Tunisians are against the Senegalese this Sunday in the semifinals of CAN in Cairo (18 hours). The Eagles of Carthage hope to qualify for a second final after their coronation in 2004. Adel Chedli, former Tunisian international (79 caps) and winner of the CAN in 2004, gives us his opinion on the Tunisian selection.
What inspires you the course of Tunisia?
ADEL CHEDLI. It is a more than respectable course. Nobody was waiting for us in the semi-finals after our hen round and especially our match against Mauritania (0-0). We had a game not very forward and little cohesion between the lines. It was very difficult.
What has been the most successful match so far?
The one against Ghana (in the round of 16, 1-1, victory on penalties). He allowed the team to have a click. There was the story of the replacement of the goalkeeper (Hassen has given way to Ben Moustapha) before the penalty shootout session that could have penalized the group's cohesion but on the contrary, it sold it. We were an underdog against Ghana, and there was the pre-2004 syndrome where we stumbled each time in knockout games. We did not collapse.
Which are the players who stand out?
There is not one player who made the difference. It is rather the team spirit that allows us to be in the last four. It's really the collective that can make the difference.
Is there not still a personality to stand out?
Wahbi Khazri had a very good attitude while he was on the bench against Ghana. He had a very good reaction when he came back in the second half and he was good against Madagascar in the quarterfinals (3-0).
The confrontations between Tunisia and Senegal are quite balanced at the CAN (5 matches, 1 victory each and 3 draws). Tunisia has its chances this time?
It's double. As usual, we are outsider against Senegal and its remarkable offensive armada. The coach (Alain Giresse) knows this team from Senegal, certainly that will help …
You won the CAN in 2004. Fifteen years later, can the Carthage Eagles win again?
Their course this year is quite similar to ours. We also had trouble passing chickens. Faced with Madagascar, we saw a real team very solidarity, defend for each other … We felt they were untouchable. We must not be afraid of Senegal.
How are the selection and its course perceived in Tunisia?
At first, the Tunisian people were optimistic because the team had made a very good preparation. They won their three friendlies (Iraq, Croatia, Burundi). The hen course has calmed the euphoria. But there, since the victory against Ghana and Madagascar, they are very optimistic … There is a real craze. I think everyone dreams of a Tunisia-Algeria that would be a 100% Maghreb final that will recall Tunisia-Morocco from 2004 … with a Tunisian victory.
You have just earned your coaching diploma. Do you have tracks? And do you think about the selection?
In France, I can train a National level team or in training centers. If I have the opportunity to join the Tunisian Federation, it is with pleasure. I could be a deputy or take charge of the Olympic team to prove myself before considering bigger.