Tunisia’s national football team: All you need to know

The North African nation are considered one of the most successful Arab and African teams

This is not the first Fifa World Cup for Tunisia's national football team. AFP
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As 12 million Tunisians prepare to cheer for their national football team in its first match against Denmark in the Fifa World Cup on Tuesday, some may be surprised to learn it will not be Tunisia's first time on the world's biggest footballing stage.

There is no doubt that football is considered a national sport in Tunisia — followed even by those who do not understand many of the rules.

Here is all you need to know about the Tunisia men's national football team.

When did Tunisia play their first game?

The first game played by the Tunisia men's national football took place on June 2, 1957 against Libya, with Tunisia coming out on top 4-2, just one year after the country formally signed its independence from colonial France.

The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) was founded in the same year. The FTF officially joined Fifa and the African Football Confederation (CAF) as a member federation in 1960.

How many World Cups have Tunisia played in?

Tunisia are considered one of the most successful Arab and African teams, having participated in 20 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations and winning the 2004 edition at home. They have also played at four Olympic Games.

The Qatar World Cup is the sixth time Tunisia have qualified for the World Cup. The first time was in Argentina in 1978 and the most recent was in Russia in 2018.

Have Tunisia won a World Cup match?

In 1978, in Buenos Aires, Tunisia made history when they became the first Arab and African team to win a World Cup match, defeating Mexico 3-1.

They are nicknamed Eagles of Carthage and wear a red and white strip, taken from the colours of the Tunisian flag. The bald eagle is the team’s symbol.

Jalel Kadri has been team coach since January, accompanied by his assistants Ali Boumnijel and Selim Ben Achour.

Some of the star players include Youssef Msakni and Ferjani Sassi.

Since 2019, efforts have been put into attracting international dual-nationality stars such as Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri and Hungary's Ferencvaros star Aissa Laidouni.

Updated: November 21, 2022, 5:37 PM