|Nickname(s)||Tubarões Azuis |
|Association||Cape Verdean Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Head coach||Rui Águas|
|Most caps||Babanco (59)|
|Top scorer||Héldon Ramos (15)|
|Home stadium||Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
|Current||NR (28 November 2019)|
|Highest||27 (February 2014)|
|Lowest||182 (April 2000)|
|Current||105 1 (25 November 2019)|
|Highest||69 (31 March 2015)|
|Lowest||146 (August 1998)|
| Cape Verde 0–1 Angola |
(Cape Verde; 1978)
| Cape Verde 7–1 São Tomé and Príncipe |
(Praia, Cape Verde; 13 June 2015)
| Senegal 5–1 Cape Verde |
(Mali; 12 February 1981)
Cape Verde 0–4 Ghana
(Praia, Cape Verde; 8 October 2005)
Guinea 4–0 Cape Verde
(Conakry, Guinea; 9 September 2007)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2013)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals, 2013|
The Cape Verde national football team, nicknamed either the Tubarões Azuis (Blue Sharks) or Crioulos (Creoles), is the national team of Cape Verde and is controlled by the Cape Verdean Football Federation.
The Cape Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975. The national team's first international was a 0–3 defeat to Guinea-Bissau in the 1979 Amílcar Cabral Cup. Cape Verde's football association was formed in 1982, and joined FIFA in 1986.
Cape Verdeans abroad, who are more numerous than the population of the islands themselves, are a major source of players for the national team. Most of Cape Verde's current international footballers play outside Cape Verde (mainly in Europe, but also in Asia), and some were born outside the islands.
Several players of Cape Verdean origin have chosen to play for other national teams. These include Eliseu, Nani, Oceano, Manuel Fernandes, Rolando, Nélson Marcos, Jorge Andrade, Miguel and Silvestre Varela, who all represent Portugal, as well as Mickaël Tavares, Jacques and Ricardo Faty (Senegal), Patrick Vieira (France), Gelson Fernandes (Switzerland), Henrik Larsson (Sweden), David Mendes da Silva, Lerin Duarte, Jerson Cabral (Netherlands) and Rui (Equatorial Guinea), among other examples.
Cape Verde has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup but have qualified for the 2013 African Cup of Nations. Its first World Cup qualifying campaign was the 2002 World Cup qualifiers, in which Cape Verde was eliminated in the first round after one draw and one defeat against Algeria.
In the qualification campaign for the 2006 World Cup and the 2006 African Nations Cup, Cape Verde advanced to the Final Round after its first victory in a World Cup qualifier, beating Swaziland. In the Final Round, the team made an impression with its first ever away victory against Burkina Faso, but finished fifth in its group and failed to qualify for either finals.
Old coach João de Deus from Portugal brought in several new players from European leagues for the 2010 World Cup/2010 African Nations Cup qualifiers. Cape Verde finished second in its group in the Second round, ahead of Tanzania and Mauritius, but behind Cameroon, and did not advance to the Third round. Cape Verde's top goalscorer of the qualifying campaign was Julio Tavares.
On 14 October 2012, Cape Verde managed to secure their first ever berth in the Finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, when they defeated Cameroon 3–2 on aggregate score, following a 2–1 defeat to Cameroon at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé, having won the home leg 2–0 in Praia just weeks prior to their qualification.
On 24 October 2012, Cape Verde were drawn into Group A of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, alongside Angola, Morocco and the host nation South Africa. Furthermore, Cape Verde played the opening match of the tournament at Soccer City in Johannesburg, Gauteng, against South Africa on 19 January 2013 – Soccer City being the host venue for the 2010 World Cup Final. Pulled from the fourth pot during the group stage drawing of the tournament, Cape Verde actually had the highest FIFA ranking of any team in their group at the time of the drawing, ranking at 51st overall, followed by Morocco (71st), South Africa (72nd) and Angola (83rd). Cape Verde also had the 10th highest FIFA ranking in the CAF zone at the time of the drawing as well.
Cape Verde drew with South Africa 0–0 in the tournament's first match, before drawing with Morocco 1–1. Platini scored Cape Verde's first ever goal at the AFCON, who were unfortunate to let an early lead slip. They however did win their first ever AFCON match against Angola, which they won 2–1 (despite an early own goal by captain Nando Maria Neves), through the late goals from Fernando Varela and Héldon Ramos, thus qualifying for the quarter-finals, and thus reaching the last eight in their maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations.
