(Reuters) - Factbox on Iraq ahead of the Asian Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Jan 5 to Feb 1:
FIFA world ranking: 88
Ranking in Asia: 11
Previous Asian Cups: 8
Best performance: Champions (2007)
2015: Fourth place
Nickname: Lions of Mesopotamia
Coach: Srecko Katanec
Regular captain: Mohammed Gassid
Player to watch: Bashar Resan
Sep 10 Kuwait 2-2 Iraq Ardiyah
Oct 11 Iraq 0-4 Argentina Riyadh
Oct 15 Saudi Arabia 1-1 Iraq Riyadh
Nov 20 Iraq 0-0 Bolivia Dubai
Dec 24 Iraq 2-1 China Doha
Jan 8 Iraq v Vietnam Abu Dhabi
Jan 12 Yemen v Iraq Sharjah
Jan 16 Iran v Iraq Dubai
Champions when they defied the odds in 2007, circumstances have scarcely improved for the Lions of Mesopotamia since, with security concerns back home having a major impact on preparations.
They reached the semi-finals in 2015, when they lost to South Korea, but many of the big name players that fired that campaign have since retired.
Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec took over in September but his side have struggled to find the net this year, which might complicate their passage from Group D into the knockout stages.
Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien