Al Rayyan SC

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Full name Al Rayyan Sports Club
( Arabic : نادي الريان الرياضي )
Nickname(s) The Lions & Al-Raheeb (The Fierce)
Founded 1967; 48 years ago (1967)
Ground Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
Al-Rayyan, Qatar
Ground Capacity 25,000
Chairman Sheik Saoud Bin Khalid Al Thani
Manager Nelson Foliatti
League Qatar Stars League
2014-15 Qatargas League, 1st
Website Club home page
Al Rayyan's active sections
Football pictogram.svg
Basketball pictogram.svg
Handball pictogram.svg
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Futsal pictogram.svg
Athletics pictogram.svg

Al Rayyan Sports Club (Arabic: نادي الريان الرياضي‎) is a Qatari professional sports club fielding teams in a number of sports such as football, futsal, basketball, volleyball, handball, athletics, table tennis and swimming. It is based at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Omm Alafai in the city of Al-Rayyan. The club was founded in 1967 after merging the old Rayyan team with Nusoor Club. The official team colours are red and black. The team is nicknamed is 'The Lions' and also 'Al-Raheeb' which means the The Fierce.

They have won numerous titles in all sports, including two Asian championships in basketball, the Arab championship in handball, futsal domestic titles, table tennis and volleyball, as well as the GCC basketball championship. Both the basketball and handball teams have qualified for the world championships. However, the football team gets the most attention from the club officials as well as the media and the fans. [1][2]


1967–1973: Founding[edit]

Al Rayyan's history goes back to the mid-sixties when it was known as Old Al Rayyan. Old Al Rayyan, though an amateur football team, competed in matches arranged throughout the whole country, not being limited to the city in which it was based. Their headquarters was based in a two-bedroom house and they played their matches on a football field in a school based in the New Rayyan area. The club relied on donations from the fans during this period.[3]

They applied to be a member club of the Qatar Football Association, but were rejected with the QFA proposing that they merge with Al Nusoor, a local sports club also based in Al Rayyan. In 1967, after an announcement by the Al Rayyan Sports Committee that Old Al Rayyan would merge with Al Nusoor, Al Rayyan SC was officially founded. A new headquarters was established to accommodate increased size demands as a result of the merger. The first head coach of Al Rayyan was Ashour Salem, a Sudanese national, who, besides working as a local physical education coach, trained the first team and youth team. In the early years, the club branched out to other sports, notably basketball and handball. As a result of donations from the club supporters, Al Rayyan was able to establish their home grounds in Doha Stadium, the largest stadium in Qatar at the time.[3]

1973–1988: Early history[edit]

The club had success in the Qatar Stars League within the first decade of its formation, with the club participating in their first official season in 1972–73. In the 1974–75, after a mass brawl between the fans and players of Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, the QFA relegated Al Rayyan, who were in 2nd place at the time, to the second division. They won back promotion the following season and achieved their first league title 1976. In the 1977 season, the QFA annulled the results of Al Rayyan due to actions which took place in a match against Al Arabi. The perpetrator, who was an Al Arabi player by the name of Yassin Mustafa, was banned permanently from all league matches whereas the two clubs were warned.[4] They went on to win their second title in 1978. Al Rayyan continued to dominate league along with Al Arabi and Al Sadd during the late seventies and eighties.

In 1983, under the leadership of Sheikh Nasser bin Ahmed, a new club headquarters and home stadium were constructed. They won the league with a negative goal difference in 1983–84, making them one of the only 6 teams in the world and the only Qatari team in history to achieve this feat.[5]

1988–2000: Relegation and return to glory[edit]

In the 1987–88 season, much to the surprise of critics and fans, they got relegated for the first time in league history.[6] The relegation was preceded by a 0–1 loss to Al Sadd, as Hassan Jowhar scored a header goal which would prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Al Rayyan.[4] They won back promotion to the premier league in their first season in the second division.

They would go on to win the league in 1990, the same season they were promoted back to the first division, beating out rivals Al Sadd. They won an additional league title in 1995.

