Espérance Sportive de Tunis

Espérance Sportive de Tunis (French pronunciation: ​[ɛspeʁɑ̃s spɔʁtiv də tynis]; Arabic: الترجي الرياضي التونسي, romanizedAttarajī ar-Riyāḍi Attūnisī), also known as ES Tunis and Espérance ST, is a Tunisian sports club based in Bab Souika neighbourhood of Tunis, Tunisia. The club was founded in 1919, thus being the oldest active football club in Tunisia and its traditional colours are red and yellow. They play in Olympic Stadium Hammadi Agerbi. The club is mostly known for its football team, which is currently playing in the Tunisian Professional League 1 and is one of the most popular clubs in Tunisia and is considered one of the continent's giants.[citation needed]

Espérance Sportive de Tunis
Espérance Sportive de Tunis logo.png
Full nameEspérance Sportive de Tunis
Nickname(s) (Mkachkha) المكشخة
, (Blood and Gold) الدم و الذهب
(Bab Souika's Team) فريق باب سويقة
Short nameES Tunis
Founded15 January 1919; 103 years ago (1919-01-15)
GroundOlympic Stadium Hammadi Agerbi
ChairmanTunisia Hamdi Meddeb
Head CoachTunisia Nabil Maâloul
LeagueProfessional League 1
2021–22Professional League 1, 1st
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Espérance's active sections
Football pictogram.svg
Handball pictogram.svg
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Rugby union pictogram.svg
Swimming pictogram.svg
Wrestling pictogram.svg
Boxing pictogram.svg
Judo pictogram.svg

Espérance is the most powerful and successful Tunisian club; domestically, they have won 32 Tunisian Professional League 1 titles, 15 Tunisian Cup and 6 Tunisian Super Cup, all of them national records. Espérance won a total of 53 domestic trophies, more than any other Tunisian football club.

At international level, Espérance has won a total of 13 titles, with 8 organized by Confederation of African Football, including 4 CAF Champions League titles, 1 CAF Cup title, 1 CAF Cup Winners' Cup title, 1 CAF Super Cup title[1] and one Afro-Asian Cup.


Founding and early yearsEdit

The club was founded in Bab Souika which is one of the historic neighborhoods of the capital Tunis by Mohamed Zouaoui and Hédi Kallel as an act of resistance against the French colonization. The club was named 'Espérance' after the name of the coffeehouse where the founders used to meet each other often, the café named Café de L'Espérance (Arabic: مقهى الترجي).They appealed to Louis Montassier, a member of the French administration, to obtain authorization from the colonial authorities, given the regulations of the time which required that all foundations and clubs must be chaired by a Frenchman. EST is officially registered on 15 January 1919.[2]

The first colours were green and white. In 1920, the club recruited a young high school student, Chedly Zouiten, who provided a set of jersey with vertical red and yellow bands, now becoming the club's colors.[3] Zouiten became a member of the club's management committee in 1923 before becoming president in 1931. On 29 June 1930, Habib Bourguiba was part of the club's management committee.

Under Zouiten's tenure, which lasts more than three decades, Espérance was nearly on the verge of abandonment until promotion to the honorary division of the League of Tunisia in 1936.Espérance also manages to reach the final of the Tunisian Cup but Stade Gaulois manages to win. Three years after its failure against the Stade Gaulois, Esperance won the Tunisian Cup (1939) against the Etoile Sportive du Sahel (3–1), his first ever triumph and title. It was in 1955 that Esperance qualified to represent the Tunisian League in the North African championship. In the knockout match, two of the five teams are drawn at random to compete against each other and the winner immediately qualifies for the semi-finals. The Wydad of the Moroccan League and the Espérance Sportive de Tunis faced each other; the meeting took place in Tunis on 15 May 1955, the Tunisian club losing on the score of 2 goals to 1.

Between the start of the Second World War and independence (1956), the squad quality improved, especially since the club received the reinforcement of Algerian players like Abdelaziz Ben Tifour. The French, Italian and Maltese clubs which until then dominated football in Tunisia, had to compete with a "indigenous" club.

Mohamed Zouaoui, the co-founder of Espérance

After the independenceEdit

When independence was proclaimed, Espérance stood out as one of the leading clubs in the country. The titles (champion in 1958 and 1960 and winner of the cup in 1957) but also the style of play, resolutely spectacular and turned towards the offensive, explain the popular enthusiasm. Attacking football was abandoned in 1963 following the passage of Ben Azzedine as coach. The latter opts for very rigorous Italian-style defensive principles.

In 1971, violent riots occurred in Stade El Menzah by Espérance supporters following the final lost against the Club Sportive Sfaxien (historic goal of Abdelwahed Trabelsi in the first minute of the game). The authorities then sanctioned Esperance and withdrew the right to play in the first division. The football section of the Espérance was dissolved while the team was one day away from being crowned as champions.

