Tunisia national football team


Tunisia
Nickname(s)نسور قرطاج
Aigles de Carthage
(Eagles of Carthage)
AssociationTunisian Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationUNAF (North Africa)
Head coachMondher Kebaier
CaptainWahbi Khazri
Most capsRadhi Jaïdi (105)
Top scorerIssam Jemâa (36)
Home stadiumStade Hammadi Agrebi
FIFA codeTUN
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 26 (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest14 (April – May 2018)
Lowest65 (July 2010)
First international
 Tunisia 4–2[2] Libya 
(Tunis, Tunisia; 2 June 1957)
Biggest win
 Tunisia 8–1 Chinese Taipei 
(Rome, Italy; 18 August 1960)
 Tunisia 7–0 Togo 
(Tunis, Tunisia; 7 January 2000)
 Tunisia 7–0 Malawi 
(Radès, Tunisia; 26 March 2005)
 Tunisia 8–1 Djibouti 
(Radès, Tunisia; 12 June 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 10–1 Tunisia
(Budapest, Hungary; 24 July 1960)
World Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1978)
Best resultGroup stage, 1978, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances20 (first in 1962)
Best resultChampions (2004)
African Nations Championship
Appearances2 (first in 2011)
Best resultChampions (2011)
FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2005)
Best resultGroup stage (2005)
WebsiteFTF.org.tn (in French)

The Tunisia national football team (Arabic: منتخب تونس لكرة القدم; French: Équipe de Tunisie de football) represents Tunisia in men's international football since their maiden match in 1957. It is governed by the Tunisian Football Federation, founded in 1957 after the Tunisian independence in 1956. Tunisia are colloquially known as Les Aigles de Carthage (The Eagles of Carthage). The team's colours are red and white, and the Bald eagle its symbol. There have been periods of regular Tunisian representation at the highest international level: from 1962 to 1978, from 1994 to 2008 and again from 2014 onwards. Most of Tunisia's home matches are played at the Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Radès since 2001. The team represents both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Tunisia's national team has participated in three quadrennial major football competitions. They appeared in the end stages of five FIFA World Cups and nineteen Africa Cup of Nations, and featured at four Olympic football tournaments. Tunisia created history in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina by becoming the first African side to win a World Cup match, defeating Mexico 3–1. They also held defending champions West Germany to a goalless draw before being eliminated. They have since qualified for three World Cups in succession, in 1998, 2002 and 2006, before returning in the last edition held in Russia in 2018. Tunisia has long-standing football rivalries with North African teams: Egypt, Morocco and Algeria. In fact, the Tunisian team has always met with them, whether through friendly matches or World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations. Tunisia is one of the most successful African national teams in competitions, having won one African Cup of Nations, as tournament hosts in 2004. They have also been runners-up twice in 1965 as hosts and 1996, held in South Africa.

Tunisia is notorious as being one of the most successful and frequent participants in major African competitions, yet failing to deliver the same expectations outside Africa. Although Tunisia has won one AFCON and participated in four Summer Olympics and five World Cups, the Tunisians have never progressed beyond the group stage of either the Olympics or the World Cup.

History


Beginning (1928–1956)

The Tunisian football team in 1939.

Before independence, an unofficial team was formed in 1928, comprising the best Tunisian players from the Tunisian League. The team's first match was on 11 March 1928, against the France national football B team; Tunisia lost 9–2.[3] Their next friendlies, against the same team on 23 March 1930 and 26 March 1933, also resulted in heavy defeats: 0–5 and 1–6 respectively. Tunisia had to wait until 1939 for their first match win: a 4–1 victory over a team of amateur footballers of Paris.

The most capped players of this period are :

Post independence (1956–1962)

Chedly Zouiten (second from left), was the first president of the Tunisian Football Federation.

As soon as independence was proclaimed in 1956, Tunisian football leaders took the necessary steps to create an exclusively national body to replace the Tunisian Football League (an offshoot of the French Football Federation). These steps led to the creation of the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) headed by Chedly Zouiten, which was approved on 29 March 1957. Recognized as a public utility, the FTF has since invested in its dual mission of promoting football and managing the national competition as well as the different teams representing Tunisia in international competitions. In spite of that, Tunisia's national team has been set up before independence. Tunisian coach Rachid Turki has been appointed as Tunisia's first coach. A friendly match was held two days before independence, and this was in front of the Southwest French team. Tunisia succeeded in winning the match thanks to the goal of Ghariani. The Tunisian squad was the following: Zine el-Abidine Chennoufi, Sadok Dhaou (then Mohieddine Zeghir), Azaiez Jaballah, Driss Messaoud, Hassen Tasco, Abdou Béji, Ali Hannachi « Haj Ali », Amedée Scorsone, Hédi Braïek, Noureddine Diwa, Khemais Ghariani.

Chetali, one of the best players in the history of Tunisia.

The Tunisian team also played a match with the Austrian team FC Admira Wacker Mödling on 30 December of the same year and managed to win 4–1 thanks to two goals from both Diwa and Braïek and the Tunisian squad was as follows : Mohamed Bennour (then Houcine El Bez), Youssef Sehili, Azaiez Jaballah, Mokhtar Ben Nacef, Mehrez Jelassi, Abdou Béji, Ali Hannachi « Haj Ali », Abderrahman Ben Ezzedine, Hédi Braïek, Noureddine Diwa (then Khemais Ghariani), Hammadi Henia.

Tunisia gained independence from France on 20 March 1956. The Tunisian Football Federation was founded on 29 March 1957 and became affiliated to FIFA and the Confederation of African Football in 1960. The independent Tunisia played their first match against Algeria on 1 June 1957, in the midst of the Algerian War; Tunisia lost 2–1. They played their first official match at the 1957 Pan Arab Games where they won Libya 4–3 after scoring the first Tunisian goal in an official competition by Farzit. They also managed to get through Iraq and Lebanon before losing in the final against Syria 3–1. In 1960, the Yugoslavian Milan Kristić to be the first foreigner to coach the national team so Tunisia qualified for 1960 Summer Olympics which was their first international event after beating Malta, Morocco and Sudan; on 24 July 1960, the team experienced its biggest-ever defeat, losing 10–1 against Hungary. However, less than a month later, on 18 August 1960, Tunisia recorded their biggest-ever win: an 8–1 thumping of Taiwan. As for the Olympic Games, the results were very poor in the first game and despite the opening of the scoring by Kerrit in the third minute, but the Polish team returned in the game and won 6–1. They also lost to Argentina 2–1 before being defeated again, this time against Denmark 3–1.

Golden generation (1962–1978)

President Habib Bourguiba amid the Tunisian side that won the Palestine Cup in 1973.

Frane Matošić was appointed to coach the team as the second Yugoslav coach of the Tunisian team after Kristić led Tunisia to qualify for the Olympics. In 1962, Tunisia entered the African Cup of Nations qualifiers for the first time: the team qualified for the tournament after overcoming Morocco and Nigeria and went on to finish third after beating Uganda in the third-place match. Tunisian federation has appointed French coach André Gérard to train the team to continue contracting with foreign coaches. The team succeeded in crowning the 1963 Arab Cup to be the first championship for the team, after achieving impressive results, including winning over Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait.

Tunisia also qualified for the 1963 Africa Cup of Nations despite the exit from the first round. CAF decided that Tunisia would host the 1965 Africa Cup of Nations , despite the fact that only 9 years have passed since the independence of the country, in addition to a distinguished generation of players, most notably Abdelmajid Chetali and Attouga who reached the final after beating Ethiopia 4–0 in the opening match in Stade Chedly Zouiten,[4] but they lost 3–2 to Ghana in extra-time of the final.[5] Despite this early success, Tunisia did not enter the Cup of Nations again until 1976 in Ethiopia, and did not qualify for one until 1978. In 1973, however, the team entered the Palestine Cup of Nations and won in dominant fashion, winning all six of their matches overcoming Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Yemen and Iraq, scoring 19 goals, and conceding only three with the Tunisian coach Ameur Hizem.