2000–2013: League title drought[edit]

They inaugurated their home ground, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, in 2003 during the reign of Sheikh Mishaal Al Thani. The first match held on the grounds was the 2003 Emir Cup finals.

The club has not experienced much league success as of late, with the last successful league campaign being in 1994–95; however they finished 3rd in the 2010–11 season under Paulo Autuori. Nonetheless, they faced great success in the Emir's Cup and Heir Apparent Cup winning 8 cups in total in 14 years.


Al Rayyan fans in an Emir Cup final.

Al Raheeb is the most supported club in the whole country.[2] They constantly draw the largest attendance rates in the Qatar Stars League.[7] They are supported throughout the entire Gulf region, as well as other parts of the world due to their high-profile signings.[2]

The club has a mascot, a lion called "Al Muheeb". The concept of the mascot was designed and developed in the USA by a well known animations studio. It is notable for being one of the candidates for the official mascot of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[8]

A fan club was established on 4/10/2006 in an inaugural ceremony which included players from all sections of the clubs sports activities, a number of supporters, and the board of directors. It did not have a significant role in club activities until Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Thani took presidency of the fan club in 2008, a season which saw Al Rayyan boost its attendance numbers by a significant margin. Members of the club receive emails, texts, and notifications of the clubs upcoming games.

The fan club won the QFA-sanctioned award of Best fans in the 2008/09 season, and shared the award with Al Sadd in the 2012/13 season.[9]


Winners (7): 1975-76, 1977–78, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1994–95
Winners (1): 2014-15
Winners (4): 1995, 1996, 2001, 2012
Winners (6): 1999, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013
Winners (4): 1992, 2000, 2012, 2013


Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (Al-Rayyan Stadium)
Al-Rayyan Stadium
Full name Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
Location Umm Al-Afai, Al Rayyan, Qatar
Capacity 44,740 (football)
Surface Grass
Built 2003
Opened 2003

Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (Arabic: ملعب أحمد بن علي‎), popularly known as the Al-Rayyan Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Al-Rayyan, Qatar which serves as the home stadium for Al Rayyan's football section. It will be used as a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Stadium history


As of Qatar Stars League:

No Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Saud Al Hajiri      Qatar
22 Goalkeeper Mohammed Jasser      Qatar
30 Goalkeeper Omar Bari      Qatar
91 Goalkeeper Khalifa Al-Ammari      Qatar
2 Defender Mohammed Alaaeldin      Qatar
5 Defender Nathan Otavio      Brazil
12 Defender Hamid Ismail      Qatar
13 Defender Gonzalo Viera      Uruguay
14 Defender Muaz Yousef      Qatar
21 Defender Mohammed Gumaa      Qatar
24 Defender Musa Haroon      Qatar
26 Defender Abdulhameed Enad      Qatar
28 Defender Taher Zakaria      Qatar
29 Defender Younes Yaghoub      Qatar
3 Midfielder Daniel Goumou      Ghana
6 Midfielder Abdurahman Al-Korbi      Qatar
No Position Player Nation
8 Midfielder Abdulla Afifa      Qatar
10 Midfielder Rodrigo Tabata (Captain)     Qatar
15 Midfielder Víctor Cáceres      Paraguay
17 Midfielder Babou Sidiki Barro      Ivory Coast
19 Midfielder Abdulmajid Enad      Qatar
20 Midfielder Koh Myong-jin      South Korea
25 Midfielder Abdulla Khaled      Qatar
36 Midfielder Ulises Pascua      Argentina
95 Midfielder Saoud Farhan      Qatar
7 Forward Ahmed Alaaeldin      Qatar
9 Forward Sergio García      Spain
23 Forward Sebastian Soria      Qatar
27 Forward Mohammed Salah Al Neel      Qatar
32 Forward Fahad Khalfan      Qatar
44 Midfielder Sultan Al Kuwari      Qatar

Players registered as professionals[edit]

QSL clubs are limited to 4 foreign professionals (3 + 1 Asian) per squad.[10]
Last update: 20 August 2014.[11]

Professional players

Non-professional foreigners

Current technical staff[edit]

