Étoile Sportive du Sahel

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Étoile du Sahel
Logo Etoile du Sahel.svg
Full nameÉtoile Sportive du Sahel
النجم الرياضي الساحلي
Nickname(s)L'Étoile (The Star)
Hamra & Bidha (The Red & White)
Nejma (The Star)
Jawharat Sahel (Jewel Coast)
Short nameESS
Founded11 May 1925; 93 years ago (1925-05-11)
GroundStade Olympique de Sousse
Sousse, Tunisia
ChairmanRidha Charfeddine
CoachRoger Lemerre
2017-18CLP-1, 3rd
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The Étoile Sportive du Sahel (ESS, Arabic: النـجـم الرياضي الساحلي‎; transliterated: Najm Riadhi Sahli), or Étoile du Sahel (Arabic: النـجـم الساحلي‎), is a sports club from Sousse in the Sahel region of Tunisia, known primarily for its football and basketball team. The club also has sections for handball, volleyball, judo and wrestling. ESS was founded in 11 May 1925 after a general meeting under the chairmanship of Chedly Boujemla, Ali Laârbi and Ahmed Zaklaoui, at the headquarters of the Association of the ancient French-Arab School in Laroussi Zarouk Street, in the heart of the ancient city of Sousse. The aim of the meeting was to establish a sports education society. The Tunisian flag was chosen in the selection of the colors of the team. The red shirt with the star and the white shorts. The French colonial authorities prevented the use of these colors, but with the insistence of the team leaders they prevailed and in the latter they played this kit. In English the name means Sport (or Athletic) Star of the Sahel

In Tunisia, Étoile du Sahel is considered to be one of the best clubs. For many years it had a reputation of playing entertaining football. In fact, the club has evolved recently into a more professional outfit capable of winning trophies at home and abroad. Since 1925, ESS has been crowned domestic champions on ten occasions.

On the continental side, Étoile du Sahel has won more CAF trophies than any other Tunisian team. The club has 1 CAF Champions League, 2 CAF Super Cup titles, 4 CAF Confederation Cup titles and 2 African Cup Winners' Cup. ESS was listed as one of the most valuable football clubs in Africa and one of the most widely supported teams in the continent.

Internationally, Étoile du Sahel was the first Tunisian club to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. They competed in the fifth edition that took place in 2007 in Japan. The club became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World semi-final as the representative of CAF, after Al Ahly SC in 2006, as they defeated Pachuca CF at the quarter-final of 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.


The club was founded during a public meeting at the French-Arabic school on Laroussi Zarrouk Street, in Sousse. Chedli Boujemla was elected as the first chairman of the multi-sport club. La Soussienne and La Musulmane ("The Muslim") were rejected as club names in favor of L'Étoile Sportive. Club members eventually settled on L'Étoile Sportive du Sahel to reflect the goal of representing a broader region than Sousse alone. The Protectorate administration officially recognized the club on July 17, 1925. In March 1926, Ali Larbi became chairman of the soccer section of the club, which entered the Tunisian Football Federation.

Its first team members were Mohamed Bouraoui, Abdelkader Ben Amor, Abdelhamid Baddaï, Sadok Zmentar, Ali Guermachi, Mohamed Mtir, Benaïssa Hicheri, Béchir Dardour et Tahar Kenani.