Tunisia at the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification against Egypt.
Chetali managing Étoile du Sahel in 1973

In February 1975, after a short experience of the Hungarian coach André Nagy, the coach of ES Sahel, Abdelmajid Chetali was hired. This coincided with the return of the team to the competition in the African Cup of Nations before going out against Sudan before it succeeded to qualify after the absence of 13 years in 1978 after overcoming Egypt and Guinea in qualifying. At the same time, the team was able to qualify for the first time in the FIFA World Cup in 1978 after a remarkable performance in the qualifiers led by a distinguished generation such as Mokhtar Dhouib, Néjib Ghommidh, Raouf Ben Aziza and Tarak Dhiab. They have reserved the only African seat by going to teams such as Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. Before the World Cup, Tunisia competed in the African Cup and won Uganda to find themselves in the semi-finals before losing to hosts Ghana to play third place match with Nigeria. Tunisia initially took the lead, but when Nigeria scored a controversial equalizer in the 42nd minute, the Tunisians walked off the pitch in protest and Nigeria were awarded a 2–0 victory by default. At the World Cup in Argentina, Tunisia made an immediate impact by coming from behind after preparations were not at the desired level after a draw with Hungary 2–2 and a defeat from France 2–0 and another big defeat against Netherlands 4–0.

Ali Kaabi, Tunisia's first-ever World Cup goalscorer.

In the first game, Mexico managed to advance through a penalty in the first half to end the break 1–0 for the Mexican team. And before the start of the second half, Tunisian coach Chetali threw the Tunisian flag in front of the players and left the changing room. Tunisia managed to return to the game after Ali Kaabi scored the equalizer for Tunisia to enter history as the first Tunisian player to score a World Cup goal in the 55th minute before adding two goals to finish the game 3–1.

In the second match, they made a good performance against Poland before the team lost 1–0, but in the last game it was just around the corner to win the defending champion West Germany before the game ended 0–0. This performance has been admired by most analysts who did not expect it, and that has contributed to increasing the number of African teams qualified for the World Cup to become two. The team was received at Tunis–Carthage International Airport by Tunisians, provided by Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, telling the players that they had accomplished the task of 50 ambassadors, because they contributed to the known of Tunisia internationally.

After this impressive performance, coach Abdelmajid Chetali decided to resign after a remarkable period in which he managed to reach the Tunisian national team to the international level. However, the period that will come after his resignation will be filled with several disturbances that have lasted for years.

Decline (1978–1994)

Following their first experience of World Cup football, Tunisia experienced a sudden decline after the passage of Tunisian coaches such as Ameur Hizem and Hmid Dhib who withdrew the team in the World Cup qualifiers in 1982 against Nigeria despite the participation of dozens of players who played the previous edition. Between 1980 and 1992, the team managed to qualify for only two tournaments – the 1982 African Cup of Nations and the 1988 Summer Olympics – and in both they were knocked out in the first round. In fact, Tunisia qualified for the African Cup hosted by neighbor Libya with Polish coach Ryszard Kulesza after being banned in 1980 African Cup but achieved negative results: drew with Cameroon 1–1 in the first game before being defeated against Libya 2–0 and Ghana 1–0 to withdraw by only one point. Kulesza failed also to qualify for the 1984 African Cup after the defeat against Egypt, which precipitated his departure. Coach Youssef Zouaoui was appointed to oversee the team and had a good start by winning friendly matches against Nigeria 5–0 and Canada 2–0 and also surpassed Benin and Guinea in the first rounds of the World Cup qualifiers in 1986. However, he failed to qualify for the 1986 African Cup of Nations after the defeat to the Libyan team, which was strong in that period. But that did not prevent them from reaching the last round of the World Cup qualifiers by beating Nigeria before being defeated in front of Algeria, which qualified for the second time.

The former Cameroon coach Jean Vincent was hired but failed to qualify for the 1988 African Cup in Morocco after defeat against Algeria. He also achieved catastrophic results in the Football at the African Games with defeats against Cameroon, Madagascar and Kenya. He was immediately sacked.

Benzarti was appointed during AFCON 1994 after Zouaoui failed in first match.
Dhiab scored Tunisia's qualification goal for the 1988 Olympic Games.

Taoufik Ben Othman was appointed who was the former assistant coach of Chetali in the team of 1978 team. The results improved relatively as they qualified for the Olympic Games after surpassing Morocco (thanks to the goal of Tarak Dhiab in the last minute) and Egypt in the qualifiers but Ben Othman was sacked days before the start of the competition after the poor results in the 1988 Arab Cup and the failure to win in their matches against Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq, as well as the bad results in friendly matches against Malta, Finland and East Germany. The Polish coach Antoni Piechniczek was temporarily appointed and supervised the team in the first round of World Cup qualifiers 1990 and also In the finals of the Olympic Games where results were not good after drawing with China 0–0 and Sweden 2–2 and a heavy defeat from West Germany 1–4.

Mokhtar Tlili was appointed coach but the results did not improve by not qualifying for the African Cup in Algeria 1990 after the heavy defeat to Senegal, which precipitated his departure and the arrival of Antoni Piechniczek again and did not succeed in the World Cup qualifiers in 1990 after the defeat in the last round against Cameroon to be contracted with coach Mrad Mahjoub. Although he was unable to qualify for the 1992 African Cup again, the federation renewed confidence in him because of the respectable performance he had given in the qualifiers because the team was eliminated with goal difference to Egypt, in addition to winning Belgium in a friendly match but the early exit from the World Cup qualifiers in 1994 contributed to his dismissal after a draw with Morocco to be replaced by coach Youssef Zouaoui before the 1994 African Cup to be hosted in Tunisia so the team managed to break the streak in 1994 by hosting that year's African Cup of Nations replacing original hosts Zaire, but the result was catastrophic and unexpected with a defeat by Mali 2–0 in the opening game at El Menzah Stadium in front of 45,000, which contributed to the dismissal of Zouaoui after the opening match and compensated by Faouzi Benzarti, who drew with Zaire in the second game finishing bottom of the group.

Beginning of Resurgence (1994–2002)

Kasperczak guided the team to qualify for the 1998 World Cup after 20 years.

After confirming the decline of the Tunisian football, it was decided to hire a coach who knows the African football well. The former coach of Côte d'Ivoire Henryk Kasperczak was appointed, and the team's results were gradually improved. They managed to qualify for the African Cup for the first time in 14 years through the qualification after overcoming Liberia and Senegal. At the finals of 1996 African Cup of Nations, Tunisia began badly after a draw against Mozambique and a defeat from Ghana, but they finished second in their group, putting them through to the quarter-finals surpassing the first round for the first time since 1978 after winning Côte d'Ivoire 3–1. Tunisia went on to beat Gabon in the quarter-finals and Zambia in the semi-finals 4–2 to reach their first major final in 31 years, but lost to host country South Africa 2–0. This performance was appreciated by the Tunisian fans who did not expect this development in the team led by a new generation, most notably Chokri El Ouaer, Zoubeir Baya and Adel Sellimi. They were also received by President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the airport. In that period Tunisia qualified to the 1996 Olympic Games after surpassing Guinea. The team did not rise to what was expected after the defeat from Portugal and the United States with the same result 2–0 in addition to the draw with Argentina 1-1 which eliminated them from the group stage. Still under the leadership of Kasperczak, They qualified for the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations after defeating Guinea and Sierra Leone and qualified for the final quarter in the lead of the group with a win over DR Congo, Togo and defeat from Ghana. In the quarter-final, where they were eliminated in a penalty shootout by host country Burkina Faso. In that period, the team qualified for the second round of World Cup qualifiers after beating Rwanda. Tunisia was placed in the group 2 with Egypt, which was a strong candidate for the qualification, but Tunisia managed to qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup for the second time in its history and the first since 20 years after winning Egypt, Liberia and Namibia.

Krautzun qualified Tunisia for the 2002 World Cup.

The team played some friendly matches before the World Cup with Wales (won 4–0), Austria (lost 1–2) and Chile (lost 2–3). In the finals, they failed to advance from the group stages, losing 2–0 to England and 1–0 to Colombia, and drawing 1–1 with Romania.

Trabelsi was part of Tunisia's squad for the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Kasperczak was sacked and replaced with the Italian coach Francesco Scoglio, who qualified the team for the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations ideally after winning over Algeria, Uganda and Liberia. Tunisia qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition for the third consecutive time with difficulty after the defeat in the first round of Nigeria and the victory over Congo and draw with Morocco as the team managed to qualify for the semi-final by overcoming Egypt before they lost three to Cameroon and finish the competition in fourth place with a loss from South Africa on penalty shootout.

