Raja Casablanca

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Raja Casablanca Logo.png
Full name Raja Club Athletic
نادي الرجاء الرياضي
Nickname(s) Raja Mundial (Raja of the world)
The People's Team
Green Eagles
Green Evils
L'khadra (The green)
Short name RCA, Raja
Founded 20 March 1949; 69 years ago (1949-03-20)
Ground Stade Mohamed V
Casablanca, Morocco
Capacity 70 000
President Jawad Ziat
Head coach Juan Carlos Garrido
League Botola
2017–18 6th
Website Club website
Current season

Raja Club Athletic (RCA) (Arabic: نادي الرجاء الرياضي‎; transliterated: nādī ar-Rajāʾ ar-Riyāḍi) is a sports club with sections in many different disciplines in Casablanca, Morocco. Raja was founded in 20 March 1949 as part of the political struggle against French rule by nationalists who aimed to create a focus for working-class young Moroccans. The club is most well known outside Morocco for its football team.

In Morocco, Raja Casablanca is still regarded as the club of the people. For many years it had a reputation of playing entertaining football without winning many trophies. However Raja has evolved recently into a more professional outfit capable of winning trophies at home and abroad. Since 1949, Raja CA has been crowned domestic champions on eleven occasions, and has never been relegated to the Second Division.

On the continental side, Raja has won more CAF trophies than any other Moroccan team. The club has 3 CAF Champions League, 1 CAF Super Cup titles and 1 CAF Cup title. Raja Casablanca placed third in 2000 in CAF's ranking of African clubs of the last century, finishing behind the Egyptian teams Al Ahly and Zamalek.[1][2] The club was listed as one of the most valuable football clubs in Africa and one of the most widely supported teams in the continent and the first in its country.

Internationally, Raja has also won 1 Afro-Asian Cup title. Raja Casablanca is the first Moroccan and African club to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. They competed in the first edition that took place in 2000 in Brazil. Raja Casablanca became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World final as the representative of CAF, after TP Mazembe,[3] as well as the host nation's national champions, after Brazilian club Corinthians, and the first under the current seven-club format since the 2007 edition, as they defeated Atlético Mineiro at the semi-final of 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.[4]

History

Beginning

The club joined the Moroccan league at its foundation by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in 1956. The prohibition of entrusting the presidency to a Moroccan was quickly circumvented by leaving this chair for six months to Benabadji Haji, a Muslim of Algerian descent who benefited from French nationality. The French authorities, taken aback by this scheme, were forced to accept the accomplished fact.

So in 1949, Raja, composed exclusively of Moroccan players, started its first year in the Division of Honour. It moved to the second division in its first season and reached the first division in 1951 and was therefore the first team to integrate the Moroccan first division after matches dams.[clarification needed] Since then, the club has been considered an elite Moroccan football team.

The first coach of the club was Kassimi Kacem and Raja was known to be very successful under his leadership. Along with Boujemaa Kadri, a peerless leader, the two would distinguish themselves by working methodically and effectively, administratively and organizationally. This duo would survive all the ups and downs of the club's history and establish the reputation of Raja in many areas.

1959–1960 season controversy

Raja in 1956–1957

The final standings of the 1959 season showed that 3 teams were tied for first in terms of total points: Raja Casablanca, AS FAR and KAC Kénitra. Undoubtedly, the best goal difference was that of Raja Casablanca, which should have granted them the win. However, a triangular tournament was imposed and Raja refused to take part in protest against the fact that they did in fact have the better goal difference, and therefore, logically and legally, the title should be awarded to them. Due to their protest, KAC Kenitra was pronounced the winner after their match against FAR Rabat ended with a 1–0 win.

The 1990s

Raja in 1996

During this period, the greens won many national and continental titles. The team won the championship six times, in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, which remains an unbeaten record. Plus, they won a Moroccan cup in 1996, and four continental titles (2 CAF Champions League in 1997 and 1999, Afro-Asian Cup in 1998, and CAF Super Cup in 2000).

Appearances on the international circuit

Team of Raja in 2011 CAF Champions League.

2000 FIFA Club World Cup

Raja Casablanca is the only Moroccan club and the first African team to participate in the Club World Cup. They competed in the first edition that took place in 2000 in Brazil. The competition allowed them to confront some of the great football teams from around the world, such as Real Madrid from Spain and Corinthians from Brazil.

2013 FIFA Club World Cup

Raja Casablanca became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World final as the representative of CAF, after TP Mazembe,[5] as well as the host nation's national champions, after Brazilian club Corinthians, and the first under the current seven-club format since the 2007 edition, as they defeated Auckland City FC then C.F. Monterrey and Atlético Mineiro (3–1) at the semi-final of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.[6]

Style

The managers José Romão.

