|Nickname(s)||Tubarões Azuis |
|Association||Federação Caboverdiana de Futebol (FCF)|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Most caps||Ryan Mendes (69)|
|Top scorer||Héldon Ramos (15)|
|Home stadium||Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
|Current||73 1 (30 November 2023)|
|Highest||27 (February 2014)|
|Lowest||182 (April 2000)|
| Cape Verde 0–1 Guinea |
(Guinea-Bissau; 19 April 1978)
| Cape Verde 7–1 São Tomé and Príncipe |
(Praia, Cape Verde; 13 June 2015)
Liechtenstein 0–6 Cape Verde
(San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain; 25 March 2022)
| 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)
Burkina Faso 4–0 Cape Verde
(Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; 14 November 2017)
Algeria 5–1 Cape Verde
(Constantine, Algeria; 12 October 2023)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||4 (first in 2013)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (2013)|
The Cape Verde national football team (Portuguese: Seleção nacional de futebol de Cabo Verde; recognized as Cabo Verde by FIFA) represents Cape Verde in men's international football, and is controlled by the Cape Verdean Football Federation. The team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, but has qualified for four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, in 2013, 2015, 2021 and 2023.
Cape Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975. The national team's first international was a 1–0 defeat to Guinea on 29 May 1978, in a tournament in Guinea-Bissau. The Cape Verdean Football Federation 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.
World Cup and African Nations Cup qualifiers
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 goal scorer of the qualifying campaign was Dady.
2013 Africa Cup of Nations
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 eight, with seven shots on target to their two, 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 Mubarak Wakaso 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.
2015 Africa Cup of Nations
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 Estadio de Ebibeyin. 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.
Other tournaments and notable matches
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. 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.
Results and fixtures
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss Fixture
|24 March 2023 AFCON qualification||Cape Verde||0–0||Eswatini||Praia, Cape Verde|
|15:00 UTC−1||Report||Stadium: Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
Referee: Charles Bulu (Ghana)
|28 March 2023 AFCON qualification||Eswatini||0–1||Cape Verde||Mbombela, South Africa|
||Stadium: Mbombela Stadium|
Referee: Jean Ishimwe (Rwanda)
|12 June Friendly||Morocco||0–0||Cape Verde||Rabat, Morocco|
|Report||Stadium: Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium|
|18 June 2023 AFCON qualification||Cape Verde||3–1||Burkina Faso||Praia, Cape Verde|
||Stadium: Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
Referee: Haythem Guirat (Tunisia)
|10 September 2023 AFCON qualification||Togo||3–2||Cape Verde||Lomé, Togo|
|16:00 UTC±0||Report||Stadium: Stade de Kégué|
Referee: Ibrahim Mutaz (Libya)
|12 October Friendly||Algeria||5–1||Cape Verde||Constantine, Algeria|
||Stadium: Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium|
Referee: Mehrez Melki (Tunisia)
|16 November 2026 World Cup qualification||Cape Verde||0–0||Angola||Praia, Cape Verde|
|18:00 UTC−1||Report||Stadium: Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde|
Referee: Youcef Gamouh (Algeria)
|21 November 2026 World Cup qualification||Eswatini||v||Cape Verde||Mbombela, South Africa|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Mbombela Stadium|
|14 January 2023 Africa Cup of Nations||Ghana||v||Cape Verde||Abidjan, Ivory Coast|
|20:00||Stadium: Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium|
|19 January 2023 Africa Cup of Nations||Cape Verde||v||Mozambique||Abidjan, Ivory Coast|
|20:00||Stadium: Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium|
|22 January 2023 Africa Cup of Nations||Cape Verde||v||Egypt||Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast|
|20:00||Stadium: Charles Konan Banny Stadium|
- Caretaker managers are listed in italics.
- Carlos Alhinho (1985–1986)
- Óscar (1998–2003)
- Alexandre Alhinho (2003–2006)
- Ze Rui (2006)
- Ricardo da Rocha (2007)
- João de Deus (2008–2010)
- Lúcio Antunes (2010–2013)
- Rui Águas (2014–2016)
- Beto (2016)
- Lúcio Antunes (2016–2018)
- Rui Águas (2018–2019)
- Janito Carvalho (2019–2020)
- Bubista (2020–present)
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Vozinha||3 June 1986||66||0||Trenčín|
|GK||Márcio Rosa||23 February 1997||1||0||Anadia|
|GK||Bruno Varela||4 November 1994||1||0||Vitória Guimaraes|
|GK||Dylan Silva||10 February 1999||0||0||Sintrense|
|DF||Pico||17 June 1992||23||0||Shamrock Rovers|
|DF||Dylan Tavares||30 August 1996||19||1||Bastia|
|DF||Diney||17 January 1995||18||0||Al Bataeh|
|DF||João Paulo||26 May 1998||15||1||Sheriff Tiraspol|
|DF||Logan Costa||1 April 2001||9||0||Toulouse|
|DF||João Correia||5 September 1996||4||0||Chaves|
|DF||Steven Moreira||13 August 1994||1||0||Columbus Crew|
|DF||Delmiro Nascimento||19 August 1988||1||0||AEZ Zakakiou|
|MF||Jamiro Monteiro||23 November 1993||31||3||San Jose Earthquakes|
|MF||Kenny Rocha Santos||3 January 2000||24||1||AEZ Zakakiou|
|MF||Patrick Andrade||9 February 1993||16||0||Qarabağ|
|MF||Deroy Duarte||4 July 1999||12||0||Fortuna Sittard|
|MF||Cuca||9 January 1991||9||0||União de Leiria|
|MF||Leandro Andrade||24 September 1999||6||0||Qarabağ|
|MF||David Tavares||18 March 1999||4||0||Torreense|
|FW||Ryan Mendes||8 January 1990||69||15||Fatih Karagümrük|
|FW||Garry Rodrigues||27 November 1990||46||7||Ankaragücü|
|FW||Willy Semedo||27 April 1994||18||0||Omonia|
|FW||Bebé||12 July 1990||15||5||Rayo Vallecano|
|FW||Duk||16 February 2000||5||0||Aberdeen|
|FW||Bryan Teixeira||1 September 2000||5||0||Sturm Graz|
|FW||Hélio Varela||3 May 2002||3||0||Portimonense|
