Cape Verde is now the smallest country to be qualified for FIBA World Cup

Feb 27, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in their country’s history, Cape Verde successfully qualified for the World Cup by defeating Cote d’Ivoire in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers.

In addition to creating history in that sense, Cape Verde has now surpassed Montenegro’s prior mark of being the smallest country to ever qualify for a World Cup. 

With a stated population of slightly over 620,000 at the time, Montenegro appeared to have broken the previous record in China. Qatar held the previous record, with a population of little under 1 million in 2006.

The estimated population at the time of World Cup qualification for five different countries is provided in the data. Cape Verde, with a population of 572,000 in 2023, is the smallest among them. Montenegro, on the other hand, had an estimated population of 620,000 in 2019 when they qualified for the tournament. In 2006, Qatar, with an estimated population of 988,000, qualified for the World Cup. Panama, with a population of 1.5 million, qualified for the tournament in 1970. Israel, with an estimated population of 1.6 million, qualified for the World Cup in 1954. The data highlights the varying population sizes of countries that have managed to qualify for the World Cup over the years, with some having significantly smaller populations than others.

Despite being the smallest country to reach the World Cup, their best player is anything but a small player. Before Cape Verde’s victory that guaranteed their World Cup qualification, Walter “Eddy” Tavares, a 2.20M (7’3″) center, was perhaps their greatest player in the Qualifiers, averaging 15.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. 

They now have a slot reserved to compete in the 2017 basketball World Cup against the top countries in the globe. 

Cape Verde may not be able to maintain this record for very long, though. Iceland, with a population of 347,101, has the chance to topple that mark tonight if they defeat Georgia by four points or more.

Cape Verde FIBA Roster Top Players

From recent releases on the team’s roster, here are the players to watch out for. At the top of the list is Walter Tavares, who has proven to be an instrumental player with an impressive efficiency per game score of 23.4. Tavares has consistently shown his prowess on the court, dominating the paint with his size, strength, and agility.

Next on the list is Ivan Almeida, who has an efficiency score of 13.7 per game. Almeida is known for his versatility and ability to play multiple positions, making him an essential player for the team.

Finally, there is Betinho Gomes, who has a solid efficiency score of 13.0 per game. Gomes is a reliable scorer and has the ability to shoot from beyond the arc with precision. These top performers have been crucial in securing victories for the Cape Verde FIBA team and will undoubtedly continue to make significant contributions in the upcoming tournaments.

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