Raja Casablanca

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Radja Club Athletic
Raja Casablanca Logo.png
Full name Raja Club Athletic
Nickname(s) RCA, Lkhadra (The green) , The green eagles, Green Devils, Mondialist RAJA
Founded 20 March 1949[1]
Ground Stade Mohamed V
Casablanca, Morocco
Ground Capacity 67,000
Chairman Mohamed Boudrika
Manager Morocco Mohamed Fakhir
League Botola
2015–16 Botola 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

Raja Club Athletic (RCA) (Arabic: نادي الرجاء الرياضي‎‎; transliterated: nādī ar-Rajāʾ ar-Riyāḍi) is a sports club with section in many different disciplines in Casablanca, Morocco. Raja was founded in 1949 as part of the political struggle against French rule by nationalists who aimed to create a focus for working-class young Moroccans. The club is most well known outside Morocco for its football team.

In Morocco, Raja Casablanca is still regarded as the club of the people. For many years it had a reputation of playing entertaining football without winning many trophies. However Raja has evolved recently into a more professional outfit capable of winning trophies at home and abroad.

Raja Casablanca, who has been crowned domestic champions on eleven occasions, was placed in 2000 third in CAF's ranking of African clubs of the last century, finishing behind the Egyptian teams Al Ahly and Zamalek.[2][3]

Raja Casablanca is the first Moroccan and African club to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. They competed in the first edition that took place in 2000 in Brazil. Raja Casablanca became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World final as the representative of CAF, after TP Mazembe,[4] as well as the host nation's national champions, after Brazilian club Corinthians, and the first under the current seven-club format since 2007 edition, as they defeated Atlético Mineiro at the semi-final of 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.[5][not in citation given]

History[edit]

Beginning[edit]

The club joined the Moroccan league from its foundation by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in 1956. The prohibition of entrusting the presidency to a Moroccan will quickly be circumvented by leaving this chair for six months, Benabadji Haji, a Muslim of Algerian descent and who benefited from this fact of French nationality. The French authorities taken aback by this scheme were forced to accept the accomplished fact.

So in 1949, Raja, composed exclusively of Moroccan players, started its first year in the Division of Honour. It moved to the second division in its first season and reached the first division in 1951 and was therefore the first team to integrate the Moroccan first division after matches dams. Since then, the club has been considered an elite Moroccan football team.

The first coach of the club was Kassimi Kacem and Raja was known to be very successful under his leadership. Along with Boujemaa Kadri, a peerless leader, the two would distinguish themselves by working methodically and colossal administratively and organizationally. This duo would survive all the ups and downs of the club's history and establish the reputation of Raja in many areas.

Club logos[edit]

The color of the logo and the colors of the club's shirts were inspired by the Green color of the star quintet in the Moroccan flag The Old logo of the club has been used for 52 years, since 1949, before being changed in 2001. The new club logo was designed by a private company for logos designing. The new logo included three small stars that indicate the number of cups that the club achieved in the African Champions League (1989, 1997 and 1999). 2011 is known to add the first Golden Star to the club after winning its tenth Moroccan League. After winning the tenth Moroccan League in the club's history in 2011, the club organized a special vote for the fans on the club's official Web site to choose a new logo for the club. The fans voted on three different logos; the winning logo got 10,366 votes, while the one in second place got 9,640 votes, and the third one got 2,153 votes, while the number of voters who did not like any of the suggested logos was 417 voters.

Style[edit]

The eagle, the official mascot of Raja

Since its inception, Raja has always had a reputation of being a team of artists playing enjoyably and having fun. Pere Jego has instilled a collective game, specific, based on short passes, the one-two, the offensive and individual achievement, hence the label Raja lfraja "(Raja of the show). With this system, Raja frightened their opponents and they were able to humiliate the biggest clubs with a spectacular game marked by small bridges as well as combinations of high level without worrying about the score. The team did not win a national title until 1974 with its first cut of the throne and in 1988 with its first victory in the championship followed by a Champions League in 1989, without counting the championship title refused to Raja in the 1959–1960 season.[citation needed]

Their style of play led to Raja gaining the support and encouragement of 40,000 Brazilians at the Morumbi stadium in São Paulo, during its historic performance in the Club World Cup in 2000 in its game against Real Madrid of Vicente Del Bosque.[6] This appearance on the world circuit had attracted the attention of many football experts. Just after the competition, the team received an invitation from the Juventus in Marcello Lippi to play a preparation match at Palermo.

