Espérance Sportive de Tunis

Espérance Sportive de Tunis (French pronunciation: ​[ɛspeʁɑ̃s spɔʁtiv də tynis]; Arabic: الترجي الرياضي التونسي‎), 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 Stade Olympique de Radès, who has a capacity of 60,000 spectators. The club is mostly known for its football team, which is currently playing in the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 and is one of the most popular clubs in Tunisia.

Espérance Sportive de Tunis
Espérance Sportive de Tunis logo.png
Full nameEspérance Sportive de Tunis
Nickname(s)المكشخة (Mkachkha)
الترجي دولة (Taraji Dawla)
الدم و الذهب (Blood and Gold )
الجمعية الشعبية (The Popular Team)
غول إفريقيا (The Beast of Africa)
Short nameEST
Founded15 January 1919; 102 years ago (1919-01-15)
GroundStade Olympique de Radès
ChairmanHamdi Meddeb
Head CoachMoïne Chaâbani
LeagueLigue Professionnelle 1
2020–21Ligue Professionnelle 1, 1st
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Espérance's active sections
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Espérance is the most successful Tunisian club; domestically, they have won 31 Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 titles, 15 Tunisian Cup and 5 Tunisian Super Cup, all of them national records. Espérance won a total of 50 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 four CAF Champions League titles, one CAF Cup title, one CAF Cup Winners' Cup title and one CAF Super Cup title.[1]


Founding and early yearsEdit

The club was founded in Bab Souika which is one of the historic neighbourhoods 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 stands out as a leader club 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 withdraw 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

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.

Espérance Sportive de Tunis, CAF Champions League Champions in 2011

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).


Espérance Sportive de Tunis, CAF Champions League Champions in 2018

Domestic competitionsEdit

Regional competitionsEdit

CAF competitionsEdit

Current teamEdit

As of 26 August 2020

As of Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1:

No Position Player Nation
1 GK Moez Ben Cherifia   Tunisia
2 MF Badreddine Mouelhi   Tunisia
3 FW Basit Abdul Khalid   Ghana
4 DF Mohamed Amine Tougai   Algeria
5 MF Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane   Tunisia
6 DF Mohamed Ali Yacoubi   Tunisia
7 FW Alaeddine Marzouki   Tunisia
8 MF Anice Badri   Tunisia
9 FW Zied Berrima   Tunisia
10 FW Hamdou Elhouni   Libya
11 FW Taha Yassine Khenissi   Tunisia
12 DF Khalil Chemmam (Captain)   Tunisia
13 FW Nassim Ben Khalifa    Switzerland
15 MF Fousseny Coulibaly   Ivory Coast
16 GK Farouk Ben Mustapha   Tunisia
17 FW Abderrahmane Meziane   Algeria
18 MF Raouf Benguit   Algeria
19 GK Mohamed Sedki Debchi   Tunisia
20 DF Mohamed Amine Ben Hamida   Tunisia
21 DF Hamdi Nagguez   Tunisia
22 DF Sameh Derbali   Tunisia
23 DF Ilyes Chetti   Algeria
24 MF Fedi Ben Choug   Tunisia
25 MF Ghaylen Chaaleli   Tunisia
26 DF Houcine Rabii   Tunisia
27 FW Maher Ben Sghaïer   Tunisia
28 MF Mohamed Amine Meskini   Tunisia
30 DF Abdelkader Bedrane   Algeria
31 GK Wassim Karoui   Tunisia
32 MF Raed Fadaa   Tunisia
33 MF Farouk Mimouni   Tunisia
35 FW William Togui   Ivory Coast
40 MF Cedrik Gbo   Ivory Coast



  •   Mohamed Malki (1919–23)
  •   Sliman Ben Ali (1923–25)
  •   Mohamed Zouaoui (1925–26)
  •   Mustapha Kaak (1926–30)
  •   Chedly Zouiten (1930–63)



  1. ^ a b Title won before Tunisian independence


  1. ^ "FIFA Club World Cup 2018 - News - Esperance return to African summit -". Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Esperance rewrite Tunisian football". 30 June 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
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External linksEdit