Tunisia Coach Nabil Maaloul Names Squad for World Cup Warm-up Matches
Tunisia head coach Nabil Maaloul has named the final squad for this month’s World Cup warm-up games against Costa Rica and Iran.
The Carthage Eagles will be with new faces in the squad as they host Iran at home on March 23rd. They will be with new-arrivals Seifeddine Khaoui, Ellyes Skhiri and Mouez Hassen who previously turned up for France Under-18 and Under-21 side but are bi-nationals by heritage.
The Football federation of Tunisia confirmed their inclusion in a statement saying,
“The FTF is working to ensure best conditions for success of the national team at the fifth World Cup campaign in Tunisia history.
“By spreading the net as widely as possible, the technical staff hopes to create a strong team with the blend of local players from the Tunisian championship and a second generation in Europe,” the FTF added.
The surprise inclusion however is Leicester’s Yohan Benalouane, who had previously rejected Tunisia call-up on several occasions. The 28-year-old former France-under 21 player turned down the opportunity to represent Tunisia in 2010 and refused to honor several call-ups after that.
He has been called in place of Aymen Abdennour who has found it hard to break into the Maeseille first eleven.
Maaloul will be hoping that the new inclusions add to the depth of talents and expand the pool of selection. He promised to use as many players as possible in the friendlies as he tries to get his squad in shape for Russia 2018.
They were campaigners at three successive FIFA World Cups between 1998 and 2006 but missed the tournaments in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil 2014.
After a 12-year-absence, they beat contenders DR Congo, Guinea and Libya to a World Cup Spot. They were however unfortunately grouped against favorites England, Belgium and South American side Panama and will have to be at their absolute best if they are to progress from the group stages.
Tunisia’s 28-man squad:
Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia)
Moez Ben Cherifia (ESperance)
Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia)
Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France)
Karim Aouadhi (CS Sfaxien)
Ghazi Ayadi (Club Africain)
Anis Badri (ESperance)
Rami Bedoui (Étoile)
Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England)
Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey)
Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia)
Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli SC, Saudi Arabia)
Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Khalil Chammam (ESperance)
Seifeddine Khaoui (Troyes, France)
Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France)
Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain)
Wahbi Khazri (Rennes, France)
Taha Yassine Khenissi (ESperance)
Ali Maâloul (Al Ahly, Egypt)
Alaeddine Marzouki (CS Sfaxien)
Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien)
Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail, Qatar)
Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt)
Elyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France)
Naim Sliti (Dijon, France)
Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, UAE)
Bassem Serarfi (Nice, France).