Who is, or are the most impactful teams in Africa or Ghana (Part 2)?

By July 29, 2022 Articles

From the onset of professionalization in the late 19th century, football has emerged as a highly celebrated sport. it’s often said that it is more than a sport – it’s the world’s game. Grassroots football can help stimulate inclusion, boost integration, and bring hostile communities together under the same roof. Indeed, one single soccer match ended five years of combat in Ivory Coast when a speech from talisman Didier Drogba following a 5-0 victory over rival Madagascar invited all worrying factions to “lay down their weapons and hold elections” for they [Ivorians] can “coexist and play together with a shared aim”

For Africans, football is considered a tradition as more than half the continent’s population would consider themselves fans of football. Despite the ethnic enormity and diversity, it remains a major pastime for young boys whether in the street of Kumasi or on their path to a brighter future in social academies like Right to Dream Africa. The passion for the beautiful game is universal

In Ghana, soccer – what Dr. Kwame Nkrumah saw as a unifying tool in achieving his goal of a United African State, has also become an intrinsic part of nationalism, a lifestyle, and above all, a viral motivation to push up the development of socio-economic activities. Popular sports events and platforms are being used to secure revenue for government missions, amplify political messages, and forge social cohesion among ordinary Ghanaians.

These shackles of Soccerdom on the African continent have produced football clubs viewed widely as another national symbol. Teams and Associations Football continue to form part of the sentimental heritage of cities and counties, which continue to arouse passion and Pan-Africanism. But well beyond the professional game, the parallels between finance, football clubs, and the economy are clear: Reliable social, sporting, and financial institutions consistently competing at the highest level.

Given the social and collective relevance of soccer, fans of African football are often glued to the games when enjoying the excellent display of skill and strategy. With so many leagues, which teams captivate and motivate their fans the more? And which are the most influential?

Below are the most impactful clubs on the African continent.

1. Al Ahly – Egypt

We’re certainly used to powerful clubs ruling soccer across Europe – it’s not exactly a new concept. In Africa, the likes of Al Ahly, with a record of 42 national league titles, including eight in a row beginning with the 2004–05 season, 37 national cup titles, 11 national super cup titles, and a market value of 31.85 million euros as of the 2021/2022 football season, have over time established a similar mania. Nicknamed the “Red Devils” for their red jerseys, the club which has never been relegated to the Egyptian Second Division in its more than a century-long existence is only behind Spanish Legend, Real Madrid in football history when it comes to officially recognized major titles.

With their 33 million followers across social media platforms making them the most-followed African professional soccer club, the giants of Egypt have not only written their records nationally.

In the regional race for trophies, the club holds a record 23 continental titles: 10 CAF Champions League titles, 8 CAF Super Cups, 4 African Cup Winners’ Cups, and a CAF Confederation Cup.

Even the Asian continent is witness to the characteristically lyrical “devil” in the red devils of Egypt: one Afro-Asian Club Championship, one Arab Club Champions Cup, one Arab Cup Winners’ Cup, and a record two Arab Super Cups all count to their credits.  Internationally, they have been able to secure three bronze medals in the FIFA Club World Cup and were voted by CAF as the African club of the 20th century.

2. Zamalek SC – Egypt

Only the top-notch teams manage to make a mark in professional tournaments across Africa. Having won the Sultan Hussein Cup in 1921 and 1922, the Egypt Cup in 1922; and the Cairo League in 1922–23, Zamalek SC (originally Qasr el-Nil; ‘Palace of the Nile’), founded in 1911 by Belgian lawyer George Merzbach, became a formidable force to reckon with when it comes to Egyptian Football. Excitement and hope that swept through the club in its early years, and in the forthcoming years, secure it many accolades:  13 Egyptian champion titles, 28 Egyptian cup titles, 5 CAF Champions League titles, 4 Egyptian Super Cup titles, 2 Afro-Asian Cup titles, 4 CAF Super Cups titles, 1 African Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 CAF Confederation Cup titles.