Last update: July 2015.[12]

First team[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Uruguay Jorge Fossati
Assistant Coach Chile Julio Cesar
Assistant Coach Uruguay Leonardo Martins
Assistant Coach Uruguay Gonzalo Gutiérrez
Fitness Coach Uruguay Sebastian Avelino
Assis. Fit. Coach Uruguay Ariel Bustamante
GoalKeeper Coach Brazil Welesley Antônio "Neneca"
Perf. Analyst Brazil Yuri O. de Souza
Sports Director Qatar Ali Salem Afifa
Team Manager Qatar Mathker Al Shafi
Administrator Qatar Omar Saleh Al Azani
Media Officer Qatar Salem Al Eida
Sports Officer Qatar Abdulrahman Al Kuwari

Notable players[edit]

For a list of all former and current Al-Rayyan players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Al Rayyan SC players.

This list includes players whom have made significant contributions to their national team and to the club. At least 90 caps for the club or 100 caps for their national team is needed to be considered for inclusion.

Local players

Foreign players

Managerial history[edit]

Old Al Rayyan[edit]

  • State of Palestine Jamal Zakout (19??–67)1

Al Rayyan[edit]

Present and past managers of Al-Rayyan from 1967 (incomplete):

Administrative managers[edit]

  • Egypt Ashraf Mehdi (1984–85)
  • Egypt Saad Abu El Dahab (1985–)[16]
  • 1. Non-professional coach; worked as local physical education teacher.
  • 2. First professional coach.
  • 3. First non-Arab coach.

Presidential history[edit]


No. President No. President
Qatar Engineer Hamad Abdullah Al Marri
Qatar HE Sheikh Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani
Qatar Majid Abdullah Aman
Qatar HE Mohammed bin Hammam
Qatar HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Faisal Al Thani
Qatar HE Sheikh Saud bin Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani
Qatar Mohamed Abdulrahman Al-Darwish Al-Fakhro
Qatar HE Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Qatar HE Mohammed bin Hammam
Qatar HE Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al Thani
Qatar HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani


Position Staff
President Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Thani
Vice-president Ali Mohammed Al-Naimi
Secretary general Ali Salem Afifa
Assistant secretary Sheikh Khalid bin Hassan Al-Thani
Treasurer Mohammad Ali Hobash
Communication director Ali Atiq Al-Abdullah
Board member Husayn ibn Said
Board member Sheikh Khalid bin Hassan Al-Thani

Last updated: 20 October 2011
Source: Board of Directors


Recent seasons
Season League EC CPC SJ Asia Top scorer
Division Pos G W D L GF GA GD Pts Name Goals
1995–96 QSL 16 11 2 3 28 11 +17 35 RU W
1996–97 QSL 16 9 5 2 21 12 +9 32 RU Asian Club Championship QF Qatar Mohammed Salem Al-Enazi ?
1997–98 QSL 16 9 2 5 20 14 +6 29 SF SF Asian Club Championship R2
1998–99 QSL 16 6 5 5 29 23 +6 23 W DNQ GS Qatar Nasser Kamile ?
1999-00 QSL 16 10 4 2 29 14 +15 34 RU RU SF1 Qatar Mohammed Salem Al-Enazi 14
2000–01 QSL 16 8 4 4 30 22 +8 28 SF W SF Asian Club Championship QF Liberia Frank Seator 14
2001–02 QSL 16 8 1 7 30 27 +3 25 SF SF QF Brazil Algato Ricardo 7
2002–03 QSL 18 8 4 6 24 22 +2 28 R2 DNQ SF Algeria Abdelhafid Tasfaout 7
2003–04 QSL 18 8 3 7 38 32 +6 27 W DNQ GS Morocco Bouchaib El Moubarki 13
2004–05 QSL 27 15 7 5 66 34 +22 52 QF SF GS AFC Champions League GS Brazil Sonny Anderson 20
2005–06 QSL 27 12 5 10 30 28 +2 41 W SF GS Brazil Sonny Anderson 6
2006–07 QSL 27 9 10 8 40 42 −2 37 QF SF RU AFC Champions League GS France Sabri Lamouchi 10
2007–08 QSL 27 12 3 12 39 42 −3 39 QF DNQ SF Brazil Wílton Figueiredo 12
2008–09 QSL 27 15 7 5 62 35 +27 52 RU RU RU Ivory Coast Amara Diané 19
2009–10 QSL 22 11 4 7 41 30 +11 37 W DNQ GS AFC Cup R16 Brazil Afonso Alves 9
2010–11 QSL 22 12 6 4 39 22 +17 42 SF GS AFC Champions League GS Qatar Jaralla Al Marri 9
2011–12 QSL 22 10 9 3 49 26 +23 39 QF W GS AFC Champions League GS Brazil Rodrigo Tabata 17
  • Note 1: Al Gharafa withdrew from semifinals; Rayyan replaced them.