In 1977, Espérance iconic playmaker Tarak Dhiab won the African Ballon d'Or, the only Tunisian football player to have received the trophy to date.

Slim Chiboub era and national dominance (1989–2004)Edit

Slim Chiboub, son-in-law of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, took charge of the club in 1989. Quickly, he kept one of his promises with a double in 1990–1991, which increased his popularity. In 1993, he won several international and local titles and signed the striker of the Zambian national team, Kenneth Malitoli. Espérance also won its first regional cup, the Arab Club Champions Cup, becoming the first Tunisian team to do so in 1993. The following year, the club won its first CAF Champions League at the expense of defending champion Zamalek. In 1995, EST won the CAF Super Cup as well as the Afro-Asian Cup, becoming the first Tunisian club win all possible continental titles. Espérance Sportive de Tunis won ten Tunisian league titles, including seven successive between 1998 and 2004 and set a new national record.[4]

Espérance Sportive de Tunis was designated by IFFHS as the World Club of the Month for July 2004.

Hamdi Meddeb era and sustained success (2007–present)Edit

Espérance Sportive de Tunis, CAF Champions League Champions in 2011
Espérance Sportive de Tunis, CAF Champions League Champions in 2018

Between 2005 and 2007, Aziz Zouhir led the club which won the double (championship and cup) in 2006. In 2007 Hamdi Meddeb took charge of the club. He focused on boosting Esperance financially and recruiting African and Tunisian talents. This is how, in a few years, Esperance signed many promising players like Michael Eneramo, Harrison Afful, Youssef Msakni, Mejdi Traoui and Yannick N'Djeng.

The 2010–2011 season was one of the most successful in the history of the club when Espérance completed a historical treble by winning the League, National Cup and the African Champions League, under coach Nabil Maâloul. Following this success, a new committee chaired by Hamdi Meddeb was elected on 25 September 2011 for a three-year term. However, Maâloul resigned after a sixth place in the FIFA Club World Cup. However, the team lost the 2012 CAF Champions League final to Al Ahly, and the team star Youssef Msakni was sold to Qatari club Lekhwiya for 23 million Tunisian Dinars.[5]

On 6 August 2017, the club won their fourth Arab title and third Arab club championship by beating the Jordanian side Al Faisaly (3–2) after extra time.[6] After winning its 28 league title on 8 April, Espérance won its third CAF Champions League against Al Ahly despite a defeat (3–1) on the home soil of the eight-time African champions in the first leg. In the second match, the Tunisians won with a score of 3–0, in front of a crowd of 60,000 people, with goals from Saad Bguir and Anice Badri. With the help of the young coach Moïne Chaâbani the club clinched the third Champions League in its history, a few months before its centenary on 15 January 2019.[7] The club ends the 2018–2019 season by being crowned African champion for the fourth time after winning the CAF Champions League against Wydad (1–1 away and 1–0 at home).

Colors and symbolsEdit

Logos throughout historyEdit

Red & YellowEdit

During the first year of its establishment, Esperance played in white and green: a white uniform with green with the elegance of the shirt and hands and black veil. When Dr. Chedly Zouiten came in 1920 and joined the board of directors as a general clerk, he carried with him the uniform of the school team “Football Club of Tunisia,” which he supervised before dissolving and dividing his property by his managers. Chadli Zouiten’s share was the red and yellow sports uniforms, which were better than Esperance’s uniforms. White and green, especially in the winter, to guard against the harsh cold, and he gifted them to Esperance, and since that day they have become their official uniforms and colors.

Popular cultureEdit


Scene from a 2007 Tunis derby at the Radès Stadium

Officially, the club's fans and supporters are framed by the Espérance Sportive de Tunis, but many ultras groups have appeared alongside it that organize the club's income during major interviews. The oldest group of them is the Ultras L'Emkachkhines, which belong to the ultras movement but do not have any legal system as is the case for the European bands' lovers groups. We also find the Supras, which appeared in 2004, the Blood & Gold group appeared in 2005, Zapatista Esperanza in 2007 and Torcida in 2008, and in the same year the Matadors group appeared. In 2009 the Fedayn, Ayounos Algres and Strano Boys group appeared, and in 2010 the Los guerreros group, the Resista Armada group and others... All of these groups share the southern runways behind a guard the goal under the banner of Curva Sud. Among the acronics that some of these groups raise is A.C.A.B, which is also raised by other groups in Europe and even in Tunisia. The elderly Ultras made many incomes and carcasses and created more than 35 for them at the local level only, without counting the years of repression from 2009 to 2011 when Ultras in Tunisia were prevented from entering.

