Raja Casablanca

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Raja Club Athletic
Raja CA.png
Full name Raja Club Athletic
Nickname(s) Vox Populi, Green Eagles, Green Devils, Raja Mondial, Green Boys
Founded 20 March 1949; 65 years ago (20 March 1949)
Ground Stade Mohamed V
Casablanca, Morocco
Ground Capacity 67,000
Chairman Mohamed Boudrika
Manager Abdelhak Benchikha
League Botola
2013–14 2nd
Current season

Raja Club Athletic (RCA) (Arabic: نادي الرجاء الرياضي‎; transliterated: Nadi al-Raja' al-Riyady ) (Raja meaning 'hopefulness' in Arabic) is a sports club with sections in many different disciplines in Casablanca, Morocco. Raja was founded on March 20, 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. It has become the most powerful club in Morocco.

Raja Casablanca, who has been crowned domestic champions on eleven occasions, was placed in 2000 third in CAF's ranking of African clubs of the last century, finishing behind the Egyptian teams Al Ahly and Zamalek SC.[1][2]

Raja Casablanca is the only Moroccan club, and the first African and Arabic team to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. They competed in the first edition that took place in 2000 in Brazil.

Raja has the largest number of supporters in Morocco. During the 2008–2009 season, the ultras of the club wrote, in capital letters, the tifo "VOX POPULI" (meaning 'voice of the people' in Latin).

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 2007 edition, as they defeated Atlético Mineiro at the semi-final of 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.[4][not in citation given]

History[edit]

Choice of the name[edit]

After several attempts to find a name worthy of a team that will represent the Moroccan people, officials were left with two fitting names left on the table, Raja and Fath. Raja was chosen after winning three successive votes.

Beginning[edit]

The club joined the Moroccan league from the foundation of it by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in 1956. The prohibition of entrusting the presidency to a Moroccan will quickly be circumvented by leaving this chair for six months, Benabadji Haji, a Muslim of Algerian descent and who benefited from this fact of 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. 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 colossal 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.

Style[edit]

The eagle, the official mascot of Raja

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 cut 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.[5]

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 Real Madrid of Vicente Del Bosque.[6] This appearance on the world circuit had attracted the attention of many football experts. Just after the competition, the team received an invitation from the Juventus FC in Marcello Lippi to play a preparation match at Palermo.

[edit]

The color green was chosen by the founders of the club because it symbolises hope and growth. Green is also considered the traditional color of Islam. On top of that, green is one of the colours on the Moroccan flag.

The eagle, meanwhile, in a period marked by the colonisation of the country and the resistance, accounted for founding the strong raptor, prestigious and combative.

The 1990s[edit]

During this period, the greens won a great amount of national and continental titles. After the Merger with (Olympique de Casablanca) In 1995 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).

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

Appearances on the international circuit[edit]

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

1959–1960 season controversy[edit]

The final standings of the 1959–1960 season showed that 3 teams were tied for first in terms of total points: Raja Casablanca, FAR Rabat and KAC Kenitra. 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.

Many believe that the call for a triangular tournament was politically motivated. After only three years of independence, there was political instability in the country. The Army team of Morocco, the FAR Rabat (Royal Armed Forces), had been founded in 1958 and some politicians wanted them to win their first title that year. However, they lost the tournament and the title was awarded to KAC Kenitra.

Infrastructure[edit]

Mohamed V Stadium[edit]

The Mohamed V Stadium is part of a large sports complex in the heart of the city of Casablanca, specifically in upscale neighbourhood of Maarif. It was inaugurated on 6, and today has a capacity of 67,000 spectators, not counting the North and South turns that have no seats, but where environments are warmer. The south turn or "Magana" (the clock in Moroccan dialect) ended up moving the main groups 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.

Schools and sport facilities[edit]

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 Abdelmajid Dolmy, El Mustapha Haddaoui, Abdellatif Beggar, Houmane Jarir, Petchou, Mustapha Moustawdaa, Salaheddine Bassir, Mustapha Chadili, Jamal Sellami, Hicham Aboucherouane, Soufiane Alloudi, Merouane Zemmama, Talal El Karkouri, and Youssef Safri.
Sports facilities available to Raja Casablanca:

  • Raja Oasis Sports Complex: Raja Oasis Sports 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 ...[7]
  • Complex Tessema
  • Stage Roches Noires

Honours[edit]

Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (11): 1988, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013
Runners-up (8): 1960, 1966, 1986, 1991, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2014
Winners (7): 1974, 1977, 1982, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2012
Runners-up (5): 1965, 1968, 1983, 1992, 2013

African competitions[edit]

Winners (3): 1989, 1997, 1999
Runner-up: 2002
Winner: 2003
Winner: 2000
Runner-up: 1998
Winner: 1998

Arab competitions[edit]

Winner: 2006
Runner-up: 1996
  • Arab Summer Cup
Winner: 2007
  • Abha Cup
Winner: 2004
Runner-up: 2001
  • Antifi Cup
Winner: 2009
Runner-up: 2010

Worldwide competitions[edit]

Group Stage: 2000
Runners-up: 2013
  • International Friendship Cup
Winner: 2004[8]

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

1989 Winners
1997 Winners
1999 Winners
2002 Runners Up
2005 Semi Finals

Squad[edit]

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

No. Position Player
3 Morocco DF Zakaria El Hachimi
7 Morocco MF Merouane Zemmama
8 Morocco MF Mohamed Amine Akmari
9 Morocco FW Hamza Abourazzouk
10 Morocco FW Salaheddine Aqqal
11 Morocco FW Jawad Issine
15 Burkina Faso FW Yahia Kébé
16 Morocco DF Mohamed Oulhaj
17 Morocco DF Rachid Soulaimani
18 Morocco MF Abdelilah Hafidi
19 Morocco MF Youssef El Gnaoui
20 Morocco DF Abdeljalil Jbira
No. Position Player
21 Morocco DF Adil Karrouchy
24 Central African Republic MF Vianney Mabidé
25 Morocco FW Yassine Salhi
27 Morocco DF Ismail Belmaalem
28 Ivory Coast MF Kouko Guehi
30 Morocco DF Ahmed Chagou
31 Mali DF Idrissa Coulibaly
37 Morocco GK Brahim Zaari
61 Morocco GK Khalid Askri
86 Morocco MF Said Fettah
93 Morocco FW Abdelkbir El Ouadi

Club managers[edit]

Presidents[edit]

Supporters[edit]

The southern part of Complexe Mohamed V is fully occupied by supporters of the club it is the famous area called LMAGANA. It distinguishes four sectors of this area of the stadium.

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

Sponsors[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]