If you’re a fan of dramatic title races, then this makes the club the second most rewarding in Egypt and Africa. For social scientists like Abraham Maslow, the focus is on the transmission of values ​​such as teamwork, punctuality, respect for humanity, and dealing with frustration, all of which have been at the heart of Zamelek FC.

What’s more interesting is the fact that the club has played in every season of the Egyptian Premier League without being relegated to the Second Division even a single time. Today, Zamalek White Knights are based in Meet Okba, Giza, and valued at an estimated $18,000,000.

  • TP Mazembe – DR Congo

A bit of a surprise name, but DR Congo’s Tout Puissant Mazembe made some real impact after it went undefeated in winning its first league title in 1966; hence the qualifier Tout Puissant; “Almighty”. Both domestically and internationally, the Congolese football club founded in 1939 continued its soccer campaign after independence (30 June 1960) in scintillating form, winning the African Cup of Champions consecutively in 1967 and 1968.  The likes of Ndaye Mulamba, Mwepu Ilunga Joseph, and Mbo Mpenza are all incredible talents that have wowed the Congolese audience with their exceptional creativity.

With 26 titles at the national level and 11 at the international level since 1966, it is fair to say that TP Mazembe is equally an African football giant and the most successful club in the DRC. The Ravens can boast of 19 league titles, 5 CAF Champions League titles, 2 CAF Confederation Cup titles, and 3 CAF Super Cup titles, including the African Cup Winner’s Cup title in the year 1980. Their biggest success came after winning the 2010 CAF Champions League to secure a ticket for the FIFA Club World Cup where they became the first African side to contest the final of the Cup, though eventually losing by 3–0 to Italy’s Internazionale.

On the economic front, The Banque Commerciale Du Congo (Congo Commercial Bank) and Tout Puissant Mazembe are part of the same team: the team of economic and societal players seeking excellence, the most notable of which is the USD 258.5 million in 2011 towards financing the economy. The club has also been very instrumental in using football as a therapeutic means of combatting trauma due to violence and as a tool to unite a diverse group of individuals in the war-torn Eastern part of the country.

Most importantly, TP Mazembe runs the most developed center for Congolese Football as part of its long-term development strategy, the Katumbi Football Academy, which gives young people the opportunity to build a better life out of poverty.

4. Right to Dream Africa

Right to Dream is a Ghanaian football academy and owner of Danish football club FC Nordsjaelland working to transform lives that could change the future of soccer not just in Africa but across the globe. With the rise in popularity of football in the West African nation, Tom Vernon – onetime Manchester United’s head scout in Africa – founded the academy to help rich and gifted children whom he believed only needed orientation and professional instruction to develop their physical, technical, and tactical soccer abilities further. It however owns

The story of the academy started with just a few boys in Tom’s house in Accra whilst he was coaching Accra Great Olympics, Ghana’s third-biggest club. Through the promotion of three core foundations: football, education, and character on a dust pitch in Accra, the foundation is shaping better ways to recognize and nurture emerging talents.

According to its official website, Right to Dream Academy is “sharing a model to inspire lasting change in the sports industry” via educational programs which drill players on the importance of giving back and finding a purpose beyond being a soccer player. They also train female footballers to develop their talents and pursue a football career, the very first in the African continent.

The Right to Dream U15s are one-time title holders of the Marveld and TopC-RKMSV Tournaments in the Netherlands. The academy also won the Gothia Cup in 2014 and 2015, becoming the first team to win the Gothia Tipselit Trophy in two successive years. Most celebrated is their victory in the African championship which has given it the right to represent Africa each year since the 2008 edition.

Football is the biggest sport in the world—and with it’s social impact, long may it continue.

That’s our list of impactful teams in Africa. If you feel any different as to the list, let us know. Check our our podcast to listen to part 1, and what maybe a part 3.

As with our podcast – like, comment, share and subscribe/follow. We’ll posting as usual vía social media keeping up with the stories as they unfold in the coming weeks. As always if you have any questions or queries. Email us at teamghanaeu@gmail.com or tweet or DM us at @teamghanaeu on IG or Twitter.

Written by James Orien

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