And after Tunisia succeeded in including several young stars, such as Hannibal Al-Majbri, the Manchester United midfielder, who was loaned to Birmingham City, Hamza Rafia, the Italian Juventus attacking midfielder, Anis Ben Slimane, the Danish Brøndby player and others, the Tunisian Federation opened channels of communication again with the promising player of Paris Saint-Germain. Germain, the French Ismail Al-Gharbi, in order to include him in the national team and take advantage of his football talent, which prompted the technicians and followers of the French League to predict a remarkable football future for the 19-year-old midfielder.
Although the road towards including Ismail Al-Gharbi, who rose during the beginning of the current season to the first team of Paris Saint-Germain, seems arduous and long, in light of the competition with the national teams of France and Spain, the Tunisian Football Association still hopes that Al-Gharbi will defend the colors of Tunisia and weave on Manwal Al-Majbri, Rafia and others.
“La Roja” seduces the player and his father keeps hope
Before the participation of the Carthage Eagles team in the Qatar World Cup 2022, the Tunisian Football Association had entered into negotiations with Al-Gharbi, who was born in Paris to a Tunisian father and a Spanish mother, in order to invite him to be on Tunisia’s list in the World Cup, but the rising star of Paris Saint-Germain asked to be exempted from promotion. The ranks of the national team to take enough time before settling its position and determining the team that will defend its colors.
Although he played 4 matches with the French national team for under 18 years, Al-Gharbi, born in 2004, chose in 2022 to represent Spain and played 4 matches with the La Roja youth team, after he received the temptations of the Spanish Federation, and this was the reason for the continuation of Tunisia’s ambitions to include him. Especially since his father revealed that “representing the Tunisian national team remains relevant and existing.”
And the Football Association had previously invited Ismail Al-Gharbi’s father, to be the guest of honor of the Tunisia-Mali match that took place in March 2022, during which the Football Association’s president, Wadih Al-Jari, announced that the technical management of the youth teams bears very good impressions of the new “BSG” talent, and that the Federation wishes That this player be one of the Carthage Eagles in the upcoming football competitions.
And before the start of the African Cup of Nations for Youth (under 20 years), which Egypt will host next February, and Tunisia will participate in, there was talk in the Tunisian football community of inviting the Westerner to include him in the youth team as a first step before joining the first team, but the coach of the teams in Al-Ittihad, Al-Saghir Zueita, revealed that “the youth team will actually include several new elements born in Europe and holding dual citizenship, but Ismail Al-Gharbi is not among them in particular, after the latter took enough time before resolving his position and determining the identity of the team that will defend him.”
In exclusive statements to “Sky News Arabia,” Zueita said: “Ismail Al-Gharbi holds Tunisian nationality, as his father is Tunisian, and in addition to that, he also holds the nationalities of Spain and France, and here it is permissible to say that the competition for his inclusion will not be easy, not only because we will find ourselves in competition.” With two strong teams in Europe and the world, but because the player himself first looks at the prospects open to him, and wants to choose the team that guarantees him the most chances of success and prominence on the football fields.
And regarding the desire of the sports street in Tunisia to invite the Westerner, coinciding with his rise to the first team of PSG and his neighborhood with world stars such as Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar and others, the coach of the Tunisian Federation commented, saying: “We met his father, Saif Allah Al-Gharbi, and we talked with him for a long time. We have to distinguish between the desire of the father and the desire of the player himself and what his agent asks for. Tunisia has often produced distinguished players and great stars, and just as we succeeded in including Hannibal Al-Mujbri, the hope of persuading the Westerner one day to represent Tunisia and defend its colors still exists, although he has not announced his decision at present. Or about his coming to reinforce the ranks of the Carthage Eagles.”
He added: “Whether like Tunisia or not, Ismail Gharbi will be a source of pride for Tunisia and for all of us. We in the technical management and in the Tunisian Football Federation monitor all emerging football talents who hold Tunisian nationality, but we will not pressure any of them, wanting on their own to strengthen the ranks Tunisia and defending their mother country is the federation’s motto regarding Tunisian players born in Europe and holding dual nationalities.
And the Football Association had established a cell to follow up and investigate young Tunisian players, headed by former international player Mohamed Salim Ben Othman, and its mission was to follow up Tunisian players and persuade them to play for the Tunisian national team, and it succeeded in its endeavors with many players, the last of which was Chem El Jebali, the French Lyon player, Yann Valery, Angie defender, and others.
And after his rise to the first team in Paris Saint-Germain, Ismail Al-Gharbi played, last week, his first major match with his team against Châteauroux in the French Cup competition, in which his team won (3-1).
Al-Gharbi played 65 minutes in the match, before coach Christophe Galtier took the initiative to change him, while the media praised his remarkable level, after he provided an assist in the team’s first goal.
Al-Gharbi expressed, in statements to the French media, his pride in being one of the contributors to his team’s victory and qualification in the Cup competition, adding: “I will get more time to play with the first team in the upcoming matches. This is great to participate with an ancient team like Paris Saint-Germain. I look forward to To participate constantly and next to the big stars here.
Al-Gharbi has not yet talked about the team that will defend its colors in the future, but experts and those close to him expect him to make his decision this year.
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