Tunisia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)نسور قرطاج (Eagles of Carthage)
AssociationTunisian Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationUNAF (North Africa)
Head coachJalel Kadri[1]
CaptainYoussef Msakni
Most capsRadhi Jaïdi (105)
Top scorerIssam Jemâa (36)
Home stadiumStade Hammadi Agrebi
FIFA codeTUN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 30 Steady (25 August 2022)[2]
Highest14 (April – May 2018)
Lowest65 (July 2010)
First international
 Tunisia 4–2 Libya 
(Tunis, Tunisia; 2 June 1957)[3]
Biggest win
 Tunisia 8–1 Republic of China 
(Rome, Italy; 18 August 1960)
 Tunisia 7–0 Togo 
(Tunis, Tunisia; 7 January 2000)
 Tunisia 7–0 Malawi 
(Tunis, Tunisia; 26 March 2005)
 Tunisia 8–1 Djibouti 
(Tunis, Tunisia; 12 June 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 10–1 Tunisia 
(Budapest, Hungary; 24 July 1960)
World Cup
Appearances6 (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)
Arab Cup
Appearances3 (first in 1963)
Best resultChampions (1963)
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) is the national team that represents Tunisia in men's international association 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 The Eagles of Carthage.[4] The team's colours are red and white, and the Bald eagle its symbol, Most of Tunisia's home matches are played at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Radès since 2001,[5] The team represents both FIFA and CAF. Jalel Kadri has been coaching the team since 30 January 2022.[6]

Periods of regular Tunisian representation at the highest international level, from 1962 to 1978, from 1994 to 2008 and again from 2014 onwards. Tunisia's national team have participated in three quadrennial major football competitions. It appeared in the end stages of five FIFA World Cups and eighteen Africa Cup of Nations, and featured at four Olympic football tournaments. Nevertheless, they created history in that 1978 tournament in Argentina by becoming the first African side to win a World Cup match by defeating Mexico.[7] They qualified for three tournaments in succession, in 1998, 2002 and 2006 before returning in the last edition held in Russia in 2018; however in spite of this rich record, Tunisia had never been able to progress out the group stage in any FIFA World Cup or Summer Olympics.

Tunisia is one of the most successful African national teams in competitions, having won one African Cup of Nations, as tournament hosts in 2004.[8] They have also been runners-up twice in 1965 as hosts and 1996 held in South Africa.The Tunisian team also won the African Nations Championship its first participation in the 2011 edition that was held in Sudan.[9] 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 African Cup of Nations.

Tunisia is a notorious case as this is one of the most successful and frequent participant in major African competitions, yet fails to deliver the same expectation outside Africa. Although Tunisia has won one AFCON and participated in four Summer Olympics and five FIFA World Cup, the Tunisians have all failed to progress beyond the group stage of Olympics and World Cup.

History

Main article: History of the Tunisia national football team

1928–56: French protectorate of Tunisia and beginning

The Tunisian football team in 1939. Standing from left to right: Kacem, Abdessalem , Azopardi, Mehl, Bransi, Canino. Squatting from left to right: Hédi Ben Ammar , Salah Akacha , Ducousseau, Rachid Sehili, Ben Cheikh, André Tuil.
The Tunisian football team in 1939. Standing from left to right: Kacem, Abdessalem , Azopardi, Mehl, Bransi, Canino. Squatting from left to right: Hédi Ben Ammar , Salah Akacha , Ducousseau, Rachid Sehili, Ben Cheikh, André Tuil.

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 8–2.[10] 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 1932 for their first match win: a 1–0 victory over French Algeria.[11]

Most of the matches that Tunisia played in the 30s and 40s were against French teams, whether it was French Algeria, the French military team or the France B team, in addition to a match against the French national team in 1941. Most of these matches were played at the Stade Vélodrome in Tunis.

The most capped players of this period are: Gustave Ducousso 22 caps(Olympique Béja), Gaetano Chiarenza 21 caps (CS Hammam-Lif), Azzopardi 19 caps (Olympique Béja), Larbi Ben Hassine 16 caps (Espérance de Tunis), Rachid Sehili 16 caps (ES Sahel), Mehl 15 caps (Racing Club), Laâroussi Tsouri 15 caps (Espérance de Tunis), Ben Moussa 15 caps (US Tunis), Alaya Douik 14 caps (ES Sahel), Dara 11 caps (Sporting Club Tunis).

1956–62: Post independence, First international participation

Stade Chedly Zouiten, the home of the Tunisian national team in the 1960s.
Stade Chedly Zouiten, the home of the Tunisian national team in the 1960s.

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. Inspite 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.

Abdelmajid Chetali, one of the best players in the history of Tunisia.
Abdelmajid 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 Noureddine 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.[12] They also managed to get through Iraq[13] and Lebanon[14] before losing in the final against Syria 3–1.[15] 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,[16] Morocco and Sudan; on 24 July 1960, the team experienced its biggest-ever defeat, losing 10–1 against Hungary.[17] 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.[18] They also lost to Argentina 2–1 before being defeated again, this time against Denmark 3–1.[19][20]

1962–78: Golden generation, First participation in the World Cup

In 1962, Tunisia entered the African Cup of Nations qualifiers for the first time: the team successfully qualified for the tournament and went on to finish third.[21] Three years later, Tunisia hosted the 1965 African Cup of Nations and reached the final, where they lost 3–2 to Ghana in extra-time.[22] Despite this early success, Tunisia did not enter the Cup of Nations again until 1976, 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, scoring 19 goals and conceding only three. In 1977, under new coach Abdelmajid Chetali, Tunisia qualified for the 1978 African Cup of Nations and, at the same time, their first-ever World Cup. Tunisia made the semi-finals at the Cup of Nations, beating holders Morocco along the way,[23] but lost to Ghana in the semi-finals. In the third-place match against Nigeria, Tunisia initially took the lead, but when Nigeria scored a controversial equalizer in the 42nd minute,[24] the Tunisians walked off the pitch in protest and Nigeria were awarded a 2–0 victory by default.[25]

Tunisia at the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification against Egypt.
Tunisia at the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification against Egypt.