Bouha, the official mascot of the club

ESS's first major honour was the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 title in 1950, but they had to wait 8 years to pick it up again. They won their first Tunisian President Cup in 1959, and completed a league and cup double in 1963 – becoming one of the first Tunisian teams to do so. But ESS struggled throughout the 1970s and 1980s, although they did manage to win back-to-back league titles in 1986 and 1987. In 1995 Etoile won their first continental trophy, winning the CAF Cup. 2 years later in 1997 they completed a league and African Cup Winners' Cup double, and they continued to impress on the continental stage – they won the African Super Cup in 1998 and the CAF Cup (for the 2nd time) in 1999. But Sahel's problem was that they struggled domestically – a perfect example was when they won the league in 1987 and failed to win it again until 10 years later. It was exactly the same in 1997. They won the African Cup Winners' Cup (for the 2nd time) in 2003, and made it to their 1st ever African Champions League final a year later, but lost to Nigerian outfit Enyimba on penalties. ESS lost in the final of the same competition the following season, being defeated by Egyptian giants Al Ahly 3–0 over two legs. Although, they did have some success that year – winning the Tunisian League Cup for the first time in their history. In 2006 Etoile won the CAF Confederation Cup for the first time, but continued to struggle in the league. But the 2006–07 season proved to be possibly the greatest season in the club's history – they won the CLP 1 title and the African Champions League title (for the first time). The final of the Champions League that year was a memorable one, as ESS played Al-Ahly in a repeat of the 2005 final. The first leg finished 0–0 in Sousse, and with ESS huge underdogs, they won 3–1 in Egypt to take the trophy. But despite this they missed out on the league again the following campaign (after losing on the last day of the season) and then in 2008–09 they finished 3rd, which meant manager Gernot Rohr was sacked. Lofti Rhim then became manager but just till October 2009, Lotfi Rhim resignition held Dr Hamed Kammoun (Vice president at that time and currently president) to call the club son Khaled Ben Sassi who did a good performance till the winter of 2009. On December 22, Piet Hamberg became General manager and the first Dutch who take a such position in a Tunisian club. Hamberg could not finish the season and was fired after a defeat against historical rivals club africain 3–0. Coach assistant Mohamed Mkacher and the youth team trainer Naoufel Team were appointed for the rest of the season. A new exprerience with the former Morocco national coach Mohamed Fakher just started on June 2010 along with a huge recruitment campaign for the coming season. In 18/04/2019 Ess won the Arab Club Champions Cup , known officially as the 2018–19 Zayed Champions Cup .

Etoile's active sections
Football pictogram.svg
Handball pictogram.svg
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Basketball pictogram.svg
Wrestling pictogram.svg
Judo pictogram.svg
Étoile Sahel's Press conference room logo


Etoile's most fierce rivalry is with Espérance de Tunis, as the teams are two of Tunisia's finest. Similarly, they also have a rivalry with Club Africain and CS Sfaxien. In terms of location, ESS are quite an isolated club, so games against US Monastir and ES Hammam-Sousse (the latter are from a town just north of Sousse) are considered local derbies.

Honours and achievements[edit]

Étoile Sportive du Sahel was the first African squad to have won all official club competition recognized by Confederation of African Football.[1]

Performance in national & domestic competitions[edit]

1950, 1958, 1963, 1966, 1972, 1986, 1987, 1997, 2007, 2016
1959, 1963, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1983, 1996, 2012, 2014, 2015
1973, 1986, 1987

Performance in FIFA competitions[edit]

FIFA Club World Cup: 1

2007 – Fourth Place

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

African Champions League: 1

Runners-up: 2004, 2005
1995, 1999, 2006, 2015
Runners-up: 1996, 2001, 2008
1997, 2003
1998, 2008
Runners-up: 2004, 2007, 2016

Performance in UAFA competitions[edit]

Winner: 2019
Finalist: 1995

Performance in UNAF competitions[edit]


Individual honours[edit]

Top scorers[edit]

Name Season Goals
Tunisia Habib Mougou 1955 / 1956 25 goals
Tunisia Habib Mougou 1957 / 1958 28 goals
Tunisia Othman Jenayah 1969 / 1970 15 goals
Tunisia Abdesselam Adhouma 1970 / 1971 17 goals
Tunisia Abdesselam Adhouma 1973 / 1974 16 goals
Tunisia Raouf Ben Aziza 1975 / 1976 20 goals
Tunisia Raouf Ben Aziza 1977 / 1978 22 goals
Brazil / Tunisia Francileudo Santos 1998 / 1999 14 goals
Tunisia Ahmed Akaichi 2010 / 2011 14 goals
Algeria Baghdad Bounedjah 2013 / 2014 14 goals