The following players have been called up for Cape Verde in the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Tiago Gomes||14 August 2002||0||0||Union SG||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|GK||Keven Ramos||6 June 1994||1||0||Batuque||vs. Burkina Faso, 18 June 2023|
|DF||Steve Furtado||22 November 1994||16||0||CSKA 1948||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|DF||Sidny Lopes Cabral||18 September 2002||1||0||Rot-Weiß Erfurt||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|DF||Kristopher Da Graca||16 January 1998||1||0||HJK||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|DF||Romario Carvalho||20 November 1993||0||0||Oliveira do Hospital||vs. Togo, 10 September 2023|
|DF||Stopira (captain)||20 May 1988||58||3||Unattached||vs. Burkina Faso, 18 June 2023|
|DF||Ivanildo Fernandes||1 March 1996||2||0||Ittihad Kalba||vs. Burkina Faso, 18 June 2023|
|MF||Kevin Pina||27 January 1997||5||1||Krasnodar||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|MF||Diogo Mendes||24 January 1998||0||0||Maritimo||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|MF||Laros Duarte||28 February 1997||0||0||Groningen||vs. Togo, 10 September 2023|
|MF||Bruno Freire||27 March 1999||0||0||Dudelange||vs. Togo, 10 September 2023|
|MF||Hélder Tavares||26 December 1989||14||0||Tondela||vs. Burkina Faso, 18 June 2023|
|MF||Telmo Arcanjo||21 June 2001||4||0||Vitória Guimarães||vs. Eswatini, 28 March 2023|
|FW||Gilson Tavares Benchimol||29 December 2001||10||4||Benfica B||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|FW||Jovane Cabral||14 June 1998||6||1||Salernitana||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|FW||Clé||12 December 1997||5||1||Belenenses||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|FW||Serginho||29 January 2001||0||0||Viborg||vs. Comoros, 17 October 2023|
|FW||Lisandro Semedo||12 March 1996||17||2||Radomiak Radom||vs. Togo, 10 September 2023|
|FW||Papalélé||16 March 1998||2||1||Karviná||vs. Togo, 10 September 2023|
|FW||Alessio da Cruz||18 January 1997||1||0||Feralpisalò||vs. Eswatini, 28 March 2023|
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.
- As of 21 November 2023
- Players in bold are still active with Cape Verde.
FIFA World Cup
|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|
|2026||To be determined||1||0||1||0||0||0|
|2030||To be determined|
Africa Cup of Nations
|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||Round of 16||15th||4||1||1||2||2||4||Squad|
|2025||To be determined|
- Amílcar Cabral Cup:
- Champions: 2000
- Runners-up: 2007
- Third place: 1995
- Lusophony Games
- "Conheça as alcunhas das 16 seleções finalistas" [Meet the nicknames of the 16 finalists]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 2 February 2013. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Mamrud, Roberto; Stokkermans, Karel. "Players with 100+ Caps and 30+ International Goals". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 30 November 2023. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
- "Cabo Verde". FIFA. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
- Courtney, Barry (5 June 2006). "Cape Verde Islands – List of International matches". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 10 August 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Cape Verde Islands". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 3 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Foreign contingent boost Cape Verde". FIFA. 21 May 2010. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Cape Verde Islands: Profile". FIFA. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Ghana vs. Cape Verde Islands 2–0". Soccerway.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "AFCON 2015 ROUND UP: Algeria, Cape Verde qualify, Zambia & Nigeria revive fortunes and Uganda suffers set back". Kawowo Sports. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "Rui Águas quer levar seleção à CAN2015". Sapo Desporto. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "Cape Verde leave it late to crush Niger". SuperSport. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Cape Verde hit back to deny Tunisia". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Cape Verde Islands 0–0 DR Congo". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Afcon 2015: Group B as it happened". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Report: Portugal v Cape Verde Islands – International Friendly – ESPN Soccernet". Soccernet.espn.go.com. 24 May 2010. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - Associations - Cape Verde Islands - Men's". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- "Portugal 0 Cape Verde Islands 2". BBC Sport. 31 March 2015. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- "Futebol: Óscar Duarte na equipa técnica dos Travadores". Sapo Noticias. 8 October 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "Cape Verde island coach Alhinho resigns". ESPN Soccernet. Reuters. 5 January 2006. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Ze Rui appointed Cape Verde coach". BBC. 3 May 2006. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Cape Verde confirm identity of new coach". BBC. 22 November 2006. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "De Deus New Cape Verde Coach". MTN Football. 22 November 2006. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
- "Soccer federation unaware of national selection coach's alleged exit". Asemana. 25 June 2010. Archived from the original on 27 April 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Lúcio Antunes tapped as new national soccer team coach". Asemana. 25 July 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
- "Rui Águas é o novo selecionador de Cabo Verde". DN Desporto. 6 August 2014. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "Qualificação Mundial 2026: Convocados para os jogos frente Angola e Eswatini". 10 November 2023.
- "Eswatini vs. Cabo Verde".
- Mamrud, Roberto. "Cape Verde Islands - Record International Players". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 9 December 2022. Retrieved 3 February 2023.