In the first game at the world cup, 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.[26]

In the second match, they made a good performance against Poland before the team lost 1–0,[27] but in the last game it was just around the corner to win the defending champion West Germany before the game ended 0–0.[28] 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. On 11 April 1979, Mohamed Ali Akid one of the most prominent players of the golden generation, died in mysterious circumstances in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[29][30]

1978–94: Decline and Missing six editions of the AFCON

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.[31][32] 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,[33] before being defeated against Libya 0–2 and Ghana 0–1 to withdraw by only one point.[34][35] Kulesza failed also to qualify for the 1984 African Cup after the defeat against Egypt, which precipitated his departure.[36]

Tarak Dhiab (pictured in 1980) scored Tunisia's qualification goal for the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Tarak Dhiab (pictured in 1980) scored Tunisia's qualification goal for the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Coach Youssef Zouaoui was appointed to oversee the team and had a good start by winning friendly matches against Nigeria[37] and Canada[38] and also surpassed Benin and Guinea in the first rounds of the 1986 World Cup qualification. 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. Taoufik Ben Othman was appointed who was the former assistant coach of Chetali in the team of 1978 team.[39] 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,[40] Lebanon,[41] Egypt[42] and Iraq,[43] 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[44] and Sweden 2–2[45] and a heavy defeat from West Germany 1–4.[46] 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,[47] 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,[48][49] which contributed to the dismissal of Zouaoui after the opening match and compensated by Faouzi Benzarti, who drew with Zaire in the second game,[50][51] finishing bottom of the group.[52]

1994–2002: Beginning of Resurgence, 1996 AFCON runners-up

After the team's poor performance at the 1994 African Cup of Nations, a new coach was appointed: Henryk Kasperczak. Under him, Tunisia qualified for 1996 African Cup of Nations and finished second in their group, putting them through to the quarter-finals. Tunisia went on to beat Gabon in the quarter-finals and Zambia in the semi-finals,[53][54] to reach their first major final in 31 years, but lost to host country South Africa 2–0.[55] 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.[56][57][58]

Still under the leadership of Kasperczak, Tunisia reached the quarter-finals of the 1998 African Cup of Nations in the lead of the group with a win over DR Congo,[59] Togo and defeat from Ghana,[60][61] where they were eliminated in a penalty shootout by host country Burkina Faso.[62] The team also qualified for that year's World Cup after a 20-year absence: they again failed to advance from the group stages, losing 2–0 to England[63] and 1–0 to Colombia,[64] and drawing 1–1 with Romania.[65] Kasperczak was sacked and replaced with Francesco Scoglio, who guided the team to the 2000 African Cup of Nations, where they finished in fourth place after losing to Cameroon in the semi-finals.[66]

The following year, Scoglio departed to rejoin Genoa CFC, sparking a period of severe instability. Eckhard Krautzun initially took over and guided the team to a second successive World Cup qualification, but then resigned, citing interference from the Tunisian FA with his coaching. 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,[67][68][69] making the federation look for a big coach before the start of the 2004 African Cup of Nations hosted by Tunisia.[70][71][72]

2002–08: Roger Lemerre era, 2004 AFCON champions

Soccer Field Transparant.svg

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

Before the arrival of a new coach preparing the team for the upcoming African Cup, which will be held in Tunisia, the team drew 1–1 against France at Stade 7 November. The list of Tunisia's new coaches included Artur Jorge, Vahid Halilhodžić, Gilbert Gress, and Philippe Troussier. In September 2002, the Tunisian Football Federation announced that it was finalizing a contract with Roger Lemerre, the former coach of France. On 25 September 2002, the Tunisian Football Federation confirmed Lemerre as the country's new head coach. Lemerre coached his first match against Egypt on 20 November 2002.

Aa a host country, Tunisia did not have to qualify for the 2004 African Cup of Nations, where it faced the DR Congo, Rwanda and Guina in the group stage. The team won the opening match against Rwanda 2–1[73] and its second match against the DR Congo 3–0.[74] Tunisia finished at the top of the group after a 1–1 draw against Guinea.[75] In the quarterfinals, they faced Senegal, quarter-finalist of 2002 FIFA World Cup, they won the match 1–0, with Jawhar Mnari scoring in the second half.[76] In the semi-finals, Tunisia faced Nigeria, who eliminated Cameroon but they qualified on penalties.[77] With the victory, Tunisia survived the final, where it faced Morocco. At Stade 7 November, Tunisia got off to a good start, taking a lead after four minutes with Mehdi Nafti's concentration pushed by Francileudo Santos, who made their fourth hit in the tournament. At the end of the first half, Morocco came to the level of Youssouf Hadji’s goal from a lift that Youssef Mokhtari pushed into the goal. The second half had been played for seven minutes when another Tunisian striker Ziad Jaziri took Tunisia 2–1,[78] giving Tunisia its first African Cup of Nations title.[79] The national team also won the African National Team of the Year award from the Confederation of African Football.[80] 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.

Tunisia's match against Ukraine at the Olympiastadion in Berlin during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Tunisia's match against Ukraine at the Olympiastadion in Berlin during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Lemerre became the first coach to win two different continental tournaments, having previously won Euro 2000 with France. The Tunisian team, winning their first African Cup of Nations title, enabled them to qualify for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany, where they participated in a tough group including hosts Germany, Argentina and Australia. The opening match of this tournament was between Tunisia and Argentina, Tunisia lost by a narrow margin 1–2.[81] In the second match, the Tunisians resisted until the 74th minute, where they conceded three goals from the German team to end the match,[82] while in the third match they managed to beat Australia 2–0, to leave good impressions.[83]

Before their 2006 World Cup appearance, Lemerre took the Tunisians to a training camp in Switzerland, where they played international friendlies against Swiss clubs. In the world cup Tunisia drew 2–2 against Saudi Arabia,[84] lost against Spain 3–1 and suffered a defeat in their last match against Ukraine, 1–0.[85] Hatem Trabelsi announced his retirement from international football after eight years,[86][87] and Lemerre led Tunisia to the 2008 African Cup of Nations. Tunisia won their 2008 AFCON group after a draw in the opening match against Senegal 2–2,[88] a 3–1 victory over South Africa,[89] and a goalless draw against South Africa.[90] They then lost against Cameroon 3–2 in extra time.[91]

After the competition, it was announced that Lemerre would continue as Tunisia's coach until the end of June. Preparations for the qualifying matches began in March by winning a against Ivory Coast.[92] Before the start of the qualifiers, the Tunisian Football Federation negotiated with Bertrand Marchand and Jacques Santini, but neither of them was able to reach the agreement they wanted with the Tunisian Football Federation. Instead, Portuguese Humberto Coelho was appointed as the new coach on 3 June 2008. Prior to his appointment, Lemerre led Tunisia for the last time in the fourth World Cup qualifier match against Burundi,[93] which ended in a 2–1 win. On 30 June 2008, Roger Lemerre leaves Tunisia Six years later, the longest training period in the history of the Tunisian national team.[94]

2008–14: Disappointments and missing the World Cup

Tunisia vs Gabon match in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.
Tunisia vs Gabon match in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

Under Coelho, Tunisia qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers started well with a win over Kenya, Mozambique and a tie-up with Nigeria in the last minute in Abuja Stadium in front of 60,000.[95] It took only one point to qualify before the 83rd minute defeat in Mozambique to leave the place for Nigeria.[96]

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.[97][98][99] 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 and draw against Malawi bringing the Tunisian team to 65th place in the FIFA rankings, the worst in its history.[100] Marchand was sacked in December, only six months into his two-year term.