The 1990s[edit]

During this period, the greens won a great amount of national and continental titles. After the Merger with (Olympique de Casablanca) In 1995 The team won the championship six times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, which remains an unbeaten record. Plus, they won a moroccan cup in 1996, and four continental titles (2 CAF Champions League in 1997 and 1999, Afro-Asian Cup in 1998, and CAF Super Cup in 2000).

The kit of the club in the 1990s. It is the most famous in the history of the team.

Appearances on the international circuit[edit]

Raja Casablanca is the only Moroccan club and the first African team to participate in the World Club Cup. They competed in the first edition that took place in 2000 in Brazil. A competition that allowed them to confront some of the great football teams from around the world, such as Real Madrid from Spain and Corinthians from Brazil. Dima raja

1959–1960 season controversy[edit]

The final standings of the 1959–60 season showed that 3 teams were tied for first in terms of total points: Raja Casablanca, AS FAR and KAC Kénitra. Undoubtedly, the best goal difference was that of Raja Casablanca, which should have granted them the win. However, a triangular tournament was imposed and Raja refused to take part in protest against the fact that they did in fact have the better goal difference, and therefore, logically and legally, the title should be awarded to them. Due to their protest, KAC Kenitra was pronounced the winner after their match against FAR Rabat ended with a 1–0 win.

Infrastructure[edit]

Mohamed V Stadium (D'honor)[edit]

About the history of Mohamed V Stadium, it was called the Marcel Cerdan stadium in 1955–56 and the Honnor stadium in 1956–81. It was inaugurated on 6 March 1955 and it knew two renovations in 1981 and 2000, it's the official stadium for the Raja Club Athletic and also for Wydad Club Athletic.

The Mohamed V Stadium is part of a large sports complex in the heart of the city of Casablanca, specifically in upscale neighbourhood of Maarif. It has today a capacity of 67,000 spectators (More than 80,000 in 2000), not counting the North and South turns that have no seats, but where environments are warmer, and it beat in 1997 a record of 110,000 spectators in match of Morocco against Ghana. The south turn or "Magana" (the clock in Moroccan dialect) ended up moving the main groups Raja Casablanca fans. In 2007, the stadium was equipped with a semi-artificial turf which is acceptable under international standards. As well, the seats in the stands, the sanitary facilities and athletics track were all replaced.

Schools and sport facilities[edit]

The school of Raja is among the best schools in Africa, and has always produced great players who have played for Raja as well as the Moroccan national team. Some notable players include Abdelmajid Dolmy, El Mustapha Haddaoui, Abdellatif Beggar, Houmane Jarir, Petchou, Mustapha Moustawdaa, Salaheddine Bassir, Mustapha Chadili, Jamal Sellami, Hicham Aboucherouane, Soufiane Alloudi, Merouane Zemmama, Talal El Karkouri, and Youssef Safri.

Sports facilities available to Raja Casablanca:

  • Raja Oasis Sports Complex: Raja Oasis Sports Centre is where Raja Casablanca trains. It houses the club's training facility which includes three football fields, a gym, a boarding school for the training center, a restaurant group ...[7]
  • Complex Tessema
  • Stage Roches Noires

Supporters[edit]

The southern part of Complexe Mohamed V is fully occupied by supporters (ultras) of the club, it is the famous area called LMAGANA. It distinguishes four sectors of this area of the stadium:

  • The official gallery devoted in part to the leaders and members of the club.
  • The Tribune side, covered with green seats and rostrum.
  • The Virage Sud, blank marked by the presence of a mythical scoreboard.
  • The Bleachers, covered with green seats and free forum.

In 2013, according to a ranking that was done by a football's website the supporters of Raja casablanca are among the best 10 supporters of football in the world by reaching the fourth position. In 2014, after the amazing show of ultras of the club in FIFA Club World Cup when Raja Casablanca had reached the final, they occupy the first place in Africa and the third in the whole world according to an annual ranking by UltrasWorld.

