Group G : Tunisia         Castellano   Page 2

Argentina  2

Austria  2

Belgium  2

Brazil  2

Bulgaria  2

Cameroon  2

Chile  2

Colombia  2

Croatia  2

Denmark  2

England  2

France  2

Germany  2

Iran  2

Italy  2

Jamaica  2

Japan  2

México  2

Morocco  2

Netherlands  2

Nigeria  2

Norway  2

Paraguay  2

Romania  2

Saudi Arabia  2

Scotland  2

South Africa 2

South Korea

Spainin  2

Tunisia  2

United States

Yugoslavia  2

 Fédération Tunisienne de Football  

Coach: Henryk KASPERCZAK

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15.06.98 Marseille


22.06.98 Montpellier


26.06.98 Saint-Denis

Team Colors: Red shirt, White pants.

Alternate Uniform: White shirt, White pants.

Confederation: CAF

Second participation in World Cup finals (1978,1998)

Two-time finalists in African Nations Cup (1965,1996)

Played in three Olympics (1960,1988,1996)

Twice won the Arab Nations Cup

Key players: D Sami Trabelsi,

M Adel Sellimi,

F Rachid Bouazzizi

Zoubeir Beya

Keep an Eye on: Skander Souayah: Blessed with skill but heavily criticized.

Adel Sellimi: A left-sided midfield player with Nantes and the country's superstar. Leading scorer during qualifiers with 4 goals.

Medhi Ben Slimane: 23-year-old who plays for a German club and is a regular starter up front. Tunisia will be hoping he finds the net.

Analysis: Once the doormat of African soccer, Tunisia has improved considerably in recent years. Strong support from large immigrant base in France is expected. Strength in middle, but finishing is poor.

History: For Tunisia, their biggest World Cup success remains the 0-0 draw they managed in Argentina in 1978 against defending World Champions Germany. Because no up and coming players were around to replace the heroes of '78, such as Dhiab and Teim, Tunisian football went into a slump. The worst moment came when Tunisia was knocked out in the first round of the African Nations Cup in 1994. However, after the 94 disaster, Polish born Henri Kasperczak was brought in to take control, and things began to change.

He took Tunisia to the final of the African Nations Cup in 1996, losing 2-0 to South Africa. But more importantly, he booked them a place for France 98. Kasperczak has created a new team spirit amongst the players and a burning desire to win. Although football in Tunisia is amateur and semi-professional, the government has made sure that the players lack for nothing, offering them the best facilities possible.

Almost 20 years ago in Argentina, Tunisia made their only appearance in the World Cup finals to date. As they lost 1-0 in their group game to Poland, it is doubtful they took any special notice of one Henryk Kasperczak lined up against them.

Two decades on, Kasperczak is the Tunisia coach and one of its great sporting heroes after guiding the country to two consecutive African Nations' Cup finals, including last year's defeat by South Africa, as well as to the World Cup in France.

Kasperczak was in the Poland team that finished third in the 1974 tournament - knocking England out in the qualifiers - and reached the second round four years later and, while he cannot hope to maintain that impressive personal record in 1998, he has raised expectations to a level that no one in Tunisia thought possible.

Well organized to compensate for fragile confidence, they conceded just one goal in six games in qualifying and only a goalless draw away to Egypt cost them a perfect record. England will not find them easy opponents to break down in the heat of Marseilles in June.

All but a handful of players are based in a thriving domestic league, but the outstanding performer is Adel Sellimi, who plays in midfield for Nantes. Just 24, he has already won more than 60 caps. Internal strife, which had been a big problem before Kasperczak took charge, still exists, however, notably in the case of Skander Souayah, a skilful midfield player, who has threatened to retire at the age of 25 because of criticism that he does not work hard enough for the team.

While unlikely to provide the threat of Nigeria or Morocco, Tunisia will be no pushovers.

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G Ali Boumnijel 31 4

G Chokri El Ouaer 31 50

G Boubaker Zitouni 33 21

D Khaled Badra 24 12

D Mounir Boukadida 30 25

D Ferid Chouchane 24 14

D Kais Ghodbane 22 16

D Karim Ghorbel 22 2  

D Taoufik Hichri 34 51

D Sabri Jaballah 24 14

D Tarek Thabet 26 33

D Sami Trabelsi 29 30

M Zoubeir Beya 27 32

M Riadh Bouazizi 24 14

M Sirajeddine Chihi 25 33

M Soufian Fkih 28 32

M Skander Souayah 25 21

F Hassan Gabsi 23 3

F Ayadi Hamrouni 26 28

F Riadh Jlassi 26 9

F Jamel Limam 32 50

F Faouzi Rouissi 26 34

F Adel Sellimi 26 52

F Ben Slimane 23 21

F Imed Ben Younes 23 5  

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