Tunisia–Morocco match on 5 June 2010 at the 2011 African Nations Championship qualification in Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca, Morocco.
Tunisia–Morocco match on 5 June 2010 at the 2011 African Nations Championship qualification in Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca, Morocco.

The beginning of 2011 saw tough political events in Tunisia. Against this turbulent backdrop, and with little preparation under new coach Sami Trabelsi,[101] the team is flying for the 2011 African Nations Championship. and finished at the top of the group after a 1–1 draw against Angola,[102] a 3–1 victory against Rwanda[103] and another 2–0 victory against Senegal,[104] In the quarter-finals, they won the defending champions DR Congo[105] and in the semi-finals, Tunisia won Algeria on penalties.[106] In the final match, they won Angola easily 3–0,[107] making the federation extend the Trabelsi's contract. Tunisia qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and managed to qualify for the next round after beating Morocco 2–1[108] and Niger,[109] two goals from Youssef Msakni, and a 0–1 fall against host country Gabon. but an extra-time defeat to Ghana knocked them out in the quarter-finals yet again.[110]

And then qualified on 13 October 2013 Africa Cup of Nations despite two draws against Sierra Leone.[111][112] In the first match, Tunisia snatched victory in the last moments 1–0 against Algeria,[113] the best goal in the tournament by Youssef Msakni. Then Tunisia were crushed by Ivory Coast 3–0.[114] The last match ended with a draw against Togo.[115] In February 2013, Nabil Maâloul replaced Sami Trabelsi. In their first two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Tunisia beat Sierra Leone and clinched a draw in Freetown.[116][117] On 16 June, during the fifth round of the group stage, Tunisia tied 1–1 against Equatorial Guinea. On 7 September, the team was defeated at home by Cape Verde 0–2 and loses all hope of being qualified for the World Cup. Nabil Maâloul announces his resignation and Ruud Krol has been appointed.[118] On 12 September, FIFA qualifies Tunisia after Cape Verde is disqualified for cheating and awarding a 3–0 win to Tunisia. In the wake of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, the Eagles of Carthage face Cameroon, Tunisia give a 0–0 draw at home and fail at home to Cameroon 4–1,[119][120] thus losing their qualifications. Coach Ruud Krol leaves after only two games.

2014–present: Renaissance and two participation in the World Cup

Belgian coach Georges Leekens was appointed in early 2014.[121] early results included draw against Colombia and win over South Korea,[122][123] both in friendly matches. Under Leekens, the team climbed from 49th to 22nd in few months in the FIFA rankings. Tunisia qualified for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, and topped their group for the first time since 2008, winning against Zambia 2–1 and drawing with Cape Verde and DR Congo 1–1.[124][125][126]

They were eliminated in the quarter-finals after a controversial 2–1 defeat to host Equatorial Guinea,[127] making CAF banned the referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn for six months for his "poor performance" at the tournament.[128] 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, Togo and Djibouti. He reached also the quarter-finals of the competition after beating Algeria 2–1 and Zimbabwe before losing again in this round, this time against Burkina Faso 0–2.[129][130][131]

Ellyes Skhiri and Romelu Lukaku compete for the ball during the Tunisia–Belgium match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Ellyes Skhiri and Romelu Lukaku compete for the ball during the Tunisia–Belgium match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

On 27 April 2017, Nabil Maâloul returned as manager 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. Tunisia's qualification for the World Cup and its results in the friendlies against Iran and Costa Rica led to its rise to 14th place in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time ever.[132][133] Before the World Cup, Tunisia drew with Turkey and Portugal,[134][135] in addition to a narrow defeat against Spain .[136] Despite this, in the World Cup, Tunisia was once again eliminated from the group stage. The first match against England,[137] England won 1–2.[138] Belgium defeated the North Africans 2–5,[139] and in Tunisia's last game against Panama,[140] the Arab nation won 2–1.[141]

Tunisia qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with new manager Alain Giresse; the new manager would only record three ties, against Angola,[142] Mali,[143] and Mauritania to qualify for the round 16.[144] They eventually would win against Ghana, and Madagascar in the quarter-finals,[145][146] to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in 15 years, losing to Senegal 1–0 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,[147] to complete the competition in fourth place behind Nigeria.[148]

After the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Alain Giresse gives up and the Tunisian Mondher Kebaier is called on 27 August 2019 to supervise the team.[149] Meanwhile, Tunisia plays the for 2020 African Nations Championship qualification against Libya and won both matches.[150][151] But, the Tunisian Football Federation withdrew due to schedule pressure.[152] In September 2021, the national team began its 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with three consecutive victories against Equatorial Guinea,[153] Zambia,[154] and Mauritania, followed by a draw against Mauritania and a away loss against Equatorial Guinea, to qualify for the third round.[155][156]

Qatar hosted the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup; Tunisia started with a 5–1 win against Mauritania.[157] They then suffered an unexpected defeat to Syria,[158] before beating the United Arab Emirates 1–0.[159] In the quarter-finals, Tunisia won against Oman and scored a 95th minute winner against Egypt in the semi-finals.[160] Tunisia faced Algeria in the final,[161] but were beaten 2–0.[162] Despite the loss of the title, the team's performance has restored confidence to the supporters.[163] In this context, they are congratulated by FIFA and named as the best supporters of the tournament.[164]

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations was postponed to early 2022.[165] in the group stage, Tunisia began with defeat against Mali, with Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe ending the match in the 85th minute.[166] In the second match, the team achieved a victory over Mauritania,[167] but lost against Gambia in the last match. Tunisia defeated Nigeria in the round of 16,[168][169] and were eliminated by Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals.[170][171]

After this disappointing participation, Mondher Kebaier was dismissed from coaching the national team three years after his appointment and the appointment of his assistant Jalel Kadri as his successor.[172] Tunisia qualify for their sixth World Cup, the 2022 tournament in Qatar, the first hosted by an Arab nation after beating Mali in the third round.[173][174] Preparations started early and the team was called to play the 2022 Kirin Cup Soccer in Japan, with the participation of four teams: Japan, Chile, Ghana and Tunisia.[175] In the semi-finals, Tunisia defeated Chile and a historic victory against organized Japan 3–0 to win the Kirin Cup Soccer title for the first time.[176][177] Ferjani Sassi was named the best player of the tournament while his compatriot Issam Jebali finished as the top scorer with two goals.[178]

Home stadium

Main article: Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi

Tunisia against the Netherlands at Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Radès.
Tunisia against the Netherlands at Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Radès.

