Jan 12 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup finalists Tunisia ahead of this year’s tournament in South Africa from Jan. 19 to Feb. 10:
Previous appearances in African Nations Cup finals: 15
Best performances: Winners in 2004; Runners-up in 1965 and 1996
FIFA world ranking Dec 2012: 45
Sami Trabelsi was a long-standing fullback for the Tunisia side, playing at three Nations Cup finals between 1996 and 2000 and at the 1998 World Cup in France. At the 1996 Nations Cup he competed in every game but then missed out on the final, which Tunisia lost to hosts South Africa. Trabelsi coached Tunisia’s home-based players to victory at the 2011 African Nations Championship in Sudan and was then handed the national team job in March 2011.
Issam Jemaa (Kuwait SC). Age: 28. Pos: Forward
Tunisia’s all-time top scorer with 32 goals who is heading to his fifth successive Nations Cup tournament. Jemaa won the Tunisian championship with Esperance in 2003 and 2004 before moving to France, where he played at Racing Lens, Caen, AJ Auxerre and Stade Brest. Last year he moved to Kuwait.
Aymen Abdennour (Toulouse). Age: 23. Pos: Defender
Former captain of the under-21 side, who was a firm favourite at Etoile Sahel before going on loan to Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. Toulouse signed him in 2011 and such was their delight at his adaptation to Ligue 1 that they extended his contract to a four-year deal six months after his arrival. He started as a left wing, later played at left back but is now used at a centre back.
Youssef Msakni (Al Lekhwiya). Age: 22. Pos: Midfielder
Has just signed a lucrative deal with Qatari club Al Lekhwiya after helping Esperance to reach two successive African Champions League finals. Tricky winger with an ability to glide past defenders but needs some more polish before fulfilling frequent predictions that he might become a real sensation.
Tunisia are a consistent force at the finals but have won only once, when they hosted the finals in 2004. They will have fond memories of their last tournament in South Africa when they sent an under-23 side to the 1996 finals, which they used to prepare the team for the Atlanta Olympics, and were as stunned as the rest when the team finished runners-up. (Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Clare Fallon)