Nabil Maaloul returns to the Tunisian national team as their new head coach after serving in that position for just seven months in 2013 before resigning. This decision comes after Henryk Kasperczak’s firing over Tunisia’s loss to Burkina Faso in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals. Maaloul is only 54 years old, but has accumulated a lot of coaching experience that Tunisia must desire right now.
Maaloul was a long time player in Tunisia, playing for Espérance Tunis for most of the 1980s. During his playing career, he also spent stints with the German club Hannover 96, the Saudi Arabain club Al-Ahli SFC, as well as the Tunisian clubs CA Bizertin and Club Africain. When he retired from his playing career in 2001, he earned his coaching experience as an assistant on the Tunisian national team from 2002-2004 and 2006-2008. In between, he had a four-month stint as head coach for CA Bizertin. In 2010, he landed a job as head coach for the team with which he was most associated as a player, Espérance. He had his greatest success here, leading Espérance to the African Champions League title in 2011. He left for the Tunisian national team in 2013, which ended ignominiously the first time around. After leaving he coached for a year with the Qatari club El Jaish SC. He then moved on to the coach the Kuwait national team since 2014, until he was offered the Tunisian job once more on Friday.
Maaloul will get his first action with the Tunisian team in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match with Egypt. Tunisia and Egypt are battling with Niger and Swaziland in the group stage. Simultaneously, Maaloul will be preparing for World Cup qualifiers. Tunisia is currently tied with the Democratic Republic of Congo atop Group A, with Guinea and Libya also fighting to advance to the next stage of World Cup qualifiers.