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Rovers World Cup Connections: Tunisia

13 June 2018

With the FIFA World Cup edging closer by the minute - we take a look at Rovers ties with Tunisia, who are in England's group.

Tunisia are competing in their fifth World Cup Finals and are in England’s group. 

The First Tunisian

No Rovers player has played professionally in Tunisia.

The first of only two Tunisian footballers to oppose Rovers in League action was Radhi Ben Abdelmajid Jaïdi, who was born in Tunis in August 1975.

Formerly with Espérance, for whom he scored 20 goals in 288 games between 1993 and 2004, he had won 105 full caps for Tunisia, including seven goals, in a career which encompassed the 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals.

He was in the Southampton side which defeated Rovers 1-0 in April 2011.

The Tunisian at (or not at!) the 2018 World Cup

The second Tunisian opponent was named in their provisional 23 man squad for the tournament - but didn't make the cut for the final squad - much to his frustration!

He is Bilel Mohsni, who was born in Paris of Tunisian heritage in July 1987. Early in his career Mohsni played for Southend United in both their League fixtures against Rovers in the 2011/12 season.

He had started out with French sides Les Ulis, Saint-Georges and Sante-Geneviève-Sports and, having enjoyed his English sojourn, later appeared for Angers.

In the 2016/17 season he played 14 times for the Tunisian side Étoile Sportive du Sahel and he has latterly been in Scotland with Dundee United.

They Went to Tunis 

Through the inter war years, George Berry (1904-72) enjoyed an extensive lower league career, playing against Rovers for Gillingham, Palace and Brentford and totalling three goals in 11 League encounters against Rovers.

After the war, having coached Nice to the French Cup in 1954, he coached at two Tunisian sides, first with CS Hammam-Lif in 1955/56 and latterly with Étoile Sportive du Sahel from 1956 to 1958, leading both sides to the Tunisian title before next coaching in Luxembourg. Charlie Clark (1917-43), who played for Luton Town against Rovers in wartime football, served with the Hampshire Regiment in World War Two and is buried at Beja, Tunisia.

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