Tunisian Golden Boot[edit]

Year Name
1970 Tunisia Othman Jenayah
1978 Tunisia Raouf Ben Aziza
1986 Tunisia Kamel Azzabi
1995 Tunisia Zoubeir Baya
1996 Tunisia Zoubeir Baya
2006 Tunisia Yassine Chikhaoui
2007 Tunisia Amine Chermiti
2016 Tunisia Hamza Lahmar

African Competitions Golden Boot[edit]

Year Name
2007 Tunisia Amine Chermiti

Arab Golden Boot[edit]

Year Name
1999 Tunisia Kaies Ghodhbane

IFFHS Rankings[edit]


Roger Lemerre, the current manager of the team.
Position Name
President Tunisia Ridha Charfeddine
Director of Football Tunisia Mehdi Ajimi
Head Coach France Roger Lemerre
Assistant Coach Belgium Patrick De Wilde
Tunisia Rafik Mhamdi
Technical Director Belgium Christophe Dessy
Goalkeeping Coach Tunisia Faouzi Aouni
Physical Coach Tunisia Ahmed Berriri
Team Doctor Tunisia Fayçal Khachnaoui
Team Coordinator Tunisia Mohamed Letaief


Current 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
1 Tunisia GK Walid Kriden
2 Tunisia DF Saddam Ben Aziza
4 Mali DF Mohamed Konaté
5 Tunisia DF Ammar Jemal (Vice-captain)
6 Tunisia DF Wajdi Kechrida
8 Tunisia MF Alaya Brigui
9 Algeria FW Karim Aribi
10 Tunisia MF Iheb Msakni
11 Venezuela FW Darwin González
12 Tunisia MF Mortadha Ben Ouanes
13 Burundi FW Shaka Bienvenue
14 Tunisia MF Mohamed Methnani
15 Tunisia DF Zied Boughattas
No. Position Player
16 Tunisia GK Makram Bediri
17 Tunisia FW Yassine Chikhaoui (Captain)
18 Tunisia MF Firas Ben Larbi
19 Tunisia MF Maher Hannachi
20 Tunisia MF Malek Baayou
22 Tunisia FW Hazem Haj Hassen
24 Tunisia DF Ahmed Raddaoui
25 Tunisia MF Karim Aouadhi
27 Tunisia GK Achraf Krir
28 The Gambia MF Adama Jammeh
29 Ghana MF Mohamed Amine Ben Amor
30 Tunisia FW Yosri Hamza

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
Libya MF Anis Saltou (on loan to Ahli Tripoli)
Tunisia FW Aymen Sfaxi (on loan to Stade Tunisien)
Tunisia FW Fakhreddine Ouji (on loan to US Ben Guerdane)
Tunisia DF Bahaeddine Sellami (on loan to US Ben Guerdane)
Tunisia MF Wael Belghali (on loan to ES Métlaoui)
Tunisia DF Jaouhar Ben Hassen (on loan to US Ben Guerdane)
Tunisia MF Omar Zekri (on loan to Najran SC)
No. Position Player
Tunisia MF Slim Ben Belgacem (on loan to AS Gabès)
Tunisia DF Rami Bedoui (on loan to Al-Fayha)
Tunisia DF Ameur Omrani (on loan to US Monastir)
Tunisia FW Firas Iffia (on loan to Olympique Béja)
Tunisia MF Seifeddine Abdallah (on loan to US Monastir)
Tunisia MF Aymen Trabelsi (on loan to Al-Khor)

Reserve 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
Tunisia GK Rami Gabsi
Tunisia DF Salah Hrabi
Guinea FW Ali Soumah
Cameroon FW Jacques Mbe
Ghana FW Richard Danso
Tunisia FW Louay Ben Hassine


