For the first time since the uprising called the Arab Spring, that resulted in the outset of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from office, Tunisia's national football team will play under and represent a democratic country. Of course, it has yet to be seen how and if it will reflect football matters, but spirits in Tunisia are running high. For an African national team with a relative international success, Tunisia's players aren't a household name among Europe's major leagues. As a matter of fact, the national team consists of players mostly from Tunisia Ligue Proffessionnelle 1, with a few who play in French Ligue 1, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Tunisia celebrated its independence from France in 1956 and started playing shortly afterwards in African competitions. The first time the country qualified for the World Cup was Argentina 1978. It did quite well, actually, beating Mexico 3-1, thus becoming the first African national team to record a victory in a world cup tournament, drew 0-0 with West Germany and lost 0-1 to Poland.
The team didn't qualify again for World Cup until France 1998, and afterwards recorded two appearances in a row. In between, the team crowned as champions of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004, a tournament it hosted.
One of Tunisia's biggest stars ever is Adel Sellimi, who played, among others, for FC Nantes, Real Jaen of the Spanish second division and Freiburg, together with fellow countrymen Zoubeir Baya and Mehdi Benslimane. Sellimi is 3rd on Tunisia's all-time goal scorers list with 20 goals in 78 caps between 1991-2002.
The Tunisia national football team is nicknamed The Eagles of Carthage, for the name of the empire that was sited on present day Tunisia almost 10,000 years ago.
Former famous managers of the Tunisia national team include French Henri Michel and Roger Lemerre, Dutch Ruud Krul and Belgium's Georges Leekens, none of them was able to guide the team to any major tournament.
The team play its home games in the Stade Olympique de Rades who has a capacity of 60,000 seats.
Tunisia's all-time top goal scorer is Issam Jemaa, who scored 36 goals in 83 appearances between 2005-2014.
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