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INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

Has the Uzbekistan national team ever played in the FIFA World Cup? What is its best achievement?

After losing to the USMNT in St. Louis, The White Wolves will face Mexico in a friendly in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Update:
After losing to the USMNT in St. Louis, The White Wolves will face Mexico in a friendly in Atlanta on Tuesday.
ERIK S. LESSEREFE

The Uzbekistan national soccer team will play its second match of a mini-tour of the United States on Tuesday, taking on Mexico at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta three days after they were defeated by the USMNT. Timothy Weah struck early on and Ricardo Pepi and Christian Pulisic netted injury-time goals in a 3-0 win for the Stars and Stripes at CITYPARK in St. Louis.

Mexico will play the latest in a long line of friendly matches across the border against the Uzbeks, who are probably something of an unknown quantity for many of us. El Tri have never before played a match against The White Wolves, who also took on the United States for the first time ever at the weekend.

Have Uzbekistan ever played in the FIFA World Cup?

Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union from 1924 until 1991 and although the national team was formed in 1928, they only played matches against other Union republics. After gaining independence, they didn’t take part in qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the United States but they have since tried to make it to the seven editions of the tournament to no avail.

The Sovient Union, by contrast, played in seven World Cups between 1958 and 1990, reaching the quarter-finals or better on four occasions. Their best performance was fourth in England in 1966.

Where are the Uzbeks in the FIFA World Rankings?

Located in central Asia with borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan are members of the Asian Football Confederation and are ranked 74th in world, making them the 10th strongest AFC nation. With eight spots (plus one playoff place) up for grabs Asian teams at the 2026 World Cup in the US, Mexico and Canada, they will never have a better chance of qualifying for the next finals.

Uzbekistan in the AFC Asian Cup and other competitions

The Uzbeks have qualified for every edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the primary competition for men’s national teams in Asia, since 1992 but have only once made it past the quarter-finals, finishing in fourth place in 2011. They were runners-up to Iran in the inaugural CAFA (Central Asian Football Association) Nations Cup earlier this year, but their best ever achievement is winning a gold medal in soccer at the 1994 Asian Games, the second-biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics.

Who is Uzbekistan’s star player?

The current Uzbekistan roster is mostly made up of players who play in the domestic league, but fans of Serie A may be familiar with striker Eldor Shomurodov, who has played for Genoa, Roma, Spezia and now Cagliari in Italy and is his country’s all-time top scorer with 37 goals.

Manager Srecko Katanec played for Yugoslavia at Euro 1984 and the 1990 World Cup and led Slovenia to Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup as head coach.