Nationality Name From To Honours
French protectorate of Tunisia Ali Dardour 1925 1929
French protectorate of Tunisia Abdelhamid Beddaï 1929 1934
French protectorate of Tunisia Mohamed Boudhina 1934 1954 1949–1950 Tunisian League
French protectorate of Tunisia Rachid Sehili 1953 1954
France Roger Chrétin 1954 1955
Algeria&France Boumedienne Abderrhamane 1955 1956
England Georges Berry 1956 1958 1957–1958 Tunisian League
Tunisia Habib Mougou 1958 1959 1958-1959 Tunisian Cup
Algeria Said Ibrahimi 1959 1960
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Božidar Drenovac 1960 1965 1962-1963 Tunisian Cup
1962–1963 Tunisian League
Soviet Union Aleksei Paramonov 1965 1967 1965–1966 Tunisian Lague
France&Hungary Bella Harzeg 1967 1968
Hungary Turay 1968 1968
Tunisia Bechir Jerbi 1968 1969
Tunisia Habib Mougou 1969 1969
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Božidar Drenovac 1969 1970
Tunisia Abdelmajid Chetali 1970 1975 1971–1972 Tunisian League
1972 Maghreb Champions Cup
1973 Tunisian Super Cup
1973-1974 Tunisian Cup
1974-1975 Tunisian Cup
1975 Maghreb Cup Winners Cup
Tunisia Raouf Ben Aziza 1975 1976
Soviet Union Aleksei Paramonov 1976 1978
Tunisia Ammar Ben Ahmed 1978 1980
Tunisia Mohsen Habacha 1980 1983 1980-1981 Tunisian Cup
1982-1983 Tunisian Cup
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dragan Vasiljević 1983 1984
Tunisia Ammar Ben Ahmed 1984 1985
Tunisia Amor Dhib 1985 1986 1985–1986 Tunisian League
1986 Tunisian Super Cup
Tunisia Faouzi Benzarti 1986 1988 1986–1987 Tunisian League
1987 Tunisian Super Cup
Soviet Union Nicolaï Koudiev 1988 1989
Bulgaria Asparuh Nikodimov 1989 1990
Tunisia Raouf Ben Amor 1990 1990
Tunisia Ammar Ben Ahmed 1990 1991
Tunisia Faouzi Benzarti 1991 1992
Russia Ivan Chteline 1992 1993
Algeria Rabah Saadane 1993 1994
Brazil José Dutra dos Santos 1994 1997 Gold medal africa.svg 1995 CAF Cup
1995-1996 Tunisian Cup
Silver medal africa.svg 1996 CAF Cup
1996-1997 Tunisian League
Gold medal africa.svg 1997 African Cup Winners' Cup
Croatia Ivan Buljan 1997 1998 Gold medal africa.svg 1998 CAF Super Cup
France Jean Fernandez 1998 1999
Tunisia Lotfi Benzarti 1999 2000 Gold medal africa.svg 1999 CAF Cup
Algeria Mahieddine Khalef 2000 2000
Serbia Ivica Todorov 2000 2001
Bernard Casoni
Chedly Mlik
1 July 2001 30 June 2002 Silver medal africa.svg 2001 CAF Cup
Brazil Paulo Rubim 2002 2002
Tunisia Ammar Souayah 2002 2003
France René Lobello 1 July 2003 30 December 2003 Gold medal africa.svg 2003 African Cup Winners' Cup
France Bernard Simondi 23 January 2004 30 June 2004 Silver medal africa.svg 2004 CAF Super Cup
Tunisia Mrad Mahjoub 2004 2004
Tunisia Abdelmajid Chetali 2004 2005 Silver medal africa.svg 2004 CAF Champions League
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mehmed Baždarević 1 July 2005 11 April 2006 Silver medal africa.svg 2005 CAF Champions League
Tunisia Faouzi Benzarti 14 April 2006 30 May 2007 Gold medal africa.svg 2006 CAF Confederation Cup
Silver medal africa.svg 2007 CAF Super Cup
2006–07 Tunisian League
France Bertrand Marchand 1 June 2007 30 June 2008 Gold medal africa.svg 2007 CAF Champions League
2007 FIFA Club World Cup Fourth Place
Gold medal africa.svg 2008 CAF Super Cup
Switzerland Michel Decastel May 2008 November 2008 Silver medal africa.svg 2008 CAF Confederation Cup
Germany Gernot Rohr 27 November 2008 15 May 2009
Tunisia Lotfi Rhim 27 May 2009 16 December 2009
Netherlands Piet Hamberg 22 December 2009 15 April 2010
Tunisia Mohamed Mkacher 15 April 2010 20 June 2010
Morocco Mohamed Fakhir 1 July 2010 4 October 2010
Tunisia Mondher Kebaier 4 October 2010 3 October 2011
Tunisia Khaled Ben Sassi 3 October 2011 12 February 2012
GermanyAustria Bernd Krauss 12 February 2012 26 March 2012
Tunisia Faouzi Benzarti 27 March 2012 10 June 2012
Tunisia Mondher Kebaier 12 June 2012 27 February 2013
France Denis Lavagne 28 February 2013 8 December 2013 double-dagger 2011–12 Tunisian Cup
France Roger Lemerre 8 December 2013 30 June 2014 2013–14 Tunisian Cup
Serbia Dragan Cvetković 10 July 2014 11 August 2014
Tunisia Faouzi Benzarti 12 August 2014 27 December 2016 2014–15 Tunisian Cup
Gold medal africa.svg 2015 CAF Confederation Cup
Silver medal africa.svg 2016 CAF Super Cup
2015–16 Tunisian League
France Hubert Velud 27 December 2016 18 November 2017
Algeria Kheïreddine Madoui 18 December 2017 24 May 2018
Tunisia Chiheb Ellili 4 June 2018 9 October 2018
Belgium Georges Leekens 10 October 2018 26 November 2018
France Roger Lemerre 17 December 2018 present 2018–19 Arab Club Champions Cup


