Étoile Sportive du Sahel

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Étoile du Sahel
Logo Etoile du Sahel.svg
Full name Étoile 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 name ESS
Founded 11 May 1925; 93 years ago (1925-05-11)
Ground Stade Olympique de Sousse
Sousse, Tunisia
Ground Capacity 28,000
Chairman Ridha Charfeddine
Coach Kheïreddine Madoui
League CLP-1
2016-17 CLP-1, 2nd
Website Club website

The Étoile Sportive du Sahel (ESS, Arabic: النـجـم الرياضي الساحلي‎), 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. In English the name means Sport (or Athletic) Star of the Sahel.

The club is considered to be one of the best clubs in Tunisia.


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 Fédération Tunisienne de Football.

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.

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: 0

2007 – Fourth Place

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

African Champions League: 1

Runners-up: 2004, 2005
2006, 2015
Runners-up: 2008
1997, 2003

CAF Cup: 2

1995, 1999
Runners-up: 1996, 2001
1998, 2008
Runners-up: 2004, 2007, 2016

Performance in UAFA competitions[edit]

Finalist: 1995

Performance in other international competitions[edit]


Individual honours[edit]

Top scorers[edit]

Golden Boot[edit]

Arab Golden Boot[edit]


Position Name
President Tunisia Ridha Charfeddine
Vice President Tunisia Jalel Krifa
Head Football Section Tunisia Mehdi Laajimi
Head Coach Tunisia Chiheb Ellili
Assistant Coach Tunisia Imed Ben Younes
Tunisia Kais Zouaghi
Technical Director France Jean-Luc Ruty
Goalkeeping Coach Tunisia Adel Bouzouita
Physical Coach Tunisia Yassine Bouassida
Tunisia Mejdi Sefi
Team Doctor Tunisia Fayçal Khachnaoui
Team Coordinator Tunisia Mohamed Letaief


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


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


Country Name Years Country Name Years
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


  1. ^ African club competitions recognized by CAF – Record Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation – www.rsssf.com.

External links[edit]