|Full name||Nejmeh Sporting Club Beirut
نادي النجمة الرياضي
|Nickname(s)||النجوم (The Stars)
الفريق الملكي (The Royal Team)
|Ground||Al Manara Stadium
Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
|Chairman||Mohammad Amin Daouk|
|League||Lebanese Premier League|
|Website||Club home page|
Nejmeh Sporting Club (Arabic: نادي النجمة الرياضي), commonly known as Nejmeh SC, Nadi Al-Nejma Al-Riyadi or Najma Beirut, is a professional multi-sports club based in the Manara district of Ras Beirut, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Nejmeh is Arabic for star. It is most famous for its association football club, which competes in the Lebanese Premier League, the top division football league in the nation. Nejmeh SC are considered one of the most popular football teams in Lebanon. The club was established in Beirut in 1945, and received its license on 28 April 1947. The club had promoted gradually along the different divisions, and finally reached the first division in 1951. They club play their home games at the Al Manara Stadium. It is primarily supported by the Shiite community and also by the Sunni community
Historically, the club is second only to their cross city rivals Al Ansar and equal to Homenetmen Beirut in the number of Lebanese league titles won. Al Ansar have won 13 titles while Nejmeh and Homenetmen have won seven. Nejmeh are also second to their rivals in amount of Lebanese Cups won over the years. Nejmeh do lead in amount of Elite Cup wins with a total of seven championships. They also won the Lebanese Super Cup five times whereas Al Ansar have won it four times. In Asia, their best performance was becoming runners-up in the 2005 AFC Cup, where they lost to Al-Faisaly Club of Jordan. Other than that, they won an Arab tournament known as the Al-Adha Cup four times. The last time they won was in 1991.
The club was started in 1945, and decided to establish an association football club. The first provisional committee of Nejmeh Club was formed in 1945 and included:
- Anis Radwan (President)
- Yahia Daroub (Vice-President)
- Noureddine Hamedeh (General Secretary)
- Amin Monzer
- Hamzah Daroub
- Salah Sinno
This committee applied for a license at the Lebanese government in 1945, which was issued on 28 April 1947.
The club qualified for the Lebanese First Division in 1951.
The major breakthrough came in 1970 with the rise of the golden team at Nejmeh Club that included the best players in Lebanon. Mohammad Hatoum, Hassan Shatila, Mahmoud Shatila, Habib Kammouneh, Zein Hashem, Jamal El Khatib, Youssef El Ghoul, to mention a few, with the rest of their teammates. This golden team led the way to a decade of glory for Nejmeh.
The period of the 70's was the best in the club history. Nejmeh dominated the Lebanese scene, after becoming known worldwide many famous players played matches with Nejmeh as honour guests like: Pele     and Bebeto    .
In the late 1970s and the 1980s, the Lebanese Civil War prevailed the Lebanese scene. The Lebanese championship was suspended for 12 years (1975–1987). The club won the Lebanese Premier League title in the 1999–2000 and 2008–2009 seasons and earned a place to compete at the 2010 AFC Cup.
The Arab world witnessed the golden era of nejmeh club from the years 1997 till 2004 where they had the longest winning streak in the Arab history with a lot of players who are: Moussa Hojeij, Abbas Ahmed Atwi, Mohammed Ghaddar, Ali Nasseredine, Bilal Najjarin, Khaled Hamieh, Akram Moghrabi, Ahmad Moghrabi, Errol McFarlane, Abbas Shahrour, Bilal Fleifel, Mohammad Kassas, Hussein Dokmak, Faisal Antar, Mohammed Halaweh, Haitham Zein.
Main article is Rafiq El Hariri Stadium
|Former names||Al-Manara Stadium|
|Renovated||June 2003 – March 2004|
|Nejmeh SC (1934 – present)|
The Club stadium is located in Al Manara area, Beirut, Lebanon. The stadium consists of a football field, and spaces that accommodate around 5,000 spectators, together with a VIP seats area that accommodates around 100 guests, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium. The club stadium was under rehabilitation including implanting the field with grass, increasing the seats spaces to allow more spectators, and enhancing the stadium facilities, walls, & fences. The first phase of the process started in June 2003 and was completed in late March 2004.
The stadium field was implanted with natural grass of the highest quality to provide the first team players with the best training conditions in Lebanon.
In this direction, the administration took a wise decision to relocate the youth teams training sessions to a different field in Bir Hassan area to avoid pressure on the newly implanted grass by the large number of players.
The second phase of the rehabilitation process including enhancing the club facilities, walls, & fences are currently underway and shall be completed later in 2004. A tour visit for Sheikh Bahaaedine Hariri was arranged. This rehabilitation process was among the first objectives of the current club administration headed by president Mohammad Fanj and guided by Sheikh Bahaaeddine Hariri who made the visit to the old stadium in 28 March 2003 to witness the conditions of the stadium, and listen to the views, and demands of the team players, staff, & club administration.
