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Tunisia national football team at the 2006 Football World Cup

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Tunisia have now qualified for their third consecutive World Cup Finals, having become champions of Africa in 2004. Their record in Africa shines above quite a few others, though they truly were surprise winners in 2004, having exited the competition in the first round two years previously.

While still thinking about 2002, it's worth remembering that since they first qualified for the World Cup in 1978 before succumbing in the first round proper, despite nearly going out in the first round of qualifiers to Morocco.

They qualified from Group 5, at the expense of Morocco, Guinea, Kenya, Botswana and Malawi, against whom they won 7-0 in March of 2005.

But what are they capable of? They've now qualified for three consecutive World Cups, in France, Korea/Japan and now Germany. And having finished as champions of Africa in 2004, the Tunisians are now a force to be reckoned with. Their players to watch include Radhi Jaïdi, the first ever Tunisian to join a Premier League football club (that being Bolton Wanderers), and first-class goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel.

Their group is one where three first-time performers gather together and attempt to stop Spain, the others being Ukraine and minnows Saudi Arabia. Of the three, they look the most likely to join Spain, but the Ukraine could throw up some surprises along the way. The Saudis, however, are most likely going to be keen to stem any of the damage they might suffer along the way.

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