Abderrahmane Mahjoub

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Abderrahmane Mahjoub
Personal information
Date of birth (1929-04-25)April 25, 1929
Place of birth Casablanca, Morocco
Date of death August 31, 2011(2011-08-31) (aged 82)
Place of death Casablanca, Morocco
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
US Marocaine
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1951–1953 RC Paris
1953–1954 OGC Nice
1954–1960 RC Paris
1960–1963 SO Montpellier
1963–1964 RC Paris
Wydad Casablanca
National team
1953–1955 France 7 (0)
1961 Morocco
Teams managed
1963–1967 Morocco
1972–1973 Morocco
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Abderrahmane Mahjoub or Abderrahmane Belmahjoub (April 25, 1929 – August 31, 2011[1]) was a French and Moroccan international football (soccer) midfielder.

Known as Prince du Parc (Prince of the Park) in his playing days for his dominant control of the midfield, was one of the best Arab players of his generation, and one of the few who graced the sports fields of Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.[2]

Born in Casablanca, the young Mahjoub began playing on the streets of his home city with his brother Mohamed, who later played for Olympique Marseille in the late 1940s. Abderrahmane started his career with the Union Sportive Athlétique Casablanca in 1948, where he spent three seasons before moving to Europe to join RC Paris of the French first division, but it was his performances for OGC Nice in 1953 that caught the eye of French selectors making his international debut against Luxembourg in a World Cup Qualifier. He stepped out at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris in the blue of France alongside his Nice teammate Moroccan-born Just Fontaine. The midfielder was an instant success on his first appearance, assisting in the first goal in an 8-0 rout in only the second minute of the game, Mahjoub went onto play six other occasions for France including a 3-2 win over Mexico at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland along with another Arab, Algerian Abdelaziz Bentifour.

After a season with Nice, where he was part of a French Cup winning side beating Larbi Ben Barek’s Olympique Marseille in the final, he rejoined Racing Club spending six successful seasons at the Paris club, reaching high as third place in the French first division in two consecutive seasons in 1958 and 1959. At the age 31, the club thought the Moroccan’s best years were behind him, and let him go but he proved all his critics wrong by guiding SO Montpellier to the 1961 French Second Division title, and promotion to the top flight. Racing Club eventually bought back the player for a final season in 1963, before he returned to play for Wydad Casablanca, where he was later coach.

One of the greatest moments in his career came in a memorable 1962 World Cup Qualifier; when Abderrahman captained his native country Morocco against the star-studded Spanish national team of Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskás, and Francisco Gento, before stepping onto the pitch he told his teammates to look at the flags of the two nations, planted in the ground at the same height “I want you to be like these flags, on the same level as the Spaniards”. Spain knocked out the Moroccan side but everyone at the time admired the Moroccan side for their style of play and their effort against the Spaniards. Abderrahman would later go onto coach the Moroccan national team.

In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.[3]

Clubs[edit]

  • Union Sportive Athlétique Casablanca (1948–1951)
  • Racing Club de Paris, France (1951–1953)
  • Olympique Gymnaste Club de Nice, France (1953–1954)
  • Racing Club de Paris, France (1954–1960)
  • SO Montpellier, France (1960–1963)
  • Racing Club de Paris, France (1963–1964)
  • Wydad Athletic Casablanca (1964–1968)

References[edit]

External links[edit]