any previous games in their own country for security reasons and most of the players had had family members killed in the war.
The team started the tournament with a 1–1 draw against joint-hosts Thailand before producing a 3–1 win over favourites Australia. A draw with Oman followed to put Iraq into the quarter-finals where two goals from Younis Mahmoud against Vietnam put Iraq into the semi-finals for the second time in their history. They manages to knock out one of the best Asian teams, South Korea in the semis via a penalty shootout in which Noor Sabri made a crucial save. After the game, a suicide bomber killed 30 football fans who were celebrating the semi-final win over South Korea and this almost led to the Iraqi team withdrawing from the final, but they decided to go on in honour of the dead and succeeded in doing that after defeating Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final, a game that they dominated from start to finish and that was won by a Younis Mahmoud header. This tournament win is seen as one of the greatest upsets in international history as a war-torn country became international champions in what is described as one of sport's greatest 'fairytales'.
Asian Cup aftermathEdit
Vieira stated during the final that he would resign after the Asian Cup. He was replaced by Egil Olsen in September 2007. Under Olsen, Iraq advanced to the third round of World Cup qualifiers, but after a 1–1 draw with China, the FA sacked Olsen and replaced him with Adnan Hamad. Iraq failed to advance to the final round of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as a 1–0 defeat to Qatar saw them finish in third in the group. Following this, the Iraq FA decided to disband the team and sacked Hamad.
2009 FIFA Confederations CupEdit
In 2009, Iraq participated in only their second FIFA tournament ever: the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, which they qualified for by winning the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. They started the tournament with a 0–0 draw with hosts South Africa, before losing 1–0 to UEFA Euro 2008 winners Spain. Iraq drew the last game 0–0 with New Zealand and were knocked out.
2010s – Ups and downsEdit
Wolfgang Sidka was appointed coach in August 2010 to lead Iraq in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Iraq reached the quarter finals, as they lost 1–0 to Australia. The match went into extra time with Harry Kewell heading in a goal in the 117th minute just inside the 18-yard box. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Iraq advanced to the third round but Sidka's contract was not renewed and he was succeeded by Zico in August 2011. Iraq topped the group in the third round, winning 5 of 6 games. However, halfway through the fourth round, Iraq only had 5 points and Zico resigned due to unpaid wages.
Hakeem Shaker took over as interim coach and finished as runners-up in both the 2012 WAFF Championship and 2013 Arabian Gulf Cup. In February 2013, Vladimir Petrović was appointed for the remaining World Cup qualifiers, but lost all three matches and Iraq finished bottom of their group. Petrović was sacked in September 2013 and Hakeem Shaker was reappointed.
On the last matchday, Iraq qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup by beating China 3–1. However, Iraq finished bottom of the group in the 2014 Arabian Gulf Cup leading to the sacking of Hakeem Shaker and the appointment of Radhi Shenaishil.
Iraq began the 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign with a 1–0 win over Jordan. In the next match, Iraq faced Japan and lost the match 0–1. Iraq then beat Palestine 2–0 and qualified to knockout stage as the Group D runner-up behind Japan with six points. Iraq defeated Iran in the quarter-finals in penalties, 7–6, after the game ended 3–3 after 120 minutes of play. They faced South Korea in the semi-finals but lost 0–2 and failed to progress to the final. Iraq finished the AFC Asian Cup in fourth place, after losing 2–3 to United Arab Emirates in third place match.
Yahya Alwan was appointed in August 2015. Due to poor performances, Abdul-Ghani Shahad replaced him as interim coach for the final qualifier in March 2016. Shahad led Iraq to qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and the final round. Radhi Shenaishil was appointed to lead Iraq in the final round. After losing five of their first seven games, Iraq were eliminated and Shenaishil was sacked. Basim Qasim was appointed in May 2017 to lead Iraq for the remaining qualifiers. The FA decided not to renew his contract in August 2018.
On 3 September 2018, Srečko Katanec was appointed as head coach on a three-year contract. Under Katanec, Iraq reached the round of 16 of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup as they lost 1–0 to eventual champions Qatar.
2020s – Renewed hopeEdit
Under Katanec, Iraq reached the third round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification with five wins from eight matches including a 2–1 victory against Iran. Iraq also showed great form in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup, reaching the semi-finals by beating Qatar and United Arab Emirates. Iraq went 19 consecutive matches without losing between 2019 and 2021. Katanec officially departed in July 2021 after six months of unpaid wages and filed a complaint with FIFA.
The Iraqi team is commonly known as Usood Al-Rafidain (Arabic: أسود الرافدين), meaning Lions of Mesopotamia. In ancient Mesopotamia, the Babylonian lion was a symbol of power, impetuosity, ferocity, prestige and dominance. This is reflected in the sculpted lions in Babylon, where the processional path is ornamented with ceramic tile bas-reliefs representing a prestigious lion from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II. This kind of representation aimed to glorify the king, master of the beasts, and also represent the defeat of the enemy. Moreover, the Chaldean royal inscriptions depict the king as a ferocious lion to whom nothing can be resisted. The presence of lions in ancient Iraqi civilization was based on the belief, or desire, that the animals represented would bring with them the virtues they symbolized, so that they could be transmitted to the owners.
The Iraqi national football team kit has previously been manufactured by brands such as Adidas, Puma, Nike, Diadora, Jack & Jones, Lotto, Peak and Givova and its current manufacturer is Umbro.
|2004–2006||Jack & Jones|
Iraq kits throughout history have usually featured the flag of Iraq on them, although the coat of arms of Iraq and the Iraq Football Association logo have both appeared on kits in the past. The national team has occasionally had its own unique logo, the first of which was in 1983. This logo was based on the Iraq flag, with Iraqi written at the top of the crest. From 2000 to 2002, the national team's logo featured a vertical flag with the name Iraq above in green Arabic text. In the 2005 West Asian Games, the team wore a new logo with the red band of the flag appearing in a large semi-circle shape, and in 2007, Iraq briefly reverted to using the logo that they had used from 2000 to 2002. On 23 October 2020, the national team's current logo was revealed, and a star features above the crest to commemorate the nation's 2007 AFC Asian Cup victory.
Due to geographical location, Iraq maintains strong rivalries with many neighbours.
Iraq's main and traditional rival has been Iran, and they are often considered to be two of the greatest football teams in the Middle East and Asia with one of the greatest rivalries. At the early stage, Iran had proved to be more dominant than Iraq, remaining undefeated from 1964 until 1993. In the contemporary era, especially during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the two countries had bad relations and fought the Iran–Iraq War for eight years. Iraqis have considered any matches against Iran as a must-win encounter and are known to treat it differently from any other football matches. Iraq has played 29 matches against Iran with 6 victories, 7 draws, and 16 losses.
Iraq's other rival is Saudi Arabia, and matches between the two teams also draw significant attention from Iraqi fans, with Iraq and Saudi Arabia being recognised as the two most successful Arab teams in Asia. The beginnings of the footballing rivalry between them dates back to the 1970s, but it was only after the 1990s that the rivalry between the two Arab nations truly developed since it was previously overshadowed by Iraq's rivalries with Iran and Kuwait. One of these reasons for the rivalry to develop is due to the bitter Gulf War, where Iraq fought against Saudi Arabia over Kuwait, an ally of Saudi Arabia. These encounters have also been marred with various controversies and hostilities, such as the 21st Arabian Gulf Cup hosting rights, where Iraq was stripped from hosting with the tournament instead being moved to Bahrain, a move which was believed by Iraqis as a deliberate act by Saudi Arabia to remove Iraq's home advantage. Before that, Iraq was also banned from hosting home games against Saudi Arabia due to the Gulf War. Iraq has played 39 matches against Saudi Arabia with 17 victories, 11 draws, and 11 losses.
Iraq's rivalry with Kuwait was once considered as the Arab world's greatest football rivalry of all-time; dubbed 'The Arabic El Clasico' until being taken over by Iraq's rivalry with Saudi Arabia due to Kuwait's decline. The rivalry began in the mid-1970s. Because of the Gulf War, Iraq and Kuwait were in complete avoidance and never met for more than 15 years until 2005. Iraq has played 36 matches against Kuwait with 16 victories, 10 draws, and 10 losses.
