The Benin national team played their first match under their former name ‘Dahomey’ in 1959 which saw Nigeria prevail 1-0. Their biggest ever defeat actually arrived against Nigeria later that year with the hosts running out 10-1 victors. In 1963, the country pulled off their biggest ever win with a 6-2 success over Chad. In 1975, the country was renamed Benin ensuring that the national team also took the new name. The country's highest ever ranking was achieved in November 2009 when the team were placed 59th. This far surpasses their lowest ever ranking which saw them only in 165th during July 1996.
The nation has never qualified for the World Cup in their history. This stat is probably not helped by the fact that Benin did not enter any qualification campaign up until 1974. They also failed to enter the 1978, 1982, 1990 and 1998 tournaments.
The same pattern is present in Benin's African Nations record with the country either not qualifying or failing to enter in the first place. However, in 2004, the country finally made their debut at a major tournament after qualifying for the African Nations. Nevertheless, they finished bottom of the group stage after losing all three matches. The team also managed to qualify for the 2008 and 2010 African Nations Cup after missing out on the 2006 tournament.
The 2008 event once again saw Benin finish bottom with three defeats. They eventually picked up their first ever point in major competition with a 2-2 draw to Mozambique in the 2010 competition. This enabled them to finish 3rd on goal difference with one solitary point.