Despite being a country with a small base of footballers; Qatar has a respectable amount of achievements at the youth level. In addition to becoming champions of Asia in 1990 after winning the 1990 AFC U-17 Championship held in UAE, they also finished runners up at least four times in 1986, 1992, 1994, and 1998. In addition, Qatar were the hosts of four of the U-17 championships; a record.
The youth players became consistent finalists in the Asian U-17 championships since they first reached the final in 1986 when they lost to South Korea in a dramatic penalty shoot-out on home soil, which was tightly clinched 5-4. This was followed by another appearance in 1988 before winning it 1990 after defeating China by a scoreline of 2-0.
One year later, they managed an Asian record high fourth place finish in the FIFA-17 World Cup, even with a relatively slow start as they failed to gain more than a single point in the first two group B matches, however, a Jassim Al Tammimi goal against Australia was enough for a quarterfinal place.
Qatar advanced to the semis on the expense of the United States, whom they defeated 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out after the score had settled 1-1 at the end of regulation time. Shortly after, they themselves went down in a penalty shootout to eventual champions, Ghana, in the semi-finals, before suffering the same fate against Argentina in the third-place match respectively.
Qatar's tradition of youth teams' excellence was to be prolonged for another decade; they reached the World Cup three more times on 1993, 1995 and 2005.
In the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Qatar were drawn 2-2 with the mighty Netherlands before half-time in their first group match. Although Qatar went on to lose the match 5-3, many future talents were discovered during the tournament, including Khalfan Ibrahim who went on to win the Asian Player of the Year award one year later.