On 2 February 2013, Cape Verde faced Ghana in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Cape Verde played a good match, with 16 shots on Ghana's goal to their 8, with 7 shots on target to their 2, Cape Verde proved to be especially dangerous from set-pieces, however Ghana's keeper Abdul Dauda managed to keep a clean sheet making some spectacular saves, and with Wakaso Mubarak scoring a penalty kick for Ghana in the 54' minute, and then scoring again in the closing minute of the game (90+5') on an open goal, Ghana would win the match 2–0, to move on to the semi-finals, and ending Cape Verde's exceptional 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
On 15 October 2014, Cape Verde became the first of two nations to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations alongside Algeria, joining the host nation Equatorial Guinea after defeating Mozambique 1–0 at home. The team, under newly appointed manager Rui Águas, picked up where Lúcio Antunes left off and managed to finish in the top two of the group stage with two matches remaining to play in the qualification process, having been drawn in a group together with Mozambique, Niger and Zambia. On 15 November 2014, Cape Verde secured first place in their group, finishing as Group F winners by defeating Niger 3–1 at home, with one match remaining to play for qualification.
Pooled from Pot 3 on 3 December 2014, Cape Verde were drawn into Group B of the final tournament, together with Zambia, Tunisia and DR Congo. On 18 January 2015 they played their first match against Tunisia at the Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín. The match ended in a 1–1 draw, with Héldon leveling the score off a penalty kick in the 78-minute. Cape Verde then drew 0–0 against DR Congo four days later, with the advancement out of the group stage depending on the final match results of both teams.
Facing off against Zambia on 26 January 2015, with both teams depending on the result of the other match between Tunisia and DR Congo and having to finish with a win themselves, the match ended in 0–0 draw, leaving both Cape Verde and Zambia eliminated from the Cup. Contested during a tropical storm, with 26 mm of heavy rainfall, Cape Verde exited the tournament tied with DR Congo for points and undefeated, yet losing to DR Congo on goal difference. Exhibiting good form, poise and defensive prowess, the team were only able to score one goal, while exiting at the group stage of their second appearance in the finals of the tournament, while remaining unbeaten in any Cup of Nations group stage match.
Cape Verde has two titles: It hosted and won the Amílcar Cabral Cup in 2000, and won the gold medal in the football tournament at the 2009 Lusophony Games. The team also won a bronze medal at the 2006 Lusophony Games. Roberto Lopes, the star center back for Irish team Shamrock Rovers was voted the greatest player in Cape Verde history. For the first time in its history, on 2 November 2002, it faced a non-African team, Luxembourg, in a friendly, resulting in a scoreless draw. On 4 September 2009, it faced Malta in a friendly, resulting in a 2–0 victory. On 24 May 2010, Cape Verde played out a 0–0 draw in a friendly match against a full-strength Portugal. At the time, Portugal was third in the FIFA rankings and Cape Verde were 117th. On 31 March 2015, a second friendly against Portugal resulted in a 2–0 victory in Portugal.
In 2014 the new stadium Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde was opened, able to host a capacity of 15,000 people. On 15 October 2014 the team qualified for their second Africa Cup of Nations at the new stadium, in a 1–0 victory over Mozambique, making them the first of all teams in CAF to qualify for the tournament.
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930 to 1974||Part of Portugal||Part of Portugal|
|1978 to 1982||Not a member of FIFA||Not a member of FIFA|
|1986 to 1998||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|2002||Did not qualify||2||0||1||1||0||2|
|2022||To be determined|
|Titles: 0 |
|1957||Part of Portugal|
|1976||Not a member of CAF|
|1994||Did not qualify|
|1998||Did not enter|
|2000||Did not qualify|
|2017||Did not qualify|
|2021||To be determined|
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.
