When it comes to club football in Africa, there has been clear domination from the Northern part of the continent.
Although years past, some big clubs in the Southern part like Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Enyimba and Horoya from the West with most notably TP Mazembe from the central part of the continent.
The best clubs in Africa has usually been under huge debate. However, the Confederation of African Football created it’s own ranking system to determine the best teams on the continent.
The competition in the continent is quite different from that of Europe, South America and Asia, where the winner is not usually predicted at all times.
Best football clubs in Africa
A ranking of Points is also used to determine the seeding of club competitions like the CAF Confederations Cup and the CAF Champions League.
Top clubs like Al Ahly have dominated the African scene. The Egyptian based teams have raked in over nine titles in total.
Other top sides on the continent include El Zamalek, Raja Casablanca, Wydad Casablanca, Étoile Sportive du Sahel, Enyimba, ES Setif, TP Mazembe, Mamelodi Sundowns, AS Vita Club, etc.
Ranking the best football clubs in Africa Statistically in 2021 using the CAF Club Ranking System
1. Al Ahly
Al Ahly Egypt is considered the most successful team in the history of any continental competition with over nine titles in the process.
The Egyptian side after a sharp slip, made a huge change, signing a top South African coach Pitso Mosimane who guided Mamelodi Sundowns to a CAF Champions League glory in 2016.
Al Ahly has also won the competition back to back between 2012 and 2013. In total, they’ve won over 19 African continental titles including six CAF Super Cups.
CAF had released the best clubs of the 20th Century, which ranked Al Ahly as the most successful club of the century with over 19 titles in the process.
It appears to be that Al Ahly has a spirit to win titles by nature. The club has not failed to go beyond the group stage of any CAF competition in recent years.
A record at the international level, they are also the most successful behind Spanish and European giants Real Madrid with 25 Titles.
Al Ahly stats behind their achievement
Founded in 1907, the club won it’s first title in 1982, before making it a second five years later.
They continued to make a statement in the early 2000s, winning the title in 2001. They also won the competition back to back between 2005 and 2006.
Years Won 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2020
2. Wydad Casablanca
Wydad Casablanca is a Moroccan football that plays in the Botola Pro. Wydad has won over 20 Moroccan Botola Pro titles, three of which came in the previous six years.
Wydad Casablanca has won two CAF Champions League titles in 1992 and 2017, winning the CAF Super Cup in 2018.
The club is also considered as one of the most successful in Africa and the most popular within their home country Morocco.
Wydad’s performance in continental competitions drew lots of recognition internationally.
Wydad is a widely supported Football club within and outside Morocco. Owing to their performance within an outside the country, Wydad now boast of huge following more especially in the Arab region, France, etc.
With over eleven appearances at the continental scene, they won two titles and were Runners up on two occasions excluding two times Runners up in the CAF Super Cup.
3. Esperance Tunis
Esperance Tunis is another successful and popular team in the African continent from Tunisia.
Founded in 1919, the club is the oldest and the biggest in Tunisia.
Domestically, the most successful club with over 30 Tunisian league titles followed by 15 Tunisian FA Cups, making it over 50 domestic titles won since the establishment of the club over 100 years ago.
Best football clubs in Africa
The club got it’s first continental silverware back in 1994, beating Egyptian side El Zamalek in the final.
After a historic feat, it took them another seventeen years before winning another CAF Champions League title in 2011.
After the achievement back in 2011, they went on furth to win the competition back to back between 2018 and 2019.
In 1998, Esperance also won the CAF Cup Winners Cup now called the CAF Confederations Cup.
4. TP Mazembe
One of the best and the biggest Club in the history of DR Congo.
Maybe one of the most successful team in Africa.
The club gained prominence back in 2010, during the FIFA Club World Cup, beating Brazilian side Internacional in the semi-finals through goals from Kabangu and Kaluyituka thus qualifying for the finals which they eventually lost to Inter Milan.
TP Mazembe have won five CAF Champions League titles with two Confederations Cup titles won back to back between 2016 and 2017.
They are also three times winners of the CAF Super Cup.
In total, the club has won 36 national titles, making them the most successful in the history of club football in DR Congo.
During Matchdays pre-Covid-19, Mazembe drew an average home match attendance of over 11,000.
There’s no other to ratings for Mazembe as one of the top clubs in Africa. The club has singlehandedly raised the face of Congolese football.
The achievement of this club also inspired the likes of AS Vita Club, DC Motema Pembe.
In Congo, Mazembe is ranked first, followed by AS Vita Club who has been the only club that has challenged them for the title.
5. El Zamalek
Zamalek is another force in African football, only second to Al Ahly in Egypt. Zamalek or El Zamalek in Arab speaking regions has continued to perform at the highest level when it comes to continental Soccer competitions.
