Hannibal Mejbri is getting a further taste of big match action playing for his country in Qatar at the FIFA Arab Cup, and he wants more.
In a year’s time Qatar will host the World Cup, and Hannibal wants to be part of it.
Speaking to L’Equipe after Tunisia’s Arab Cup semi-final win over Egypt, the midfielder said: “It makes you want to qualify for the World Cup, we see the infrastructure here, it’s great.
“We are trying to bring back something for Tunisia and its people, who come in large numbers. It’s harder to qualify in Africa for the World Cup. We have two round-trip play-offs left.”
Hannibal has one assist and two man of the match awards in his five games at the Arab Cup so far, and his team are now into Saturday’s final.
How Tunisia can qualify for the World Cup
Tunisia are into the third and final round of qualifying, as one of 10 successful teams to reach this stage. There are five World Cup qualifying spots for African countries.
Saturday is a big day for Tunisia, not just because of the Arab Cup final. It is also the date the play-off draw will be made.
Tunisia will find out which country they will face in a two legged play-off along with Algeria, Cameroon, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal.
Tunisia topped their group ahead of Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, and Mauritania to reach the play-offs.
A chance for Hannibal to shine
The play-offs will be held in late March, during the same week as the European play-offs, which Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes hope to successfully negotiate for Portugal.
Getting through to the World Cup is an achievement players dream of, and this would be Hannibal’s first.
He will be just 19 when the tournament is held, and if his performances at the Arab Cup are anything to go by, then he could be one of the breakout stars.
First he has to earn the right to be there, and his comments show he is focused on trying to make that happen.
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