  • double-dagger Suspended in 2012 and resumed in 2013.


Ridha Charfeddine, the current president of the team.
Country Name Period Country Name Period
1 French protectorate of Tunisia Chedly Boujemla 1925–1926 13 Tunisia Hamed Karoui 1961–1981
2 French protectorate of Tunisia Ali Laârbi 1926–1927 14 Tunisia Abdeljelil Bouraoui 1981–1984
3 French protectorate of Tunisia Younès Bouraoui 1927–1929 15 Tunisia Hamadi Mestiri 1984–1988
4 French protectorate of Tunisia Ali Laâdhari 1929–1932 16 Tunisia Abdeljelil Bouraoui 1988–1990
5 French protectorate of Tunisia Mohammed Maârouf 1932–1935 17 Tunisia Hamadi Mestiri 1990–1993
6 French protectorate of Tunisia Hamed Akacha 1935–1944 18 Tunisia Othman Jenayah 1993–2006
7 French protectorate of Tunisia Mohamed Ghachem 1944–1953 19 Tunisia Moez Driss 2006–2009
8 French protectorate of Tunisia Sadok Mellouli 1953–1954 20 Tunisia Hamed Kammoun 2009–2011
9 French protectorate of Tunisia Abdelhamid Sakka 1954–1956 21 Tunisia Hafedh Hmaied 2011–2012
10 Tunisia Ali Driss 1956–1959 22 Tunisia Ridha Charfeddine 2012–present
11 Tunisia Mohamed Atoui 1959–1960
12 Tunisia Ali Driss 1960–1961

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Period Kit supplier Shirt sponsor
1995-1998 Germany Adidas United States Coca-Cola
2003-2006 South Korea LG
Tunisia Boga
Tunisia Tunisie Telecom
2009-2011 Italy Diadora France Orange
2011-2012 United States Nike
2012-2017 Italy Macron Qatar Ooredoo
2017-2018 Germany Adidas
2018-present Italy Macron South Korea SsangYong


  1. ^ African club competitions recognized by CAF – Record Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation
  2. ^ "Club World Ranking by footballdatabase". footballdatabase. 2018-06-03.

External links[edit]