Raja Club Athletic |
نادي الرجاء الرياضي
Raja Mundial (Raja of the world) |
|Short name||RCA, Raja|
|Founded||20 March 1949|
Stade Mohamed V|
|Head coach||Juan Carlos Garrido|
Raja Club Athletic (RCA) (Arabic: نادي الرجاء الرياضي; transliterated: nādī ar-Rajāʾ ar-Riyāḍi) is a sports club with sections in many different disciplines in Casablanca, Morocco. Raja was founded in 20 March 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. Since 1949, Raja CA has been crowned domestic champions on eleven occasions, and has never been relegated to the Second Division.
On the continental side, Raja has won more CAF trophies than any other Moroccan team. The club has 3 CAF Champions League, 1 CAF Super Cup titles and 1 CAF Cup title. Raja Casablanca placed third in 2000 in CAF's ranking of African clubs of the last century, finishing behind the Egyptian teams Al Ahly and Zamalek. The club was listed as one of the most valuable football clubs in Africa and one of the most widely supported teams in the continent and the first in its country.
Internationally, Raja has also won 1 Afro-Asian Cup title. 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, 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 Atlético Mineiro at the semi-final of 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.
- 1 History
- 2 Style
- 3 Honours
- 4 Performance in CAF competitions
- 5 Presidents
- 6 Managers
- 7 Current squad
- 8 Current technical staff
- 9 Notable players
- 10 Club logos
- 11 Infrastructure
- 12 Supporters
- 13 Rivalries
- 14 Sponsors
- 15 References
- 16 External links
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
The final standings of the 1959 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.
During this period, the greens won many national and continental titles. The team won the championship six times, in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 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).
Appearances on the international circuit
2000 FIFA Club World Cup
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. 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
Raja Casablanca became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World final as the representative of CAF, after TP Mazembe, 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.
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 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.
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. This appearance on the world circuit had attracted the attention of many football experts. Just after the competition, the team received an invitation from Marcello Lippi's Juventus to play a preparation match at Palermo.
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- Moroccan League: 11
- 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, 2017
- CAF Cup: 1
- Winner: 2003
- Winner: 1998
- Winner: 2015
- Ntifi Tournament: 2
- Winner: 2009, 2016
- Runner-up: 2010
- Arab Summer Cup: 1
- Winner: 2007
- International Abha Cup: 1
- Winner: 2004
- Runner-up: 2001
- International Friendship Cup: 1
- Winner: 2004
Performance in CAF competitions
- CAF Champions League: 16 appearances
- 1989 – Winners
- 1990 – Second round
- 1997 – Winners
- 1998 – Quarter-finals
- 1999 – Winners
- 2000 – Second round
- 2001 – Second round
- 2002 – Runners-up
- 2004 – First round
- 2005 – Semi-finals
- 2006 – Second round
- 2010 – First round
- 2011 – First round
- 2012 – Quarter-finals
- 2014 – First round
- 2015 – Second round
CAF ranking of African Clubs titles at the end of 20th century
|Zamalek SC||4 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 1 CAF Cup Winners' Cup, 2 CAF Super Cup, (2 Afro-Asian Club Championship)|
|Al-Ahly SC||2 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 4 CAF Cup Winners' Cups, (1 Afro-Asian Club Championship)|
|Raja Casablanca||3 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 1 CAF Cup, 1 CAF Super Cup, (1 Afro-Asian Club Championship)|
|Espérance de Tunis||1 African Cup of Champions Clubs, 1 CAF Cup Winners' Cup, 1 CAF Cup, 1 CAF Super Cup, (1 Afro-Asian Club Championship)|
|1||1st||Ben Abadji Hejji (Temporary president)||1949||1950|
|2||1st||Moulay Sassi Ben Ahmed El Alaoui Aboudarka||1950||1953|
|4||1st||Laachfoubi El Bouazzaoui||1958||1961|
|7||1st||Mohammed Maâti Bouabid||1970||1972|
|11||1st||Abdellah El Ferdaous||1981||1984|
Pére Jègo : the manager, the men and the legend of Raja
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.