Former goalkeeper: Tunisia’s successes at the 1978 World Cup helped to calm social conditions

Tunisia – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: Former star of the Tunisian national team, goalkeeper Mokhtar Al-Naili, said that the results of the Carthage Eagles at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina have helped to calm social conditions in the country. “The preparations for the 1978 World Cup were very intense, as many training sessions took place in France and Brazil, friendly meetings with Hungary and France were held, and most importantly, there was an official and popular rally around the national team, which helped us make a historic march” al-Nayli told the agency of the Tunisian press at the World Cup”. He added: “The Tunisian national team ran for the World Cup for the first time in its history, and the positive results it achieved in the World Cup in that moment had positive effects on the internal level, in when the social situation has undergone a relative change in a period marked by economic crisis and social movements, which were soon transformed in an atmosphere of joy and satisfaction. The Carthage Eagles have made history in that moment as the first Arab team to achieve a win in World Cup, defeating Mexico 3-1, but lost 1-0 to Poland, before drawing negatively with Germany, to take third place, after they were close to reaching the second round. The participation of the Carthage Eagles in the World Cup in Argentina has arrived in one moment in which Tunisia was experiencing a turbulent social condition, after months of bloody events in the country following the clash between the union and the regime of President Habib Bourguiba, in the context of what was known at the time as “Black Thursday”. The positive results of the national team helped to calm the general climate of tension in the country, as confirmed by the enthusiastic reception Ensour received at the time at Carthage airport, where Bourguiba uttered his famous phrase: “You have accomplished the mission of fifty ambassadors.”