Ali Maaloul aware of England quality at the World Cup

Ali Maaloul aware of England quality at the World Cup
Daouda Camara of Guinea challenged by Ali Maaloul of Tunisia during the 2016 CHAN Rwanda, match between Tunisia and Guinea at the Stade de Kigali in Kigali, Rwanda on 18 January 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Feb 23, 2018. 10:00

Tunisia’s Ali Maaloul reckons England will be their toughest opponent at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but insists they want to go far in the tournament.

The Carthage Eagles are in Group G with Belgium, England and Panama, and the left back says they will have to prepare very well for the global tournament.

Tunisia's match against England will be the second World Cup meeting between the two countries after they lost the first 2-0 to the Three Lions at France '98.

The North African nation returns to the World Cup finals after a 12-year absence, and Maaloul says morale is high in their camp.

"The England game will be the toughest match for us; we respect all, but we do not fear any of the teams," Maaloul told BBC Sport.

"Tunisia are in a strong group with big teams but we will prepare well to make our nation proud.

"Under the leadership of coach Nabil Maaloul, we want to go far in the World Cup to make Tunisian fans and Africa proud."

Tunisia will face Iran, Costa Rica and Spain in their international friendlies ahead of the global showpiece and the Al Ahly defender is confident of a great tournament.

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