Since its inception, Raja has always had a reputation of being a team of artists playing enjoyably and having fun. Pere Jego has instilled a collective game, specific, based on short passes, the one-two, the offensive and individual achievement, hence the label "Raja lfraja" (Raja of the show).

With this system, Raja frightened their opponents and they were able to humiliate the biggest clubs with a spectacular game marked by small bridges as well as combinations of high level without worrying about the score. The team did not win a national title until 1974 with its first taste of the throne and in 1988 with its first victory in the championship followed by a Champions League in 1989, without counting the championship title refused to Raja in the 1959–1960 season.

The appearance on the world circuit had attracted the attention of many football experts. Just after 1997 Champions League, the team received an invitation from Marcello Lippi's Juventus to play a preparation match at Palermo. Their style of play led to Raja gaining the support and encouragement of 40,000 Brazilians at the Morumbi stadium in São Paulo, during its historic performance in the Club World Cup in 2000 in its game against Vicente Del Bosque's Real Madrid.[7]

Team of Raja Casablanca vs Bayern Munich.

Honours

Domestic competitions

Winners: 1987–88, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
Runners-up (5): 1965–66, 1991–92, 1992–93, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2013–14
Winners: 1974, 1977, 1982, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2012, 2017

African competitions

Winners: 1989, 1997, 1999
Runners-up: 2002
Winner: 2003
Winner: 2000
Runners-up: 1998
Winner: 1998

Regional competitions

Winner: 2015

Arab competitions

Winner: 2005–06
Runners-up: 1996

Friendly competitions

  • Ahmed Antifi Tournament: 2
Winner: 2009, 2016
Runner-up: 2010
  • Arab Summer Cup: 1
Winner: 2007
  • International Friendship Cup Abha: 1
Winner: 2004[8]
Runner-up: 2001

Performance in CAF competitions

Raja Casablanca season 2018-2019
1989 – Winners
1990 – Second round
1997 – Winners
1998 – Quarter-finals
1999 – Winners
2000 – Second round
2001 – Second round
2002 – Runners-up
2004 – First round
2005 – Semi-finals
2006 – Second round
2010 – First round
2011 – First round
2012 – Quarter-finals
2014 – First round
2015 – Second round

CAF ranking of African Clubs titles at the end of 20th century

Pos Club Titles Trophies won
1
Egypt Zamalek SC
7 (+2)
4 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 1 CAF Cup Winners' Cup, 2 CAF Super Cup, (2 Afro-Asian Club Championship)
2
Egypt Al-Ahly SC
6 (+1)
2 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 4 CAF Cup Winners' Cups, (1 Afro-Asian Club Championship)
3
Morocco Raja Casablanca
5 (+1)
3 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 1 CAF Cup, 1 CAF Super Cup, (1 Afro-Asian Club Championship)
4
Tunisia Espérance de Tunis
4 (+1)
1 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 1 CAF Cup Winners' Cup, 1 CAF Cup, 1 CAF Super Cup, (1 Afro-Asian Club Championship)

Presidents

Moulay Sassi Ben Ahmed El Alaoui Aboudarka honor president between (1949–1953).
No Period Name From To
1 1st France Algeria Ben Abadji Hejji (Temporary president) 1949 1956
2 1st Morocco Boujemaâ Kadri 1956 1958
3 1st Morocco Laachfoubi El Bouazzaoui 1958 1961
4 1st Morocco Karim Hejjaj 1961 1968
5 1st Morocco Mekki Laârej 1968 1970
6 1st Morocco Mohammed Maâti Bouabid 1970 1972
7 1st Morocco Abdellatif Semlali 1972 1974
8 1st Morocco Abdelaziz Lemsioui 1974 1976
9 1st Morocco Abdelwahed Maâch 1976 1981
10 1st Morocco Abdellah El Ferdaous 1981 1984
11 1st Morocco Houcine Sebbar 1984 1985
12 1st Morocco Abdelkader Retnani 1985 1989
13 1st Morocco Abdelhamid Souiri 1989 1990
14 1st Morocco Mohamed Aouzal 1990 1992
15 1st Morocco Abdellah Rhallam 1992 1998
16 1st Morocco Ahmed Ammor 1998 2002
17 1st Morocco Abdessalam Hanat 2002 2004
18 2nd Morocco Abdelhamid Souiri 2004 2007
19 2nd Morocco Abdellah Rhallam 2007 2010
20 2nd Morocco Abdessalam Hanat 2010 2012
21 1st Morocco Mohammed Boudrika 2012 2016
22 1st Morocco Said Hassbane 2016 2018
23 2nd Morocco Mohamed Aouzal 2018 2019

