Al-Zawraa SC

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Al-Zawraa Sports Club (Arabic: نادي الزوراء الرياضي) is an Iraqi professional sports club based in Utayfia, Karkh District (near Tigris River), Baghdad. Their football team competes in the Iraq Stars League, the top-flight of Iraqi football. Al-Zawraa have won the most major honours of any club in Iraq, having won 14 league titles, 16 Iraq FA Cups and 5 Iraqi Super Cups—all record totals.

Full nameAl-Zawraa Sports Club
Nickname(s)Al-Nawaris (The Gulls)
Al-Zaeem (The Leader)
Founded29 June 1969; 54 years ago (1969-06-29) as Al-Muwasalat
GroundAl-Zawraa Stadium[1]
PresidentFalah Hassan
ManagerEssam Hamad
LeagueIraq Stars League
2022–23Iraqi Premier League, 3rd of 20
WebsiteClub website

Al-Zawraa won the Umm al-Ma'arik Championship or Baghdad Championship a joint-record three times. Al-Zawraa have won the domestic double a record eight times and became only the second Iraqi team to win the domestic quadruple in the 1999–2000 season. In 2022, Al-Zawraa opened the new all-seater Al-Zawraa Stadium which replaced the club's old ground at the same site.

Al-Zawraa finished fourth at the 1996–97 Asian Club Championship and were runners-up of the 1999–2000 Asian Cup Winners' Cup. Al-Zawraa have competed in the AFC Champions League group stage three times and have reached the knockout rounds of the AFC Cup three times. The team's home colour is white, thus they are nicknamed "Al-Nawaris" (lit.'The Gulls').

History edit

Foundation edit

Al-Zawraa were founded on 29 June 1969 as Al-Muwasalat, which means 'Transportation'. Al-Muwasalat participated in the Iraq Central FA Fourth Division in the 1969–70 season. In the 1970–71 season, they won the fourth division and were promoted to the third division. The 1971–72 season saw the establishment of 'Al-Muwasalat B' (the club's B team), with the merger of Al-Bareed B and Al-Matar Al-Madani, which joined the fourth division. In their first season, Al-Muwasalat B won the fourth division under coach Rasheed Radhi and were promoted to the third division, beating Al-Shabab 2–1 on 1 June 1972 at Al-Kashafa Stadium.[citation needed]

On 16 November 1972, the club was renamed to Al-Zawraa. The 1972–73 season saw both Al-Zawraa and Al-Zawraa B competing in the third division, and in the 1973–74 season, Al-Zawraa B won the third division title after a 2–1 win over Indhibat Al-Shorta, securing promotion to the second division. As they were the club's B team, the A and B teams merged back together, and the club was also merged with another club called Saleem Sports Club, to compete in the newly-founded Iraqi National Second Division in the 1974–75 season. Al-Zawraa won the second division title that season under Rasheed Radhi's leadership, being promoted into the Iraqi National League for the first time in their history for the 1975–76 season.[citation needed]

A club named Al-Naqil (meaning 'Transport'), who were attached to the Ministry of Transport, were the runners-up of the 1974–75 Iraqi National League, but the club was dissolved due to a lack of financial backing. Al-Naqil's players joined newly-promoted side Al-Zawraa, who were founded by the Minister of Transport, Adnan Ayoub Sabri Al-Ezzi. This meant that Al-Zawraa became one of the strongest clubs in Iraq from their first season in the top-flight, which was the 1975–76 season, where they managed to win both the league title and the Iraq FA Cup. In the 1976–77 season, Al-Zawraa retained their title, winning the league undefeated, and the 1978–79 season saw Al-Zawraa win the league undefeated again, also winning the Iraq FA Cup to secure their second double.[citation needed]

1980s edit

The 1980s is the only decade in which Al-Zawraa failed to win a league title. However, they managed to win three Iraq FA Cup titles that decade, with victories in the 1980–81, 1981–82 and 1988–89 seasons. Al-Zawraa also won the first ever Arab Cooperation Council Club Championship in 1989,[2] and retained their title in 1990.[3]

1990s edit

They began the 1990s by winning the Iraq FA Cup again and qualifying to the 1990 Arab Club Champions Cup, which was eventually abandoned. The 1990s would go on to become the most successful in Al-Zawraa's history, as they were crowned champions of Iraq for the fourth time in 1990–91 and also won another Iraq FA Cup to secure another double. Al-Zawraa won the first ever edition of the Umm al-Ma'arik Championship in the 1991–92 season and they succeeded in winning another Iraq FA Cup in the 1992–93 season.[citation needed]