The old club stadium first consisted of a sand training field over the land number 704 in Ras Beirut area with no facilities or fences. The club teams used to practice under poor conditions. The former club administrations had worked very hard on enhancing the conditions by first building players facilities & administration offices around the stadium in 1969, the wall followed in 1974. The fact that the old stadium used to host the daily training sessions of all the club teams including around 150 players, as well as many official & friendly matches for most of the football teams in Lebanon didn't allow the implantation of natural grass. The dream become true in year 2004, and the fans can now enjoy the sight of their first team training on a professional field in order to achieve the best results in the local and regional competitions. On Monday, 21 February 2005 the club stadium was named "The Martyr Rafiq Hariri Stadium".
Colours and Kits
Ever since the club's foundation, the traditional and primary colors of Nejmeh are burgundy red and white. The kit has varied over the years. Currently the away kit is a white top with white shorts and white socks. The home kit however is a burgundy-colored top with white socks and white shorts. Both shorts have burgundy stripes on the sides. The away kit has burgundy stripes on the side of the shirt,
Performances and achievements
Nejmeh have won the championship 8 times [Including last season 2013–2014], the FA cup 5 times, the Elite Cup 7 times, and the Super Cup 4 times (Including 2009). In 1982 Nejmeh reached the Arab Champions League final but lost to Iraqi giants Al-Shorta. In 2005, Nejmeh reached the final match of The AFC Cup competition and lost to Al-Faisaly of Jordan [0–1], & [2–3], this was the first time ever any Lebanese Football team reaches the final match of any Asian competition. In 2003 a new administration of the club was elected after more than 30 years under the presidency of Omar Ghandour [1969–2003]. The new president was Mohammad Fanj. In 2005, the administration resigned, and a new election took place and a new administration headed by Mr. Mohammad Amin Daouk was elected.
- AFC Champions League: 1 appearance
- 2002–03: Qualifying West – 1st Round
- Asian Club Championship: 1 appearance
- 1997: Second Round
- AFC Cup: 6 appearances
- 2014: Round 16
- Asian Cup Winners Cup: 3 appearances
- 1973, 1975, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2014
- 1971, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998
- 2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2014
- 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014
- Alimam Moussa Assader Tournament: 3s
- 1995, 1998, 1999
- Aladha Cup: 4
- 1974, 1980, 1987, 1991
- Habib Abishahla Cup: 6
- 1961, 1965, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1974
- Istiqlal Tournament (Independence): 2
- 1973, 1974
- Aalay City Cup: 2
- 1979, 1980
- Tripoli Arabian Tournament: 1
- AFC Best Team: 1
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Nejmeh has had many great notable players, from native footballers to native talents. Mohammed Ghaddar was a product of the Nejmeh Academy and has carried on to be a great international striker and an expatriate Lebanese footballer in Bahrain for Al-Shabab Manama and later in Egypt for Al-Ahly. Errol McFarlane was part of the 23-man squad that travelled with the Trinidad and Tobago national football team to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany whilst playing for Nejmeh. Several European talents have committed themselves to Nejmeh SC before. Among have come from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Boris Lučić), Serbia (Mirko Teodorovic; Dejan Lučić; Milan Bogunovic) and Croatia (Mario Ivanković). Two of the five naturalised Brazil-born players that represented Lebanon at the 2000 Asian Cup played for Nejmeh (Gilberto dos Santos; Tomi Jarmakani). Nejmeh has a history with African players. Currently, three Senegalese footballers are in the current squad (above). Emmanuel Duah, Daniel Nana Yeboah and Daniel Addo are three notable Ghanaian footballers who were in former squads. Nejmeh has had expatriate talent from all continents since the arrival of Mohamed Karanouh (current squad; see above) has sealed a player from every continent (North America and Central America being counted as separate continents in this case).
List of Selected Notable Players
- Players with a star received/have Lebanese nationality.
- Players in bold are current squad members.
- Montague, James (24 October 2007). "In Lebanon, even soccer is tainted by sectarian strife". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- Alami, Mona (1 September 2009). "Religious about football". Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- http://forum.kooora.com/?t=5801520 pictures of the visit and details about Pele's Nejmeh experience in Arabic.
- http://pelethebest.blogspot.com/2014/11/pele-em-hebraico-significa.html?m=1 Set of pictures of Pele with Nejmeh SC in Lebanon
- http://blogbaladi.com/brazilian-football-legend-pele-played-for-lebanese-nejmeh-sc-in-1975/ Picture of Pele with Nejmeh Club prior to the friendly game where he played for the team.
- http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SaO2EyaTSWs video of Pele's visit effect on the Lebanese civil war
- http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/former-brazilian-world-cup-winner-bebeto-wearing-a-t-shirt-news-photo/2554235 Bebeto in the Nejmeh Club kit during the game.
- http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/famous-brazilian-soccer-player-bebeto-gives-the-thumbs-up-news-photo/2548910 Picture of Bebeto in Beirut with details about the visit.