|9 September 2018 2019 AFCONQ||Lesotho||1–1||Cape Verde||Maseru, Lesotho|
|15:00 SAST||Motebang 70'||Report||Djaniny 75'||Stadium: Setsoto Stadium|
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria)
|12 October 2018 2019 AFCONQ||Cape Verde||3–0||Tanzania||Praia, Cape Verde|
|16:00 CVT||Report||Stadium: Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
Referee: Boubou Traoré (Mali)
|16 October 2018 2019 AFCONQ||Tanzania||2–0||Cape Verde||Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
|17:00 EAT||Report||Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Souleiman Ahmed Djamal (Djibouti)
|17 November 2018 2019 AFCONQ||Uganda||1–0||Cape Verde||Kira, Uganda|
|16:00 EAT||Kaddu 77'||Report||Stadium: Mandela National Stadium|
Referee: Youssef Essrayri (Tunisia)
|24 March 2019 2019 AFCONQ||Cape Verde||0–0||Lesotho||Praia, Cape Verde|
|14:00 CVT||Report||Stadium: Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
Referee: Mahamadou Keita (Mali)
|13 November 2019 2021 AFCONQ||Cameroon||0–0||Cape Verde||Yaoundé, Cameroon|
|17:00 UTC+1||Stadium: Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo|
|18 November 2019 2021 AFCONQ||Cape Verde||2–2||Mozambique||Praia, Cape Verde|
|18:00 UTC−1||Stadium: Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Vozinha||3 June 1986||44||0||AEL Limassol|
|GK||Márcio Rosa||23 February 1997||1||0||Cova da Piedade|
|GK||Elber Evora||2 December 1999||0||0||Feyenoord|
|DF||Fernando Varela||26 November 1987||52||3||PAOK|
|DF||Roberto Lopes||17 June 1992||0||0||Shamrock Rovers|
|DF||Stopira||20 May 1988||33||1||MOL Vidi|
|DF||Nivaldo||10 July 1988||23||0||Concordia Chiajna|
|DF||Jeffry Fortes||22 March 1989||12||0||Excelsior|
|DF||Carlos Ponck||13 January 1995||12||0||İstanbul Başakşehir|
|DF||Tiago Almeida||13 September 1990||11||0||Académico de Viseu|
|DF||Steven Pereira||13 April 1994||5||0||Lens|
|DF||Kelvin Pires||1 January 2000||0||0||Batuque|
|MF||Babanco (captain)||27 July 1985||60||4||Feirense|
|MF||Marco Soares||16 June 1984||47||3||Feirense|
|MF||Nuno Rocha||25 March 1992||27||3||Universitatea Craiova|
|MF||Platini||16 April 1986||25||1||Politehnica Iași|
|MF||Hélder Tavares||26 December 1989||7||0||Altay|
|MF||Rodrigo Lima||2 March 1999||1||0||Braga B|
|MF||Emerson||22 August 1996||0||0||Académica da Praia|
|FW||Heldon||14 November 1988||51||15||Al-Taawoun|
|FW||Ryan Mendes||8 January 1990||41||7||Sharjah|
|FW||Djaniny||21 March 1991||32||6||Al-Ahli Saudi|
|FW||Júlio Tavares||19 November 1988||30||4||Dijon|
|FW||Garry Rodrigues||27 November 1990||26||4||Fenerbahçe|
|FW||Ricardo Gomes||18 December 1991||11||4||Partizan|
|FW||Vagner Gonçalves||10 January 1996||2||0||Nancy|
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Thierry Graça||27 January 1995||3||0||Estoril||v. Uganda 17 November 2018|
|DF||Gegé||24 February 1988||32||2||Al-Fayha||v. Uganda 17 November 2018|
|DF||Steven Fortes||17 April 1992||2||0||Toulouse||v. Tanzania 16 October 2018|
|DF||Diney||17 January 1995||2||0||Estoril||v. Tanzania 12 October 2018 WD|
|MF||Danilson da Cruz||28 June 1986||3||0||Nancy||v. Uganda 17 November 2018|
|MF||Bruno Leite||26 March 1995||1||0||Haugesund||v. Uganda 17 November 2018|
|MF||Mailson Lima||29 May 1994||1||0||Ararat-Armenia||v. Tanzania 16 October 2018|
|MF||Cleiton Mendonça||1 January 2001||0||0||Esperança da Calheta||v. Tanzania 16 October 2018|
|MF||Jamiro||23 November 1993||5||0||Philadelphia Union||v. Lesotho 9 September 2018|
|MF||Hugo Cardoso||11 April 1999||0||0||Queens Park Rangers||v. Lesotho 9 September 2018|
|MF||Bruno Amado||6 December 2001||0||0||Sampdoria Primavera||v. Lesotho 9 September 2018 WD|
|FW||Nuno da Costa||10 February 1991||2||1||Strasbourg||v. Uganda 17 November 2018|
|FW||Papalele||16 May 1998||0||0||Mindelense||v. Uganda 17 November 2018|
|FW||Gilson Varela||12 May 1990||1||0||Etar Veliko Tarnovo||v. Tanzania 16 October 2018|
|FW||Ely Fernandes||16 November 1987||0||0||Gaz Metan Mediaș||v. Tanzania 16 October 2018|
|FW||Anderson Gomes||1 January 2002||0||0||Batuque||v. Tanzania 16 October 2018|
|FW||Jovane Cabral||14 June 1998||1||0||Sporting CP B||v. Lesotho 9 September 2018|
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