Burundi's national football team players, coach, world rankings, nickname

Burundi's national football team players, coach, world rankings, nickname

Helix Odhiambo
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:55 PM

Burundi's national football team has struggled to establish its status in African football for many years. The sport has widely been used to foster peace and unity amidst tensions and civil wars experienced in the country. This article delves into the team's history, achievements, Burundi's football players, and much more.

Burundi's national football team
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Like many African countries, football is also the most popular sport in Burundi, followed by nearly all generations. Burundi's football federation (FFB) manages all football related activities. FFB was established in 1948 and became affiliated with FIFA and CAF in 1972. So, how has the national team performed over the years?

Profile summary

  • Full name: Burundi national football team
  • Nickname: The Swallows
  • Founded: 1948
  • Affiliated to CAF & FIFA: 1972
  • FIFA code: BDI
  • FIFA ranking: 140 (as of December 2021)
  • Most Caps: Karim Nizigiyimana (61)
  • Top Scorer: Fiston Abdul Razak (19)
  • Coach: Jimmy Ndayizeye
  • Stadium: Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium


Burundi's national football team nickname is the Swallows. They played their first international game in 1971, three decades after formation. They lost to Tanzania 4-1 in the match. Their first win came five years later, following a 6-2 home triumph over Rwanda.

Burundi's national football team trophies
Burundi's players pose for a photograph before facing Madagascar in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match at the Alexandria Stadium on 27 June 2019. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace
Source: Getty Images

The Swallows played their first qualifiers in 1993 but lost on penalties to Guinea in a playoff. However, civil wars experienced in the country between 1993 and the early 2000s halted football activities. As a result, the national team had to withdraw from several qualifiers.

Once normalcy resumed, the Swallows started playing against regional opponents. They played 22 games between November 2000 to December 2004 but recorded just one victory.

Burundi's national football team in the Afcon campaign

Burundi's national football team ranking
Samuel Chimerenka of Nigeria battles for the ball with Gael Bigirimana and Gael Duhayindavyi of Burundi during the 2019 Afon Group B match at Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt. Photo: Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

The team made history and defied all odds by reaching its first Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2019. Led by former Stock City's striker, Saido Berahino, the Swallows drew 1-1 with Gabon in their last qualifier game to secure their place into the continental showdown, sending the entire nation into a frenzy of excitement.

Their debut appearance in Afcon did not end well after suffering three defeats to finish bottom in group B. Burundi's national football team's results included 1-0 losses to Nigeria and Madagascar before enduring a 2-0 defeat by Guinea in their final game.

The Swallows did not make it to the 2021 edition. The team finished third in Group E qualifiers, behind Morocco and Mauritania.

World Cup

The Swallows have never qualified for World Cup but have featured in a couple of qualifying campaigns. In 2017, they edged out Seychelles by 3-0 aggregate in the first round of the qualifiers for the 2018 event in Russia. However, a 6-2 (aggregate) humiliation by DR Congo in the second round crashed their dreams of playing in the global showpiece.

Burundi's national football team players

Burundi's national football team captain
Former Stoke City striker and the Swallows captain Saido Berahino dribbles the ball past Wilfred Ndindi of Nigeria. Berahino is among the famous players from his country. Photo: Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

Who is the captain of the Burundi football team? Saido Berahino is the skipper of the Swallows. He is a famous athlete in the squad, having played for Stoke City in the English Premier League. Here is a 23-man list of the team's squad.


  • Arakaza MacArthur
  • Jonathan Nahimana
  • Justin Ndikumana


  • Omar Moussa
  • Eric Ndizeye
  • Philip Oslev
  • Marco Weymans


  • Christophe Nduwarugira
  • Saidi Ntibazonkiza
  • Stève Nzigamasabo
  • Gaël Bigirimana
  • Youssouf Ndayishimiye
  • Jospin Nshimirimana
  • Turkey Yeni Malatyaspor
  • Trésor Mossi
  • Piclaire Irakoze


  • Cédric Amissi
  • Fiston Abdul Razak
  • Saido Berahino (Captain)
  • Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana
  • Mohamed Amissi
  • Blaise Bigirimana
  • Bienvenue Kanakimana

Burundi's national football team coach

Burundi's national team matches
Jimmy Ndayizeye is the current head coach of the Swallows. He is also a former player of the national team. Photo:@ABPInfos
Source: Twitter

Jimmy Ndayizeye is currently in charge of the Swallows. He was appointed in November 2020 to replace Alain Olivier Niyungeko. His next target is leading the team to the 2023 Afcon tournament after failing to qualify for the 2021 edition.

Burundi's national football team world rankings

According to the latest FIFA ranking, the Swallows ranks 140 globally and 41 in Africa. Their highest-ever ranking was 96 and lowest 160.

Having made their debut in Afcon, Burundi's national football team's fans will be hoping they qualify for World Cup soon. Their coach, Jimmy is aiming high to lead the Burundi team to football victory.

READ ALSO: Gabon's national football team squad, coach, world rankings, AFCON, nickname

Sportsbrief.com also covered Gabon's national football team, the Panthers, featuring its profile and progress over the years.

The Panthers have produced brilliant and talented players playing in top European leagues. Learn more about the successful team here!

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.