|Nickname(s)||محاربي ديلمون (Muharabi Dilmun, Dilmun's Warriors) |
غواصين اللؤلؤ (Ghawaseen Al-Lulu, The Pearl Divers)
الأحمر (The Reds)
|Association||Bahrain Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Hélio Sousa|
|Captain||Sayed Mohammed Jaffer|
|Most caps||Salman Isa (156)|
|Top scorer||Ismail Abdul-Latif (42)|
|Home stadium||Bahrain National Stadium|
|Current||99 (22 October 2020)|
|Highest||44 (September 2004)|
|Lowest||139 (March 2000)|
|Current||73 13 (14 October 2020)|
|Highest||49 (September 2000)|
|Lowest||138 (March 1979)|
| Bahrain 4–4 Kuwait |
(Baghdad, Iraq; 2 April 1966)
| Bahrain 10–0 Indonesia |
(Riffa, Bahrain; 29 February 2012)
| Iraq 10–1 Bahrain |
(Baghdad, Iraq; 5 April 1966)
|Appearances||6 (first in 1988)|
|Best result||Fourth place, (2004)|
|Appearances||4 (first in 2010)|
|Best result||Champions, (2019)|
The Bahrain national football team (Arabic: منتخب البحرين لكرة القدم) represents Bahrain in international football and is controlled by the Bahrain Football Association, which was founded in 1951 and joined FIFA in 1966. They have never reached the World Cup, but have twice come within one match of doing so. Bahrain won the FIFA's most improved team award in 2004, and finished fourth in the 2004 Asian Cup, beating Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals but losing to Japan in the semi-finals 4–3. Bahrain then lost to Iran in the third-place match, thus finishing in fourth place overall. Bahrain had a golden year in 2019, winning both the WAFF Championship and the Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time, under the stewardship of Hélio Sousa.
Despite the first national team was founded in 1959, Bahraini team was only first officially assembled in 1966 where they played a friendly game against Kuwait, where they drew 4–4. At that time, despite being under British rule, Bahrain was given autonomy and they had utilized this opportunity to expand its football development. Nonetheless, Bahrain was regarded as a weaker side in the Gulf Arab region, where it constituted stronger Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait. For this reason, Bahrain's international feat had been mostly limited in the Arabian Gulf Cup.
In 1988, Bahrain qualified to its first ever AFC Asian Cup, but finished bottom with only two draws in the 1988 AFC Asian Cup. Since then, Bahraini side remained neglected and less invested, despite its youth successes at the U-17 and U-20. Only by the end of the 20th century, Bahrain began to really emerge and would change the country's football history.
Bahrain managed a fine performance during 2000 AFC Asian Cup qualification and 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification, the latter was the first time Bahrain reached the final round. Despite being unable to reach either of them, Bahrain managed one of their greatest football feats, by beating Iran in both qualifications 1–0 in Damascus in 2000 Asian Cup run, and 3–1 at home in 2002 World Cup run, which remains one of the most embarrassing defeats for Iranian football. This win, though mean less for Bahrain, did manage to pull Iran out from reaching a direct World Cup ticket and helped Saudi Arabia to qualify for 2002 FIFA World Cup, Iran later failed to qualify; Bahraini fans had waged Saudi flag as a response of this win, fueling tensions between Bahrain and Iran.
2004 Asian Cup
The form of Bahrain in 2004 AFC Asian Cup was a complete stunning for many. In their just second appearance, Bahrain was drawn with mighty host China, neighbor Qatar and Southeast Asia's finest Indonesia. However, Bahrain went on undefeated at the group stage, including a famous 2–2 draw to China in Beijing, 1–1 to Qatar before trashed Indonesia 3–1 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. Then, Bahrain overcame Uzbekistan on penalty shootout in the quarter-finals, having being held 2–2. Bahrain put up another astonishing performance against defending champions Japan, only lost 3–4 after extra time, before losing 2–4 to Iran in the third place game. This tournament would mark the rise of Bahrain as a serious competitor for football in Asia.
2006 World Cup
After Uzbekistan and Bahrain both finished third in their respective groups during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, Bahrain entered a two-legged playoff with Uzbekistan, which they won on away goals with an aggregate score of 1–1. This allowed Bahrain to enter another two-legged playoff with the fourth-placed CONCACAF nation, (Trinidad and Tobago), for a spot in the World Cup. But a 0–1 Bahrain loss in Manama after a 1–1 draw in Port of Spain saw the CONCACAF nation go through.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Bahrain||1–2||Trinidad and Tobago||1–1||0–1|
2007 Asian Cup
Bahrain played in group D in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification group games. Bahrain fielded a side which was essentially the Olympic (under 23) team against Australia, and they lost 2–0. Bahrain qualified for the 2007 Asian Cup after defeating Kuwait in their last match. Bahrain were knocked out in the group stage via two losses against Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, despite a shock win against Korea Republic.
2010 World Cup
In the third round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Bahrain were drawn into group B along with Japan, Oman, and Thailand. They finished second overall to qualify to the final round, in which Bahrain finished third overall in their group, below Australia and Japan, but above Uzbekistan and Qatar. In the second leg of the playoff against Saudi Arabia to decide Asia's fifth best team, Bahrain drew 2–2 with Saudi Arabia after scoring in stoppage time which allowed them to go through on away goals, after drawing their home leg 0–0. They went on to play New Zealand in the final playoff in which the victory would qualify them for the World Cup, but after a goalless draw in Manama on 10 October 2009, Bahrain lost the return leg 1–0 in Wellington, missing out on qualification at the last hurdle for the second time running.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Bahrain||(a) 2–2||Saudi Arabia||0–0||2–2|
AFC 5th place v OFC winner play-offs:
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
2014 World Cup
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Bahrain did considerably worse. In the third round, they were drawn against Indonesia, Iran and Qatar. Although they managed to defeat Indonesia both home and away, they also lost 6–0 by Iran away from home, and drew their other 3 games. Although they had a higher goal difference than Qatar, they needed an extra point to advance to the next round, or Qatar had to be beaten by Iran in the final round. If they had also drawn to Iran away from home, they would have advanced. But neither luck came to them, and their campaign ended in the third round, their worst result since the 1998 World Cup qualifiers.
2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifications
In the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers second round, Bahrain finished fourth in a group with Uzbekistan, North Korea, Philippines and Yemen. The poor performance of the Bahraini side caused huge public uproar over the team's ongoing decline, rocked the chair of manager Sergio Batista. He was eventually sacked and replaced by Czech youth coach Miroslav Soukup, who decided to revamp the team.
Later on, Bahrain participated in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification, where finished first in the third round in a group with Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei and Singapore, to qualify to the next AFC Asian Cup. However, the team's performance was far from perfect. The team suffered a home draw to minnows Singapore, before getting humiliated by Chinese Taipei away 1–2 that was considered as a shock, since Taiwan is not a football nation. This defeat also prompted Bahrain's main star, Ismail Abdullatif, to retire from the team.
Bahrain managed some promising performance during this deteriorating era, reaching semi-finals of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup held in Kuwait.
2019–present: Asian Cup, WAFF Championship and Gulf Cup champions
At the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Bahrain was grouped with India, Thailand and hosts United Arab Emirates. The Bahrainis managed a promising early performance when they faced the hosts, scored a goal lead in 78', but was eventually held 1–1 following an unclear penalty decision by the Jordanian referee Adham Makhadmeh. However, Bahrain suffered a blasting loss to Thailand 0–1, leaving the team flounder despite its earlier performance. In the final match against India, which the Indians only required a draw to progress, Bahrain however managed to get a needed penalty in injury time, where Jamal Rashid turned hero as Bahrain won the fixture 1–0 to seal the team into the knockout stage for the only second times ever, and eliminated the Indians from the competition. The Bahraini side then played its own round of sixteen match, where they lost 2–1 to South Korea after extra time. This was considered as a major success for Bahraini football, and was considered to be the end of the country's football misfortune that endured since 2010s.
