Sport: We have a great chance at the world cup – Nabil Maaloul


Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul reckons that they have a chance to cause an upset at the the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Although he said Belgium and England will be their main cause for concern in Group G, he added that Tunisia have good players.

Maaloul says they have to concentrate on the two European giants, but cannot undermine Panama, as they prepare to appear at their fifth finals, and first since 2006.

The Carthage Eagles manager was responding after the draw which was conducted on Friday, which determined that they will open their account against the Three Lions in Volgograd on June 18. Tunisia’s second game will be against Belgium in Moscow on June 23, before finishing against Panama in Saransk on June 28.

“Belgium are ranked fifth in the world (rankings) – and are one of the great nations in the world, not only in Europe. They have talented players,” he said to the BBC.

“We have to pay great attention to England and Belgium without forgetting Panama, who could be a surprise. It may be the first time they have qualified for the World Cup but we have to pay them attention as well.

“We have a great chance,” said the former international, who played for Tunisia between 1982 and 1994.

“We have talented players – players who are at the summit of their form and young players too. The average age of this Tunisian squad is 26 and despite meeting England, we have a great chance of reaching the second round.”

In 1978, Tunisia became the first African nation to ever win a match at a World Cup when beating Mexico 3-1 in Argentina
However, they are yet to reach the knock-out stage of a World Cup, having failed in 1978, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

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