Iraq national team supporters are known for chanting "O Victorious Baghdad" ("منصورة يا بغداد") or "With our souls and our blood, we will redeem you, O Iraq" ("بالروح بالدم نفديك يا عراق") during the Iraqi team's matches.
Another famous chant is "the first goal is coming" ("هسه يجي الاول") which is chanted in the beginning of the match. A succeeding chant is "the second goal is coming" ("هسه يجي الثاني"); this is usually chanted repeatedly after Iraq score a goal to motivate the players to score another.
Home matches in IraqEdit
Since 1980, FIFA imposed bans on six occasions that prevented Iraq from hosting competitive international games.
The first ban was imposed in 1980 after an Olympic qualifying play-off between Iraq and Kuwait in Baghdad, where the match referee was attacked by enraged home fans and members of the Iraqi team after the Malaysian official's decision to award a match changing penalty to the Kuwaitis that led to Iraq losing 3–2. The ban was lifted in 1982.
Around the same time, the Iran–Iraq War started and the ban was imposed again. Iraq played their qualifying home games at a neutral venue and still qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and three Olympic Games (Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul). The ban was lifted in 1988, when the war ended.
Iraq played the 2002 World Cup qualifiers at home against Iran (first time since the Iraq-Iran War) Bahrain, and Thailand in the Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad. Saudi Arabia refused to play in Iraq because of the tensions with Saddam Hussein.
Iraq resumed playing on home soil on 10 July 2009, winning a friendly 3–0 against Palestine in Erbil. Iraq played the same opponents three days later, in Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, this time winning 4–0 in front of a crowd of over 50,000. The same month, the AFC Executive Committee approved the Franso Hariri Stadium as venue for international matches and clubs in continental tournaments.
On 23 July 2011, Iraq played a FIFA World Cup qualifier on home ground for the first time since 2001. They played against Yemen in front of a crowd of 20,000 people in the Franso Hariri Stadium in Erbil. However, on 23 September 2011, FIFA re-imposed the ban due to fears over security and a breach of safety regulations in the match with Jordan.
Two years later, on 22 March 2013, FIFA lifted the ban on international friendlies in Iraqi stadiums. Four days later, Iraq played their first international friendly match in Baghdad since 2009 against Syria in front of a crowd of over 50,000 people in the Al-Shaab Stadium and won the game 2–1. Two months later, they played another friendly at the Al-Shaab Stadium, this time against Liberia. On 3 July 2013, FIFA re-imposed the ban due to a massive surge in nationwide violence, barely three months after world football's governing body gave Baghdad the go-ahead.
On 9 May 2017, FIFA lifted the ban partially on international friendlies in the cities of Basra, Karbala, and Erbil. Iraq played their first international game in Basra on 1 June 2017, beating Jordan 1–0. After successfully hosting friendlies, on 16 March 2018, FIFA announced the lifting of the ban on competitive matches in the three cities. However, following the outbreak of 2019 Iraqi protests, FIFA once again imposed home matches ban on Iraq.
Recent results and fixturesEdit
Win Draw Loss
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|12 January 2021 Friendly||United Arab Emirates||0–0||Iraq||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
|27 January 2021 Friendly||Iraq||2–1||Kuwait||Basra, Iraq|
Hussein 89' (pen.)