The following year, Scoglio departed to rejoin Genoa CFC, sparking a period of severe instability. The German coach Eckhard Krautzun, was appointed and qualified the team to the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations with difficulty with a group that includes Morocco, Gabon and Kenya, he Succeeded to lead the team to the World Cup in South Korea and Japan for the third time in its history with a difficult group, including Côte d'Ivoire and the DR Congo. Krautsen was sacked surprisingly despite the good results after a sharp dispute with the Tunisian Football Federation officials.

Henri Michel replaced him, but was sacked when Tunisia crashed out of the 2002 African Cup of Nations without scoring a single goal after a draw with Senegal and Zambia and defeat from Egypt. Finally, Ammar Souayah took over in time for the 2002 World Cup; The team drew in friendly matches with Norway and South Korea and were defeated by Denmark and Slovenia. In the finals, Tunisia could not do better than 1998 performance, drawing 1–1 with Belgium but losing 2–0 to Russia and co-hosts Japan making the federation look for a big coach before the start of the 2004 African Cup hosted by Tunisia.

Lemerre era: First African title and continental domination (2002–2008)

Roger Lemerre is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time in Tunisia.

After the 2002 World Cup, former France manager Roger Lemerre took over, becoming Tunisia's fifth manager in less than two years. As well as steadying the ship, Lemerre was tasking with winning the 2004 African Cup of Nations, which Tunisia would be hosting because his coaching career entitles him to coach the team as he won the 1998 FIFA World Cup as an assistant, the UEFA Euro 2000 and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. During the build-up to the tournament, the team established themselves as favourites with several impressive friendly results, holding France and Portugal to 1–1 draws and beating Sweden 1–0 in addition to the good results with the African giants by beating Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. All these indicators in addition to hosting the tournament put the Tunisian team strong candidate to win the cup.

Tunisia starting line-up against Morocco at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations Final, a match they won 2–1.

Tunisia advanced unbeaten from the group stage, beating Rwanda 2–1 in the opening match of the tournament before winning the second game against DR Congo 3–0, and drawing 1–1 with Guinea. The team then beat Senegal 1–0 in the quarter-final thanks to the goal of Jawhar Mnari in the 65th minute and Nigeria on penalties 5–3 in the semi-final after a 1–1 draw to face Morocco, In the final at the Stade 7 November in Radès, Tunisia got off to a good start with a lead 1-0 after four minutes with Mehdi Nafti centered on Francileudo Santos, who scored his fourth goal of the tournament. At the end of the first half, Morocco returned to the score with a goal from Youssouf Hadji on a lift from Youssef Mokhtari.

Seven minutes passed in the second half before another Tunisian striker, Ziad Jaziri gave his country the lead. The match ultimately ended 2-1, giving Tunisia its first African Cup of Nations title. Roger Lemerre also becomes the first coach to win two different continental tournaments. The national team also wins the African National Team of the Year award from the Confederation of African Football. The victory gives rise to the team's nickname, the "Eagles of Carthage" and, as a result, the team badge is changed to incorporate an eagle.

Lemerre became the first coach to win two different continental tournaments, having previously won Euro 2000 with France. The victory gave birth to the Tunisian team's present nickname, the "Eagles of Carthage", and accordingly, the team's badge was changed to its current design, which incorporates an eagle. In the same period, Tunisia qualified for the fourth time in its history for the 2004 Olympic Games surpassing after a strong group including Egypt, Nigeria and Senegal overcame itself in Athens in the face of big teams. Tunisia was just around the qualification to the quarter-finals of the competition but the goal difference prevented it. After a 1–1 draw with Australia and a 2–0 defeat by Argentina to add to beat Serbia 3–2 to leave good impressions in the competition and devote their international presence.

2004 African Cup of Nations win qualified them for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, where they were drawn in a difficult group including host Germany, Argentina and Australia. The opening match of this tournament was between Tunisia and Argentina, who narrowly won 2–1. In the second match, the Tunisians fought back to the 74th minute where they accepted three goals from the German team to finish the score 3–0, while in the third game they managed to beat Australia 2 -0 to leave good impressions. In the same year the Tunisian team played the World Cup qualifiers in 2006, and they succeeded in acquiring Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana and Morocco, which drew them in the last round 2–2 at Stade 7 November in front of 65,000 spectators, which enabled the Tunisian national to qualify for the World Cup for the fourth time in its history and third in a row, which is dedicated to the African domination of the Tunisian team due to the inability of the rest of the African strong teams to qualify.

Warm-up during Tunisia-Germany match at the 2005 Confederations Cup.
Tunisia-Ukraine match during 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The following year, they failed to defend their continental cup of Nations title, losing to Nigeria in the quarter-finals on penalties 6–5 after a 1–1 draw despite the good start in the group stage after winning Zambia 4–1 and South Africa 2–0. Before the start of the 2006 World Cup, they played some friendly matches which were generally good after a 0–0 draw over Uruguay and a 3–0 victory over Belarus. In the finals they failed again in the group stage after a draw in the first round with Saudi Arabia 2–2 in Munich. In the second round the team played with Spain which was one of the most powerful teams in the world led by Raúl, Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos and Tunisia managed to progress in the result in the 8th minute through the goal of Jawhar Mnari, but the team conceded 3 goals in the last minutes to defeat hard 3–1. In the last round, the team lost to Ukraine 1–0 thanks to Shevchenko's goal with a penalty to leave Tunisia the World Cup with a single point After the World Cup, the team managed to qualify for the 2008 African Cup after qualifying over Sudan, Seychelles and Mauritius. Tunisia has been a candidate for the African Championship after the outstanding performance in recent years in addition to the presence of seven players from the Étoile Sportive du Sahel, which was the champions of Africa at that time and Tunisia was able to qualify for the quarter-finals in the lead after beating South Africa 3–1 and tie With Senegal 2–2 and Angola 0–0 but they were very hard to beat Cameroon 3–2 in extra time to leave Tunisia from the quarter-finals again.

On 30 June 2008, Roger Lemerre left Tunisia after six years, the longest reign of any of the team's coaches. He was replaced by Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho.

Disappointments (2008–2014)

Tunisia-Gabon match at 2010 African Cup in Angola.
Tunisia-Mozambique match at 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Under Coelho, Tunisia qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers started well with a win over Kenya[6][7] and Mozambique[8][9] and a tie-up with Nigeria in the last minute in Abuja Stadium in front of 60,000. It took only one point to qualify before the 83rd minute defeat in Mozambique to leave the place for Nigeria,[10][11] Coelho was sacked immediately and coach Faouzi Benzarti was hired to oversee the team at the 2010 African Cup; he too was sacked after Tunisia were eliminated from the group stage, drawing all three of their matches against Gabon, Cameroon, and Zambia finishing in the bottom of the group.

In June 2010, Bertrand Marchand was appointed manager on a two-year contract, with the goal of reaching the semifinals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations especially after the excellent results he achieved with ES Sahel at the African and international level. However, qualification started badly, with two defeats against Botswana[12][13] and a 2–2[14] draw against Malawi bringing the Tunisian team to 65th place in the FIFA rankings, the worst in its history. Marchand was sacked in December, only six months into his two-year term. The beginning of 2011 saw tough political events in Tunisia. Against this turbulent backdrop, and with little preparation under new coach Sami Trabelsi, the team surprisingly won the 2011 African Nations Championship, following wins against Senegal,[15] Angola[16] and Rwanda[17] in the first round as well as DR Congo[18] and Algeria[19] in the playoffs and defeating Angola 3–0[20] in the final making the federation extend the Trabelsi's contract.

Tunisia squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification against Cameroon.

Tunisia went on to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations and managed to qualify for the next round after beating Morocco[21] and Niger[22] and defeat from Gabon[23] but an extra-time defeat to Ghana knocked them out in the quarter-finals yet again.[24] Tunisia fared even worse in the following tournament which the qualification was difficult against Sierra Leone,[25][26] falling in the group stages after a big defeat against Côte d'Ivoire 3–0[27] in addition to the draw with Togo[28] despite a 1–0 win over Algeria[29] in which Youssef Msakni scored what was later voted the goal of the tournament. In February 2013, Sami Trabelsi was replaced by Nabil Maâloul. Under Maâloul, the results worsened because Tunisia failed to make the World Cup qualification playoffs after a 2–0 defeat to Cape Verde national football team although the results of the World Cup qualifiers were good initially by beating Equatorial Guinea[30][31] and Sierra Leone,[32][33] but Cape Verde were found to have fielded an ineligible player and Tunisia were awarded a 3–0 victory,[34] putting them through to the playoffs. With Maâloul having already resigned, the Dutch coach Ruud Krol took over for the two-leg playoff, but Tunisia lost 4–1[35][36] to Cameroon and Krol himself then resigned let the Tunisian team go in a bad way.