The supporters of Raja Casablanca are distributed in 2 ultras:

  • Ultras Green-Boys 05
  • Ultras Eagles 06

Clashes between the two groups dramatically erupted on March 19, 2016, during the match Raja Casablanca vs Chabab Rif Al Hoceima, leading to the death of two boys and leaving over 50 people badly injured.[8]

Sponsors[edit]

Honours[edit]

Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners: 1987–88, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
Runners-up (5): 1965–66, 1991–92, 1992–93, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2013–14
Winners: 1974, 1977, 1982, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2012
Runners-up (5): 1965, 1968, 1983, 1992, 2013

African competitions[edit]

Winners: 1989, 1997, 1999
Runners-up: 2002
Winner: 2003
Winner: 2000
Runners-up: 1998

Regional Competitions[edit]

Winner: 2015

Arab competitions[edit]

Winner: 2006
Runners-up: 1996
  • Arab Summer Cup: 1
Winner: 2007
  • Abha Cup: 1
Winner: 2004
Runners-up: 2001

Worldwide competitions[edit]

Runners-up: 2013
Group Stage: 2000
  • International Friendship Cup
Winner: 2004[9]
Winner: 1998

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

1989 – Winners
1997 – Winners
1999 – Winners
2002 – Runners-up
2005 – Semi-finals

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 Morocco GK Anas Zniti
2 Morocco MF Hamza Toumi
3 Morocco DF Zakaria El Hachimi
5 Morocco MF Soufiane Gadoum
6 Morocco DF Ayman Sadil
7 Morocco FW Youssef Kaddioui
8 Ivory Coast MF Paul Moussa Bakayoko
9 Morocco FW Mohammed Bouldini
10 Nigeria FW Michel Babatunde
11 Morocco MF Zouhair El Ouassli
12 Morocco GK Mohamed Chennouf
13 Morocco DF Badr Banoun
14 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF Lema Mabidi
15 Morocco MF Ayoub Al Sabiri
16 Morocco DF Mohamed Oulhaj (Captain)
17 Morocco MF Mohamed Messoudi
No. Position Player
18 Morocco FW Abdelilah Hafidi
20 Morocco DF Abdeljalil Jbira
21 Morocco DF Adil Karrouchy
22 Morocco GK Ahmed Boujad
24 Morocco MF Mahmoud Benhalib
25 Morocco FW Omar Boutayeb
26 Morocco DF Anas Soudani
30 Morocco MF Mouhcine Mouhtadi
32 Morocco GK Hicham El Allouch
33 Nigeria FW Christian Osaguona
49 Ghana DF Mohammed-Awal Issah
55 Morocco MF Ahmed Jahouh
77 Morocco MF Soufiane Saadane
93 Morocco MF Abdelkabir El Ouadi
99 Morocco MF Issam Erraki

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
Morocco GK Houssameddine Carbani (at Chabab Houara)
Morocco DF Naoufel Zerhouni (at Youssoufia Berrechid)
Morocco DF Mostafa Belamkadem (at MC Oujda)
Morocco MF Anouar El Ghaouta (at Youssoufia Berrechid)
Morocco MF Omar Arjoune (at Youssoufia Berrechid)
Morocco MF Hamza Boussedra (at Youssoufia Berrechid)
No. Position Player
Morocco MF Hamza Moujahid (at Youssoufia Berrechid)
Morocco FW Nabil Bouizi (at Youssoufia Berrechid)
Morocco Yassine Faqhaoui (at AS Salé)
Morocco Walid Sabbar (at Kawkab Marrakech)
Ghana Mohammed Yakubu (at Union Aït Melloul)

Managers[edit]

Presidents[edit]

  • France Algeria Ben Abadji Hejji (1949–50) (Temporary president)
  • Morocco Boujemaa Kadri (1953–??)
  • Morocco Laachfoubi Lbouaazzaoui
  • Morocco Karim Hajjaj
  • Morocco Mekki Laârej
  • Morocco Mohamed Maâti Bouabid
  • Morocco Abdellatif Semlali
  • Morocco Abdelaziz Lemsioui
  • Morocco Abdelwahed Maâch
  • Morocco Abdellah El Ferdaous (1981–84)
  • Morocco Abdelkader Retnani (1985–89)
  • Morocco Mhamed Aouzal (1990–92)
  • Morocco Abdellah Rhallam (1992–98)
  • Morocco Ahmed Ammor (1998–02)
  • Morocco Abdesslam Hanat (2002–04)
  • Morocco Abdelhamid Souiri (2004–07)
  • Morocco Abdellah Rhallam (2007–10)
  • Morocco Abdesslam Hanat (2010–12)
  • Morocco Mohamed Boudrika (2012)

References[edit]

External links[edit]