AFCON 2023: Everything you need to know about Tunisia

AFCON 2023: Everything you need to know about Tunisia

Tunisia is preparing for its 21st Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d'Ivoire. Finalists on 3 occasions, the Carthage Eagles will be looking to claim their 2nd crown. Last time, they reached the quarter-finals.Tunisia

The country

Capital: Tunis

Surface area: 163,610 km²Population: 11,803,588
Official language: Arabic
Inhabitants :Tunisian / Tunisienne
Motto: Freedom, Order, Justice
Team nickname: Les Aigles de Carthage

Tunisia and the AFCON
Title: 1
Final: 3
Participations before AFCON 2023: 20
Host country: 3

AFCON history
1962: Semi-finalist
1963: First round
1965: Finalist
1978: Semi-finalist
1982: First round
1994: First round
1996: Finalist
1998: Quarter-finalist
2000: Semi-finalist
2002: First round
2004: Winner
2006: Quarter-finalist
2008: Quarter-finalist
2010: First round
2012: Quarter-finalist
2013: First round
2015: Quarter-finalist
2017: Quarter-finalist
2019: semi-finalist
2021: Quarter-finalist

With 20 appearances, Tunisia is one of the teams most accustomed to the African Cup of Nations. It is also one of the countries to have hosted the competition the most times (3) 1965, 1994, 2004. Although the Carthage Eagles have reached the final on 3 occasions, they have only won the title once. It was in 2004 that they won their first title on home soil after defeating Morocco in the final (2-1).

Tunisia hold the record for the most consecutive appearances at the AFCON (15) between 1994 and 2021. It also boasts two major victories (4-0) over Ethiopia (1965) and Mauritania (2022). Their biggest defeat was 3-0 against Cameroon (2000), Guinea (2006) and Côte d'Ivoire in 2006.

The star: Youssef Msakni

Youssef Msakni

Tunisia captain

Born in Tunisia in 1990, Msakni spent all his formative years in the country. He made his name with ES Tunis before moving to Qatar. A charismatic winger, the Carthage Eagle made his international debut in 2009 at the tender age of 19.Since then, he has established himself as a benchmark for the national team.

The Tunisian international is about to play in his 8th Africa Cup of Nations (a record).

He has already played 25 matches in the AFCON which just goes to show the longevity and quality of Youssef Msakni. Now 33, he plays for Al-Arabi SC. At this year's edition in Côte d'Ivoire, he will be trying to take his team further than 2021 (quarter-finalists). As captain, he is also one of Tunisia's offensive weapons.

The coach: Jalel Kadri

Jalel Kadri
Jalel Kadri

Assistant to Mondher Kebaier, Jalel Kadri was appointed head coach of the Tunisian national team following Kebaier's dismissal after the AFCON 2021. Aged 52, the Tunisian technician has coached a number of clubs in his country, as well as the U20s. He has also coached in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

With the national team, Jalel Kadri has 12 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats to his name. He helped Tunisia qualify for the  AFCON 2023 with 13 points from six games, finishing ahead of Equatorial Guinea. Les Aigles de Carthage have also won twice, against Malawi (1-0) and Sao Tome and Principe (4-0), in qualifying for the next World Cup.

Tunisia's schedule in Group E

January 16: Tunisia - Namibia
January 20: Tunisia - Mali
January 24: South Africa - Tunisia

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