Al Rayyan in Asia[edit]

Competition Pld W D L GF GA
AFC Champions League 28 6 5 19 23 45
Total 28 6 5 19 23 45
  • Q = Qualification
  • GS = Group stage
  • R16 = Round of 16
  • QF = Quarter-final
  • SF = Semi-final

AFC Champions League

Round Country Club Home Away
GS Iran PAS 1–2 1–2
GS Kuwait Al Salmiya 2–1 0–2
GS Iraq Al-Shorta 2–0 0–0
GS United Arab Emirates Al-Wahda 0–1 0–3
GS Iraq Al-Zawraa 0–0 1–3
GS Kuwait Al-Arabi 1–2 1–1
GS Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 1–1 0–1
GS United Arab Emirates Emirates 2–0 0–2
GS Iran Zob Ahan 0–1 1–3
Round Country Club Home Away
GS Iran Esteghlal 0–1 0–3
GS United Arab Emirates Al-Jazira 3–4 2–3
GS Uzbekistan Nasaf Qarshi 3–1 0–1
GS Iran Esteghlal 3–3 0–3
GS Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal 0–2 1–3
GS United Arab Emirates Al-Ain 2–1 1–2

Other sports[edit]



Main article: Al Rayyan Futsal Team



Performance in AFC competitions[edit]

2005: Group stage
2007: Group stage
2011: Group stage
2012: Group stage
2013: Group stage
2010: Quarter-Final


  1. ^ "الرئيسية / أخبار الرياضة / مفاجأه من العيار الثقيل لصاحب اكبر قاعده جماهيريه في قطر : الريان يهبط الى دوري الدرجه الثانيه القطري". 12 April 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c الاحتفالات تجتاح الدوحة بعد تتويج الريان بكأس الأمير (in Arabic). 19 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b الريان "حكاية" قطرية ! (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b الدوري القطري تاريخ و نجوم (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Trivia on Winning Domestic Championships". Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "1987 / 1988 هبط الريان وصعد الغرافة" (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Spectator report per match of QSL" (PDF). Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Clouds linger over Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup hosting". 1 December 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sadd’s Khalfan, Raul, Amotta shine at QFA awards gala". 20 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "اعتماد تسجيل أربعة لاعبين أجانب في الموسم الجديد". 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "موقع الكأس يرصد حركة الانتقالات قبل إنطلاق الدوري". 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Ernesto Faría. "URUGUAYOS EN QATAR". La Oral Deportiva. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  13. ^ زامل الكواري (in Arabic). Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  14. ^ المدرب المتألق في الملاعب القطرية سعد حافظ قدت فريق التضامن لإحراز كأس قطر رفضت العقد اللبناني إكراماً لعيون النصر خرجت نجوم المنتخب القطري (in Arabic). Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  15. ^ الريان القطري يستغني عن الهويدي (in Arabic). 18 March 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "ﺳﻌﺪ أﺑﻮاﻟﺪھﺐ ﯾﻔﺘﺢ ﻣﺨﺰن أﺳﺮار اﻟﺮﯾﺎن ﻃﻮال 28 ﻋﺎﻣﺎ". 9 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  17. ^ تاريخ مجلس الادارة (in Arabic). Retrieved 18 April 2014. 

External links[edit]