Back to improvement (2014–)

Tunisia-Belgium friendly match in 2014.

Belgian coach Georges Leekens was appointed in early 2014 to try and revive the team's fortunes. Early results were positive, including a (1–1)[37] draw against Colombia and a 1–0 win over South Korea,[38] both in friendly matches. Under Leekens, the team climbed from 49th to 22nd in few months in the FIFA rankings so the team regained its continental luster after the emergence of a new generation of players. Tunisia qualified for the 2015 African Cup of Nations and finished top of their strong group including Senegal,[39][40] Egypt[41][42] and Botswana.[43][44] At the finals of the tournament, Tunisia finished top of their group for the first time since 2008 winning Zambia 2–1[45] and drawing with Cape Verde[46] and DR Congo[47] with the same result 1–1 but were eliminated in the quarter-finals after a controversial 2–1[48] defeat to the host Equatorial Guinea making CAF banned the referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn for six months for his "poor performance" at the tournament. In June 2015, Leekens resigned surprisingly for security reasons after he restored the glamor of the team. In July 2015, Henryk Kasperczak returned as coach after 17 years. He managed to qualify the team for the 2017 African Cup in the lead with victory over Liberia,[49][50] Togo[51][52] and Djibouti.[53][54]

He reached also the quarter-finals of the competition after beating Algeria[55] and Zimbabwe[56] 4-2 before losing again in this round, this time against Burkina Faso 2–0.[57] The defeats in friendly matches against Cameroon[58] and Morocco[59] with the same result 1–0 led to the dismissal of Kasperczak. On 27 April 2017, Nabil Maâloul returned as coach despite the disapproval of the Tunisian supporters following the failure at the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, but this time he qualified Tunisia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia for the fifth time in the history of Tunisia and the first since 12 years after winning against DR Congo,[60][61] Guinea[62][63] and Libya[64][65] in the qualification.

Tunisia line-up at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Tunisia's qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and its positive results in the friendlies against Iran[66] and Costa Rica[67] led to its rise to 14th place in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time ever, after being first in African teams and surpassing teams like Italy and Netherlands. The team also continued its good results before the World Cup, with a draw with Turkey[68] and Portugal,[69] with the same score 2–2, in addition to a difficult defeat against Spain 1–0 in the 85th minute.[70] Despite this, in the World Cup, the performance of the team did not rise to the expected level, and was once again eliminated from the group stage;

The first match against England,[71] the two teams had met in two matches, including one game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup group stage, an England 2–0 victory.[72] England scored in the 11th minute when Mouez Hassen stopped a John Stones' header from a corner from the left, but could not save a Harry Kane follow-up from close range. Hassen was substituted four minutes later for Farouk Ben Mustapha due to an injury earlier in the game, after he had a collision with Jesse Lingard. Lingard then mishit a volley from Ashley Young's cross to the far post.[73]

After 10 minutes, Ferjani Sassi equalised from the penalty spot after Kyle Walker was penalised for an elbow on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef.[74] Kane had an appeal for a penalty waved away within five minutes of the restart as he was seemingly impeded by a pair of Tunisia players at a corner.[75] In the additional time, Harry Maguire flicked a Kieran Trippier corner from the right into the path of Kane, who headed it inside the goal after being left free at the back post.[73][76]

The second match against Belgium,[77] the two teams had faced each other in three matches, including one game at the 2002 FIFA World Cup group stage, which ended in a 1–1 draw.[78] Just 6 minutes into the game, Syam Ben Youssef's late challenge on Eden Hazard was deemed, with the use of VAR, to have been just inside the area and he stepped up to score the penalty into the bottom-left corner. Ten minutes later, Dries Mertens won possession just inside the Tunisia half before driving forward and passing the ball to Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku then shot a low strike across Farouk Ben Mustapha into the bottom-right corner. Wahbi Khazri's free-kick from the left was met by Dylan Bronn, who flashed a header past Thibaut Courtois. Thomas Meunier found Lukaku inside the area, which he clipped over the onrushing Mustapha. Toby Alderweireld's long pass from defence was taken on the chest by Hazard, who then rounded Mustapha to stroke into an empty net. Michy Batshuayi met Youri Tielemans' cross at the back post with a controlled half-volley to score Belgium's 5th. Khazri scored deep into stoppage time after a swivel in the box.[79][80] Tunisia, it has registered as their worst defeat ever in their World Cup history.

The last game against Panama,[81] the two teams had never met before.[82] Both teams had already been eliminated from the tournament before the match. Panama took the lead in the 33rd minute, after a José Rodríguez shot from outside the penalty area took a deflection off Yassine Meriah and nestle in the back of the net. In the 51st minute, Naïm Sliti found Wahbi Khazri down the right and the latter's low cross was converted by Fakhreddine Ben Youssef just six yards out. At the 66 minute mark, Khazri finished off a cross from the left by Oussama Haddadi from close range at the back post.[83][84] Tunisia won a World Cup match after 40 years, since their 3–1 victory over Mexico in 1978. Meriah's own goal was the 50th in World Cup history.[85]

Because of this dismal performance, Tunisian squad was heavily criticized for its unpromising performance and the team's dubious record in World Cup, and fell out of top 20 teams on FIFA ranking. The team went through a short experience with Faouzi Benzarti, who managed to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations surpassing Egypt,[86][87] Niger[88][89] and Eswatini[90][91] before being fired due to problems between him and the president of the Tunisian Football Federation Wadii Jarii.

In December 2018, French coach Alain Giresse was hired to oversee the team at the 2019 AFCON finals due to his experience in African football and his outstanding record as a player with the French national team. Despite the good results in friendly matches by defeating World Cup finalist Croatia 2–1, the start of the competition was poor after three draws in the group stage against Angola 1–1[92] and Mali in the same result 1–1[93] before a 0–0[94] draw against Mauritania to qualify for the Round 16 with great difficulty in second place. In the next round, the results improved by beating Ghana on penalties,[95] to qualify for the quarter-finals and also beat the surprise of the tournament Madagascar 3–0[96] to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in 15 years when Tunisia won the AFCON in 2004 before they narrowly lost to Senegal 1–0[97] in extra time after a referee dispute of Bamlak Tessema because of not giving a clear penalty to Tunisia 4 minutes before the end of the game to complete the competition in fourth place behind Nigeria.[98] Nonetheless, it stands as the best performance of Tunisia since winning 2004 AFCON at home.

Alain Giresse was abandoned despite achieving the goal stipulated in the contract, so the Tunisian coach Mondher Kebaier was called in on 27 August 2019 to supervise the team. Under Kebaier's command, Tunisia didn't perform at full potential in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, but it secured one of the top two positions in their qualification group to reach the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with three of four Tunisia's games ended with Tunisia scoring only one goal each with the exception of Libya.

Home stadium


Stade 7 November in Radès the home stadium of Tunisia national team.

After the independence of Tunisia in 1956, the Tunisian national stadium was Chedly Zouiten Stadium,[99] which has a capacity of 18,000,[100] and hosted all the matches of the Tunisian team. It hosted also the 1965 and 1994 African Cup of Nations and the 1977 FIFA U-20 World Cup before it was replaced after the construction of El Menzah Stadium (45,000) in 1967 for the 1967 Mediterranean Games. Tunisia's first match at the stadium was played on 8 September 1967 against Libya. Tunisia won the match 3–0. This stadium became the new stronghold of the Eagles of Carthage. It hosted the 1977 FIFA World Youth Championship and was completely renovated for the 1994 African Cup of Nations. It hosted also the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. In 2001, the 7 November Stadium was inaugurated as Tunisia's national stadium ahead of the 2001 Mediterranean Games.[101] Located in Radès, the stadium has an all-seater capacity of 60,000.[102] The first match at the stadium was played on 7 July 2001 against between Étoile du Sahel and CS Hammam-Lif for the Tunisian Cup final. CS Hammam-Lif won the match 1–0, with Anis Ben Chouikha scoring the lone goal. Since that match, Tunisia has used the stadium for almost every major home game, including the 2004 African Cup of Nations Final.[103] The Tunisians often host their matches at the Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir which has a capacity of 20,000.

