May 11, 2006
Random World Cup Facts: Tunisia
The first of 32 previews in random order begins with the 2004 African champions Tunisia.
Times Qualified: 4 (have never progressed from group stage)
Best Result: Tunisia 3-1 Mexico in their first match ever in the World Cup in 1978. They have not won since.
Top Current Political Issue: Tunisia was elected to the new United Nations Human Rights Council amidst Western concerns about human rights violations.
Other Random Facts: Was home to the Carthaginian Empire which was defeated by the Romans in the Punic Wars. Tunisia was permitted to be "invaded" by the British in the 1880s after the French worked out an agreement over control of Cyprus.
The Team: The team is known as "The Eagles of Carthage." Tunisia was the only African team that qualified for the last World Cup that qualified again. The team fields two Brazilian born players (José Clayton and Francileudo Silva dos Santos) who were crucial in their African Nations triumph two years ago.
Players to Watch: Hamed Namouchi (Rangers), dos Santos (Toulouse), Mehdi Nafti (Birmingham) are accomplished players, but only Hatem Trabelsi (Ajax) can be called a world class player at right back.
Chances: Their group is far from the strongest in the tournament. A point against Ukraine and a win against Saudi Arabia could see them through.
Prediction: Eliminated in first round (3rd place)