Hannibal Mejbri heading to World Cup 2022 with Tunisia
A tumultuous night of World Cup qualification in Africa saw the likes of Nigeria and Egypt dumped out in the World Cup play-offs.
Tunisia were one country who did make it through, to the delight of Manchester United youngster Hannibal.
After winning the first leg of their tie against Mali 1-0, Tunisia held on for the second leg to grind out a 0-0 draw and win the play-off tie on aggregate.
Mali had beaten Tunisia in the group stages at the African Cup of Nations in January and this play-off tie was an evenly matched one, with Hannibal’s side edging it.
Hannibal was an unused substitute in both legs, but has played a part across qualification, earning 11 caps so far.
He is a regular in the Tunisia squad and a certainty to head to the World Cup as part of the squad later this year.
Hannibal, 19, can now look forward to an exciting end to 2022. The target of potentially playing in Qatar will spur him onto new heights.
The teenager has already had a taster, featuring in the Arab Cup which was held in Qatar last December, with Tunisia reaching the final.
Hannibal has been training with Manchester United’s first team this season, making the bench under Ralf Rangnick, and it is very likely he gets an opportunity before the season finishes.
A big pre-season awaits under a new manager, and Hannibal will try to carve out a role for next season, or secure a loan move.
A loan could be better for him as it will enable him to play regularly and force his way into Tunisia’s starting XI for the tournament.
While he will be celebrating with his teammates now, big decisions lie ahead for player and club to try and put Hannibal in position to make the most of the opportunity he has ahead.