Afterwards, Bahrain managed to win two competitions for the first time, after defeating both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, 1–0 under the leadership of Hélio Sousa against all odds, in the WAFF Championship and Gulf Cup respectively.
World Cup record
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1978||Did not qualify||4||1||0||3||4||6|
|1994||Did not qualify||8||3||3||2||9||6|
|2022||To be determined|
|2026||To be determined|
Asian Cup record
|AFC Asian Cup Finals record||AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|Hosts / year||Result||Position||GP||W||D||L||GF||GA||GP||W||D||L||GF||GA|
|1956||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1972||Did not qualify||4||2||0||2||8||4|
|1980||Withdrew after qualifying||3||0||0||3||0||5|
|1992||Did not qualify||2||0||0||2||1||5|
|2000||Did not qualify||6||3||0||3||6||6|
|2019||Round of 16||14th||4||1||1||2||3||4||14||7||1||6||25||13|
|2023||To be determined||5||2||3||0||3||1|
Arabian Gulf Cup record
|Arabian Gulf Cup record|
Arab Nations Cup
|Arab Nations Cup record|
|1963||Did not enter|
|1992||Did not enter|
- Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
|Asian Games record|
|1951||Did not enter|
|1982||Did not enter|
|1990||Did not enter|
|1998||Did not enter|
|2002–present||See Bahrain national under-23 football team|
Pan Arab Games
|Pan Arab Games record|
|1953||Did not enter|
|2007||Did not enter|
WAFF Championship record
|WAFF Championship record|
|2000||Did not participate|
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.
in Wraw Doss L
|14 November 2019||Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong||Hong Kong||2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers||0–0 D|
|19 November 2019||Amman International Stadium, Amman||Iraq||2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers||0–0 D|
|27 November 2019||Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha||Oman||2019 Gulf Cup||0–0 D|
|30 November 2019||Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha||Saudi Arabia||2019 Gulf Cup||0–2 L|
|2 December 2019||Khalifa International Stadium, Doha||Kuwait||2019 Gulf Cup||4–2 W||45+1' Madan, 69' Al-Shaikh, 83', 90+3' Thiago Augusto|
|5 December 2019||Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha||Iraq||2019 Gulf Cup||2–2 D (5–3 Pen)||14' Al-Haza'a, 45+2' Marhoon|
|8 December 2019||Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha||Saudi Arabia||2019 Gulf Cup||1–0 W||69' Al Romaihi|
The following players were called up for the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup.
Caps and goals updated as of 2 August 2019.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Sayed Jaffer||25 August 1985 (aged 33)||115||0||Al-Muharraq|
|GK||Sayed Shubbar Alawi||11 August 1985 (aged 33)||19||0||Al-Riffa|
|GK||Hamed Al-Doseri||24 July 1989 (aged 30)||7||0||Al-Hala|
|DF||Waleed Al Hayam||3 February 1991 (aged 28)||60||0||Al-Muharraq|
|DF||Abdulla Al-Haza'a||19 July 1990 (aged 29)||41||0||East Riffa|
|DF||Ahmed Abdulla||1 April 1987 (aged 32)||20||3||Al-Najma|
|DF||Sayed Redha Isa||7 August 1994 (aged 24)||13||0||Al-Riffa|
|DF||Sayed Baqer||14 April 1994 (aged 25)||10||0||Al-Riffa|
|DF||Mohamed Adel||20 September 1996 (aged 22)||7||0||Manama|
|DF||Ahmed Bughammar||30 December 1997 (aged 21)||1||0||Al-Hidd|
|DF||Ahmed Nabeel||25 August 1995 (aged 23)||0||0||Manama|
|MF||Sayed Dhiya Saeed||17 July 1992 (aged 27)||78||3||Al-Nasr|
|MF||Abdulwahab Al-Malood||7 June 1990 (aged 29)||43||4||Al-Hidd|
|MF||Kamil Al Aswad||8 April 1994 (aged 25)||39||3||Al-Riffa|
|MF||Ali Madan||30 November 1995 (aged 23)||27||4||Al-Najma|
|MF||Jasim Al-Shaikh||1 February 1996 (aged 23)||9||0||Al-Ahli|
|MF||Ali Haram||11 December 1988 (aged 30)||4||0||Al-Riffa|
|MF||Mohammed Al-Hardan||6 October 1997 (aged 21)||9||1||Vejle Boldklub|
|MF||Mohamed Abdulwahab||13 November 1989 (aged 29)||0||0||Al-Hidd|
|MF||Issa Ali Jihad||14 March 1993 (aged 26)||0||0||Manama|
|FW||Ismail Abdullatif||11 September 1986 (aged 32)||111||40||Al-Muharraq|
|FW||Sami Al-Husaini||29 September 1989 (aged 29)||68||8||East Riffa|
|FW||Abdulla Yusuf Helal||12 June 1993 (aged 25)||40||5||Slovan Liberec|
The following players have been called up for the Bahrain squad within the last twelve months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
Note: Caps and goals may be incomplete for certain players, therefore being inaccurate.
