National Team Information
Tunisia National Football Team History
Africa Cup of Nations: First Major Tournament
As soon as Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956 they set up a football federation to create a national team. The Tunisia national football team played its first official match in 1957 and defeated Libya in the Pan Arab Games.
Tunisia’s first major tournament was at the 1962 Africa Cup of Nations and they finished in third place. Three years later, they were runners up as they lost to Ghana in the final in extra time.
One of the best years in Tunisian soccer history, 1978 marked the first Tunisia FIFA World Cup appearance. Earlier that year, Tunisia, led by players like Tarak Dhiab, Nejib Ghommidh and Mokhtar Dhouib, were also semifinalists at the Africa Cup of Nations; still, the Eagles of Carthage didn’t make it out of the World Cup group stage.
First African Team to Win a World Cup Match
The Tunisia national football team became the first African team to win a match at the World Cup by defeating Mexico 3-1. A rough patch followed, however, as Tunisia only qualified for two tournaments between 1980 and 1992.
Former Ivory Coast coach Henryk Kasperczak was hired in 1994 and the national team started performing again. Tunisia national football team made the finals of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations and qualified for their first World Cup in 20 years, in 1998.
There, they failed to win a match and Kasperczak was promptly replaced. With a couple of coaching changes in between, Tunisia national football team managed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. They drew with Belgium but lost to both Russia and Japan in a group stage exit.
- Issam Jemaa – Goals: 36
- Wahbi Khazri – Goals: 25
- Francileudo Santos – Goals: 21
- Adel Sellimi – Goals: 20
- Faouzi Rouissi – Goals: 18
Tunisia Soccer Leagues & Clubs:
Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1
The Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1, or Tunisian Ligue 1, is the top Tunisian soccer league. It features 16 clubs split into two groups of 8. Each group plays a double round-robin and the top four teams at the end of the group phase advance to the double round-robin playoffs. The other teams play in a relegation play-out, which also follows a double round-robin format. The bottom two teams at the end of the playout are relegated.
Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 Clubs 2022-2023:
|EO Sidi Bouzid|
|Étoile du Sahel|
|Espérance de Tunis|
|US Ben Guerdane|
Tunisia Cups & Tournaments
Tunisia’s soccer teams compete in the knockout-style Tunisian Cup tournament. The teams from the Tunisian Ligue 1 enter the tournament after the first two preliminary rounds. This is the most important competition in Tunisia after the Ligue 1 Professionnelle. Ahead of the 2022-23 season, Esperance de Tunis have the most titles, with 15.
Tunisia Soccer Betting Information:
Domestic Tunisia soccer betting is primarily done on the Ligue 1 Professionnelle. The Tunisian Ligue 1 is typically a low-scoring league, like many other African leagues. In 2021-22, only 1.7 goals per game were scored. Unlike European leagues, which typically have quite unpredictable scorelines, the Tunisian Ligue 1 is often consistent. A whopping 33.3 percent of matches finished with just one goal. A further 19.2 percent of matches ended scoreless. Punters who like to bet on totals and scorelines may find the Tunisian Ligue 1 a worthwhile bet.
There were clean sheets in 86 percent of matches in 2021-22, which underscores how defensive the league can be. Both teams also managed to score only 33 percent of the time. Heading into the 2022-23 season, Esperance de Tunis have been champions for six straight seasons, so they’re a popular outright pick in the league, year after year. Only Esperance, Club Africain, and Etoile Sportive du Sahel have won the league in the past decade. If you’re interested in the Turkish league standings, make sure to check out the latest updates and rankings.
Tunisia have been regulars at the World Cup over the last 25 years. They’ve qualified for five of the last seven tournaments. However, betting tips don’t typically recommend taking Tunisia to advance out of the group stage. In six World Cup appearances, Tunisia have never advanced to the knockout stage. In fact, they’ve only ever won three of their 18 matches at the FIFA World Cup. That doesn’t mean they can’t be a solid pick for betting, though.
The Eagles of Carthage have regularly advanced to the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stage and done well in the CAF World Cup qualifiers. Tunisia have reached at least the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in their last four appearances. They’ve also qualified for every edition of the tournament since hosting in 1994.
It’ll be interesting to see how Tunisia retools ahead of the next World Cup. Every single attacker they brought to Qatar was 29 or older. Second all-time leading scorer Wahbi Khazri also retired after the tournament. While Tunisia have some talented defenders and midfielders who should be around in four years’ time, they’ll need to rely on younger attacking players soon enough. Midfielders Ellyes Shkiri and Hannibal Mejri could be key in the coming years.
With the relative predictability of the Tunisian Ligue 1, bettors may enjoy betting on the league. Esperance have dominated the league and it remains to be seen whether that will change anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the Tunisia national team should continue to be competitive in the CAF confederation. They’ve certainly got a decent shot to qualify for their sixth World Cup appearance in the last eight tournaments, in 2026.