Managers

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Morocco GK Anas Zniti
2 Morocco MF Mohamed Douik
8 Libya DF Sanad Al Ouarfali
28 Uganda MF Muhammad Shaban
7 Morocco FW Zakaria Hadraf
23 Morocco FW Salaheddine Bahi
21 Morocco FW Mohamed Rahimi
9 Morocco FW Mouhcine Iajour
10 Morocco FW Saifeddine Alami
12 Morocco GK Mohamed Chennouf
13 Morocco DF Badr Banoun (Captain)
14 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF Lema Mabidi
16 Morocco DF Mohamed Oulhaj (Vice-Captain)
No. Position Player
18 Morocco FW Abdelilah Hafidi
19 Senegal DF Ibrahima Niasse
20 Morocco DF Abdeljalil Jbira
24 Morocco MF Mahmoud Benhalib
25 Morocco DF Omar Boutayeb
26 Morocco MF Mohamed Khaldane
27 Morocco FW Ayoub Joulal
55 Morocco MF Abderrahim Achchakir
88 Morocco GK Mohamed Bouamira
96 Morocco MF Walid Sebbar

Current technical staff

Position Staff
Head coach Spain Juan Carlos Garrido
Assistant coach Morocco Youssef Safri
Goalkeeping coach Morocco Ahmed El Aynaine
Morocco Said Dghay
Fitness coach Spain Diego Megías
Doctor Morocco Mustapha El Bahlioui
Match delegate Morocco Mustapha Tantaoui

Notable players

School players

The school of Raja is among the best schools in Africa, and has always produced great players who have played for Raja as well as the Moroccan national team. Some notable players include:

Goalscorers by season

Season Players Goals
2001–02 Hicham Aboucherouane
2002–03 Mustapha Bidoudane 17
2003–04 Mustapha Bidoudane 13
2004–05 Hicham Aboucherouane 20
2005–06 Mustapha Bidoudane 12
2006–07 Soufiane Alloudi 17
2007–08 André Senghor 9
2008–09 Mohsine Moutouali 10
2009–10 Omar Najdi 13
2010–11 Hassan Taïr 8
2011–12 Yassine Salhi 10
2012–13 Mouhcine Iajour 12
2013–14 Mouhcine Iajour 16
2014–15 Abdelilah Hafidi 9
2015–16 Abdelilah Hafidi 12
2016–17 Issam Erraki 10
2017–18 Mouhcine Iajour 25

Transfers

The most expensive transfers
Ran Players Indemnity Years Transfer References
1st Morocco Jamal Sellami 1.80 M€ 1998 Morocco Raja CA Turkey Beşiktaş JK
2nd Nigeria Michel Babatunde 1.10 M€ 2016 Morocco Raja CA Qatar Qatar SC
3rd Morocco Soufiane Alloudi 1.00 M€ 2007 Morocco Raja CA United Arab Emirates Al Ain Club
4th Morocco Amine Rbati 1.00 M€ 2008 Morocco Raja CA France Olympique Marseille
5th Morocco Mohsine Moutouali 1.00 M€ 2014 Morocco Raja CA Qatar Al-Wakrah SC
6th Morocco Jaouad El Yamiq 0.80 M€ 2018 Morocco Raja CA Italy Genoa FC

Club logos

The star of the flag of Morocco

The color of the logo and the colors of the club's shirts were inspired by the green color of the star quintet in the Moroccan flag. The old logo of the club was used for 52 years, since 1949, before being changed in 2001. The new club logo was designed by a private company that designs logos. The new logo included three small stars that indicate the number of cups that the club achieved in the African Champions League (1989, 1997 and 1999).

The club's first Golden Star was added after winning its tenth Moroccan League in 2011. After that, the club organized a special vote for the fans on the club's official Web site to choose a new logo for the club. The fans voted on three different logos; the winning logo got 10,366 votes, while the one in second place got 9,640 votes, and the third one got 2,153 votes, while the number of voters who did not like any of the suggested logos was 417 voters.

The kit of the club in the 1990s. It is one of the most famous in the history of the team.

Infrastructure

Mohamed V Stadium (D'honor)

Mohamed V Stadium was called the Marcel Cerdan stadium in 1955–56 and the Honnor stadium in 1956–81. It was inaugurated on 6 March 1955 and it knew two renovations in 1981 and 2000. It's the official stadium for the Raja Club Athletic and also for Wydad Club Athletic.

Mohamed V Stadium is part of a large sports complex in the heart of the city of Casablanca, specifically in the upscale neighbourhood of Maârif. It has today a capacity of 67,000 spectators (more than 80,000 in 2000), not counting the North and South turns that have no seats, but where environments are warmer, and in 1997 it beat a record of 110,000 spectators in a match of Morocco against Ghana. The south turn or "Magana" (the clock in Moroccan dialect) ended up with the main groups of Raja Casablanca fans. In 2007, the stadium was equipped with a semi-artificial turf which is acceptable under international standards. As well, the seats in the stands, the sanitary facilities and athletics track were all replaced.