After the independence of Tunisia in 1956, the Tunisian national stadium was Stade Chedly Zouiten which has a capacity of 18,000 and hosted all the matches of the Tunisian team, it hosted also the 1965, 1994 African Cup of Nations and the 1977 FIFA World Youth Championship before it was replaced after the construction of Stade El Menzah (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 AFCON.

In 2001, the Stade Olympique de Radès was inaugurated as Tunisia's national stadium ahead of the 2001 Mediterranean Games. Located in Radès, the stadium has an all-seater capacity of 60,000. 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. Since that match, Tunisia has used the stadium for almost every major home game, including the 2004 African Cup of Nations Final. The Tunisians often hosts their matches in Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir which has a capacity of 20,000 for its excellent ground, whether in the African Cup of Nations qualification, World Cup qualification or friendly matches.

Rivalries

Main articles: Algeria–Tunisia football rivalry and Egypt–Tunisia football rivalry

Aymen Abdennour and Islam Slimani compete for the ball during the Tunisia–Algeria match in the 2013 African Cup of Nations
Aymen Abdennour and Islam Slimani compete for the ball during the Tunisia–Algeria match in the 2013 African Cup of Nations

Tunisia's main football rivals are its neighbours Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt, with which it shares close cultural and political relations. Tunisia has played 45 games against Algeria. After the independence of Algeria, a friendly match took place at the Stade Chedly Zouiten.[179] The teams also met three times in the qualifying phase of the World Cup in 1970, 1978 and 1986. The overall record slightly favours the Algerians with sixteen wins, fourteen draws and fourteen losses. Algeria and Tunisia played three times in official competitions: twice in the Africa Cup of Nations, in 2013 and 2017,[180][181] which Tunisia won both times, and once in the Arab Cup in 2021, which Algeria won after beating Tunisia in the final.[182]

The match between the Egyptian and the Tunisian team are one of Africa's best and most exciting matches for their long continental history.[183] 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.

Tunisians and Moroccans have played 50 games since their independence from France in 1956.[184] Their first match was for the 1962 World Cup qualification, took place on 30 October 1960 in Casablanca.[185] 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.[186] 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.[187] 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[188]

Team image

Supporters

Tunisian fans in Moscow at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Tunisian fans in Moscow at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Tunisian fans in Berlin at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Tunisian fans in Berlin at the 2006 FIFA 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.

Kit manufacturer

Six companies have supplied sports uniforms to the Tunisian national team, starting in 1970, when Adidas began to adopt the Tunisian national team's uniforms for 24 years. Italy's Lotto provided Tunisia's until 1998, and Uhlsport has supplied the Tunisian team as well. From 2002 to 2011, Puma provided the Tunisian national football team kits. In 2019, the Italian company Kappa began making the Tunisian national team kits.

Period Kit supplier Ref
1956–1970 Local equipment [189]
1970–1994 Germany Adidas [190]
1994–1995 Tunisia Guidas [191]
1995–1997 Italy Kappa [192]
1998–2000 Italy Lotto [193]
2000–2001 Germany Uhlsport [194]
2002–2011 Germany Puma [195]
2012–2015 Switzerland Burrda Sport [196]
2016–2018 Germany Uhlsport [197]
2019– Italy Kappa [198]

Results and fixtures

Main article: Tunisia national football team results (2020–present)

  Win   Draw   Loss   Postponed

2021

3 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Tunisia 3–0  Equatorial Guinea Tunis, Tunisia
20:00 UTC+1
  • Bronn 54'
  • Skhiri 78'
  • Khazri 82' (pen.)
Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Attendance: 0
Referee: Daniel Laryea Nii Ayi (Ghana)
7 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Zambia  0–2 Tunisia Ndola, Zambia
15:00 UTC+2 Report
Stadium: Levy Mwanawasa Stadium
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (Gabon)
7 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Tunisia 3–0  Mauritania Tunis, Tunisia
20:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Attendance: 0
Referee: Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia)
10 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Mauritania  0–0 Tunisia Nouakchott, Mauritania
19:00 UTC±0 Report Stadium: Stade Olympique de Nouakchott
Attendance: 500
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria)
13 November 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Equatorial Guinea  1–0 Tunisia Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
17:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Estadio de Malabo
Attendance: 500
Referee: Boubou Traoré (Mali)
16 November 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Tunisia 3–1  Zambia Tunis, Tunisia
20:00 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Attendance: 0
Referee: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (Burundi)
30 November 2021 Arab Cup Group Stage Tunisia 5–1  Mauritania Al Rayyan, Qatar
13:00 UTC+3
Report
Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 2,494
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
3 December 2021 Arab Cup Group Stage Syria  2–0 Tunisia Al Khor, Qatar
22:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium
Attendance: 15,913
Referee: Fernando Hernández Gómez (Mexico)
6 December 2021 Arab Cup Group Stage Tunisia 1–0  United Arab Emirates Doha, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
Attendance: 14,272
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
10 December 2021 Arab Cup QF Tunisia 2–1  Oman Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Education City Stadium
Attendance: 21,329
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
15 December 2021 Arab Cup SF Tunisia 1–0  Egypt Doha, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Stadium 974
Attendance: 36,427
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
18 December 2021 Arab Cup Final Tunisia 0–2 (a.e.t.)  Algeria Al Khor, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium
Attendance: 60,456
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)