The next three seasons were three of the best in Al-Zawraa's history; they won three consecutive doubles in 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96. They also participated in their first ever AFC tournaments, being knocked out in the first round of the 1993–94 Asian Cup Winners' Cup and the second round of the 1995 Asian Club Championship. Al-Zawraa recorded their best participation in the Asian Club Championship in 1996–97 as they reached the semi-finals, eventually finishing fourth. Al-Zawraa won the 1997–98 Iraq FA Cup which saw manager Anwar Jassam win his record fifth FA Cup, and followed that up by winning their first Iraqi Super Cup with a 1–0 win over league champions Al-Shorta. In the 1997–98 Asian Club Championship, Al-Zawraa reached the second round before being knocked out.[citation needed]

Al-Zawraa continued to dominate Iraqi football by winning the double in 1998–99 and securing their first domestic quadruple in 1999–2000 by winning all four domestic trophies. They also reached the final of the 1999–2000 Asian Cup Winners' Cup, the furthest that they have ever reached in a major continental competition, but lost 1–0 to Shimizu S-Pulse of Japan.[citation needed]

2000s edit

As champions, Al-Zawraa qualified for the 2000–01 Asian Club Championship but were knocked out in the first round. Al-Zawraa won their third consecutive league title in 2000–01 and also won the Iraqi Super Cup, while they reached the second round of the 2001–02 Asian Club Championship and lost to Al-Sadd in 2002–03 AFC Champions League qualification.[citation needed]

Al-Zawraa won the Baghdad Championship in the 2003–04 season, becoming joint-record winners of the competition which had changed its name from Umm al-Ma'arik Championship. In the 2003–04 Arab Champions League, Al-Zawraa were knocked out at the round of 16, while they were knocked out at the group stage of the 2005 AFC Champions League. In the 2005–06 season, Al-Zawraa secured their 11th league title by defeating Al-Najaf via a penalty shootout after a goalless draw, while in the 2005–06 Arab Champions League, they were defeated over two legs by MC Algiers in the round of 16. Al-Zawraa also participated in the 2007 AFC Champions League (knocked out in the group stage) and the 2009 AFC Cup (knocked out in the round of 16 by Erbil).[citation needed]

2010s edit

In 2010–11, they returned to the top of Iraqi football by winning their 12th league title after a penalty shootout win over Erbil. This qualified them to the 2012 AFC Cup but they were knocked out in the round of 16. Al-Zawraa won the 2015–16 league title without losing a game in what was their 13th league title. They then won the 2016–17 Iraq FA Cup and 2017 Iraqi Super Cup titles, coupling the latter with the 2017–18 Iraqi Premier League title which saw them extend their national record to 14 league triumphs. After knockout stage and group stage exits in the AFC Cup in 2017 and 2018 respectively, Al-Zawraa returned to the AFC Champions League in 2019,[4] collecting eight points but failing to advance to the next round. The team had two impressive games against Al-Wasl, beating them 5–0 in Karbala and 5–1 at Zabeel Stadium.[citation needed]

2020s edit

Al-Zawraa won the 2018–19 Iraq FA Cup, thus qualifying to the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League in 2020 and 2021 where they were eliminated both times. Al-Zawraa won their fifth Iraqi Super Cup title in 2021.[citation needed]

Stadium edit

Al-Zawraa currently play at Al-Zawraa Stadium, which has a capacity of 15,443. Al-Zawraa play their derby matches against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Shorta and Al-Talaba at Al-Shaab Stadium in order to accommodate more spectators.[citation needed]

Supporters edit

Ultras The Kings is the name of the ultras group of Al-Zawraa fans.[citation needed]

Current squad edit

First-team squad edit

As of 8 February 2024

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
4 MF   IRQ Louai Al-Ani
5 DF   IRQ Maytham Jabbar
6 DF   IRQ Hussam Kadhim
7 FW   IRQ Murad Mohammed
10 FW   IRQ Hasan Abdulkareem
11 MF   IRQ Ridha Mohammed Hachem
12 GK   IRQ Jalal Hassan
13 FW   NGA Cristopher John
15 DF   MTN Hassan Houbeib
16 DF   IRQ Hussein Falah
20 DF   IRQ Ali Kadhim
21 MF   IRQ Hayder Abdulkareem
22 DF   IRQ Ali Akbar
23 MF   IRQ Ali Mohsin
24 GK   IRQ Ali Faisal
25 MF   IRQ Mohammed Ali Abbood
No. Pos. Nation Player
26 MF   IRQ Ali Sadiq
27 DF   IRQ Sajjad Mohammed
28 MF   IRQ Mohammed Ridha Jalil
31 GK   IRQ Mohsin Sami
34 DF   IRQ Mustafa Maan
37 FW   GHA Collins Opare
44 DF   IRQ Mustafa Nadhim
DF   IRQ Abbas Qasim
FW   IRQ Ahmed Jalal
FW   IRQ Alaa Abbas
MF   NGA Amos Dadet
GK   IRQ Hussein Imad
DF   IRQ Kadhim Raad
DF   IRQ Khudhur Ali
FW   IRQ Montader Abdel Amir

