Founded on 8 May 1937 by Mohamed Benjelloun and Lahcene Tounsi (who was better known as Father Jego), Wydad Casablanca are something of an institution in Morocco. The only club to be founded by native Moroccans during the French protectorate of 1912 to 1956, it owes its name to one of its founders, Mohamed Benjelloun, who suggested it at a meeting after watching a film of the same name starring the singer Oum Kalthoum. When Benjelloun uttered the word, the inhabitants of a neighbouring house let out some high-pitched cries, which he and his fellow founders interpreted as a good omen. The Moroccan flag provides the inspiration for the club’s red shirts, which symbolise its patriotic roots.
Wydad’s 2016 Moroccan league title win was their first in 14 years. After conquering the domestic scene, they then won the CAF Champions League, earning the right to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017. Their goal now is to impress on the global stage.
Badou Zaki, Aziz Bouderbala, Noureddine Naybet, Rachid Daoudi, Badr Kaddouri, Fabrice Ondama.
Mohamed Ounajem, Achraf Bencharki, Abderrahim Khadrouf, Zouheir Laaroubi, Brahim Nakach, Salaheddine Saidi
Wydad’s Champions League triumph was founded on a solid defence that improved tactically as the knockout phase progressed, conceding just three goals in six matches from the quarter-finals onwards. Beaten 1-0 at Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of their last-eight tie, Wydad won the return by the same scoreline and went through on penalties. A 3-1 victory over USM Alger in the second leg of the semi-finals saw them into the final with something to spare. The Moroccan side let in a third and final goal in a 1-1 draw with Al Ahly in the first leg of the final. At the other end of the pitch, meanwhile, Houcine Ammouta’s men scored six goals in their six knockout matches.
2 - the number of CAF Champions League titles Wydad have now won. The Moroccan side beat Al Hilal of Sudan to win the 1992 final and this year got the better of Egypt’s Al Ahly, who have won the competition a record eight times.