The Northern Ireland national football team competed as part of an all Ireland national team, and in various incarnations, until 1953. This is when FIFA ruled that the two teams from Ireland be named the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
To date the team have qualified for three world cups, but none since 1986. They qualified for their first European championship in 2016. For a relatively small country on the international stage, the side is capable of upsetting the bigger teams. In recent world cup qualifying they have beaten England, and in European qualifying they have defeated Spain.