Al-Zawraa SC

Al-Zawraa Sports Club (Arabic: نادي الزوراء الرياضي) is an Iraqi sports club based in Utayfia, Karkh District (near Tigris River), Baghdad. Their football team compete in the Iraqi Premier League, the top-flight of Iraqi football. Al-Zawraa are the most decorated club in Iraq having won 14 league titles and 16 Iraq FA Cup titles, both national records.

Al-Zawraa SC
Al-Zawraa Club Logo.png
Full nameAl-Zawraa Sports Club
Nickname(s)Al-Nawaris (The Gulls)
Founded29 June 1969; 52 years ago (1969-06-29), as Al-Muwasalat
GroundAl-Zawraa Stadium[1]
Capacity15,443
OwnerMinistry of Transport
PresidentFalah Hassan
ManagerAyoub Odisho
LeagueIraqi Premier League
2020–21Iraqi Premier League, 2nd of 20
Current season

Al-Zawraa won their most recent trophy in 2021 by claiming a record fifth Iraqi Super Cup trophy. They also hold the joint-record for the most Iraqi Elite Cups with three, and they are one of only two teams to have won all four of the aforementioned trophies in the same season (the 1999–2000 season). Al-Zawraa hold the joint-record for the most consecutive league matches undefeated in Iraq (39).

Al-Zawraa finished fourth at the 1996–97 Asian Club Championship and were runners-up of the 1999–2000 Asian Cup Winners' Cup where they lost the final to Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse. 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, as well as reaching the round of 16 at the Arab Club Champions Cup twice. The team's home colour is white, thus the nickname Al-Nawaris, which means The Gulls.

HistoryEdit

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) by the merging of Al-Bareed B and Al-Matar Al-Madani, and they 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. 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, 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 competed in the newly founded Iraqi 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.

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.

The 1980s is the only full 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, and began the 1990s by retained that title as well as 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 Iraqi Elite Cup in 1991 and they succeeded in winning another Iraq FA Cup in the 1992–93 season.

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.

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. 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.

Al-Zawraa won the Iraqi Elite Cup for the third and final time in 2003, becoming joint-record winners of the competition. 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).

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,[2] 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. 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.

StadiumEdit

Al-Zawraa currently play at Al-Zawraa Stadium, which has a capacity of 15,433. 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.

SupportersEdit

Ultras The Kings is the name of the ultras group of Al-Zawraa fans. The group was founded in response to the foundations and successes of the Ultras Green Harp (Al-Shorta) and Ultras Blue Hawks (Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya) groups. The ultras group use flares, banners and flags in order to create a good atmosphere during matches.

PlayersEdit

First-team squadEdit

As of 4 February 2022

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   IRQ Mohsen Sami
2 DF   IRQ Ahmed Arkan
3 DF   IRQ Ahmed Maknzi
4 DF   ALG Oussama Boultouak
6 DF   IRQ Hussam Kadhim
7 MF   IRQ Ahmad Fadhel
9 MF   IRQ Mazin Fayyadh
10 MF   IRQ Mohammed Saleh
11 MF   IRQ Ahmed Sartip
12 GK   IRQ Jalal Hassan
14 DF   IRQ Najm Shwan
15 DF   MTN Hassan Houbeib
16 MF   SYR Zaher Midani
17 DF   IRQ Alaa Mhawi
19 MF   IRQ Mahdi Kamel
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 GK   IRQ Alaa Gatea
21 DF   IRQ Haider Ahmad
22 DF   IRQ Ali Mohammeed
23 MF   IRQ Moyad Abda
24 MF   IRQ Mohammed Ridha Jalil
25 FW   IRQ Ziyad Ahmed
26 MF   IRQ Ali Sadiq
27 DF   IRQ Sajad Hussein
29 DF   IRQ Abbas Qasim
31 GK   IRQ Ali Yasin
35 MF   IRQ Zain Alabdeen
55 MF   IRQ Saad Abdul-Amir
99 FW   ALG Lahouari Touil

Out on loanEdit

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 playersEdit

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

Retired numbersEdit

No. Player Position Debut Last match Notes
5   Ali Hadi Defender 1988 1994 Died from COVID-19 in 2020
8   Ahmed Radhi Forward 1981 1999 Died from COVID-19 in 2020
13   Abbas Rahim Midfielder 2000 2006 Died in a car accident in 2012

RivalriesEdit

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.