2022

12 January 2021 AFCON GS Tunisia 0–1  Mali Limbe, Cameroon
14:00 UTC+1 Report
Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
16 January 2021 AFCON GS Tunisia 4–0  Mauritania Limbe, Cameroon
17:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Mahmoud El Banna (Egypt)
20 January 2021 AFCON GS Gambia  1–0 Tunisia Limbe, Cameroon
20:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico)
23 January 2021 AFCON R16 Nigeria  0–1 Tunisia Garoua, Cameroon
20:00 UTC+1 Report
Stadium: Roumdé Adjia Stadium
Referee: Maguette N'Diaye (Senegal)
29 January 2021 AFCON QF Burkina Faso  1–0 Tunisia Garoua, Cameroon
20:00 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Roumdé Adjia Stadium
Referee: Joshua Bondo (Botswana)
25 March 2022 World Cup qualification Mali  0–1 Tunisia Bamako, Mali
17:00 UTC±0 Report
Stadium: Stade du 26 Mars
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia)
29 March 2022 World Cup qualification Tunisia 0–0
(1–0 agg.)
 Mali Tunis, Tunisia
20:30 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi, Tunis
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal)
2 June 2023 AFCON qualification Tunisia 4–0  Equatorial Guinea Tunis, Tunisia
20:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stade Hammadi Agrebi
Referee: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (Burundi)
5 June 2023 AFCON qualification Botswana  0–0 Tunisia Francistown, Botswana
15:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Francistown Stadium
Referee: Mohamed Athoumani (Comoros)
10 June 2022 Kirin Cup Soccer Chile  0–2 Tunisia Kobe, Japan
15:15 UTC+9 Report
Stadium: Noevir Stadium Kobe
Attendance: 4,973
Referee: Tanimoto Ryo (Japan)
14 June 2022 Kirin Cup Soccer Japan  0–3 Tunisia Osaka, Japan
18:55 UTC+9 Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Panasonic Stadium Suita
Attendance: 31,292
Referee: Ahmed Eisa Darwish (United Arab Emirates)
22 September Friendly Tunisia  1−0  Comoros Croissy-sur-Seine, France
16:30 CEST (UTC+2) Khenissi 59' Report Stadium: Stade Omnisports Du Chemin De Ronde
Referee: Gabriel Henry (France)
27 September Friendly Brazil  v  Tunisia Paris, France
20:30 CEST (UTC+2) Stadium: Parc des Princes
22 November 2022 World Cup Denmark  v  Tunisia Al Rayyan, Qatar
16:00 Report Stadium: Education City Stadium
26 November 2022 World Cup Tunisia  v  Australia Al Wakrah, Qatar
13:00 Report Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
30 November 2022 World Cup Tunisia  v  France Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:00 Report Stadium: Education City Stadium

2023

March 2023 2023 AFCON Q Equatorial Guinea  v Tunisia Equatorial Guinea
--:-- UTC+1 Report
March 2023 2023 AFCON Q Tunisia v  Botswana Tunis, Tunisia
--:-- UTC+1 Report

Current staff

Main article: List of Tunisia national football team managers

Ali Boumnijel and Selim Benachour, assistant coaches of Tunisia national team and players of AFCON 2004 winning team.
Position Name
Head Coach Tunisia Jalel Kadri
Assistant Coach Tunisia Ali Boumnijel
Tunisia Selim Benachour
Goalkeeping coach Tunisia Chedly Mabrouki
Sporting Director Tunisia Slim Ben Othman
Team Administrator Tunisia Hussein Jenayah
Physiotherapist Tunisia Akram Hbiri
Tunisia Majdi Turki
Tunisia Fethi Naoui
Tunisia Mohamed Gharbi
Fitness Coach Tunisia Aymen Jdidi
Tunisia Hichem Ghozia
Tunisia Mohamed Tounsi
Team Doctor Tunisia Souheil Chemli
Osteopath Tunisia Tarek Chamseddine
Nutritionist Tunisia Anis Yacoubi
Video Analyst Tunisia Walid Ben Tamansourt
Team Manager Tunisia Mohamed Gharbi
Media Officer Tunisia Kais Reguez
Tunisia Jouda Khenissi
Security Officer Tunisia Mohamed Dellagi
Tunisia Mahmoud Trabelsi

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the friendlies against Comoros and Brazil respectively on 22 and 27 September 2022.

Information correct as of 14 June 2022, after the match against Japan.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Mohamed Sedki Debchi (1999-10-28) 28 October 1999 (age 22) 0 0 Tunisia Espérance de Tunis
16 1GK Aymen Dahmen (1997-01-28) 28 January 1997 (age 25) 3 0 Tunisia CS Sfaxien
22 1GK Bechir Ben Saïd (1994-11-29) 29 November 1994 (age 27) 9 0 Tunisia US Monastir

2 2DF Bilel Ifa (1990-03-09) 9 March 1990 (age 32) 35 0 Kuwait Kuwait SC
3 2DF Montassar Talbi (1998-05-26) 26 May 1998 (age 24) 20 0 France Lorient
4 2DF Ali Abdi (1993-12-20) 20 December 1993 (age 28) 9 1 France Caen
6 2DF Dylan Bronn (1995-06-19) 19 June 1995 (age 27) 35 2 Italy Salernitana
9 2DF Mortadha Ben Ouanes (1994-07-02) 2 July 1994 (age 28) 3 0 Turkey Kasımpaşa
12 2DF Ali Maâloul (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 32) 81 2 Egypt Al Ahly
20 2DF Mohamed Dräger (1996-06-25) 25 June 1996 (age 26) 32 3 Switzerland Luzern
21 2DF Rami Kaib (1997-05-08) 8 May 1997 (age 25) 2 0 Netherlands Heerenveen
2DF Nader Ghandri (1995-02-18) 18 February 1995 (age 27) 5 0 Tunisia Club Africain
2DF Omar Rekik (2001-12-20) 20 December 2001 (age 20) 3 0 Netherlands Sparta Rotterdam
2DF Hamza Mathlouthi (1992-07-25) 25 July 1992 (age 30) 36 1 Egypt Zamalek
2DF Yan Valery (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 23) 0 0 France Angers

8 3MF Saîf-Eddine Khaoui (1995-04-27) 27 April 1995 (age 27) 27 4 France Clermont
13 3MF Ferjani Sassi (1992-03-18) 18 March 1992 (age 30) 76 6 Qatar Al-Duhail
14 3MF Hannibal Mejbri (2003-01-21) 21 January 2003 (age 19) 16 0 England Birmingham City
17 3MF Ellyes Skhiri (1995-05-10) 10 May 1995 (age 27) 46 3 Germany 1. FC Köln
18 3MF Ghailene Chaalali (1994-02-28) 28 February 1994 (age 28) 29 1 Tunisia Espérance de Tunis
25 3MF Anis Ben Slimane (2001-03-16) 16 March 2001 (age 21) 23 4 Denmark Brøndby
3MF Chaïm El Djebali (2004-02-07) 7 February 2004 (age 18) 0 0 France Lyon B
3MF Aïssa Laïdouni (1996-12-13) 13 December 1996 (age 25) 22 1 Hungary Ferencváros

