The Tunisian football team is one of the Arab teams most present in the World Cup, as it equals with the Moroccan and Saudi teams with 5 participations, before participating in the Qatar World Cup 2022, but it was unable – during its previous participations – to skip the first round.
Tunisia national team history
The beginning of the emergence of football in Tunisia dates back to the thirties of the last century, but the Tunisian Federation of the Game was founded on March 29, 1957, and joined the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the International Federation (FIFA) in 1960.
On June 2, 1957, the Tunisian national team played the first match in its history, in which it beat Libya (4-2). As for the most teams that the Carthage Eagles faced, it was the Algerian team, with a total of 48 matches.
The Football Association supervises the organization of the first popular game in Tunisia, for national teams of all kinds and for club competitions of all degrees.
The Tunisian national football team has a rich record of continental participation, as it participated in the finals of the African Nations Cup on 20 occasions, and has not missed the finals since 1994, as it participated in all tournaments regularly between 1994 and 2022.
The Carthage Eagles won the African Nations Cup on one occasion, when it hosted the tournament in 2004 and achieved the title after defeating its Moroccan counterpart in the final (2-1). It also reached the final on two occasions, in 1965 in Tunisia and in 1996 in South Africa.
The first appearance of the Tunisian team in the finals of the African Nations dates back to the 1962 tournament hosted by Ethiopia. Withdraws from the competition, in protest of the refereeing in the ranking match against Nigeria.
The most prominent Tunisian players
Throughout its history, the Tunisian national team has included a number of prominent players in African and Arab football, such as goalkeepers Sadiq Sassi, who is known by the nickname “Atoqa”, and Al-Mukhtar Al-Nayli, as well as Tariq Diab, who won the African Golden Ball in 1977, Hammadi Al-Aqrabi, Mukhtar Dheib and Najib. Ghamid, Tamim Al-Hazami, Ali Al-Kaabi, and others who formed the golden generation of the Carthage Eagles in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
The Tunisian national team also included a number of other distinguished players, such as goalkeeper Shukri El Waer, defenders Karim Hakki, Khaled Badra, Radi Jaidi, Sami Trabelsi, Hatem Trabelsi, Adel Selimi, Nabil Maaloul, Jamal Imam, Raouf Bouziane, Ziad Jaziri, Yassin Chikhaoui and Mahdi Oil, Ali Bomenigel, Jose Clayton, of Brazilian origin, and others.
As for the coaches who took charge of the Tunisian national team, Abdel Majid Chetali, the Tunisian captain in the World Cup in Argentina 1978, is one of the most prominent, while the French Roger Lemerre achieved remarkable achievements with the Eagles, perhaps the most prominent of which was the 2004 African Cup of Nations.
Tunisia’s participation in the World Cup
The beginning of the Tunisian team’s appearance in the World Cup finals dates back to the 1978 version of Argentina, and at that time, the Carthage Eagles were the only team representing the brown continent, and were able to book their qualification ticket after a marathon qualifier after removing from their way the teams of Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt.
In the finals, Tunisia played in the second group, and achieved in its first match a historic victory over Mexico (3-1), which is the first victory for an Arab and African team in the history of the World Cup. The competition after a participation that the observers considered very honorable for African football, which benefited from the 1982 edition of an additional seat in the finals.
Tunisia, after that remarkable appearance, missed the finals before qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, but the failure accompanied it with its exit from the first round after two defeats and a draw, the same outcome in the 2002 and 2006 sessions, while the Carthage Eagles managed in their last appearance in the World Cup (Russia 2018) to Achieving the second victory in the history of their participation, at the expense of Panama (2-1), but this did not prevent them from withdrawing early after two defeats against England and Belgium.
Jalal Al-Qadri has been supervising the training of the Tunisian national team, since February 2022, when he took over the position to succeed Mundhir Al-Kabeer after being an assistant coach for him for nearly 9 months.
Al-Qadri, 51, led Tunisia to qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cup after defeating Mali in the decisive round of the qualifiers (1-0) in the home and away total. He started his coaching career at the age of 34 and supervised the clubs of Stade Tunisien, Club Bizertin and JS Kairouan, as well as experiences in the Saudi and Emirati leagues.
The most prominent players of the Tunisian national team
The Tunisian national team, which ranks 30th in the latest FIFA rankings for national teams, counts on a group of professional players in Europe and some Arab leagues, as well as a few players in the Tunisian league.
Tunisia captain Youssef Msakni (the striker for the Qatari club Al Arabi) is one of the most prominent players and the most attended (72 international matches), along with Wahbi Khazri (Montpellier, France), Montaser Talbi (Lorion, France), Hannibal Majbri (Birmingham, England), and Ferjani Sassi. (Al-Duhail, Qatar), Ali Maaloul (Al-Ahly of Egypt), Naim Al-Saliti (the Saudi agreement), Ayman Dahmane (Sfaxien), Nader Al-Ghandari (African), Ghailan Al-Shalali (Tunisia’s Esperance), and others.
Schedule of Tunisia matches in the World Cup 2022
Tunisia is playing the first round of the Qatar 2022 World Cup in Group D, and the Carthage Eagles will open their participation in meeting Denmark on November 22 at the Education City Stadium.
In the second round, Tunisia will face the Australian team on November 26 at the South Stadium, and the first round matches will be completed against the world champions France on the 30th of the same month at the Education City Stadium.
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