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Youssef Msakni
Tunisia's rising talent
Sunday 29 Jan 2012
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Youssef Msakni

Youssef Msakni stole the limelight with a couple of impressive displays as Tunisia qualified for the African Cup of Nations with one game to spare in Group C.

The dazzling playmaker left defenders trailing in his wake to inspire Tunisia to two hard-fought victories over North African rivals Morocco and a brave Niger side.

He put Tunisia 2-0 up against Morocco when he superbly skipped past two defenders, jinked into the area and slotted home with aplomb.

“I was very pleased because that made us sure of victory. But the most important for me was the three points,” Msakni told CAFonline.com following the win over Morocco.

“I believe all of us were looking for the same goal. It's not important who scores or who participates, the important is to win maximum points.”

He notched the opener in the 2-1 win over Niger in similar fashion, sidestepping three challengers to break clear and send a low shot past the keeper.

Msakni’s early displays are likely to burden him with the responsibility of steering Tunisia to their first CAN triumph since 2004 when they lifted the trophy on home soil at the expense of Morocco.

He came through the youth ranks of Stade before joining Tunisian giants Esperance in 2008, where he blossomed.

Msakni played a pivotal role in helping Esperance win the African Champions League last year with a series of impressive displays. He scored in the semi-final first-leg against Al Hilal of Sudan as Esperance went on to win the competition and end a 17-year drought.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)





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