Ultras L'EmkachkhinesEdit

Ultras L'Emkachkhines, and its symbol (ULE02), is an ultras group established in 2002 by a group of fans of Espérance Sportive de Tunis. Ultras was established in the summer of 2002, specifically on 16/08/2002, and it was the result of the idea of ​​a group of Esperance fans who love the team and were influenced by the activity of long-standing ultras groups in Europe, such as Ultras Romani and Fossa Dei Leoni.

After many consultations and discussions via the Internet, they decided to organize Their first meeting was at the Opera Café in the Cité Ennasr in the Tunisian capital, where it was agreed to establish the group under the name Ultras Giallorosso, but soon the name was changed through a proposal by one of the members to replace the word Galloroso with L'Emkachkhines for the symbolism of this word among the supporters of Esperance and to impart a spirit of belonging and identity More for the group, and the image of the warrior leader Geranimo was chosen as the group's emblem as a symbol of resistance and struggle... Ultras L'Emkachkhines had the first match and the initiation of creativity in the Esperance match against the Egyptian Zamalek in 2002.

Zapatista EsperanzaEdit

Zapatista Esperanza, the ultras group that supports Espérance Sportive de Tunis, was founded in 2007 and its symbol is (ZE07) and with its word (siamo solo noi).

The name comes from the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) is an armed revolutionary group from the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico. The movement consists mainly of the indigenous people of the region. The movement takes the name Emiliano Zapata - one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.


Tragedy of 13 June 1971Edit

The tragedy of 13 June 1971, when the red and yellow lost the Tunisian Cup final against CS Sfaxien at Stade El Menzah, and from it a spark of a conflict with the security erupted behind several human and material losses to order the Minister of Interior and Sports at that time to dissolve the team until President Habib Bourguiba returned to bring him back to the sports arena.

The events of 8 April 2010Edit

Espérance lived several stations that its sons considered as a struggle, such as the events of 8 April 2010 against the security, which witnessed several wounded and arrested as a result of unprecedented clashes with the security in a famous match in which the lights of El Menzah stadium went out in a match between Espérance and CS Hammam-Lif that ended in a 3–3 draw.



Stade Hammadi AgrebiEdit

Stade Olympique Hamadi Agrebi, opened as Stade 7 November, is a multi-purpose stadium in Radès, Tunis, Tunisia about 10 kilometers south-east of downtown Tunis, in the center of the Olympic City. It is currently used mostly for football matches and it also has facilities for athletics. The stadium has a capacity of up to 60,000 spectators and was built in 2001 for the 2001 Mediterranean Games. The stadium and is considered to be one of the best stadiums in Africa.

The exterior of Radès stadium

It was inaugurated in July 2001 for the final of the Tunisian Cup between CS Hammam-Lif and Étoile du Sahel (1–0).

Stade El MenzahEdit

Stade El Menzah is a multi-purpose stadium, located in the north of Tunis, Tunisia.

El Menzah Stadium

It is built to host the 1967 Mediterranean Games at the same time as the Olympic swimming pool and gymnasium. Since then, it is an integral part of Tunisia's main sports complex. Tunisia's three major football teams, Espérance de Tunis, Club Africain and Stade Tunisien played their games there.

The stadium was completely renovated for the 1994 African Cup of Nations. It has a capacity of 45,000 seats.[8] The VIP section consists of a grandstand and 2 salons that can accommodate 300 people in a "cocktail" configuration. The stadium hosted the matches of Tunisia national football team until the inauguration of the Stade 7 November in the south of Tunis in 2001.


Official honorsEdit

Type Competition Titles Winning Seasons
Domestic Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 32 1941–42, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1969–70, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21, 2021–22
Tunisian Cup 15 1938–39, 1956–57, 1963–64, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2015–16
Tunisian Super Cup 6 1960, 1993, 2001, 2019, 2020, 2021
Continental CAF Champions League 4 1994, 2011, 2018, 2019
African Cup Winners' Cup 1 1998
CAF Cup 1 1997
CAF Super Cup 1 1995
Regional Arab Club Champions Cup 3S 1993, 2009, 2017
Arab Super Cup 1 1996
North African Cup Winners Cup 1 2008
Worldwide Afro-Asian Club Championship 1 1995
  •   record
  • S shared record

Club prizesEdit

Individual AwardsEdit

International participationsEdit

FIFA Club World CupEdit

Participation Record in the FIFA Club World Cup
Year Position Last opponent
2011 Sixth place   Monterrey
2018 Fifth place   Guadalajara
2019 Fifth place   Al-Sadd

