Manchester United’s Mejbri makes Tunisia debut as Sliti sinks DR Congo

The 18-year-old was a second-half substitute as the Carthage Eagles subdued the Leopards in Rades

Manchester United wonderkid Hannibal Mejbri made his much-awaited Tunisia debut as the Carthage Eagles defeated DR Congo 1-0 in Saturday’s international friendly.

The 18-year-old midfielder was introduced for Youssef Msakni in the 46th minute as Mondher Kebaier’s men extended their unbeaten run to 12 in all competitions.

Despite playing for France at U16 and U17 levels, the teenager decided to switch his allegiance to the African nation.

The European country might have been a more attractive choice for many teenagers, nonetheless, Mejbri disclosed that his decision to represent the Carthage Eagles was not purely a sporting one.

“I think that it is the best decision for my family and me,” he told RMC Sport per Manchester Evening News.

“I am very proud of this decision. Tunisia is my country, the country of my parents so for sure there is a strong complicity.

“I like this country a lot, that is why I made this decision. I speak a little Arabic, but not very well. I lost it since I arrived in England. I am not scared about that.

“The higher the bar, the more you can improve. It can only help me to gain experience. My father and my mother were very happy that I chose Tunisia, certainly.

“It is like a present for them. But it makes me happy too. I think that I made the right choice. We will see in the future if that is the case. I am trying to build something, not purely on the sporting side.”

In the keenly contested affair at the Stade Olympique de Rades, Naim Sliti’s effort on the stroke of half-time separated both sides.

Left unmarked at the edge of the Leopards’ goal area, the Saudi Arabia based midfielder drilled a beauty past goalkeeper Baggio Ngusia.

With the fixture producing no goals in the last 45 minutes, veteran Argentina tactician Hector Cuper began his reign as the handler of the sub-Saharan African team on a losing note.

Following the sack of Christian Nsengi-Biembe, the 65-year-old was appointed on May 13, 2021, with the task of guiding them to the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Mejbri would be gunning for his second cap when Tunisia take on Algeria on Thursday in Rades.

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