ManagersEdit

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 managersEdit

Name Period Trophies
  Radhi Shenaishil 2010–11 Iraqi Premier League: 2010–11 Winners
  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 Premier League: 2017–18 Winners
  Hakim Shaker 2019 Iraq FA Cup: 2018–19 Winners
  Essam Hamad 2021 Iraqi Super Cup: 2021 Winners

Current technical staffEdit

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Ayoub Odisho  
Assistant manager: Ali Rehema  
Assistant manager: Vacant  
Goalkeeping coach: Emad Hashim  
Fitness coach: Ismail Saleem  
Administrative director: Abdul Rahman Rashid  
Age teams supervisor: Raed Khalil  
Age teams supervisor: Abdul Amir Naji  
Reserves coach: Khalid Ghani  
U19 Manager: Abdul Mohsin Mohammed  
U16 Manager: Amir Qasim  
Women's futsal coach: Samir Saad  

Updated to match played February 2022
Source:[citation needed]

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

Type Competition Titles Winning years Runners-up
National Iraqi Premier 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 1977–78, 1979–80, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1996–97, 2007–08, 2020–21
Iraq Division One 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 1987–88, 2015–16, 2020–21
Iraqi Elite Cup 3s 1991, 1999, 2003 1996, 2000
Iraqi Super Cup 5 1998, 1999, 2000, 2017, 2021 1997, 2001, 2019
Regional Iraq Central FA Third Division 1 1973–74
Iraq Central FA Fourth Division 1 1970–71

InternationalEdit

Competition Titles Winning years Runners-up Third place Fourth place
AFC Champions League 0 1996–97
Asian Cup Winners' Cup 0 1999–2000
  •   record
  • S shared record

FriendlyEdit

  • Arab Cooperation Council Championship
  • Victory Championship
    • Winners (2): 1984, 1986
  • Tournament for the Armed Forces
  • Tishreen Tournament
    • Winners (1): 2004
  • Al-Zawraa Championship
    • Winners (1): 2004
  • Jerusalem International Championship
    • Winners (1): 2000[5]
  • Al-Shaab Friendship Tournament
    • Winners (1): 1999[6]

StatisticsEdit

In domestic competitionsEdit

NationalEdit

Year League Iraq Cup Super Cup Elite Cup
1974–75 Promoted (Div. 1) not held Started in
1986
Started in
1991
1975–76 Winner Winner
1976–77 Winner not held
1977–78 Runner-up Quarter-final
1978–79 Winner Winner
1979–80 Runner-up Semi-final
1980–81 Seventh place Winner
1981–82 Fifth place Winner
1982–83 Seventh place Quarter-final
1983–84 Fifth place -
1984–85 not finished not finished
1985–86 Ninth place not held Did not qualify
1986–87 Seventh place - not held
1987–88 Fifth place Runner-up not held
1988–89 Fourth place Winner not held
1989–90 Fourth place Winner not held
1990–91 Winner Winner not held
1991–92 Runner-up Second round not held Winner
1992–93 Runner-up Winner not held Third place
1993–94 Winner Winner not held Third place
1994–95 Winner Winner not held Third place
1995–96 Winner Winner not held Third place
1996–97 Runner-up Semi-final Runner-up Runner-up
1997–98 Third place Winner Winner Third place
1998–99 Winner Winner not held Group stage
1999–2000 Winner Winner Winner Winner
2000–01 Winner not held Winner Runner-up
2001–02 Fourth place Quarter-final Runner-up Group stage
2002–03 not finished Round of 32 Did not qualify Third place
2003–04 not finished not held not held Winner
2004–05 Fourth place not held not held Abolished in
2004
2005–06 Winner not held not held
2006–07 Eighth place not held not held
2007–08 Runner-up not held not held
2008–09 Seventh place not held not held
2009–10 Third place not held not held
2010–11 Winner not held not held
2011–12 Eighth place not held not held
2012–13 Fourth place not finished not held
2013–14 Sixth place not held not held
2014–15 Eighth place not held not held
2015–16 Winner Runner-up not held
2016–17 Fourth place Winner not held
2017–18 Winner not held Winner
2018–19 Third place Winner not held
2019–20 not finished not finished Runner-up
2020–21 Runner-up Runner-up not held
2021–22 TBD TBD Winner

In international competitionsEdit

As of 15 March 2022
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 26 12 8 6 046.15
Arab Club Champions Cup 16 5 4 7 031.25
Total 94 41 21 32 043.62

Performance in AFC competitionsEdit

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

Individual honoursEdit

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Al Zawraa SC". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Iraq hosts AFC Champions League for the first time as Al-Zawraa thrash Al-Wasl on historic night". Arab News. 11 March 2019.
  3. ^ "نتائج العام 1989". niiiis.com.
  4. ^ "نتائج العام 1990". niiiis.com.
  5. ^ "Al-Quds International Championship". www.rsssf.com.
  6. ^ "Third Al Sha'ab Friendship Tournament 1999 (Sharjah)". www.rsssf.com.

External linksEdit