In addition, there are many other venues that host the Tunisian team, such as the Olympic Stadium of Sousse, which hosted a friendly match between Tunisia and Switzerland in November 2012 and also hosted a match in the 2012 AFCON qualification between Tunisia and Chad which was won by Tunisia 5–0.

Municipal Stadium of Gabès was also chosen to host a friendly match between Tunisia and Mauritania which ended with a draw in October 2016.

Team image


Kits and crest

crest used on kits between 1978 and 1998.

In the history of the Tunisia national football team, 6 companies supplied sports uniforms to the Tunisian national team, starting in 1970, when the famous German company Adidas began to adopt the Tunisian national team's uniforms for 24 years and also provided it , in his first appearance in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, with a first set of red jerseys and white socks with white Adidas posters. For the second kit, it's all white with red Adidas labels. Starting in 1994, the Italian company Lotto increased the Tunisian team with sports uniforms until 1998 in Tunisia's second participation in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The first set is white decorated with curved red shapes on the shoulders and chest, while the second set is decorated in red. with curved red shapes on the shoulders, chest and abdomen. The German company Uhlsport supplied the Tunisian team with sports uniforms for two periods, the first for a single 2000-2001 season, where the company designed a white shirt with a line on the chest that extends to the hands and the second set consists of a red shirt with the same line on the chest and extended to the hands in white.

From 2002 to 2011, the German company Puma started providing the Tunisian national football team kits since the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In fact, the company supplied 6 designs of the Tunisian national team kits, all of which are similar in the wording of the logo and the company's signs, where the main kit is white with Puma red marks, The spare kit is red with white Puma markings. In 2012, the Tunisian Football Federation entered into a contract with the Swiss company Burrda Sport for a period of four years until 2016, and supplied the Tunisian national team crews in the 2012, 2013, and 2015 African Nations Cups. In 2016, the German company Uhlsport returned to supply the Tunisian national team with sports kits with a contract It has a duration of three years, and indeed the company presented the Tunisian national team kit at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but it was not according to expectations.

In 2019, the Italian company Kappa began offering the Tunisian national football team kits, in fact the kits were of a modern and beautiful elegance. As for the third kit, it is the best kit in the history of the Tunisian national team. It is in black and has gray trims forming an eagle, which is the title of the Tunisian national team, "Eagles of Carthage". In fact, the Tunisian national team began to buy the third kit a lot.

Kit evolution
Home kit
1978
1981–82
1990
1992–94
1996
1997
1998
2000
2001
2002
2004–06
2005
2006
2008–09
2010–11
2011
2012–13
2014–16
2016–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–
Away kit
1978
1992–94
1997
1998
2000
2000–01
2002
2004–06
2005
2006
2008–09
2010–11
2011
2012–13
2014–16
2016–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–
Third kits
2016–18
2018
2019–

Supporters

Tunisian fans in Saransk at the 2018 World Cup.
Fans of the Tunisian team while supporting their team.
Supporters watching Tunisia-Ukraine match at the 2006 World Cup.

Fans of the Tunisian national team display the country's national flag, usually with an emphasis on the red element. One of the greatest moments for the Tunisian team was when the Tunisian delegation at the Tunis–Carthage International Airport received a warm "welcome home" after the 1978 epic that delighted the Tunisians, who still remember the details, and the brilliant performance of the team was credited with adding a new berth of qualification to Africa for the World Cup.

The team's popularity also appeared in the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, where the crowds were heavily attended during that period. The Stade 7 November of Radès was filled with 60,000 spectators in the six matches of the tournament.

The team's deterioration after the 2006 World Cup lead to their absence from the end stages of the next two world cups, and strained their popularity. In fact, the stadiums were almost empty with the national team's matches in that period. Between 2008 and 2014, local journalists accused the Tunisian team for their poor performance.

Of the fans that kept supporting the squad in bad times, Bechir Manoubi was one of the most loyal. He attended the team's matches worldwide since 1960, he was famous for wearing the Mexican hat and his suit with thousands of slogans and cards for the various events he covered. The 2006 World Cup qualifying match on 6 October 2005 between Tunisia and Morocco, which was just days before his death, was the last event he ever attended.

The emergence of skilled players and the rise of a new promising generation in addition to good results in the second term of Henryk Kasperczak, increased fans' enthusiasm and belief in a successful World Cup campaign. Because of this popularity peak, FIFA named the Tunisian fans among the best in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This choice comes after the great attendance of the Tunisian masses, which turned to Russia in large numbers between 15 and 20 thousand fans, attended and supported the Tunisian team in their three group matches of the World Cup. However, fan support fell as Tunisia once again failed to live up the heavy expectation, with the Tunisians unable to progress from the group stage in its fifth World Cup participation.

Rivalries


Tunisia's main football rivals are its neighbours Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt, with which it shares close cultural and political relations.

Algeria

Tunisia played until today 45 games against Algeria.

Tunisia-Algeria match in the 2013 African Cup won by Tunisia 1–0.

The first match took place on 1 June 1957 in a friendly match against the FLN football team when Algeria was a French colony. It was at this time that the matches were the most regular. Indeed, the two teams met six times, between June 1957 and May 1958, with eight victories for the Algerians.

After the independence of Algeria, the first official match took place on 15 December 1963, in a friendly match at the Stade Chedly Zouiten in Tunisia. The teams also met three times in the qualifying phase of the World Cup in 1970, 1978 and 1986. The overall record is slightly favorable to the Algerians with sixteen wins, fourteen draws and fourteen losses. The last defeat of Algeria against their neighbors dated back to 20 January 2017 during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations which was hosted by Gabon. Before this match, the two teams had met once in the African Cup of Nations finals in 2013, which was also dominated by the Tunisians. Currently, the Algerians dominate the head-to-head record and international achievement, nonetheless, in official competitions, Tunisia proves to be more dominant than Algeria.

Morocco

Tunisia-Morocco match on 5 June 2010 in Casablanca.

Tunisians and Moroccans have played 50 games since their independence from France in 1956.

Their first match was for the 1962 World Cup qualification, took place on 30 October 1960 in Casablanca. Most of the matches were played in the FIFA World Cup qualification as they met in the qualifiers of 1962, 1970, 1978, 1990, 1994 and 2006. They also met 4 times in the African Cup of Nations. Two of them ended in a draw in 1978 and 2000 and the other two matches with the victory of the Tunisian team in 2004 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

In fact, their most important match was the 2004 African Cup of Nations Final in Stade 7 November in Tunisia, where the Tunisians won their first African title. The overall record is favorable to the Moroccans with 13 wins, 28 draws and 9 losses; but Tunisia has managed to dominate majority of official encounters in major competitions. The last match between the Maghrebian teams dated back to 28 March 2017 during a friendly match won by Morocco in Marrakech which contributed to the dismissal of the Tunisian coach Henryk Kasperczak.

The two teams are similar in terms of both having a single African Cup and the two teams have also qualified for five World Cups, despite their numerous World Cup qualifying matches. They qualified for the same tournament in 1998 in France and 2018 in Russia.

Egypt

The match between the Egyptian and the Tunisian team are one of Africa's best and most exciting matches for their long continental history. The two teams have met 39 times in both official and friendly matches. Tunisian and Egyptian teams have collected 25 official matches and 14 friendly matches. The overall record is slightly favorable to the Tunisians as they won 16 matches and Egypt won 12 matches and ended 11 matches with a draw; however Egypt has achieved more successes in Africa than Tunisia.

Tunisia-Egypt in a friendly match in October 2012 in Abu Dhabi.

The Eagles scored 42 goals in the Pharaohs' goal, while Egypt scored only 35 goals against Tunisia. The largest goal scoring match was on 11 December 1977 for the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) after the great win of the Tunisians 4–1 which contributed in their qualification for the World Cup.

Tunisia have faced the Egyptian team 7 times in qualifying for either the World Cup or the African Nations Cup. The three World Cup qualifications were in 1974, 1978 and 1998 where Tunisia qualified in the last two editions against Egypt. The four qualifiers for the African Nations Cup were in 1978 (Tunisia won 3–2 after drawing 2–2), 1984 (0–0 draw in Tunis and the Pharaohs won in Cairo 1–0), 1992 (the teams drew 2–2 twice) and 2015 (Tunisia won 1–0 and 2–1 respectively), in addition to the current 2019 qualifiers for the fifth time, which Tunisia won the first game 1–0 in Radès and lost the second game in Alexandria 2–3.

