Ellyes Skhiri, a Tunisian midfielder who once played for Montpellier, offers his assessment of Tuesday’s 1–5 loss to Brazil in Paris and looks ahead to the World Cup in Qatar. Skhiri is a former player for Montpellier.
The game: “It was played in a very pleasant environment. Unfortunately, the game turned out the way it did… I’m not sure, but it seems like we might have been a touch too aggressive. There is no doubt that it is a challenging score, but playing a game of this nature teaches a lot of valuable life skills. We competed against a strong Brazilian team, and we did the best that we could in the second half. There were several very pleasant aspects. Naturally, this is not sufficient, and we shall keep working to ready ourselves for what lies ahead. It has come to our attention that they are incredibly efficient. They begin their use of punishment with the first incident. After that, we improved our performance in the second half; we made an effort to clear the ball occasionally, and we realized that we were also capable of having positive runs of the play. After that, we competed against some of the best players in the world, so we have a lot more to learn. It’s a necessary element of our education. We are a rather young crew. It is a pretty good examination.
A box has sharp corners that could cause you to hit your head: “I don’t think so. We were competing against one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport. We have shown that we still have a lot to learn, but also that we can exhibit a lovely face through sequences. Both of these things are true. After that, the moment of truth for us will arrive when the World Cup gets underway. We sincerely hope that we will be prepared for that.
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The teachings: “We may have completely lost our nerve. I’m not going to discuss refereeing because it won’t be of any use to me… However, there are a large number of circumstances that call for improved management. Take, for instance, depth management. They possess the necessary technical ability to place the balls, and they discovered defects such as that. We are going to do an analysis of the matches and determine what was and was not a match. We don’t walk away from this situation with our heads held high either. We made an effort to present the finest version of ourselves, particularly after the break. We were defeated by opponents who were superior to us.
The atmosphere ? It remained in a fairly legit setting and it was a party in the stands.
The vibe: “We are extremely thrilled, extremely proud, and we are extremely grateful to them.” The ambiance was very pleasant to be in. Sadly, maybe a little bit was extinguished a little too early by the result and the realities of the game. But we are grateful to them. The environment was very pleasant. It had the potential to be an even more enjoyable football celebration. However, the evening is still lovely for those who are supporting the cause. Whistles, and are those projectiles you’re throwing? We are conscious of the fact that, regardless of the country, there are frequently facts of this kind. They are in this position to inspire and motivate us. There would inevitably be competition with the opponent. After then, I’m pretty sure the fans put an end to the whistling pretty soon, as there was a fairly rapid rise in awareness among the crowd. Although these are not things that we necessarily enjoy seeing, we have a lot of respect for the Brazilian squad, and we were excited to compete against them. Because there is motivation on both sides, there will be hostility, but I believe that it has kept within a reasonably legitimate context and that it has been a party in the stands.»
Tunisia is in better shape to compete in the World Cup than they were in 2018: “Yes. There are players like myself who have been actively competing for the past four years and will be participating in our second competition this year. I have high hopes that by the time the competition begins, we will all have improved, and that our first encounter will be a significant one against Denmark. The first match of the campaign will be a very significant one, so plan accordingly. After that, we are also conscious of the caliber of the other teams in our group, which includes France and Denmark, and we are not going to underestimate Australia. There is no way that we are going into this as the favorites. In contrast, anything can happen in a tournament such as this one. Our goal is to develop vulnerability. We are going to compete against a Danish team that I believe is significantly undervalued. We were able to observe that with the victory that they had recently over France (a 2-0 win in Copenhagen on Sunday, editor’s note). Because the outcome of this match will have a significant impact on the rest of the competition, it is imperative that we show here and give this contest our full attention.