African Cup of Champions Clubs and CAF Champions LeagueEdit

Participation Record in the African Cup of Champions Clubs and CAF Champions League
Year Final position / round Last opponent
1971 Second round   Ismaily
1986 Quarter-Finals   Africa Sports
1989 Second round   MC Oran
1990 Quarter-Finals   Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1994 Winners   Zamalek
1995 Quarter-Finals   Ismaily
1999 Runners–up   Raja Casablanca
2000 Runners–up   Hearts of Oak
2001 Semi-finals   Al Ahly
2002 Group stage   Zamalek
  ASEC Mimosas
  Costa do Sol
2003 Semi-finals   Ismaily
2004 Semi-finals   Enyimba
2005 Group stage   Étoile du Sahel
  ASEC Mimosas
2007 Group stage   Étoile du Sahel
  Al Hilal
  ASEC Mimosas
2010 Runners–up   TP Mazembe
2011 Winners   Wydad AC
2012 Runners–up   Al Ahly
2013 Semi-finals   Orlando Pirates
2014 Group stage   CS Sfaxien
  ES Sétif
  Al Ahly Benghazi
2015 Second round   Al Merrikh
2017 Quarter-finals   Al Ahly
2018 Winners   Al Ahly
2019 Winners   Wydad AC
2020 Quarter-finals   Zamalek
2021 Semi-finals   Al Ahly
2022 Quarter-finals   ES Sétif

CAF Confederation CupEdit

Participation Record in the CAF Confederation Cup
Year Position Last opponent
2006 Group stage   Étoile du Sahel
  Saint-Éloi Lupopo
2008 Play-off round   Étoile du Sahel
2015 Group stage   Al Ahly
  Étoile du Sahel
  Stade Malien
2016 Play-off round   MO Béjaïa

CAF CupEdit

Participation Record in the CAF Cup
Year Position Last opponent
1997 Winners   Petro de Luanda

African Cup Winners' CupEdit

Participation Record in the African Cup Winners' Cup
Year Position Last opponent
1980 Second round   Kadiogo
1981 First round   Zoundourma
1987 Runners–up   Gor Mahia
1998 Winners   1º de Agosto

CAF Super CupEdit

Participation Record in the CAF Super Cup
Year Position Last opponent
1995 Winners   Motema Pembe
1999 Runners–up   ASEC Mimosas
2012 Runners–up   Maghreb de Fès
2019 Runners–up   Raja Casablanca
2020 Runners–up   Zamalek

Afro-Asian Club ChampionshipEdit

Participation Record in the Afro-Asian Club Championship
Year Position Last opponent
1995 Winners   Thai Farmers Bank


Rival clubsEdit






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   TUN Mohamed Sedki Debchi
2 DF   TUN Mohamed Ben Ali
3 DF   TUN Ghassen Mahersi
4 DF   ALG Mohamed Amine Tougai
5 MF   TUN Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane
6 DF   TUN Mohamed Ali Yacoubi
7 FW   JOR Sharara
8 FW   TUN Anice Badri
9 FW   ALG Riad Benayad
10 FW   LBY Hamdou Elhouni
11 MF   MAR Sabir Bougrine
12 GK   TUN Moez Ben Cherifia (captain)
13 MF   TUN Mootez Zaddem
14 MF   TUN Ghaith Ouahabi
15 MF   CIV Fousseny Coulibaly
17 FW   TUN Zied Berrima
18 MF   TUN Malek Mehri
19 GK   TUN Hamza Ghanmi
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF   TUN Mohamed Amine Ben Hamida
21 FW   TUN Aziz Abid
22 DF   TUN Hani Amamou
24 DF   TUN Yassine Meriah
25 MF   TUN Ghailene Chaalali
27 FW   TUN Mohamed Ali Ben Hammouda
28 MF   TUN Aziz Fellah
29 DF   TUN Zied Machmoum
30 DF   TUN Houssem Dagdoug
31 MF   TUN Rayen Hamrouni
32 DF   TUN Raed Fedaa
33 FW   TUN Farouk Mimouni
34 DF   TUN Bilel Chabbar
35 DF   TUN Zinedine Sassi
36 MF   TUN Zakaria Ayeb
GK   TUN Wassim Karoui
FW   TUN Rached Arfaoui
MF   CIV Cedrik Gbo



  1. ^ "FIFA Club World Cup 2018 - News - Esperance return to African summit -". Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  2. ^ "L'Esperance Sportive de Tunis est éternelle".
  3. ^ "En Vert et Blanc, l'Espérance de Tunis en 1919". 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Esperance rewrite Tunisian football". 30 June 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Youssef Msakni dans un club qatari pour... 23 millions de dinars !".
  6. ^ "Coupe arabe des clubs : l'Espérance de Tunis sacrée".
  7. ^ "Ligue des champions: l'Espérance Tunis sacrée face à al Ahly". 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Stade Olympique El Menzah". Retrieved 14 April 2022.

External linksEdit