The two teams met twice in the African Nations Cup finals in 2000 in Nigeria when Tunisia won 1–0 and in the next edition in 2002 in Mali when Egypt won with the same result. Hossam Hassan is the most of Egyptian players participating in the games of the Pharaohs against the Eagles of Carthage with 12 games, while Wahbi Khazri comes as the most of Tunisian players to participate in their matches against Egypt by 3 games.

Both Egypt and Tunisia also share a similar dubious record in the FIFA World Cup, with both teams being unable to progress beyond the group stage despite Tunisia qualifying for the World Cup five times, while Egypt qualified only three times.

Current team status


2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Tunisia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to third round 14–16 Nov 6–9 Oct 1–4 Sep
2  Zambia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5–8 Sep 11–13 Nov 10–12 Oct
3  Mauritania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10–12 Oct 1–4 Sep 14–16 Nov
4  Equatorial Guinea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11–13 Nov 6–9 Oct 5–8 Sep
First match(es) will be played on 1 September 2021. Source: FIFA

Results and fixtures


  Win   Draw   Loss   Postponed

2020

9 October 2020 Friendly Tunisia 3–0  Sudan Radès, Tunisia
18:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt)
13 October 2020 Friendly Nigeria  1–1 Tunisia Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria
19:30 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Jacques Lemans Arena
Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (Austria)
13 November 2020 2021 AFCONQ Tunisia 1–0  Tanzania Radès, Tunisia
20:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Referee: Helder Martins de Carvalho (Angola)
17 November 2020 2021 AFCONQ Tanzania  1–1 Tunisia Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
20:00 UTC+3
  • Salum  48'
Report
Stadium: National Stadium
Referee: Celso Alvação (Mozambique)

2021

25 March 2021 2021 AFCONQ Libya  2–5 Tunisia Benghazi, Libya
21:00 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Martyrs of February Stadium
Referee: Daouda Guèye (Senegal)
28 March 2021 2021 AFCONQ Tunisia 2–1  Equatorial Guinea Radès, Tunisia
14:00 UTC+1
Report
Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Referee: Jean-Jacques Ndala (Congo DR)
5 June 2021 Friendly Tunisia 1–0  DR Congo Radès, Tunisia
20:30 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ibrahim Mutaz (Libya)
11 June 2021 Friendly Tunisia 0–2  Algeria Radès, Tunisia
20:30 UTC+1 Report
Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Referee: Mohamed Maarouf Eid Mansour (Egypt)
15 June 2021 Friendly Tunisia 1–0  Mali Radès, Tunisia
20:30 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Referee: Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt)
1–4 September 2021 2022 WCQ Tunisia v  Equatorial Guinea Radès, Tunisia
Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
5–8 September 2021 2022 WCQ Zambia  v Tunisia Zambia
6–9 October 2021 2022 WCQ Tunisia v  Mauritania Radès, Tunisia
Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
10–12 October 2021 2022 WCQ Mauritania  v Tunisia Mauritania
11–13 November 2021 2022 WCQ Equatorial Guinea  v Tunisia Equatorial Guinea
14–16 November 2021 2022 WCQ Tunisia v  Zambia Radès, Tunisia
Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
30 November 2021 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Tunisia v  Mauritania Qatar
16:00 UTC+3
3 December 2021 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Syria  v Tunisia Qatar
6 December 2021 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Tunisia v  United Arab Emirates Qatar

Current staff


Position Name
Head Coach Mondher Kebaier
Assistant Coach Jalel Kadri
Adel Sellimi
Goalkeeping coach Chedly Mabrouki
Adel Zouita
Sporting Director Slim Ben Othman
Team Administrator Hussein Jenayah
Physiotherapist Akram Hbiri
Majdi Turki
Fethi Naoui
Mohamed Gharbi
Fitness Coach Hichem Ghozia
Team Doctor Souheil Chemli
Osteopath Tarek Chamseddine
Nutritionist Anis Yacoubi
Video Analyst Walid Ben Tamansourt
Team Manager Mohamed Gharbi
Media Officer Kais Reguez
Jouda Khenissi
Security Officer Mohamed Dellagi
Mahmoud Trabelsi

Players


Current squad

The following players were called up for the friendly matches against  DR Congo,  Algeria and  Mali respectively on 5, 11 and 15 June 2021.
Caps and goals updated on 15 June 2021 after the match against  Mali.[104] Only official FIFA matches are included.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Farouk Ben Mustapha (1989-07-01) 1 July 1989 (age 32) 35 0 Espérance
22 1GK Moez Ben Cherifia (1991-06-24) 24 June 1991 (age 30) 22 0 Espérance
40 1GK Mouez Hassen (1995-03-05) 5 March 1995 (age 26) 14 0 Brest
16 1GK Atef Dkhili (1990-04-04) 4 April 1990 (age 31) 10 0 Club Africain

12 2DF Ali Maâloul (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 31) 65 1 Al Ahly
4 2DF Yassine Meriah (1993-07-02) 2 July 1993 (age 28) 48 3 Çaykur Rizespor
6 2DF Dylan Bronn (1995-06-19) 19 June 1995 (age 26) 26 1 Metz
5 2DF Oussama Haddadi (1992-01-28) 28 January 1992 (age 29) 26 0 Kasımpaşa
20 2DF Mohamed Dräger (1996-06-25) 25 June 1996 (age 25) 17 2 Olympiacos
2 2DF Wajdi Kechrida (1995-11-05) 5 November 1995 (age 25) 13 0 Étoile du Sahel
21 2DF Ali Abdi (1993-12-20) 20 December 1993 (age 27) 3 0 Paris
30 2DF Adam Ben Lamin (2001-06-02) 2 June 2001 (age 20) 2 0 Jönköping
3 2DF Montassar Talbi (1998-05-26) 26 May 1998 (age 23) 1 0 Çaykur Rizespor
19 2DF Omar Rekik (2001-12-20) 20 December 2001 (age 19) 1 0 Arsenal

13 3MF Ferjani Sassi (1992-03-18) 18 March 1992 (age 29) 60 5 Zamalek
23 3MF Naïm Sliti (1992-07-27) 27 July 1992 (age 28) 47 12 Al-Ettifaq
17 3MF Ellyes Skhiri (1995-05-10) 10 May 1995 (age 26) 34 1 1. FC Köln
8 3MF Saîf-Eddine Khaoui (1995-04-27) 27 April 1995 (age 26) 19 4 Marseille
25 3MF Anis Ben Slimane (2001-03-16) 16 March 2001 (age 20) 9 3 Brøndby
24 3MF Hamza Rafia (1999-04-22) 22 April 1999 (age 22) 9 0 Juventus U23
28 3MF Aïssa Laïdouni (1996-12-13) 13 December 1996 (age 24) 5 0 Ferencváros
15 3MF Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (1999-09-06) 6 September 1999 (age 21) 4 0 Espérance
14 3MF Hannibal Mejbri (2003-01-21) 21 January 2003 (age 18) 3 0 Manchester United

7 4FW Youssef Msakni (1990-10-28) 28 October 1990 (age 30) 68 12 Al-Arabi
10 4FW Wahbi Khazri (1991-02-08) 8 February 1991 (age 30) 59 19 Saint-Étienne
11 4FW Seifeddine Jaziri (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 28) 4 3 Zamalek
26 4FW Issam Jebali (1991-12-25) 25 December 1991 (age 29) 2 0 Odense
29 4FW Ali Youssef (2000-07-05) 5 July 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Häcken
27 4FW Sebastian Tounekti (2002-07-13) 13 July 2002 (age 19) 0 0 Bodø/Glimt

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up to the squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Aymen Dahmen (1997-01-28) 28 January 1997 (age 24) 1 0 Sfax v.  Equatorial Guinea, 28 March 2021
GK Elias Damergy (2002-10-17) 17 October 2002 (age 18) 0 0 Rennes v.  Tanzania, 13 November 2020 PRE
GK Bechir Ben Saïd (1994-11-29) 29 November 1994 (age 26) 0 0 Monastir v.  Nigeria, 13 October 2020

