Stadium Rades – From Zidane To Eto’o
Stadiums can, however, become just as famous as clubs and players as they serve as permanent reminders of what football is all about – victories and defeats – and the arena in Rades is synonymous with international matches as it has been the setting for some of the greatest moments in the history of Tunisian football.
In just seven years, this stadium, which has been lovingly dubbed “the pearl of the Mediterranean”, has hosted a number of unforgettable matches that have seen many famous names grace its turf. Zineciine Zidane and Thierry Henry (Tunisia v. France, 22 August 2002), Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon (Tunisia v. Italy, 30 May 2004), Samuel Eco’o (Tunisia v. Cameroon, 27 March 2003), El-Hadji Diouf (Tunisia v. Senegal, 30 April 2003) and Jay-Jay Okocha (Tunisia v. Nigeria, Africa Cup of Nations semi-final, 10 February 2004) are just a few of the stars who have lit up an arena that has come to represent a modern, revitalised Tunisia.
Alihough Tunisia rook gold at the Mediterranean Games by defeating Italy 1-0 in the final on 15 September 2001, their victory was merely the prelude to a greater success story some three years later when die Carthage Eagles swooped to claim Africa Cup of Nations glory with Rades once again acting as the setting for the most magical and illustrious moment in Tunisian football history.