|Stadium: Basra International Stadium|
Referee: Salman Ahmed Falahi (Qatar)
|29 March 2021 Friendly||Uzbekistan||0–1||Iraq||Tashkent, Uzbekistan|
|Karim 56'||Stadium: Milliy Stadium|
Referee: Nurzat Askat Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)
|24 May 2021 Friendly||Iraq||0–0||Tajikistan||Basra, Iraq|
|Stadium: Al-Fayhaa Stadium|
Referee: Ismaeel Habib Ali (Bahrain)
|29 May 2021 Friendly||Iraq||6–2||Nepal||Basra, Iraq|
|Stadium: Al-Fayhaa Stadium|
Referee: Saad Al-Fadhli (Kuwait)
|7 June 2021 2022 WCQ||Iraq||4–1||Cambodia||Arad, Bahrain|
||Stadium: Al Muharraq Stadium|
Referee: Yaqoob Said Abdul Baqi (Oman)
|11 June 2021 2022 WCQ||Hong Kong||0–1||Iraq||Arad, Bahrain|
|19:30 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Al Muharraq Stadium|
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (Japan)
|15 June 2021 2022 WCQ||Iran||1–0||Iraq||Arad, Bahrain|
||Report||Stadium: Al Muharraq Stadium|
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)
|2 September 2021 2022 WCQ||South Korea||0–0||Iraq||Seoul, South Korea|
|20:00 UTC+9||Report||Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium|
Attendance: 0 (Match behind closed doors)
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)
|7 September 2021 2022 WCQ||Iraq||0–3||Iran||Doha, Qatar|
|21:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium|
Attendance: 0 (Match behind closed doors)
Referee: Ma Ning (China)
|Head coach||Dick Advocaat|
|Assistant coach(es)|| Cor Pot|
|Goalkeeping coach||Ahmed Jassim|
|Head of delegation||Ahmed Kocher|
|Fitness coach||Vladimir Krunic|
|Team Analyst||Ali Al-Naimi|
|Team doctor||Qassim Shakir|
|Team manager||Basil Gorgis|
- The following 25 players were called up for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
- Match dates: 2 and 7 September 2021
- Opposition: South Korea and Iran
- Caps and goals correct as of: 7 September 2021, after the match against Iran.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Fahad Talib||21 October 1994||7||0||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|12||GK||Mohammed Saleh||12 June 1995||0||0||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|20||GK||Ahmed Basil||19 August 1996||0||0||Al-Shorta|
|2||DF||Ahmed Ibrahim (vice-captain)||25 February 1992||109||4||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|DF||Ali Adnan||19 December 1993||81||7||Unattached|
|15||DF||Dhurgham Ismail||24 May 1994||60||3||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|17||DF||Alaa Mhawi||3 June 1996||46||0||Al-Zawraa|
|5||DF||Ali Faez||9 September 1994||34||3||Al-Qadsia|
|DF||Saad Natiq||19 March 1994||31||0||Al-Shorta|
|23||DF||Maitham Jabbar||10 November 2000||15||0||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|3||DF||Frans Putros||14 July 1993||5||0||Viborg FF|
|4||DF||Karrar Amer||16 October 1994||0||0||Al-Shorta|
|11||MF||Humam Tariq||10 February 1996||74||3||Al-Ahly|
|14||MF||Amjad Attwan||12 March 1997||54||1||Al-Shamal|
|13||MF||Bashar Resan||22 December 1996||42||3||Qatar SC|
|7||MF||Justin Meram||4 December 1988||36||4||Real Salt Lake|
|6||MF||Safaa Hadi||14 October 1998||35||1||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|8||MF||Ibrahim Bayesh||1 May 2000||21||3||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|19||MF||Mohammed Qasim||6 December 1996||16||2||Al-Shorta|
|22||MF||Sajad Jassim||1 July 1996||3||1||Naft Al-Wasat|
|16||MF||Amir Al-Ammari||27 July 1997||2||0||Halmstads BK|
|10||FW||Alaa Abdul-Zahra (captain)||22 December 1987||124||17||Al-Shorta|
|9||FW||Ayman Hussein||22 March 1996||40||5||Umm Salal|
|18||FW||Mohanad Ali||20 June 2000||37||17||Aris Thessaloniki|
