CAIRO – 11 June 2018: Tunisia or as they prefer to be called, Carthage Eagles, is placed in a strong group alongside England, Belgium and Panama.
Tunisia starts their journey against England on June 18 at Volgograd Arena; Belgium on June 23 at Spartak Stadium then ending the Group G matches against Panama on June 28 at Mordovia stadium.
Carthage Eagles are considered the Arab country that participated the most in the World Cup as this is the fifth time they take part in the tournament.
Tunisia last participated in the World Cup in 2006. They participated in 1978, 1998, 2002 and 2006 editions.
The Eagles have never qualified for the next round but presented good performance in their four appearances.
Tunisia played 12 matches in the World Cup; four draws, a single victory and seven defeats.
They are now back under the helm of the national team manager, Nabil Maaloul, who depends on the counter attacks with the strong defense. Tunisia, by that style of play, topped its World Cup qualifiers’ group which included Libya, DR Congo and Guinea.
Tunisia reaped 14 points from four victories, two draws and no defeats. They scored 11 goals and conceded only four goals.
Tunisia will miss Youssef Msakni in the World Cup. Youssef Msakni suffered an injury in April that has ruled him out of the World Cup. Tunisia’s coach believes that: "Tunisia without Msakni is as if Argentina was playing without Lionel Messi or Portugal without Cristiano Ronaldo. He's a very important player."
1- Naim Sliti
Current club: Dijon
Profile: Naim Sliti is one of the most promising players in Tunisia’s squad who was chosen as Dijon best player for 2017/2018 season by the French magazine L’Equipe. With seven goals and five assists this season; he could be relied on as the best substitute for the injured Msakni.
Club Appearances: 149
International Appearances: 18
Goals: (club = 15) (International = 3)
Assists: (club = 17) (International = 3)
2- Wahbi Khazri
Current club: Stade Rennais
Profile: The 27-years-old Wahbi Khazri is a talented striker who started his professional career in France with Bastia in 2009. He joined Bordeaux then Sunderland before being loaned to Stade Rennais. In two seasons with Sunderland, he rubbed shoulders with players such as England's Harry Kane and Belgium's Vincent Kompany.
All Clubs Appearances: 283
International Appearances: 36
Goals: (Club = 60) (International = 12)
Assists: (Club = 46) (International = 5)
3- Saif-Eddine Khaoui
Current club: Troyes AC
Profile: The 23-years-old Saif-Eddine Khaoui is a Tunisian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Troyes in Ligue 1 and for the Tunisia national team. He is known for his creativity and long balls ability. Loaned from Olympique Marseille; he looks to the World Cup as a chance for him to show his abilities for the Tunisian people.
All Clubs Appearances: 90
International Appearances: 4
Goals: (Club = 9)
Assists: (Club = 7)
4- Ali Maaloul
Current club: Al-Ahly
Profile: The 28-years-old started his professional career in Tunisia with CS Sfaxien, spending seven years before heading to Egyptian giants Al-Ahly. Maaloul has been a key player in Tunisia’s squad. He established himself as their starting left back during their campaign to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Maaloul joined Al Ahly from Tunisian CS Sfaxien in 2016. He finished the 2015/16 season as the top scorer for Tunisian League 1 with 16 goals.
All Clubs Appearances: 246
International Appearances: 39
Goals: (Club = 40)
Assists: (Club = 58) (International = 8)
The Tunisian 23-player squad who will feature in the 2018 World Cup:
: Farouk ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia)
: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England), Syam ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt)
: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saif-Eddine Khaoui (Troyes, France), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France), Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France)
: Fakhreddine ben Youssef (Al Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes, France)