Raja Casablanca

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Raja Casablanca Logo.png
Full nameRaja Club Athletic
نادي الرجاء الرياضي
Nickname(s)Raja Mondial (Raja of the world)
The People's Team
Green Eagles
Green Devils
L'khadra (The green)
L'Khadra l'Wataniya (National Green)
the voice of the Nation
Short nameRaja CA, RCA
Founded20 March 1949; 70 years ago (1949-03-20)
GroundStade Mohamed V
Casablanca, Morocco
Capacity45,000
PresidentJawad Ziyat
Head coachPatrice Carteron
LeagueBotola
2018–192nd
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Raja Club Athletic (Raja CA or RCA) (Arabic: نادي الرجاء الرياضي‎; transliterated: nādī ar-Rajāʾ ar-Riyāḍi) is a sports club with sections in many different disciplines based in Casablanca, Morocco. Founded on March 20, 1949 by Moroccan unions, Raja CA is a club known for the success of its football section. Only team to never have left the elite of the Moroccan championship since its beginning in 1956. The club plays its meetings at Stade Mohammed V since it's inauguration in 1956.

Raja CA is widely considered as the biggest football club in Morocco, and holds the distinction of being the only arab club to reach the final of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup. Raja is also the more titled in the Maghreb in the CAF Champions League. It is also one of the most prestigious clubs on the continent, in 1999, in a ranking established by the FIFA, Raja is ranked 10th club in the world following its performances at the 2000 Mondialito. According to a CAF ranking of the best African clubs of the 20th century, Raja was ranked third in Africa after Zamalek SC and Al Ahly SC, knowing that Raja was created in the middle of this century, also, with 16 trophies won since 2000, Raja CA is also the most successful moroccan club of the 21st century. Nowadays, Raja is the fifth most successful club in Africa with 8 titles in official continental competitions

Raja CA has longstanding rivalries with some clubs, including Wydad AC (the confrontation between the two clubs, the Casablanca derby, is one of the most famous in the world) where the Green Eagles show a historical superiority over his rival in term of victories and goals.

Raja is the most supported club in Morocco, and has been appointed by Marca as the most popular of the continent, it is traditionally considered the club of the people, while Wydad is historically closer to the upper class, Now this obsolete social cleavage has given way to an intense rivalry in football.

The green club is chaired by Jaouad Ziyat since September 13, 2018, succeeding to the provisional committee of Mohamed Aouzal who led Raja for 5 months after the resignation of the controversial Said Hasbane. The French Patrice Carteron is the coach since January 2018.

History[edit]

Beginning[edit]

The club joined the Moroccan league at its foundation by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in 1956. The prohibition of entrusting the presidency to a Moroccan was quickly circumvented by leaving this chair for six months to Benabadji Haji, a Muslim of Algerian descent who benefited from 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.[clarification needed] 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 effectively, 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.

1959–1960 season controversy[edit]

Raja in 1956–1957

The final standings of the 1959 season showed that 3 teams were tied for first in terms of total points: Raja CA, AS FAR and KAC Kénitra. Undoubtedly, the best goal difference was that of Raja, 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.

The 1990s : National and african supremacy[edit]

Raja in 1996

Unlike his two most serious competitors who won titles in the years 1950-1970 and early 1990s for Wydad AC and the 1960s and 1980s for AS FAR, Rajaouis had to wait nearly forty years, 1988 exactly to see themselves champions of Morocco. Between 1996 and 2001, Raja CA became the team to beat that won six league titles successively, a accomplishment that no other team has ever equaled. This glamorous period culminated in 1999 when Raja confirmed its continental supremacy and established itself as the best African team with victories in the CAF Champions League, the African Super Cup and the Afro-Asian Club Championship. Raja is the first Arab and African club to qualify for the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil. Raja is eliminated in the first round after three defeats against Corinthians (0-2), Al Nasr (3-4) and Real Madrid (2-3) 23, match where, despite the defeat, Raja humiliates the european champions and is acclaimed by the Brazilian public after an extraordinary performance of beautiful game with "Raja Style", iconic game style of the Greens. On the national level, in addition to the wins in Botola, Raja obtain the 1996, 2002 and 2005 editions of the Moroccan Throne Cup and, internationally, the club added several other trophies: the Champions League was won in 1997 and 1999, the CAF Cup in 2003, the African Super Cup in 2000, the Afro-Asian Club Championship in 1999.

Appearances on the international circuit[edit]

Team of Raja in 2011 CAF Champions League.

2000 FIFA Club World Cup[edit]

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

2013 FIFA Club World Cup[edit]

Raja Casablanca became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World final as the representative of CAF, after TP Mazembe,[1] as well as the host nation's national champions, after Brazilian club Corinthians, and the first under the current seven-club format since the 2007 edition, as they defeated Auckland City FC then C.F. Monterrey and Atlético Mineiro (3–1) at the semi-final of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.[2]

Style[edit]

The managers José Romão.

Since its inception, Raja has always had a reputation of being a team of artists playing enjoyably and having fun. Pere Jego has installed 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 taste 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.

The appearance on the world circuit had attracted the attention of many football experts. Just after 1997 Champions League, the team received an invitation from Marcello Lippi's Juventus to play a preparation match at Palermo. 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 Vicente Del Bosque's Real Madrid.[3]

Team of Raja Casablanca vs Bayern Munich.

Honours[edit]

International competitions[edit]

Runners-up: 2013
Winner: 1998

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
Winners: 1974, 1977, 1982, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2012, 2017

African competitions[edit]

Runners-up: 2002
Winner: 2018
Winner: 2000, 2019
Runners-up: 1998
Winner: 2003

Regional competitions[edit]

Winner: 2005–06
Runners-up: 1996
Winner: 2015

Friendly competitions[edit]

  • International Friendship Abha Cup: 1
Winner: 2004[4]
Runner-up: 2001
  • Arab Summer Cup: 1
Winner: 2007
  • Ahmed Antifi Tournament: 2
Winner: 2009, 2016
Runner-up: 2010

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]