Tunisia star player Youssef Msakni ruled out of World Cup

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Youssef Msakni

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Africa’s surprise qualifiers Tunisia have been dealt a huge blow, with their star Youssef Msakni ruled out with a knee injury.

Tunisia is in the same group as England, Belgium, and Panama and is set to face England in the opening game.

Msakni, an artful midfielder, tore a cruciate ligament while playing in a league match for his Qatari club, Al-Duhail, in a 5-2 victory against Al-Sailiya. He confirmed the news in a social media post saying: “extremely sad to have sustained this injury that deprives me of the season run-in with Duhail and participation in the World Cup with Tunisia”.

The 27-year-old scored a hat-trick in his country’s 4-1 win against Guinea in November, a result that went a long way towards securing qualification for the World Cup, where Tunisia play England in their first game on 18 June.

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His position in the team might be filled by Wahbi Khazri.

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