The Guinea national football team, nicknamed Syli nationale ("National Elephant"), is the national team of Guinea and is controlled by the Fédération Guinéenne de Football. They have never qualified for the World Cup finals, and their best finish in the Africa Cup of Nations was second in the 1976. The team reached the quarter-finals in three successive tournaments (2004, 2006, 2008).
Guinea made their footballing debut on 2 October 1960 at the 1960 West African Games in Nigeria, and lost 4–1 to the hosts. Their next match was a home friendly on 16 December 1962, lost 3–2 against their first European opponents, East Germany. In 1963, Guinea entered its first qualification campaign for an Africa Cup of Nations, the 1963 tournament in Ghana. Drawn in a two-legged qualifier against Nigeria, Guinea drew the first leg 2–2 away on 27 July, and on 6 October won 1–0 at home to win 3–2 on aggregate. They were later disqualified for using Guinean officials in the second leg, and Nigeria went through to the finals in their place. In 1965, Guinea entered qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and was placed in Group A with Senegal and Mali. On 28 February they lost 2–0 in Senegal before beating them 3–0 at home on 31 March, Senegal's win over Mali allowed them to qualify instead of Guinea.
In 2001 FIFA expelled the country from the qualification process of the 2002 FIFA World Cup and 2002 African Cup of Nations due to government interference in football. They returned to international action in September 2002 after a two-year ban from competition. In the 2004 African Cup of Nations Guinea reached the quarter finals, scoring the first goal against Mali before ultimately losing 2–1, conceding the winning goal in the last minute of the match. Guinea reached the quarter final stage again in the 2006 tournament, taking the lead against Senegal before losing 3–2. 2008 saw Guinea reach the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for a third successive tournament, only to suffer a 5–0 defeat against Côte d'Ivoire.