|21||FW||Sherko Karim||25 May 1996||7||1||Erbil|
The following players have also been called up to the Iraq squad within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up
|GK||Jalal Hassan||18 May 1991||59||0||Al-Zawraa||v. Iran, 15 June 2021 INJ|
|GK||Mohammed Hameed||24 January 1993||36||0||Al-Naft||v. Kuwait, 27 January 2021 INJ|
|DF||Mustafa Mohammed||14 January 1998||14||0||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||v. Iran, 15 June 2021|
|DF||Mustafa Nadhim||23 September 1993||29||3||Al-Diwaniya||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|DF||Faisal Jassim||1 October 1991||6||0||Al-Shorta||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|DF||Mohammed Abdul-Zahra||14 October 1989||2||1||Al-Najaf||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|DF||Hassan Raed||23 September 2000||3||0||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||v. Uzbekistan, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Mustafa Maan||15 January 1997||1||0||Al-Shorta||v. Uzbekistan, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Rebin Sulaka||12 April 1992||24||0||Buriram United||v. United Arab Emirates, 12 January 2021 INJ|
|MF||Hussein Ali||29 November 1996||39||4||CS Sfaxien||v. Iran, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Ali Husni||23 May 1994||27||3||Al-Shorta||v. Iran, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Mohammed Ridha Jalil||17 February 2000||6||0||Al-Zawraa||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|MF||Bassam Shakir||17 May 2000||2||0||Al-Shorta||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|MF||Sharif Abdul-Kadhim||7 June 1996||2||0||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|MF||Ahmed Abdul-Hussein||22 October 1997||2||0||Al-Najaf||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|MF||Mazin Fayyadh||2 April 1997||13||1||Al-Zawraa||v. Kuwait, 27 January 2021|
|MF||Mahmoud Khalil||12 January 1995||1||0||Naft Al-Wasat||v. United Arab Emirates, 12 January 2021|
|MF||Mohammed Mezher||24 March 1998||2||0||Al-Shorta||v. Uzbekistan, 17 November 2020 INJ|
|FW||Mohammed Dawood||22 November 2000||8||1||Al-Shorta||v. Iran, 15 June 2021 INJ|
|FW||Mohannad Abdul-Raheem||22 September 1993||48||11||Naft Al-Wasat||v. Nepal, 29 May 2021|
|FW||Murad Mohammed||1 April 1997||1||0||Naft Al-Wasat||v. Kuwait, 27 January 2021|
SUS Player suspended
- As of 7 September 2021
- Players in bold are still active with Iraq.
|Rank||Name||Caps||Goals||First cap||Latest cap|
|1||Younis Mahmoud||148||57||19 July 2002||29 March 2016|
|2||Hussein Saeed||137||78||5 September 1976||3 March 1990|
|3||Alaa Abdul-Zahra||124||17||8 June 2007||7 September 2021|
|4||Ahmed Radhi||121||62||21 February 1982||20 June 1997|
|Adnan Dirjal||121||8||11 December 1978||3 March 1990|
|6||Hawar Mulla Mohammed||113||20||31 August 2001||12 June 2012|
|Nashat Akram||113||17||5 October 2001||4 June 2013|
|Ali Rehema||113||2||8 June 2005||29 March 2016|
|9||Mahdi Karim||110||11||12 October 2001||28 February 2018|
|10||Ahmed Ibrahim||109||4||11 November 2010||7 September 2021|
|9||Hawar Mulla Mohammed||20||113||0.18||2001–2012|
- Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place Semi-finals
- *Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shoot-out.
FIFA World CupEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930 to 1970||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1974||Did not qualify||6||3||2||1||11||6|
|1978||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1982||Did not qualify||4||3||0||1||5||2|
|1990||Did not qualify||6||3||2||1||11||5|
|2022||To be determined||10||5||3||2||14||7|
|Total||Best: Group stage||1/21||3||0||0||3||1||4||—||113||55||27||31||226||110|
AFC Asian CupEdit
|AFC Asian Cup record||AFC Asian Cup qualification record|
|1956 to 1968||Not an AFC member||Not an AFC member|
|1980 to 1988||Withdrew||Withdrew|
|1992||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|2011||Quarter-finals||8th||4||2||0||2||3||3||Squad||Qualified as defending champions|
|2019||Round of 16||11th||4||2||1||1||6||3||Squad||6||3||3||0||13||6|
FIFA Confederations CupEdit
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992 to 1995||Did not enter|
|1997 to 2005||Did not qualify|
|2013 to 2017||Did not qualify|
|Total||Best: Group stage||1/10||3||0||2||1||0||1||—|
|Olympic Games record||Qualification record|
|1900 to 1956||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1960||Did not qualify||4||2||0||2||14||10|
|1992 to present||See Iraq Olympic Team record||See Iraq Olympic Team record|
|Asian Games record|
|1951 to 1970||Did not enter|
|1990 to 1998||Banned due to Gulf War|
|2002 to present||See Iraq Olympic Team record|
|WAFF Championship record|
|2014||See Iraq Olympic Team record|
|2023||To be determined|
|West Asian Games record|
|1997||Did not enter|
|Arab Cup record|
|1963||Did not enter|
|1992 to 2002||Banned due to Gulf War|
|2021||To be determined|
|Pan Arab Games record|
|1953||Did not enter|
|1961||Did not enter|
|1976||Did not enter|
|1997||Did not enter|
|2007||Did not enter|
|Arabian Gulf Cup record|
|1970||Did not enter|
|1992 to 2003–04||Banned due to Gulf War|
|2023||To be determined|
|Friendly tournaments record|
|1966 Tripoli Fair Tournament||Runners-up||4||2||0||2||5||3|
|1967 Tripoli Fair Tournament||Champions||3||2||1||0||7||3|
|1969 Friendship Cup||Fifth place||4||0||0||4||2||7|
|1972 Palestine Cup||Runners-up||5||3||1||1||10||5|
|1973 Palestine Cup||Fourth place||6||2||3||1||5||3|
|1975 Palestine Cup||Runners-up||4||2||1||1||10||2|
|1977 Merdeka Tournament||Runners-up||7||3||3||1||11||2|
|1978 Merdeka Tournament||Runners-up||8||5||1||2||12||6|
|1981 Merdeka Tournament||Champions||6||4||1||1||16||4|
|1984 Merlion Cup||Champions||5||4||1||0||10||3|
|1989 Peace and Friendship Cup||Champions||6||3||2||1||10||5|
|1992 Jordan Tournament||Runners-up||5||4||0||1||20||2|
|1995 Nehru Cup||Champions||5||3||2||0||8||3|
|1995 Merdeka Tournament||Champions||4||3||1||0||7||3|
|1997 Nehru Cup||Champions||6||5||1||0||14||3|
|1999 Friendship Tournament||Champions||3||1||2||0||6||3|
|2000 Four Nations Tournament||Runners-up||2||1||0||1||3||4|
|2003 LG Cup||Runners-up||2||1||0||1||3||5|
|2003 Prime Minister's Cup||Runners-up||3||1||1||1||4||4|
|2009 UAE Cup||Champions||2||2||0||0||2||0|
|2011 Fuchs Tournament||Fourth place||2||0||1||1||1||3|
|2018 IFC||Third place||2||0||1||1||3||4|
|2018 Superclásico Championship||Fourth place||2||0||1||1||1||5|
The list shown below shows the Iraq national football team all-time international record against opposing nations.
- As of 07 Sep 2021 after match against Iran
|Afghanistan||2||2||0||0||7||1||+6||14 April 1975||AFC|
|Algeria||7||3||4||0||5||2||+3||23 February 1978||CAF|
|Australia||11||2||2||7||8||14||−6||7 June 2008||AFC|
|Azerbaijan||1||1||0||0||1||0||+1||15 November 2009||UEFA|
|Bahrain||31||13||13||5||46||26||+20||26 November 2010||AFC|
|Cambodia||2||2||0||0||8||1||+7||7 June 2021||AFC|
|China PR||17||9||2||6||20||18||+2||24 December 2018||AFC|
|Chinese Taipei||5||5||0||0||18||3||+15||17 November 2015||AFC|
|Congo||1||1||0||0||3||0||+3||20 August 1992||CAF|
|DR Congo||2||2||0||0||3||1||+2||31 March 2015||CAF|
|Ethiopia||1||1||0||0||13||0||+13||18 August 1992||CAF|
|Finland||2||2||0||0||3||0||+3||7 February 1979||UEFA|
