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FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Tunisia squad for African Nations Cup
January 9, 2017 / 2:01 AM / 7 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Tunisia squad for African Nations Cup

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Jan 9 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup qualifiers Tunisia.

African Nations Cup record

Previous appearances in finals: (17) 1962, 1963, 1965, 1978, 1982, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Best performance: Winners 2004

Drawn in Group B with the Algeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

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Coach: Henryk Kasperczak

The 70-year-old former Poland World Cup greAt will be coaching at the Nations Cup finals for a sixth time, a feat bettered only by Claude Le Roy.

He has also coached Ivory Coast to third place at the tournament in 1994 and Tunisia to the runners-up berth in 1996 and Mali to a semi-final spot in 2002. He was not as successful with Senegal in 2008 and Mali again two years ago.

After concluding his playing career in France, Kasperczak coached at Metz, St Etienne, Racing Strasbourg, Racing Club de Paris, Montpellier, Lille and Bastia. He has also coached in his native Poland, Greece, the United Arab Emirates and in China.

He was an influential player in the Polish side that finished third at the 1974 World Cup.

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Key player: Aymen Abdennour. Age: 27. Defender.

Influential centre half who was linked with Chelsea two years ago but signed for Valencia instead in a £20 million ($24.49 million) deal from Monaco.

His first club was Etoile Sahel, who loaned him to Werder Bremen for six months in 2010 for some invaluable Bundesliga experience.

He was eventually sold to Toulouse, where he spent three seasons before joining Monaco in 2014.

This will be his fourth successive Nations Cup finals appearance.

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FIFA world ranking Dec. 2015: 35

How they qualified: Top place team in Group A, ahead of Togo, Liberia and Djibouti.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Moez Ben Cherifia (Esperance), Rami Jeridi (CS Sfaxien), Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile Sahel)

Defenders: Aymen Abdennour (Valencia), Syam Ben Youssef (Caen), Zied Boughattas (Etoile Sahel), Chamseddine Dhaouadi (Esperance), Slimene Kchok (CA Bizerte), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Hamza Mathlouthi (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Etoile Sahel), Mohamed Ali Yaakoubi (Caykur Rizespor)

Midfielders: Larry Azouni (Nimes), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Etoile Sahel), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland), Hamza Lahmar (Etoile Sahel), Youssef Msakni (Al Lekhwiya), Ferjani Sassi (Esperance), Naim Sliti (Lille)

Forwards: Ahmed Akaichi (Al Ittihad Jeddah), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Esperance)

$1 = 0.8167 pounds Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Steve Tongue

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