Stade Mohammed V
Former names Stade Marcel Cerdan (1955–56)
Stade d'Honneur (1956–1981)
Location Rue al-Azrak Ahmed, Maârif, Casablanca, Morocco
Owner City of Casablanca
Capacity 45,691
Record attendance 100,000
Surface Grass
Construction
Opened 6 March 1955
Renovated July 2015
Tenants
Morocco national football team
Wydad Casablanca
Raja Casablanca

Sport facilities

Sports facilities available to Raja Casablanca:

  • Raja Oasis Sports Complex: Raja Oasis ports Centre is where Raja Casablanca trains. It houses the club's training facility which includes three football fields, a gym, a boarding school for the training center, a restaurant group ...[9]
  • Raja Academy
  • Complex Tessema
  • Roches Noires Stadium
  • Kahrama Stadium

Supporters

The southern part of Complexe Mohamed V is fully occupied by supporters (ultras) of the club; it is the famous area called LMAGANA. Four sectors of this area of the stadium can be distinguished:

  • The official gallery devoted in part to the leaders and members of the club.
  • The Tribune side, covered with green seats and a rostrum.
  • The Virage Sud, blank marked by the presence of a mythical scoreboard.
  • The Bleachers, covered with green seats and free forum.

In 2013, according to a ranking that was done by a football website, the supporters of Raja Casablanca are among the world's 10 best football supporters, reaching fourth place. In 2014, after the amazing show of ultras of the club in the FIFA Club World Cup when Raja Casablanca had reached the final, they occupied first place in Africa and third in the whole world according to an annual ranking by Ultras World.

The supporters of Raja Casablanca are distributed in 2 ultras:

  • Ultras Green-Boys 05
  • Ultras Eagles 06

Clashes between the two groups dramatically erupted on 19 March 2016, during the match Raja Casablanca vs Chabab Rif Al Hoceima, leading to the death of two boys and leaving over 50 people badly injured but they reconciled with each other after these clashes of that night.[10]

Rivalries

Wydad Casablanca vs Raja de Casablanca, November 16 2008-10.jpg

The Casablanca derby (Arabic: الدربي البيضاوي‎) is a derby between the Moroccan football clubs Raja and Wydad. Matches are played in the Stade Mohamed V, often containing a fierce and vibrant crowd.

The Casablanca derby has extensive national media coverage and is a topic of debate for several days before and after the match between the fans of both clubs, whether in the streets, schools or workplace.

The first match between the two rivals was in 1956 in which Raja won 1–0.

In 1978, Raja players withdrew from the match against Wydad during the second half because they were mistreated after conceding a penalty with a red card to their goalkeeper.[11]

In 1996, Raja won 5–1 in the quarter-finals of the 1995–96 Coupe du Trône; this score is the highest between the two rivals.

As of 15 April 2018[12]
Matches Wins Draws Goals
R W R W
Botola 124 37 28 59 107 97
Throne Cup 13 6 5 2 19 15
All competitions 137 43 33 61 126 112
Independence Cup 1 0 1 0 0 1
All matches 138 43 34 61 126 113

Sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
1949–1968 aucun aucun
1968–1980 Adidas
1980–1987 Puma
1987–1988 Chimicolor
1988–1989 BMAO
ODEP
1989–1990 Uhlsport
1990–1995 Puma
1995–1996 Adidas Danone
1996–1997 Uhlsport
1997–1998 Umbro
1998–1999 Adidas Lavazza
1999–2000 Hummel Western Union
Fiat et Coca-Cola
2000–2001 Coca-Cola
2001–2002 Asta
Tube et Profil
2002–2003 Kappa Siera
Tube et Profil
2003–2008 Siera
2008–2013 Lotto
2013–2017 Adidas
2017– Legea

Actual sponsors

References

  1. ^ Fifa: Raja Casablanca placed third in CAF's ranking of African clubs of the last century
  2. ^ Ranking of The Best Club of Africa
  3. ^ "Raja Casablanca upset Mineiro – Football". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1". BBC Sport. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Raja Casablanca upset Mineiro – Football". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1". BBC Sport. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  7. ^ Youtube Video: Raja vs Real Madrid Cup Club World Cup in 2000
  8. ^ "International Friendship Cup 8 2004". Goalzz.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  9. ^ Training Center Raja Casablanca Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ http://moroccantimes.com/2016/03/18719/18719
  11. ^ الرجاء والوداد: تاريخ وأبرز 4 أحداث الديربي البيضاوي المغربي الشهير
  12. ^ Derby Casablanca: Les résultats. wydad-raja.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017
  • Raja Casablanca relishing underdog run to Club World Cup final – Sports Illustrated, 20 December 2013

External links

  • Official website
  • www.raja2015.com
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