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AFCON 2019: Profile of DR Congo national team

By Vincent Ashitey
Profile: DR Congo national team

DR Congo is in Group A of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations alongside hosts Egypt, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo national football team (formerly known as Zaire, alternatively known as Congo-Kinshasa) is the national team of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is controlled by the Congolese Association Football Federation. They are nicknamed the Leopards.

DR Congo have been ranked as high as 28th (July–August 2017) in the FIFA Rankings. The Leopards is currently ranked 46th in the world and 7th in Africa, whilst achieving their lowest ranking on October 2011 being placed 133rd.

As Zaire, they were the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and twice won the Africa Cup of Nations (1968 and 1974).

The Leopards played their first international match in the year 1948 losing 3-2 to Northern Rhodesia.  Their biggest defeat came on 18th June 1974, losing 9-0 against Yugoslavia while they recorded their highest margin in the game against Zambia on 22nd November 1969, winning by 10-1.

The team is currently coached by Florent Ibengé who was appointed on August 2014. He was the manager of Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua from April to May 2012 and of Congolese team Vita Club from February 2014.

He led DR Congo to the 2016 African Nations Championship title in February 2016.

The Leopards most capped player is Issama Mpeko who has amassed 65 caps and registered a goal. 

Issama Mpeko

Dieumerci Mbokani is the nations all-time top scorer with 18 goals in 41 appearances.

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