|Hong Kong||2||2||0||0||3||0||+3||11 June 2021||AFC|
|India||6||4||2||0||11||2||+9||11 November 2010||AFC|
|Indonesia||7||6||1||0||17||3||+14||19 November 2013||AFC|
|Iran||26||6||6||14||22||36||−14||14 November 2019||AFC|
|Japan||13||3||3||7||10||19||−9||28 November 1982||AFC|
|Jordan||45||25||11||9||66||41||+25||26 March 2019||AFC|
|Kenya||2||2||0||0||4||1||+2||5 October 2017||CAF|
|Kyrgyzstan||2||2||0||0||9||1||+8||27 May 2000||AFC|
|Kuwait||36||16||10||10||53||43||+10||27 January 2021||AFC|
|Lebanon||16||10||6||0||25||7||+18||30 July 2019||AFC|
|Libya||11||7||3||1||17||6||+11||29 August 1999||CAF|
|Macau||2||2||0||0||13||0||+13||21 April 2001||AFC|
|Malaysia||6||3||3||0||9||3||+6||20 October 2003||AFC|
|Mauritania||1||1||0||0||2||0||+2||8 July 1985||CAF|
|Moldova||1||1||0||0||1||0||+1||26 August 1992||UEFA|
|Morocco||7||2||4||1||6||3||+3||16 August 1985||CAF|
|Myanmar||4||4||0||0||13||0||+7||22 October 2003||AFC|
|North Korea||8||5||1||2||10||5||+5||21 February 2014||AFC|
|Nepal||4||4||0||0||22||5||+17||29 May 2021||AFC|
|New Zealand||3||2||1||0||6||0||+6||24 March 1973||OFC|
|Oman||26||13||7||6||48||21||+27||18 December 2012||AFC|
|Pakistan||9||7||1||1||40||6||+34||22 October 2007||AFC|
|Palestine||16||13||3||0||37||6||+31||2 August 2019||AFC|
|Poland||5||1||2||2||3||7||−4||29 February 1980||UEFA|
|Qatar||31||14||9||8||39||30||+9||26 November 2019||AFC|
|Saudi Arabia||35||16||9||10||53||31||+22||28 February 2018||AFC|
|Sierra Leone||1||1||0||0||1||0||+1||23 May 2012||CAF|
|Singapore||6||5||0||1||20||5||+15||29 February 2012||AFC|
|South Korea||20||2||12||6||16||21||−5||18 October 1984||AFC|
|Syria||30||17||9||5||44||23||+20||20 March 2019||AFC|
|Tajikistan||2||1||1||0||2||1||+1||3 August 1999||AFC|
|Thailand||17||10||5||2||45||18||+27||31 August 2017||AFC|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1||0||0||1||0||2||−2||CONCACAF|
|Turkmenistan||2||2||0||0||6||2||+4||22 July 2004||AFC|
|United Arab Emirates||28||10||11||7||40||27||+13||29 November 2019||AFC|
|Uzbekistan||11||3||3||5||8||10||−2||29 March 2021||AFC|
|Vietnam||4||3||1||0||7||3||+4||8 January 2019||AFC|
|Yemen||11||9||2||0||26||4||+22||11 August 2019||AFC|
|AFC Asian Cup||1||0||0||1|
|West Asian Games||1||0||0||1|
|Arabian Gulf Cup||3||2||0||5|
|Pan Arab Games||1||1||0||2|
- WAFF Championship
- Champions: 2002
- West Asian Games
- Gold medal: 2005
- Arab Cup
- Pan Arab Games
- Gold medal: 1985
- Arabian Gulf Cup
- International Friendship Championship
- Champions: 2019
- Al-Quds Cup
- Champions: 2018 (shared)
- UAE International Cup
- Champions: 2009
- Peace Cup
- Champions: 2003
- Friendship Tournament
- Champions: 1999
- Nehru Cup
- Merdeka Tournament
- Peace and Friendship Cup
- Champions: 1989
- Merlion Cup
- Champions: 1984
- Tripoli Fair Tournament
- Champions: 1967
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 10 September 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
- "'Iraq football fans are crazy for the game': Yaser Kasim". Arab News. 4 March 2018.
- Mubarak, Hassanin (21 March 2013). "Iraqi Football History". IraqSport.
- George, George (2 May 1951). "Iraq Select needs to be changed". The Iraq Times.
- "Iraq and Morocco draw 3–3". The Iraq Times. 21 October 1957.
- "Trophy Cabinet".
- "28 October 1993 - The Agony Of Doha". This Day in Football History. 28 October 2015.
- "Footballers who paid the penalty for failure". The Guardian. 19 April 2003.
- "Saddam's son tortured defeated footballers - Telegraph". 30 November 2017. Archived from the original on 30 November 2017.
- Mubarak, Hassanin (9 May 2013). "The game that shook a nation: 2007 Gulf Cup". Iraq Sport.