DF Mohamed Ali Yacoubi (1990-10-05) 5 October 1990 (age 30) 14 1 Espérance v.  Equatorial Guinea, 28 March 2021
DF Ayman Ben Mohamed (1994-12-08) 8 December 1994 (age 26) 14 0 Yukatel Denizlispor v.  Tanzania, 17 November 2020
DF Saddam Ben Aziza (1991-02-08) 8 February 1991 (age 30) 4 0 Étoile du Sahel v.  Tanzania, 13 November 2020 PRE
DF Jasser Khmiri (1997-07-27) 27 July 1997 (age 23) 2 0 San Antonio v.  Nigeria, 13 October 2020

MF Saad Bguir (1994-03-22) 22 March 1994 (age 27) 14 5 Abha v.  Equatorial Guinea, 28 March 2021
MF Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (1992-05-03) 3 May 1992 (age 29) 34 3 Étoile du Sahel v.  Equatorial Guinea, 28 March 2021
MF Marc Lamti (2001-01-28) 28 January 2001 (age 20) 3 0 Hannover 96 v.  Tanzania, 17 November 2020
MF Elyès Jlassi (1994-04-22) 22 April 1994 (age 27) 2 0 Monastir v.  Tanzania, 13 November 2020 PRE
MF Ahmed Khalil (1994-12-21) 21 December 1994 (age 26) 6 0 Club Africain v.  Nigeria, 13 October 2020

FW Firas Chaouat (1996-05-08) 8 May 1996 (age 25) 12 2 Sfax v.  Equatorial Guinea, 28 March 2021
FW Nabil Makni (2001-09-29) 29 September 2001 (age 19) 2 0 Chievo v.  Tanzania, 17 November 2020

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
SUS Player is serving a suspension.
WD Player withdrew for personal reasons.

Player records


As of 15 June 2021 after match against Mali.

Most appearances

Radhi Jaïdi is the most capped player in the history of Tunisia with 105 caps.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1Radhi Jaïdi10571996–2009
2Chokri El Ouaer9701990–2002
3Khaled Badra96101995–2006
4Khaled Ben Yahia[lower-alpha 1]9551979–1993
Kaies Ghodhbane9561995–2006
6Riadh Bouazizi9231995–2006
7Tarak Dhiab[lower-alpha 1]89121974–1990
8Sadok Sassi[lower-alpha 1]8701963–1978
9Mohamed Ali Mahjoubi[lower-alpha 1]86171985–1995
Sirajeddine Chihi8641991–2001

Top goalscorers

Wahbi Khazri is the top scorer among active players of Tunisia with 19 goals.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1Issam Jemâa36840.432005–2014
2Francileudo Santos21410.512004–2008
3Adel Sellimi20800.251990–2002
4Wahbi Khazri1959 0.332013–present
5Faouzi Rouissi18420.431989–2001
6Zoubeir Baya17830.21994–2002
Mohamed Ali Mahjoubi17860.21985–1995
8Mohamed Salah Jedidi15320.471962–1965
9Mohieddine Habita14250.561972–1980
Hassen Gabsi14500.281997–2002
Zied Jaziri14630.221999–2007
  1. Matches in the Olympic Games and against Amateur sides are not considered full 'A' internationals by FIFA

Competitive record


  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place

  • Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

FIFA World Cup record

Tunisia have appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on five occasions, the first being at the 1978 FIFA World Cup where they finished in ninth position. Between 1998 and 2006 they had a streak of three World Cup qualifications. They have made their fifth appearance at the finals in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[105] However, Tunisia has never been able to progress from the group stage in all occasions.

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Ref
1930 Part of  France Part of  France [106]
1934 [107]
1938 [108]
1950 [109]
1954 [110]
1958 Did not enter Did not enter [111]
1962 Did not qualify 3 1 1 1 4 4 [112]
1966 Withdrew Withdrew [113]
1970 Did not qualify 5 1 4 0 4 3 [114]
1974 4 1 1 2 5 5 [115]
1978 Round 1 9th 3 1 1 1 3 2 Squad 10 4 4 2 15 9 [116]
1982 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 2 [117]
1986 8 4 0 4 11 9 [118]
1990 10 4 1 5 10 11 [119]
1994 6 3 3 0 14 2 [120]
1998 Group stage 26th 3 0 1 2 1 4 Squad 8 7 1 0 15 2 [121]
2002 Group stage 29th 3 0 1 2 1 5 Squad 10 8 2 0 28 5 [122]
2006 Group stage 24th 3 0 1 2 3 6 Squad 10 6 3 1 25 9 [123]
2010 Did not qualify 12 7 3 2 18 7 [124]
2014 8 4 3 1 14 10 [125]
2018 Group stage 24th 3 1 0 2 5 8 Squad 8 6 2 0 15 6 [126]
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
Total Group stage 5/23 15 2 4 9 13 25 104 57 28 19 180 84

FIFA Confederations Cup

The Tunisia national football team represented Tunisia at the FIFA Confederations Cup on one occasion, a sole appearance in 2005. Tunisia qualified for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup as the CAF representative after winning 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
1992 Did not qualify
1995
1997
1999
2001
2003
2005 Group stage6th310235Squad [127]
2009 Did not qualify
2013
2017
Total Group stage 1/10 3 1 0 2 3 5

Africa Cup of Nations record

Tunisia playing against Ivory Coast.

Tunisia participated in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 1962. In that year the country came in third by defeating Uganda in the third place match 3–0. That tournament, however, only four countries took part. In 1965 Tunisia was allowed to act as host country and made it to the final, where they lost 2–3 against Ghana.

Tunisia did not reach the final again until 1996, and again finished as runners-up, this time losing 0–2 to hosts South Africa. Tunisia's biggest success in the tournament came 8 years later, when as hosts they reached the final for the third time and were victorious, defeating Morocco 2–1. Francileudo Santos and Ziad Jaziri scored the goals for Tunisia.

Africa Cup of Nations record Africa Cup of Nations qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Ref
1957 Not affiliated to CAFNot affiliated to CAF [128]
1959 [129]
1962 Third place3rd210154 Squad430172 [130]
1963 Group stage 5th201135 Squad210165 [131]
1965 Runners-up 2nd311163 SquadQualified as hosts [132]
1968 Did not qualify 411255 [133]
1970 Did not enterDid not enter [134]
1972 [135]
1974 [136]
1976 Did not qualify 631287 [137]
1978 Fourth place4th513154 Squad4211107 [138]
1980 WithdrewBanned [139]
1982 Group stage7th301214 Squad211010 [140]
1984 Did not qualify 421161 [141]
1986 210112 [142]
1988 201112 [143]
1990 200204 [144]
1992 6330105 [145]
1994 Group stage9th201113 SquadQualified as hosts [146]
1996 Runners-up2nd6222109 Squad834172 [147]
1998 Quarter-finals5th421165 Squad320131 [148]
2000 Fourth place4th622269 Squad6501133 [149]
2002 Group stage11th302101 Squad622297 [150]
2004 Champions1st6420104 SquadQualified as hosts [151]
2006 Quarter-finals6th421175 Squad10631259 [152]
2008 Quarter-finals5th412176 Squad6411123 [153]
2010 Group stage12th303033 Squad12732187 [154]
2012 Quarter-finals6th420255 Squad 8422146 [155]
2013 Group stage12th311124 Squad 202022 [156]
2015 Quarter-finals7th412155 Squad 642062 [157]
2017 Quarter-finals8th420267 Squad6411163 [158]
2019 Fourth place4th714265 Squad6411163 [159]
2021 Qualified6510145
2023 To be determinedTo be determined
2025
Total 1 Title 20/33 75 23 29 23 94 91 121 67 30 24 200 91

Olympic Games record

Summer Olympics
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
19521896 Part of  France
1956 Did not enter
1960 Group Stage15th3003311
1964 Did not qualify
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988 Group Stage13th302136
Since 1992 See Tunisia national under-23 football team
Total Group Stage 2/15 12 1 4 7 11 27

African Nations Championship record

Tunisia has participated in two editions of the African Nations Championship. In the 2009 edition, she is represented by the Olympic team, under the management of Mondher Kebaier. Tunisia is eliminated there in the qualification phase. In 2011, under the leadership of Sami Trabelsi, Tunisia qualified for the finals and won the championship by beating Angola in the final. In 2014, placed under the direction of Nabil Maâloul, she was eliminated in the qualification phase.