7 4FW Youssef Msakni (captain) (1990-10-28) 28 October 1990 (age 31) 85 17 Qatar Al-Arabi
10 4FW Wahbi Khazri (1991-02-08) 8 February 1991 (age 31) 69 24 France Montpellier
11 4FW Taha Yassine Khenissi (1992-01-06) 6 January 1992 (age 30) 46 8 Kuwait Kuwait SC
19 4FW Seifeddine Jaziri (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 29) 28 10 Egypt Zamalek
23 4FW Naïm Sliti (1992-07-27) 27 July 1992 (age 30) 67 13 Saudi Arabia Al-Ettifaq
4FW Sayfallah Ltaief (2000-04-22) 22 April 2000 (age 22) 0 0 Switzerland Basel
4FW Issam Jebali (1996-05-27) 27 May 1996 (age 26) 9 3 Denmark OB

Player records

Main article: Tunisia national football team records and statistics

As of 14 June 2022
Players in bold are still active with Tunisia.

Most appearances

Main article: List of Tunisia international footballers

Radhi Jaïdi is the most capped player in the history of Tunisia with 105 caps.
Radhi Jaïdi is the most capped player in the history of Tunisia with 105 caps.
Rank Player Caps Goals Position Career
1 Radhi Jaïdi 105 7 DF 1996–2009
2 Chokri El Ouaer 97 0 GK 1990–2002
3 Khaled Badra 96 10 DF 1995–2006
4 Kaies Ghodhbane 95 6 MF 1995–2006
Khaled Ben Yahia[a] 95 5 DF 1979–1993
6 Riadh Bouazizi 92 3 MF 1995–2006
7 Tarak Dhiab[a] 89 12 FW 1974–1990
8 Sadok Sassi[a] 87 0 GK 1963–1978
9 Mohamed Ali Mahjoubi[a] 86 17 MF 1985–1995
Sirajeddine Chihi 86 4 MF 1991–2001

Top goalscorers

Main article: List of leading goalscorers for the Tunisia national football team

Wahbi Khazri is the top scorer among active players of Tunisia with 24 goals.
Wahbi Khazri is the top scorer among active players of Tunisia with 24 goals.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Issam Jemâa 36 84 0.43 2005–2014
2 Wahbi Khazri 24 69 0.35 2013–present
3 Francileudo Santos 21 41 0.51 2004–2008
4 Adel Sellimi 20 80 0.25 1990–2002
5 Faouzi Rouissi 18 42 0.43 1989–2001
6 Mohamed Ali Mahjoubi 17 86 0.2 1985–1995
Youssef Msakni 17 84 0.2 2010–present
8 Mohamed Salah Jedidi 15 32 0.47 1962–1965
9 Hassen Gabsi 14 50 0.28 1997–2002
Zied Jaziri 14 63 0.22 1999–2007
  1. ^ a b c d Matches in the Olympic Games and against Amateur sides are not considered full 'A' internationals by FIFA


Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

Main article: Tunisia at the FIFA World Cup

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.[199] 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.
Uruguay 1930 Part of  France Part of  France [200]
Italy 1934 [201]
France 1938 [202]
Brazil 1950 [203]
Switzerland 1954 [204]
Sweden 1958 Did not enter Did not enter [205]
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 3 1 1 1 4 4 [206]
England 1966 Withdrew Withdrew [207]
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify 5 1 4 0 4 3 [208]
West Germany 1974 4 1 1 2 5 5 [209]
Argentina 1978 Group stage 9th 3 1 1 1 3 2 Squad 10 4 4 2 15 9 [210]
Spain 1982 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 2 [211]
Mexico 1986 8 4 0 4 11 9 [212]
Italy 1990 10 4 1 5 10 11 [213]
United States 1994 6 3 3 0 14 2 [214]
France 1998 Group stage 26th 3 0 1 2 1 4 Squad 8 7 1 0 15 2 [215]
South Korea Japan 2002 29th 3 0 1 2 1 5 Squad 10 8 2 0 28 5 [216]
Germany 2006 24th 3 0 1 2 3 6 Squad 10 6 3 1 25 9 [217]
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify 12 7 3 2 18 7 [218]
Brazil 2014 8 4 3 1 14 10 [219]
Russia 2018 Group stage 24th 3 1 0 2 5 8 Squad 8 6 2 0 15 6 [220]
Qatar 2022 Qualified 8 5 2 1 12 2
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total Group stage 6/22 15 2 4 9 13 25 112 62 30 20 192 86

FIFA Confederations Cup

Main article: Tunisia at the 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. The opening match of this tournament was between Tunisia and Argentina, Tunisia lost by a narrow margin 1–2. In the second match, the Tunisians resisted until the 74th minute, where they conceded three goals from the German team to end the match, while in the third match they managed to beat Australia 2–0, to leave good impressions.

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999
South Korea Japan 2001
France 2003
Germany 2005 Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 3 5 Squad [221]
South Africa 2009 Did not qualify
Brazil 2013
Russia 2017
Total Group stage 1/10 3 1 0 2 3 5

Africa Cup of Nations

See also: Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations

Tunisia has participated in the African Cup of Nations 20 times and holds the record for the number of consecutive participations with 15 between 1994 and 2021. First participation in 1962, it took third place by defeating Uganda with a score of 3–0,[222] only 4 countries participated in this edition.[223] In 1965 edition, Tunisia was allowed to stage the compitition and reached the final and lost the title to Ghana 2–3 after extra time.[224]

In the 1996 edition, the team reached the final for the second time, but was again defeated by hosts South Africa 0–2.[225] The best participation in this tournament came after 8 years when Tunisia in her country reached the final for the third time and won this time after defeating Morocco in the final 2–1,[226] Francileudo Santos and Ziad Jaziri scored the goals. The last participation was in the 2021 edition in Cameroon, and the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

In total, Tunisia participated in the African Cup of Nations 20 times, played 80 matches, won in 25 matches, tied 29 matches and lost 26 of them, scored 99 goals and accepted 94 goals. The biggest defeat was 4–0 against Ethiopia on 12 November 1965 and Mauritania on 16 January 2022.[227][228] The biggest defeat was 3–0 against Cameroon on 10 February 2000, Guinea on 30 January 2006 and Ivory Coast on 26 January 2013. Francileudo Santos is the most Tunisian player to score in the tournament with 10 goals.[229] Youssef Msakni is the most participating Tunisian in the tournament, he played 25 matches in 7 participations between 2010 and 2021.[230] Tunisia hosted the compitition on three occasions in 1965, 1994 and 2004.

