Very much the unheralded region in world football, African football often surprises people when they see the passion from the fans and the skill level of players on the pitch. The CAF Champions League has risen to showcase the best clubs in Africa having been a prominent part of the sporting scene since it took on its current format in 1997. Clubs from across the continent have enjoyed success in the tournament although North and West African sides have most often been victorious in the trophy. With all of the different styles on display each year, who has won the most CAF Champions League titles ever?
5. Raja Casablanca (3)
With ties to the Moroccan royal family, it’s not that surprising that Raja Casablanca have enjoyed a fair amount of success in the tournament. One of the best supported sides in Morocco, Raja are often a regular sight in the Champions League regardless of how far they actually go. Their best run in the tournament came at the tail end of last century where they won their first title in 1989 before winning titles both in 1997 and in 1999. Back in the late 90’s, Raja’s fortunes were helped by an influx of young players who would go on to star in Europe such as ex-Premier League stalwarts Talal El Karkouri and Youssouf Safri, making them a force to be dealt with across Africa. Whilst their last finals appearance was in 2002, Raja are still a name known to fans all across the continent and sit fifth on our list of the most CAF Champions League titles.
4. Esperance Tunis (4)
The most successful side in Tunisia, Esperance Tunis have quite often been competing at the forefront of Africa’s top club competition. They have been at the sharp end for most of this century having reached the final on no less than 6 times since 2000. Whist their record in the finals sits at 50%, it’s hard to argue about their recent success having won the trophy 3 times in the past decade including back to back titles in 2018 and 2019. Their team makes up the spine of the Tunisian national team as well with the likes of Moez Ben Cherifia, Mohamed Ben Romdhane and Taha Khenissi all starring for both club and country. With such a consistent presence in the latter stages each and every year, it’s not hard to see why ES Tunis are one of the most successful sides in the competition.
2. Zamalek (5)
One of Egypt’s major footballing powerhouses, it is certainly not surprising to see Zamalek’s success translate onto the continental stage. The Cairo based side are regular participants in a competition that they dominated throughout much of the 80s and 90’s with 4 titles coming their way in just a 12-year period from 1984-1996. Their last triumph was back in 2002 meaning that the Egyptian side have not been quite as powerful in recent years despite a finals appearance in 2016. Some rebuilding though has seen Zamalek once again rise to the top of the continental scene and makes them a top threat for sides to deal with in the coming years ahead.
2. TP Mazembe (5)
DR Congo is not exactly known as one of the traditional powerhouses of African football but that hasn’t stopped TP Mazembe from growing to become one of the best known sides in all of Africa. Based in the city of Lubumbashi, Mazembe have a rich history in the competition both old and new. The Congolese side were involved in the final of the first 4 editions of the cup winning in both 1967 and 1968 before fading away in the 1980s and 1990’s. However, they become a resurgent force once again this century winning three more trophies in 2009,2010 and most recently in 2015. Much of their recent success was thanks to players who have since transitioned nicely to European football with the likes of Mbwana Samatta and Roger Assale now regularly featuring in some of the world’s best leagues. With such success scattered throughout history, it’s more than likely that TP Mazembe will add to their trophy collection once again in the not too distant future.
1. Al Ahly (8)
Egyptian sides have dominated African football for years and none have been as successful as Cairo’s Al Ahly. Ahly have been near dominant throughout the 21st century with their rich form earning them a staggering 10 final appearances since the turn of the century. They have been extremely successful winning 5 of these including back to back victories in 2005-2006 and once again in 2012-2013. Whilst their last two final losses in 2017 and 2018 have momentarily halted their success, Al Ahly could make it 9 trophies should they defeat arch-rivals Zamalek in the 2020 final which will be held in Egypt. By reaching the finals almost every other year, it seems like Al Ahly’s love affair with the Champions League is set to continue for the foreseeable future. They are clear in first place in terms of the most CAF Champions League titles.
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