Calendar (French time) in group D
November 22: Denmark-Tunisia, at the Education City stadium (2 p.m., BeIN Sports 1).
November 26: Tunisia-Australia, at Al-Janoub Stadium (11 a.m., BeIN Sports 1).
November 30: Tunisia-France, at the Education City stadium (4 p.m., TF1, BeIN Sports 1).
Their nickname: players are nicknamed the Eagles of Carthage. The raptor was an emblem of Carthage, capital of the province of Africa in Roman times.
The group of 26:
Goalkeepers: Aymen Dahmen, Bechir Ben Said, Mouez Hassen, Aymen Mathlouthi.
Defenders: Ali Abdi, Dylan Bronn, Mohamed Dräger, Wajdi Kechrida, Yassine Meriah, Bilel Ifa, Nader Ghandri, Ali Maaloul, Montassar Talbi.
Environments : Ghaylen Chaaleli, Aissa Laidouni, Ferjani Sassi, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, Hannibal Mejbri, Ellyes Skhiri.
Forwards: Anis Ben Slimane, Issam Jebali, Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni, Naim Sliti, Seifeddine Jaziri, Taha Yassine Khenissi.
Better Qatar than ever. This is the sixth participation in the World Cup for Tunisia, eliminated in the first round in 1978, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2018.
The selector. Former first deputy of Mondher Kebaier with Tunisia, Jalel Kadri took charge of the selection after the elimination in the quarter-finals of the Carthage Eagles during the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in Cameroon at the beginning of the year. He is assisted by Ali Boumnijel, former goalkeeper of the selection and of FC Sochaux, a club where he has already held the role of assistant, and by Selim Benachour, also a former international, who notably played for Paris Saint-Germain.
Summary note from the cabinet Le Monde
The strong points. Tunisia is a team that is often difficult to maneuver, which relies on a solid tactical organization. In central defense, Montassar Talbi, new defender of Lorient, revelation team of the first part of the championship in Ligue 1, brings a lot of serenity. The association with the experienced Bilel Ifa (Kuwait SC) or Dylan Bronn (Salernitana) works well most of the time.
In June, the Tunisians won the Kirin Cup – a friendly international competition in Japan – dominating Chile and Japan. They had also taken their revenge on the Malians – who had beaten them in the first round of CAN 2022 – in the World Cup play-off, once again showing themselves to be particularly effective in defense during the two games: 0-0 and 1-0. Last asset, the team will be one of the most supported at the World Cup, since Tunisians constitute the first foreign community in Qatar, around 30,000 people.
The weak spots. Each rule has its exception: do not take into account the rout inflicted by Brazil during the last preparation match in September (5-1) to judge the solidity of the Tunisian defensive. It must be said that the Brazilians are the big favorites of the World Cup. Well, to be honest, the performance of the Eagles of Carthage was not very reassuring, and one can doubt their qualities against solid and experienced opponents. However, in Qatar, France and the formidable Denmark are on the menu.
Offensively, with some aging executives, like Wahbi Khazri (Montpellier), Tunisia has not yet found the right recipe. Finally, the coach, Jalel Kadri, had to take over the team at short notice after the disappointment of the CAN, at the end of January. The World will be his baptism of fire at this level.
The rating of the firm (out of 5): 1.5
Sacred at home after their victory in the final against Morocco during the CAN 2004, the Tunisian selection has never really confirmed this title. Falling into an extremely strong group, with France and Denmark, the men of Jalel Kadri will have a lot to do to hope to cross, for the first time in their history, the milestone of the group stage of a World Cup.
Keep an eye on him. Native of Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), Hannibal Mejbri made the choice to represent Tunisia rather than France, after having evolved in the tricolor selections of young people. “You shouldn’t be afraid to choose Africa, even if the conditions are not the same as in Europe. (…) For me, it’s a choice of the heart. And no one can argue with a choice of the heart”explained to World Eleven at the start of the year the 19-year-old midfielder.
Called for the first time in the Tunisian national team in 2021, he had previously joined the Monaco training center in 2018, before being transferred, a year later, to Manchester United for 10 million euros. With the United Under-23s, he was named the best player of the 2020-2021 season. In August, he was loaned for the season to Birmingham City, an English second division club.
… that Ali Boumnijel, former goalkeeper of Gueugnon, now assistant coach of Jalel Kadri, did not hesitate to defend the Qatari World Cup, against the chorus of criticism addressed to the host country. “Qatar was not built todayhe confided at the microphone of RMC Sport at the end of September. To build the roads, the buildings, Qatar has called on a certain labor force from outside, and we are focusing on Qatar today because they are organizing a World Cup. We are trying to take football hostage. It could have happened earlier to raise some issues. This is a non-issue today. »
If you have decided to boycott…
You can always relax on the beaches of Hammamet, Monastir, Mahdia or Djerba. But, more original, how about going zip-lining at Jebel Zaghouan, the second highest peak in Tunisia, with its 1,295 meters? Located in the northeast part of the Tunisian ridge, it extends over 9 kilometers long and 3 wide. There are many caves, old mines, or even archaeological sites.