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
Sudan 1957 Not affiliated to CAF Not affiliated to CAF [231]
United Arab Republic 1959 [232]
Ethiopia 1962 Third place 3rd 2 1 0 1 5 4 Squad 4 3 0 1 7 2 [233]
Ghana 1963 Group stage 5th 2 0 1 1 3 5 Squad 2 1 0 1 6 5 [234]
Tunisia 1965 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 1 1 6 3 Squad Qualified as hosts [235]
Ethiopia 1968 Did not qualify 4 1 1 2 5 5 [236]
Sudan 1970 Did not enter Did not enter [237]
Cameroon 1972 [238]
Egypt 1974 [239]
Ethiopia 1976 Did not qualify 6 3 1 2 8 7 [240]
Ghana 1978 Fourth place 4th 5 1 3 1 5 4 Squad 4 2 1 1 10 7 [241]
Nigeria 1980 Withdrew Banned [242]
Libya 1982 Group stage 7th 3 0 1 2 1 4 Squad 2 1 1 0 1 0 [243]
Ivory Coast 1984 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 6 1 [244]
Egypt 1986 2 1 0 1 1 2 [245]
Morocco 1988 2 0 1 1 1 2 [246]
Algeria 1990 2 0 0 2 0 4 [247]
Senegal 1992 6 3 3 0 10 5 [248]
Tunisia 1994 Group stage 9th 2 0 1 1 1 3 Squad Qualified as hosts [249]
South Africa 1996 Runners-up 2nd 6 2 2 2 10 9 Squad 8 3 4 1 7 2 [250]
Burkina Faso 1998 Quarter-finals 5th 4 2 1 1 6 5 Squad 3 2 0 1 3 1 [251]
Ghana Nigeria 2000 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 6 9 Squad 6 5 0 1 13 3 [252]
Mali 2002 Group stage 11th 3 0 2 1 0 1 Squad 6 2 2 2 9 7 [253]
Tunisia 2004 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 10 4 Squad Qualified as hosts [254]
Egypt 2006 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 1 1 7 5 Squad 10 6 3 1 25 9 [255]
Ghana 2008 Quarter-finals 5th 4 1 2 1 7 6 Squad 6 4 1 1 12 3 [256]
Angola 2010 Group stage 12th 3 0 3 0 3 3 Squad 12 7 3 2 18 7 [257]
Gabon Equatorial Guinea 2012 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 0 2 5 5 Squad 8 4 2 2 14 6 [258]
South Africa 2013 Group stage 12th 3 1 1 1 2 4 Squad 2 0 2 0 2 2 [259]
Equatorial Guinea 2015 Quarter-finals 7th 4 1 2 1 5 5 Squad 6 4 2 0 6 2 [260]
Gabon 2017 Quarter-finals 8th 4 2 0 2 6 7 Squad 6 4 1 1 16 3 [261]
Egypt 2019 Fourth place 4th 7 1 4 2 6 5 Squad 6 4 1 1 16 3 [262]
Cameroon 2021 Quarter-finals 8th 5 2 0 3 5 3 Squad 6 5 1 0 14 5
Ivory Coast 2023 To be determined 1 1 0 0 4 0
Guinea 2025 To be determined
Total 1 Title 20/33 80 25 29 26 99 94 122 68 30 24 204 91

African Nations Championship

Main article: Tunisia at the African Nations Championship

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 Squad
Ivory Coast 2009 Did not qualify
Sudan 2011 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 11 3 Squad
South Africa 2014 Did not qualify
Rwanda 2016 Quarter–finals 8th 4 1 2 1 9 5 Squad
Morocco 2018 Did not compete
Cameroon 2020 Withdrew after qualifying[note 1]
Algeria 2022 Did not enter
Total Champions 1/2 10 5 4 1 20 8

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.

In 2021, the Tunisian national team participated in the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup, which is the first edition under FIFA for the participation of 16 teams in the finals. The Tunisian team reached the final after defeating Mauritania, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Egypt, but lost the final to Algeria.

FIFA Arab Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
Lebanon 1963 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 11 1 Squad [264]
Kuwait 1964 Did not enter
Iraq 1966
Saudi Arabia 1985
Jordan 1988 Group stage 7th 4 0 3 1 3 4 Squad [265]
Syria 1992 Did not enter
Qatar 1998
Kuwait 2002
Saudi Arabia 2012
Qatar 2021 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 0 2 9 6 Squad [266]
Total 1 Title 3/10 14 8 3 3 23 11

Mediterranean Games

The Tunisian national team participated in the football tournament in the Mediterranean Games 12 times.[267] 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 record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Ref
Egypt 1951 Part of  France
Spain 1955 Did not enter
Lebanon 1959
Italy 1963 Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 3 4 [268]
Tunisia 1967 Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 4 3 [269]
Turkey 1971 Silver medal 2nd 4 2 1 1 3 2 [270]
Algeria 1975 Bronze medal 3rd 5 1 3 1 5 5 [271]
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1979 Group stage 7th 3 0 1 2 2 4 [272]
Morocco 1983 Group stage 7th 2 1 0 1 4 5 [273]
Syria 1987 Did not enter
Greece 1991 Group stage 7th 2 1 0 1 1 5 [274]
France 1993 Group stage 7th 3 1 0 2 2 5 [275]
Italy 1997 Did not enter
Tunisia 2001 Gold medal 1st 4 3 0 1 7 1 [276]
Spain 2005 Quarter-finals 7th 3 0 3 0 4 4 [277]
Italy 2009 Group stage 7th 4 2 1 1 6 5 [278]
Turkey 2013 Bronze medal 3rd 5 3 1 1 10 5 [279]
Spain 2018 Did not enter
Algeria 2022
Total 1 Title 1/12 39 15 10 14 49 46