In the 2016 edition, under the leadership of Henryk Kasperczak, Tunisia qualified for the finals but it was Hatem Missaoui who led the team in Rwanda. Tunisia is eliminated in the quarterfinals by Mali. The Tunisian Football Federation announces that Tunisia is not participating in the 2018 edition.

African Nations Championship
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
2009 Did not qualify
2011Champions 1st 6420113
2014Did not qualify
2016 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 2 1 9 5
2018 Did not compete
2020Qualified but withdrew
2022Banned
Total 2/9 1/2 8 4 3 1 14 5

FIFA Arab Cup

In 1963 Tunisia won the first edition of the Arab Nations Cup. That year only a group stage was played. In that group stage, 5 countries played. Tunisia won all four matches and therefore finished at the top. After that, it would participate one more time in this tournament, in 1988. That year it did not win a single match and the country stranded in the group stage. There were also 2 participations in the Palestine Cup of Nations. And this Cup was also won 1 time. In 1973, Tunisia's team defeated Syria 4–0 in the final.

FIFA Arab Cup record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA
1963Champions 4400111
1964Did not enter
1966
1985
1988Group stage 403134
1992Did not enter
1998
2002
2012
2021Qualified
Total 2/9 8 4 3 1 14 5

Mediterranean Games

The Tunisian national team participated in the football tournament in the Mediterranean Games 12 times.[160] The first participation in the event was in the 1963 edition in Naples, Italy. Tunisia was satisfied with the sixth place at the time after being eliminated from the group stage.

The Tunisian team reached the final twice, the first in the 1971 edition in Izmir, Turkey and won the silver medal after defeating in the final by Yugoslavia 0−1 and the second time in the 2001 edition in Tunis, Tunisia. The Tunisian team then won the gold medal after defeating Italy 1–0. The Tunisian team also won the bronze medal twice, first in the 1975 edition in Algiers, Algeria and the second time in the 2013 edition in Mersin, Turkey.

Mediterranean Games
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1951Part of  France
1955 Did not enter
1959
1963Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 3 4
1967Group stage5th311143
1971Silver medal 2nd 4 2 1 1 3 2
1975Bronze medal 3rd513155
1979Group stage7th301224
1983Group stage7th210145
1987 Did not enter
1991 Group stage7th210115
1993Group stage7th310225
1997Did not enter
2001 Gold medal1st430171
2005Quarter-finals7th303044
2009Group stage 7th 4 2 1 1 6 5
2013 Bronze medal 3rd 5 3 1 1 10 5
2018Did not enter
2021To be determined
Total Champions 1/12 39 15 10 14 49 46

All-Africa Games Record

All-Africa Games record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1965Did not qualify
1973 Withdrew
1978 Withdrew after qualifying
1987 Group stage 8 4 0 0 4 1 8
1991 Silver medal 2 5 3 1 1 7 2
1995 Did not qualify
1999 Withdrew
2003 Did not enter
2007 Bronze medal 3 5 2 2 1 4 3
2011 Did not enter
2015 Withdrew
2019Did not enter
2023To be determined
Total Runners-up 2/10 14 5 3 6 12 13

Pan Arab Games

Pan Arab Games record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1953 Did not enter
1957 Silver medal 2nd 5 3 0 2 14 13
1961 Did not enter
1965
1976
1985 Group stage 5th 3 2 1 0 7 2
1997 Did not enter
1999
2007
2011
Total Runners-up 2/10 8 5 1 2 21 15

Other records

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1962 Tripoli Fair Tournament Third Place 3rd 3 1 0 2 6 9
1963 Friendship Games Runners-up 2nd 6 4 1 0 4 9
1965 Tripoli Fair Tournament Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 4 2
1966 Tripoli Fair Tournament Fourth Place 4th 3 0 1 2 0 3
1973 Palestine Cup of Nations Champions 1st 6 6 0 0 19 3
1974 Iran International Tournament Group stage 6th 2 0 1 1 0 2
1974 Kuneitra Cup Third Place 3rd 7 4 0 3 10 9
1975 Palestine Cup of Nations Group stage 5th 2 1 1 0 4 1
1984–85 Friendship Games Third Place 3rd 2 1 0 2 2 6
1988 Malta International Tournament Fourth Place 4th 3 0 0 3 1 10
7th November Cup 1991 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 11 3
7th November Cup 1993 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 6 1
1994 Malta International Tournament Third Place 3 3 0 2 1 2 5
7th November Cup 1995 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 4 1
1997 LG Cup Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 5 1
2003 Tunis Four Nations Tournament Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 3 2
2006 LG Cup Runners-up 2nd 2 1 1 0 3 0
2011 Catalonia International Trophy Champions 1st 1 0 1 0 0 0
2015 Kirin Challenge Cup Runners-up 2nd 1 0 0 1 0 2
2016 Catalonia International Trophy Champions 1st 1 0 1 0 3 3
Total 9 Titles 1st 60 33 12 17 96 89

Head-to-head record


The list shown below shows the Tunisia national football team all−time international record against opposing nations.

As of 15 June 2021 after match against  Mali.

Key
  Positive balance (more wins than losses)
  Neutral balance (as many wins as losses)
  Negative balance (more losses than wins)
  1. Includes matches against  Zaire
  2. Includes matches against  West Germany.
  3. Includes matches against  Serbia and Montenegro

FIFA rankings


Below is a chart of Tunisia FIFA ranking from 1993 till now.

Tunisia's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Statistics Best Worst
Games Wins Draws Loses Rank Move Rank Move
26 2020 4 2 2 0 26 1 (September) 27 0 (December)
27 2019 17 8 5 4 25 3 (June) 28 4 (July)
24 2018 8 3 2 3 14 9 (April) 24 7 (June)
27 2017 13 6 2 5 27 7 (July) 42 5 (April)
35 2016 11 6 4 1 34 4 (October) 48 8 (February)
40 2015 15 5 5 5 22 2 (June) 41 5 (April)
22 2014 9 5 3 1 22 11 (September) 49 5 (April)
48 2013 15 4 7 4 41 11 (February) 53 8 (June)
45 2012 16 8 4 4 41 10 (June) 59 4 (October)
59 2011 8 4 2 2 44 3 (March) 61 15 (April)
45 2010 11 3 5 3 44 11 (October) 65 10 (July)
53 2009 10 4 4 2 45 2 (July) 54 8 (February)
46 2008 16 7 5 4 44 3 (April) 56 7 (February)
47 2007 9 5 3 1 32 5 (July) 47 13 (February)
32 2006 16 7 4 5 21 5 (February) 32 10 (July)
28 2005 12 8 2 2 23 8 (September) 40 4 (October)
35 2004 16 8 4 4 31 14 (February) 45 2 (April)
45 2003 9 5 3 1 40 3 (April) 46 3 (October)
41 2002 14 0 8 6 28 0 (June) 41 5 (July)
28 2001 12 8 2 2 22 7 (July) 32 5 (April)
26 2000 17 8 7 2 25 3 (June) 28 1 (September)
31 1999 10 7 1 2 26 4 (November) 33 7 (June)
21 1998 17 7 4 6 19 6 (November) 26 4 (July)
23 1997 14 9 2 3 20 7 (August) 29 4 (June)
23 1996 14 7 2 5 21 6 (February) 31 9 (June)
22 1995 14 7 3 4 21 6 (February) 27 4 (August)
30 1994 10 3 5 2 27 4 (September) 33 3 (October)
32 1993 10 6 3 1 31 7 (August) 36 3 (September)

Honours


This is a list of honours for the senior Tunisia national team

Awards

African National Team of the Year

  • First place : 1995, 1999, 2004, 2005
  • Second place : 1996, 1997

See also


Other football codes

Notes


  1. FIFA awarded Tunisia a 3–0 win as a result of Cape Verde fielding the player Fernando Varela, who had been sent off in the match against Equatorial Guinea on 24 March 2013. As a result of his sending off for unsporting conduct towards a match official, Varela had been given a four match suspension and would miss the rest of the qualifying campaign plus one further FIFA game. Varela did not participate in the games against Equatorial Guinea on 8 June 2013 or the game against Sierra Leone on 16 June 2013. Complicating matters, Varela's red card against Equatorial Guinea was removed from the FIFA.com website.[161] The match originally ended 2–0 to Cape Verde.[162]
  2. The two teams play on January 18, 2000 a training match, three halves of 35 minutes, won by Ghana 2–0 but which can not be considered a real international match.

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