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. Pos. Nation Player
FW   IRQ Mustafa Hassan (on loan at Naft Al-Wasat until the end of the 2022–23 season)

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. Pos. Nation Player

Notable players edit

For a list of all Al-Zawraa players, see List of Al-Zawraa players

Retired numbers edit

No. Player Position Debut Last match Notes
8   Ahmed Radhi Forward 1981 1999 Died from COVID-19 in 2020

Rivalries edit

Al-Zawraa's main rivals are Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, with whom they contest the Iraqi El Clasico. They are also rivals with Al-Shorta and Al-Talaba.

Managers edit

The table below shows Al-Zawraa managers of the last 10 years that have won noteworthy titles. For a more detailed and chronological list of Al-Zawraa managers from 1969 onwards with their trophies, see List of Al-Zawraa managers.

Notable managers edit

Name Period Trophies
  Basim Qasim 2015–16 Iraqi Premier League: 2015–16 Winners
  Essam Hamad 2016–17 Iraq FA Cup: 2016–17 Winners
  Ayoub Odisho 2017–19 Iraqi Super Cup: 2017 Winners
Iraqi Premier League: 2017–18 Winners
  Hakim Shaker 2019 Iraq FA Cup: 2018–19 Winners
  Essam Hamad 2021 Iraqi Super Cup: 2021 Winners

Current technical staff edit

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Hossam El Badry  
Assistant manager: TBD
Goalkeeping coach: TBD
Fitness coach: TBD
Administrative director: TBD
Age teams supervisor: TBD
Age teams supervisor: TBD
Reserves coach: TBD
U19 Manager: Abdul Mohsin Mohammed  
U16 Manager: Amir Qasim  
Women's futsal coach: Samir Saad  

Updated to match played August 2023
Source:[citation needed]

Honours edit

National edit

Competition Titles Seasons
Iraq Stars League 14 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2015–16, 2017–18
Iraqi Premier Division League (second tier) 1 1974–75
Iraq FA Cup 16 1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2016–17, 2018–19
Umm al-Ma'arik Championship
/ Baghdad Championship
3s 1991–92, 1999–2000, 2003–04
Iraqi Super Cup 5 1998, 1999, 2000, 2017, 2021
  •   record
  • S shared record

Regional edit

Competition Titles Seasons
Iraq Central FA Third Division 1 1973–74
Iraq Central FA Fourth Division 1 1970–71

Friendly edit

Competition Titles Seasons
Tournament for the Armed Forces 1 2015
Tishreen Tournament 1 2004
Al-Zawraa Championship 1 2004
Al-Quds International Championship 1 2000[5]
Al-Shaab Friendship Tournament 1 1999[6]
Arab Cooperation Council Club Championship 2 1989,[2] 1990[3]
Victory Championship 2 1984, 1986

Statistics edit

In domestic competitions edit

National edit

In international competitions edit

As of 12 December 2023
Competition Record
G W D L Win %
AFC Champions League 44 19 10 15 043.18
Asian Cup Winners' Cup 8 5 1 2 062.50
AFC Cup 32 15 10 7 046.88
Arab Club Champions Cup 16 5 4 7 031.25
Total 100 44 23 33 044.00

Performance in AFC competitions edit

2003: Third qualifying round
2005: Group stage
2007: Group stage
2019: Group stage
2020: Second qualifying round
2021: Second qualifying round
2022: Second qualifying round
1996: Second round
1997: Fourth place
1998: Second round
2001: First round
2002: Second round
1994: First round
2000: Runners-up
2009: Round of 16
2012: Round of 16
2017: Zonal semi-final
2018: Group stage
2023–24: Group stage

Individual honours edit

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

The following players have played in the FIFA Confederations Cup whilst playing for Al-Zawraa:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Al Zawraa SC". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "نتائج العام 1989". Archived from the original on 18 April 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b "نتائج العام 1990". Archived from the original on 17 April 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Iraq hosts AFC Champions League for the first time as Al-Zawraa thrash Al-Wasl on historic night". Arab News. 11 March 2019. Archived from the original on 29 January 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Al-Quds International Championship". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Third Al Sha'ab Friendship Tournament 1999 (Sharjah)". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 16 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2017.

External links edit