Al-Arabi SC (Qatar)
|Full name||Al-Arabi Sports Club|
|Nickname(s)||"Fareeg Al-Ahlam" ("The Dream Team")|
|Founded||1952 as Al-Tahrir|
|Ground||Grand Hamad Stadium|
|President||Hitmi bin Ali Al-Hitmi|
|Head Coach||Roberto Carlos|
|League||Qatar Stars League|
|2014–15||Qatar Stars League, 8th|
|Website||Club home page|
Al-Arabi Sports Club (Arabic: النادي العربي الرياضي), is a Qatari sports club club based in Doha, Qatar. Founded in 1952, the most prominent team of the club is the football team which plays in the Qatar Stars League. The club's home ground is the 13,000-seat Grand Hamad Stadium, where they have played since their establishment.
Al-Arabi had their first major success in 1978, winning the Emir of Qatar Cup, and won various titles during the 1980s and 1990s. The club enjoyed their greatest period of success in those two decades, winning 17 major trophies. Domestically, Al-Arabi have won seven league titles, eight Emir of Qatar Cups, one Qatar Crown Prince Cup and six Qatar Sheikh Jassem Cups.
Al-Arabi's regular kit colours are red shirts and shorts with red socks. The club's crest has been changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club and modernise its image. The current crest, featuring a ceremonial falcon, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s. They are known for having one of the largest fan bases in Qatar next to rivals Al Rayyan. In terms of championships won, they are the second most successful club on a local level after Al Sadd. Al-Arabi is known by various nicknames including "Dream Team", "The Red Devils", and "Century Club".
- 1 History
- 2 Stadium
- 3 Crest
- 4 Honours
- 5 Performance in AFC competitions
- 6 Performance in UAFA competitions
- 7 Players
- 8 Club staff
- 9 Club officials
- 10 Asian clubs ranking
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The club was founded in 1952 under the name "Al-Tahrir", making them the second oldest team in Qatar. In 1957, the club merged with Al-Wehda, a club founded which was founded on that year led by Mohamed Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari, after playing a friendly. They merged under the name of Al-Wehda. Al-Wehda did not play out Qatar or host any foreign clubs due to lack of financial possibilities for the club. In 1972, the club integrated under their current name, Al Arabi. The first president of the club was Ahmed Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari.
Al-Arabi was known for having one of the largest fan bases in all of Qatar, as well as other Gulf states, and was well-known overseas. Their popularity outside of the Middle East was bolstered by their achievements and national team players, until 2003 when it reached its peak with the signing of Argentine legend Gabriel Batistuta.
It came in 14th place in International Federation of Football History & Statistics's 1901–2000 Asian Club of the Century, the highest from Qatar.
The clubs dominance began in the late 1980s, when a number of professional players were contracted to the team by Sultan Al Suwaidi. By 1988, the club had arguably their most prominent professional players up until that point. This included:
Golden era (1990–2000)
The 1990s marked the start of a continuous chain of succession for Al-Arabi. The dream team had come to fruition with the likes of Marco Antônio and Richard Owebukeri who were the top scorers in the league at one point. Perhaps the most significant player was Mubarak Mustafa, who is still considered one of the best Qatari footballers in history. The team, impressing many with its versatile squad, took the Qatari league by storm, winning it 5 times out of 10. Not satisfied merely with local success, the team achieved runners-up position in the AFC Champions League in 1995.
They won their first Heir Apparent cup in 1997.
The new century saw a significant slump in Al-Arabi's performance. Factors which impacted this may include the departure of Mubarak Mustafa and the increase of competitiveness from local clubs. In the 2002 season, Al Arabi finished in 7th place, the lowest position since its debut in the Qatar Stars League.
The arrival of Gabriel Batistuta in 2003 saw a glimpse of hope for Al-Arabi as they finished significantly higher in the league than the last 2 previous seasons, however they ended up finished 9th in the league at the end of the 2007 season, a new low. They did not win a single domestic title during this period, and had limited success in international competitions. Furthermore, they suffered their largest-ever defeat against Al Sadd that season when they were beaten 7–0, which resulted in the sacking of their coach Cabralzinho.
In 2006, due to popular dissent accosting the club president Sheikh Falah bin Jassim, there was an administration change which resulted in Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak being elected as president.
Management crisis (2011–present)
The beginning of the 2011–12 season looked bright for Al Arabi, with the club winning their first domestic silverware in 13 years by defeating Umm Salal SC in the final of the 2011 Sheikh Jassem Cup. However, a string of bad results in the league resulted in the sacking of their coach, Paulo Silas.
They were also eligible to play in the 2012 AFC Champions League, which they were the first team to be eliminated from. During this period, the club had been in charge of 3 coaches in a span of 3 months. They infamously made history by being the first team since 2007 to lose every match in the group stage, as well as the first Qatari team to achieve this. As a result, the club's Director of Football, Mubarak Mustafa, announced his departure from the club. Furthermore, Dr. Abdullah al-Mal, president of the club, announced his retirement from sports. He was replaced by Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi. The fiscal budget of the club was reduced from 15 million riyals to 9 million riyals.
- Domestic competitions
- Winners (7): 1983, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
- Winners (8): 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1993
- Winners (1): 1997
- Winners (6): 1980, 1982, 1994, 2008, 2010, 2011
- Regional competitions
- Ittihad Cup
- Winners (2): 1990, 1997
Performance in AFC competitions
- Asian Club Championship: 5 appearances
- Asian Cup Winners' Cup: 2 appearances
- AFC Champions League: 1 appearance
- 2012: Group Stage
Performance in UAFA competitions
- Gulf Club Champions Cup: 7 appearances
|11||Midfielder||Mohammed Al Kuwari||Qatar|
|13||Defender||Moussa Al Barakah||Qatar|
|18||Defender||Aden Ali Aden||Somalia|
|21||Midfielder||Abdulla Al Oraimi||Qatar|
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Players registered as professionals
- Technical and administrative staff
Last updated: 23 June 2014.
Former managers with unknown dates
- Mohammed Atatash
- J. Mustafa
- Atha Al-Shatti
- Hilmi Al-Qut
- Medhat Mohammed
- Flamarion Nunes
- Ahmed Jassim Al-Jassim "Menotti"
- Eid Mubarak
|President||Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi|
|General Secretary||Nasser Al Hitmi|
|Director General||Ahmed Al Emadi|
Last updated: 8 October 2011
Source: Board of Directors
Asian clubs ranking
- As of 1 January 2015.
- "QSL - Al Arabi". qsl.com.qa. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Alarabi Sports Club – History
- صالح النعيمة ... المحارب الشهير يترك استراحته ويقول لـ "الحياة" (in Arabic). daharchives.alhayat.com. 20 May 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- الدوري القطري تاريخ و نجوم (in Arabic). Al Jazeera Sports. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- QFA.com – Al Arabi end Asian campaign on losing note
- "السنياري : لن استمر مع العربي في الموسم المقبل". Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "العربي يغلق باب الترشح لانتخاباته في الثامنة مساء". Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Al Arabi Sports Club holds AGM". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "اعتماد تسجيل أربعة لاعبين أجانب في الموسم الجديد". alkass.net. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "موقع الكأس يرصد حركة الانتقالات قبل إنطلاق الدوري". alkass.net. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "Interview" (in Arabic). al-watan.com. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- مسابقة كأس سمو الأمير لكرة القدم المباريات النهائية (in Arabic). alkass.net. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "العربي يقيل زاماريو رسميا". alghad.com. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Asia Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking". Retrieved 19 January 2015.