Soccer-Msakni to play at seventh Africa Cup of Nations finals


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Arab Cup - Quarter-Final - Tunisia v Oman - Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - December 10, 2021 Tunisia's Youssef Msakni celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

TUNIS (Reuters) - Youssef Msakni will feature in a seventh successive Africa Cup of Nations after being named on Thursday in Tunisia’s 28-man squad for the finals in Cameroon.

The 31-year-old winger has played at every competition since the 2010 tournament in Angola and sets a new Tunisian appearance record for the tournament.

He is now one behind the record holders Ahmed Hassan of Egypt and Rigobert Song, who competed at eight tournaments.

Tunisia’s squad, named by the country’s football federation, also includes Wahbi Khazri, who will compete in his fifth finals. Defender Bilel Ifa was recalled after last featuring in the finals in 2013.

Ifa was frozen out of the international side for eight years before helping Tunisia to reach the final of the Arab Cup earlier this month. Tunisia are pooled in Group F with Gambia, Mali and Mauritania.

The squad also includes former Dutch youth international Omar Rekik, who has yet to play a senior game. The 20-year-old is in Arsenal’s reserve side but was capped by Tunisia in a friendly in June after switching his international allegiance.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Esperance), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir), Aymen Dahmen (CS Sfaxien), Ali Jemal (Etoile Sahel)

Defenders: Ali Abdi (Caen), Mohamed Amine Ben Hamida (Esperance), Dylan Bronn (Metz), Mohamed Drager (Nottingham Forest), Oussama Haddadi (Yeni Malayaspor), Bilel Ifa (Club Africain), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Hamza Mathlouthi (Zamalek), Omar Rekik (Arsenal), Montassar Talbi (Rubin Kazan)

Midfielders: Fires Ben Larbi (Ajman Club), Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Esperance), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby), Ghailene Chaalali (Esperance), Saif-Eddine Khaoui (Clermont), Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros), Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United), Hamza Rafia (Standard Liege), Elyas Skhiri (FC Cologne)

Forwards: Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek), Wahbi Khazri (St Etienne), Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi), Naim Sliti (Al Ittifaq), Yoann Touzghar (Troyes).

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town)

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