The Qatar national team played its first official match on March 27, 1970 against hosts Bahrain, losing 1–2 as Mubarak Faraj scored the sole goal for Qatar. Soon after, Qatar were amongst four founding nations to play in the biennial Gulf Cup tournament.
The national team played its first FIFA World Cup qualifying match in 1977. Qatar’s Asian Cup debut came in 1980.
Qatar’s national team arguably reached its peak in the 1990s, when the team missed on two World Cup qualifications (1990,1998) in the final stages, attaining its highest-ever FIFA ranking (53) in August 1993.
In 1992, Qatar’s first major triumph came as the “marrons” won the 1992 Gulf Cup, a young squad centred around the team which managed to impress months earlier in the 1992 Summer Olympics, dominated the tournament to give Qatar the chance to finally win the long awaited regional title.
In the 2000s, it was the Gulf Cup once again that sparked a revival of a new generation of young Qatari footballers. In the back of a transitional period of doubt, Qatar seized the opportunity and became champions when Doha hosted the tournament in 2004.
2014 was without a doubt one of the most successful years for football in Qatar; in addition to becoming Asian U-19 champions that year, the senior squad won both of the West Asia Football Federation and the Gulf Cup championships.
2019 brought more success, Qatar had an excellent campaign at the 2019 Asian Cup. Their opener saw them defeat Lebanon 2–0. This was followed by a 6–0 thrashing of North Korea and a 2–0 win against three-time champions Saudi Arabia, which sealed the team getting first place in the group. They had a 1–0 win against Iraq in the Round of 16 and a late win against defending runners-up South Korea in the quarter-finals, seeing them through to the semi-finals for the first time ever, where they defeated the hosts United Arab Emirates 4–0 to set up a final against 4-time winners Japan. Qatar ended up winning the final 3–1 over Japan, marking their first ever major tournament title in their history, and capping off one of the most improbable Asian Cup runs in the tournament’s history, especially since they conceded only one goal in all their games.
Qatar was invited to the 2019 Copa América. They were placed in Group B with Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. Their first game was against Paraguay where they came back from a 2–0 deficit to tie it 2–2, but that was followed by a 0–1 loss to Colombia and a 0–2 loss to Argentina. Qatar took the last place in Group B with a single point and was eliminated in the group stage of the competition.