Minior Tournaments

Other records

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Ref
Libya 1962 Tripoli Fair Tournament Third place 3rd 3 1 0 2 6 9
Senegal 1963 Friendship Games Runners-up 2nd 6 4 1 0 4 9 [287]
Libya 1965 Tripoli Fair Tournament Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 4 2 [288]
Libya 1966 Tripoli Fair Tournament Fourth place 4th 3 0 1 2 0 3 [289]
Libya 1973 Palestine Cup of Nations Champions 1st 6 6 0 0 19 3 [290]
Iran 1974 Iran International Tournament Group stage 6th 2 0 1 1 0 2 [291]
Syria 1974 Kuneitra Cup Third place 3rd 7 4 0 3 10 9 [292]
Tunisia 1975 Palestine Cup of Nations Group stage 5th 2 1 1 0 4 1 [293]
Ivory Coast 1984–85 Friendship Games Third place 3rd 2 1 0 2 2 6 [294]
Malta 1988 Malta International Tournament Fourth place 4th 3 0 0 3 1 10 [295]
Tunisia 7th November Cup 1991 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 11 3 [296]
Tunisia 7th November Cup 1993 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 6 1 [297]
Malta 1994 Malta International Tournament Third place 3 3 0 2 1 2 5 [298]
Tunisia 7th November Cup 1995 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 4 1 [299]
Tunisia 1997 LG Cup Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 5 1 [300]
Tunisia 2003 Tunis Four Nations Tournament Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 3 2 [301]
Tunisia 2006 LG Cup Runners-up 2nd 2 1 1 0 3 0 [302]
Spain 2011 Catalonia International Trophy Champions 1st 1 0 1 0 0 0 [303]
Japan 2015 Kirin Challenge Cup Runners-up 2nd 1 0 0 1 0 2 [304]
Spain 2016 Catalonia International Trophy Champions 1st 1 0 1 0 3 3 [305]
Japan 2022 Kirin Cup Soccer Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 5 0 [306]
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 14 June 2022 after match against  Japan.

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

The Tunisian national team has always been one of the best African teams, especially thanks to its good results in the Africa Cup of Nations (3rd place in the 1962 edition, second place in the 1965 and 1996 editions and the champion in the 2004 edition).

But also after the good results in 2017 and 2018: the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (eight matches: six wins and two draws) and friendlies (five matches: 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat); Thus, the Tunisian national team reached the fourteenth place in the world in April and May 2018. It is also considered the best African team in the FIFA World Ranking between January and December 2018.

Rankings by year

Below is a chart of Tunisia FIFA ranking from 1993 till now.[309]

Tunisia's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Statistics Best Worst
Games Wins Draws Loses Rank Move Rank Move
32 1993 10 6 3 1 31 Increase 7 (August) 36 Decrease 3 (September)
30 1994 10 3 5 2 27 Increase 4 (September) 33 Decrease 3 (October)
22 1995 14 7 3 4 21 Increase 6 (February) 27 Decrease 4 (August)
23 1996 14 7 2 5 21 Increase 6 (February) 31 Decrease 9 (June)
23 1997 14 9 2 3 20 Increase 7 (August) 29 Decrease 4 (June)
21 1998 17 7 4 6 19 Increase 6 (November) 26 Decrease 4 (July)
31 1999 10 7 1 2 26 Increase 4 (November) 33 Decrease 7 (June)
26 2000 17 8 7 2 25 Increase 3 (June) 28 Decrease 1 (September)
28 2001 12 8 2 2 22 Increase 7 (July) 32 Decrease 5 (April)
41 2002 14 0 8 6 28 Increase 0 (June) 41 Decrease 5 (July)
45 2003 9 5 3 1 40 Increase 3 (April) 46 Decrease 3 (October)
35 2004 16 8 4 4 31 Increase 14 (February) 45 Decrease 2 (April)
28 2005 12 8 2 2 23 Increase 8 (September) 40 Decrease 4 (October)
32 2006 16 7 4 5 21 Increase 5 (February) 32 Decrease 10 (July)
47 2007 9 5 3 1 32 Increase 5 (July) 47 Decrease 13 (February)
46 2008 16 7 5 4 44 Increase 3 (April) 56 Decrease 7 (February)
53 2009 10 4 4 2 45 Increase 2 (July) 54 Decrease 8 (February)
45 2010 11 3 5 3 44 Increase 11 (October) 65 Decrease 10 (July)
59 2011 8 4 2 2 44 Increase 3 (March) 61 Decrease 15 (April)
45 2012 16 8 4 4 41 Increase 10 (June) 59 Decrease 4 (October)
48 2013 15 4 7 4 41 Increase 11 (February) 53 Decrease 8 (June)
22 2014 9 5 3 1 22 Increase 11 (September) 49 Decrease 5 (April)
40 2015 15 5 5 5 22 Increase 2 (June) 41 Decrease 5 (April)
35 2016 11 6 4 1 34 Increase 4 (October) 48 Decrease 8 (February)
27 2017 13 6 2 5 27 Increase 7 (July) 42 Decrease 5 (April)
24 2018 8 3 2 3 14 Increase 9 (April) 24 Decrease 7 (June)
27 2019 17 8 5 4 25 Increase 3 (June) 28 Decrease 4 (July)
26 2020 4 2 2 0 26 Increase 1 (September) 27 Steady 0 (December)
30 2021 17 12 1 4 25 Increase 3 (December) 30 Decrease 4 (November)

Honours

Main article: Tunisia national football team honours

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

Awards

African National Team of the Year

See also

Other football codes

Notes

  1. ^ Tunisia qualified against Libya after winning two matches in the qualifiers, back 1–0 and 1–2, and due to the delay in the start of the session from January to April, the candidacy was withdrawn from the Tunisian Football Federation on 20 December 2019 due to the pressure of the calendar.[263]
  2. ^ 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.[307] The match originally ended 2–0 to Cape Verde.[308]
  3. ^ 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.

References

  1. ^ "Tunisia appoint Jalel Kadri as new coach after dismissing Mondher Kebaier". 31 January 2022.
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 25 August 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Liste des matchs internationaux de la Tunisie". RSSSF.com (in French). Retrieved 21 August 2015..
  4. ^ Football, CAF-Confedération Africaine du. ""Carthage Eagles" home glory". CAFOnline.com. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Stade de Rades - Tunis - The Stadium Guide" (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Tunisia appoint Jalel Kadri as new coach after dismissing Mondher Kebaier". Sporty Africa. 31 January 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  7. ^ "1978 FIFA World Cup Argentina™: Tunisia - Mexico". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Tunisia win Cup of Nations". 14 February 2004. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Tunisian trio revel in CHAN glory - FIFA.com". 23 June 2016. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  10. ^ texte, Parti socialiste SFIO (France) Auteur du; texte, Parti socialiste (France) Fédération (Paris) Auteur du (12 March 1928). "Le Populaire : journal-revue hebdomadaire de propagande socialiste et internationaliste ["puis" socialiste-internationaliste]". Gallica. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Tunisia v Algeria, 13 November 1932". 11 v 11. 2 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Tunisia v Libya, 19 October 1957". 11v11.com. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Tunisia v Iraq, 21 October 1957". 11v11.com. Retrieved 17 August 2022.