The faces of football: Tunisia – a letter to the national team

Dear Tunisian national team,

My name is Sarra Farza, I am a 28-year-old Tunisian woman and I have supported the national team since I was a child.

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My earliest football memory is from way back in 2004, when I first traveled to Rades to watch Tunisia play in the Africa Cup of Nations. The atmosphere in that arena was truly life-changing for me. As a football fan, winning that tournament is still the greatest moment of my life and a feeling I would love to experience again.

Competing in the World Cup means so much to me and the rest of Tunisia. For me it is always a pleasure to watch you play in the most prestigious competition in the world and compete against the biggest countries in the world. For us Tunisians, watching the team is a break from normal life and something that unites the entire nation. As you know, the situation in the country right now means that we need that little bit of joy and unity that only the national football team can provide.

I love that there are so many talented young players who will experience a World Cup for the first time this year. Players like Hannibal, who will be the future of the team. Mixing young players with experienced is something we have so often done well.

My favorite player right now is Youssef Msakni, because he is one of the best forwards in the history of the national team. I will never forget the amazing goal he scored in the last minute against Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. He created it from nothing – a moment of true genius. The 2022 World Cup will be a chance for him to show the rest of the world what he can do. Make us proud, Captain.

My hope is that with the help of Msakni, Tunisia will qualify for the second round to make history. We have an extremely difficult group, but if we get the game together and stay solid defensively, we can hopefully surprise everyone.

Of course, winning the WC would be fantastic for us. The Tunisians dream of it, but for us qualifying for the knockout rounds will also feel like winning the whole tournament.

I will be cheering you on from coffee shops with my friends in my hometown. The whole country will stand still when you play to cheer you on. The streets will be empty and the cafes will be full.

The Tunisian fan base is really that special, and they will travel to Qatar to support the team as they did last World Cup.

Tunisian players, Jalel Kadri and the entire coaching staff: don’t forget to make us proud and happy in this difficult time.

I wish you all the best in Qatar!

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