Arab Cup

Msakni reveals Tunisia’s Fifa Arab Cup ambitions

6:33 PM GMT 07/12/2021
Youssef Msakni
The 31-year-old forward claims that the Carthage Eagles are keen on emerging as champions of Arab world’s national team football tournament

Youssef Msakni has disclosed that Tunisia’s ambition is to emerge as champions of the 2021 Fifa Arab Cup.

The tournament is contested by 23 Arab countries belonging to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Although the competition taking place in Qatar is the 10th edition of the Arab world’s national team football showdown, it is the first edition under Fifa’s jurisdiction.

Tunisia smashed Mauritania 5-1 in their first match before losing 2-0 to Syria in Al Khor. The North Africans cruised into the next round having silenced the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in their last group match.

Questioned about his absence from Russia 2018 and presence at the Arab Cup, Msakni told the Fifa website: “My missing the World Cup was pure fate, and we must believe in that.

“I worked hard after that and I’m currently playing at the Fifa Arab Cup. The World Cup is coming to Qatar, and I hope we make it.

“Between ourselves, we always say that our goal is to win the Arab Cup. Our aim in every competition is to win the title, but we shouldn’t forget about other teams who have prepared well and also aspire to win the title.

“We promise the Tunisian fans that we’ll do all we can to go as far as possible in the tournament.”

The former Esperance star also weighed in on his team’s loss to Syria at the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor.

"That reverse was really frustrating and that's why we were determined to win against UAE," he continued.

"We put that game behind us and are now focused on our next match, which will be on Friday. At this tournament, you have quickly put defeats as well as wins out of your mind and prepare well for the quarter-finals.

“Unlike the Syria game, we scored an early goal and came close to netting another two [against UAE], but luck wasn’t on our side.

“We need to turn the page quickly, however, and not over-celebrate this because the quarter-finals will be difficult. I hope we can show our strength in the next round.

"The most important thing is that we qualified for the quarter-finals as group leaders, and that made the fans who attended the game very happy.”

Victory for Mondher Kebaier’s men over Oman on Friday will send the Tunisians into the semi-finals.