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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Tunisia team guide

A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Tunisia ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

Fixtures (Group H):

  • v Saudi Arabia - 14 June, 1700 BST, Munich
  • v Spain - 19 June, 2000 BST, Stuttgart
  • v Ukraine - 23 June, 1500 BST, Berlin

    How did they get to Germany: The Cup of Nations champions clinched a place in dramatic fashion in the final qualifying game against arch-rivals Morocco. Needing a point, they trailed 2-1 before Adel Chedli's all-important equaliser.

    Qualifying star: Chedli may have scored the crucial goal, but Francileudo dos Santos notched six in total, including four in the 7-0 thumping of Malawi.

    Manager: Roger Lemerre was hailed as the saviour of Tunisian football after the Frenchman guided the north African side to a momentous win over Morocco in the final of the 2004 African Cup of Nations.

    Riadh Bouazizi

    Captain: Riadh Bouazizi. The 32-year-old is a veteran of the side, having won more than 50 caps. A tough tackler in the heart of midfield.

    World Cup pedigree: The north Africans have appeared at the World Cup three times - in 1978, 1998 and 2002. They went out in the first round on all three occasions.

    World Cup high: That's fairly easy to answer. In their first ever World Cup game, in 1978, they beat Mexico 3-1.

    World Cup low: Unfortunately, since then, they have failed to win another World Cup game. Much was expected of them in 2002, but they ended up finishing bottom of a group consisting of Japan, Belgium and Russia.

    World Cup legend: Tarak Dhiab. The Esperance midfielder was the star for Tunisia in 1978, a year after he won the 1977 African player of the year award.

    Hatem Trabelsi
    Present star man: A tough call but Ajax defender Hatem Trabelsi deserves the honour. A solid player in a solid defence, the 29-year-old is looking for a move away from Amsterdam so will want a good tournament to attract suitors.

    Strengths: They do not have a wealth of star players but work well as a unit and have improved 10-fold following the arrival of Lemerre.

    Weaknesses: Tunisia have never done it on the big stage yet and need to overcome their stage fright.

    Did you know? They are the only African qualifier from 2002 to make it through to Germany.

    World ranking: 21

    Odds: 400/1

    Local view: "This could be the first World Cup in which the north Africans (who were at the 1978, 1998 and 2002 tournaments) reach the second round. Lemerre has welded the team into a formidable unit that has grown in strength and consistency." Osasu Obayiuwana, African football journalist.

    Our verdict: Which Tunisia will turn up is the important question. They could be knocked out at the first hurdle or they could get to the quarter-finals. They are certainly good enough to go further than before.

    Ranking and odds correct at 22 May. Odds supplied by William Hill.



  • 2006 WORLD CUP TEAM GUIDES
     

    SEE ALSO
    Pick your Tunisia XI
    31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
    Country profile: Tunisia
    04 Nov 05 |  Country profiles


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