|Head coach||Hélio Sousa|
|Assistant coach||Jose Carniero|
|Assistant coach||Ahmed Isa|
|Goalkeeper coach||Pedro Roma|
|Fitness coach||Jose Herculano|
|Team Analyst||Ahmed Kamal|
- Emad Al-Maawada and Abdul-Salam Alam (1966)
- Hamada El-Sharqawi (1970–1974)
- Danny McLennan (1974–1975)
- Jack Mansell (1976)
- Mal Thompson Michael Gorman (1979)
- Ljubiša Broćić (1979–1981)
- Ali Ahmed Farouq (1981)
- Sebastião Pereira de Araújo (1982–1984)
- Keith Burkinshaw (1984–1986)
- Abdelmajid Chetali (1988)
- Uli Maslo (1990)
- Sebastião Pereira de Araújo (1992–1993)
- Ivan Katalinić (1994)
- Hamad Rashid Nasser Al-Noyami (1994)
- Fuad Boshqar (1996)
- Josef Hickersberger (1997)
- Ernesto Rosa Guedes (1998)
- Alexandru Moldovan (1999)
- Salman Sharida (2000)
- Victor Stănculescu (2000–2001)
- Wolfgang Sidka (2001–2002)
- Yves Herbet (2003)
- Srećko Juričić (2003–2005)
- Wolfgang Sidka (2005)
- Luka Peruzović (2005–2006)
- Riyadh Al-Thawadi (2006, caretaker)
- Hans-Peter Briegel (2006–2007)
- Senad Kreso (2007 caretaker)
- Milan Máčala (2008–2010)
- Josef Hickersberger (2010)
- Marjan Eid (2010, caretaker)
- Salman Sharida (2010–2011)
- Peter Taylor (2011–2012)
- Gabriel Calderón (2012–2013)
- Anthony Hudson (2013 – Aug 2014)
- Adnan Hamad (Aug 2014 – Nov 2014)
- Marjan Eid (Nov 2014 – Jan 2015)
- Sergio Batista (May 2015 – May 2016)
- Miroslav Soukup (Jul 2016 – Jan 2019)
- Hélio Sousa (Mar 2019 – )
- Fourth place: 2004
- Gold Medalists: 2011
- Mamrud, Roberto; Stokkermans, Karel. "Players with 100+ Caps and 30+ International Goals". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
- "Bahrain wins WAFF Championship 2019 title". bna.bh. 15 August 2019.
- "Bahrain beat Saudi Arabia to win the 2019 Gulf Cup". as.com. 8 December 2019.
- "Khamis Al Rumaithi: No commercial objectives behind Romai's sponsorship of Palestine's national team". UAE Today. Emaratalyoum. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "The president of the football union hosts a press conference in the presence of several club managers". Akhbar Alkhaleej. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "MACRON APPROVED AS OFFICIAL KIT SUPPLIER". BFA. Bahrain Football Association. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.