- "Iraq in historic Asian Cup win". Al-Jazeera. 29 July 2007.
- "Il calcio riporta la festa in Iraq Al Maliki: "È il trionfo dell'impossibile"". repubblica.it (in Italian). 29 July 2007.
- "Olsen takes Iraq job".
- "Iraq sack Olsen". 27 February 2008.
- "Iraq sack coach Hamad". 26 June 2008.
- "Milutinovic is Iraq's new Cup coach".
- "Iraqi Football Association suspended". FIFA.com. 20 November 2009.
- "FIFA lifts suspension on Iraq". FourFourTwo. 19 March 2010.
- "Zico resigns as Iraq national team coach - Turkish News".
- "Iraq sack Serbian coach Petrovic - World - Sports".
- "Iraq coach Shenaishil sacked after World Cup failure". Reuters.com. 11 April 2017.
- "Katanec excited to lead Iraq". the-afc.com. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- "MD5 - Group C: Iraq 2-1 IR Iran | Football | News | Asian Qualifiers 2022".
- "Srecko Katanec Cancels Contract with Iraq: Report - Sports news".
- "سر تسمية منتخبات العالم على أسماء حيوانات.. الأسود تسيطر على الألقاب". youm7.com. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
- Brent A. Strawn (2005), "What is stronger than a lion? Leonine images and metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East", Fribourg (CH)
- Christine Dumas-Reungoat (2003), "Créatures composites en Mésopotamie", Kentron, pp. 91–113
- Breniquet Catherine (2002), "Animals in Mesopotamian art", in Collins B.J, A history of the animal world in ancient Near East, Leiden, Brill, 145-68
- Elena Cassin (1981), "Revue de l'histoire des religions", Le roi et le lion, pp. 355–401
- Elena Cassin (1987), "Le semblable et le différent. Symbolisme du pouvoir dans le Proche-Orient ancien", Paris, Éd. La Découverte
- "JAKO Blog – JAKO-Team im Irak". Jako.de. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "The Lions of Mesopotamia". Umbro. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
- "1986 World Cup". Iraqi-Football.com.
- "West Asian Games 2005". Iraqi-Football.com.
- "كاتانيتش يعلنُ قائمة المنتخب لوديتي الأردن واوزبكستان" (in Arabic). Iraq Football Association. 1 November 2020.
- Montague, James (13 January 2011). "Pitch Warfare: Iran face Iraq in soccer grudge match". CNN. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Iran-Iraq classic rivalry". Iran Daily (4924). 5 November 2014. p. 11.
- "Rivalry and revenge: Iran face Iraq at Asian Cup". 15 January 2019.
- "Match Preview: Iraq vs Saudi Arabia". 27 February 2018.
- "Iraq to withdraw from Gulf Cup of Nations in protest at host city switch".
- Ali Khaled. "Storied Gulf Cup rivalry between Iraq and Kuwait survives war".
- "بالكمامة والهتافات.. هكذا احتفل "أسود الرافدين" ومشجعوهم". skynewsarabia.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 14 August 2021.
- "جمهور العراق يرفع شعار جيب الكأس". emaratalyoum.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 14 August 2021.
- "Lifting of FIFA ban could be the start of a new era for Iraq". ahdaaf.me.
- AFC green-light to Arbil as venue Archived 19 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "AFC president welcomes FIFA decision to lift Iraq ban". the-afc.com.
- "Iraq leave it late to defeat Kuwait in friendly". the-afc.com.
- "Basra pronounced ready to host sporting events as Iraq beats rival Kuwait in football friendly". middleeasteye.net.
- "Results and Fixtures". FIFA.com.
- "العراق يختار مدربا هولنديا لقيادة أسود الرافدين | الحرة". www.alhurra.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 18 August 2021.
- zouhaeir.ward. "الاتحاد العراقي يعين لجنة جديدة للكشف عن اللاعبين المغتربين". www.alaraby.co.uk/ (in Arabic). Retrieved 18 August 2021.
- Mubarak, Hassanin (2020). Iraqi national team matches 2010-2019.
- FIFA.com. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - Associations - Iraq - Men's". FIFA.com. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
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