Despite Al Ahly’s stronghold in the country, Zamalek holds the record as the first team to win an Egyptian Cup title.
Behind TP Mazembe and Al Ahly, they’ve also won five CAF Champions League titles, One CAF Confederations Cup with four CAF Super Cup titles.
They are also graded as one of the most successful clubs in Africa alongside Al Ahly, TP Mazembe.
The club has also won twelve Egyptian Premier League titles, 27 Egyptian Cups
Zamalek achieved the feat as the first Egyptian club to qualify for FIFA Club World Cup in 2000.
That year, they qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup in Spain which was eventually cancelled.
Champions League 1984, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2002
Confederations Cup 2018/2019
6. Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns based in Pretoria South Africa is a professional soccer team in the Premier Soccer League and have won the national title for a record ten times.
Arguably, they are regarded as the biggest team in the country with competitions from Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
Sundowns are also the most successful South African football club. In 2016, Pitso Mosimane led them to a CAF Champions League title despite strong competition from teams from the Northern part of the Africa.
During the 2019/2020 Champions League season, the club became the first South African side to remain unbeaten throughout the group stages.
In 2001, they were Runners up. But won the title 15 years after. They also won the CAF Super Cup in 2017.
Qualifying for the FIFA Club World Cup, they got knocked out by Japanese side Kashima Antlers by two unreplied goals.
At the expense of Sundowns defeat, Kashima Antlers got to the finals, which they lost Real Madrid.
7. RS Berkane
Renaissance Sportive de Berkane is a Moroccan football club that plays in the Botola Pro.
The quick rise came as a result of their promotion to the Botola Pro in 2012, making their way up to the group stages of the Confederations Cup.
Making a return to the continent, Renaissance Sportive de Berkane eventually won the Competition in 2020 after two years of a near miss.
The club’s performance in the space of four years has made it a new force in African Football despite its history.
In their history, they’ve only managed two Major trophies, a single Moroccan Cup, CAF Confederations Cup tile in 2020.
8. Étoile Sportive du Sahel
Étoile Sportive du Sahel is a professional soccer club from Tunisia where they are considered as one of the best in the country with over ten Tunisian league titles as well as ten FA Cups.
They won the CAF Confederations twice between 2006 and 2015. Crowned Champions of Africa back in 2007.
In 2020, they were knocked out in the group stages of the Champions League.
Ranking the best clubs in Tunisia, Étoile Sportive du Sahel one of the best followed by CSfaxien.
9. Raja Casablanca
Raja Casablanca is a professional soccer club from Morocco competing in the Botola Pro and is also regarded as one of the greatest soccer clubs on the African continent.
With over twelve Morocco Botola Pro titles, Raja Casablanca also boasts three Champions League titles as well as one Confederations Cup Title, followed closely with two CAF Super Cups.
One of the most popular clubs within and outside Morocco, they also hold the record as the only African club to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final.
FIFA Club World Cup 2013 Performance and Stats from Raja Casablanca
Raja Casablanca started on a good note, beating Oceanian Champions Auckland City 2-1 to advance to the next round.
Reaching the quarter-finals, they eliminated Mexican Champions and CONCACAF Representatives Monterrey after extra time by 2-1.
Getting to the final, German Bundesliga side FC Bayern Munich were too hot for them to handle, loosing at the end to German side.
Raja could have become the first African team to win the FIFA Club World Cup if they had won the tie following their impressive run of form throughout the tournament held in Morocco.
Horoya Athletic Club or Horoya Conakry is a professional soccer club from the West African country Guinea.
The club is regarded as one of the best Guinean Football clubs within and outside the country followed closely by Hafia Football Club.
With 17 Guinea League titles, 8 Cup titles with 5 Guinea Super Cups.
How Horoya got the status as one of the best in Africa – Statistics
CAF Champions League
2000 – First Round
2002 – Preliminary Round
2012 – First Round
2013 – Preliminary Round
2014 – Play-off Round
2016 – First round
2017 – First round
2018 – Quarter-finals
2018–19 – quarter-final
These stats represent how Horoya got to the current position on the list.
See other top teams on the list
11. Hassania Agadir 23
12. As Vita Club 23
13. 1º de (Primera) Agosto 22
14. Al-Hilal 21.5
15. Enyimba 21
16. ZESCO United 21
17. Pyramids 20
18. Al-Masry 19
19. USM Alger 19
20. CS Sfaxien 16
These clubs are the best in the continent as per CAF five year ranking system.
Ranking best clubs of 20th Century in Africa – The CAF 20th Century clubs
- Al Ahly (Egypt) 68
- ES Sahel (Tunisia) 47
- Zamalek (Egypt) 47
- Ashante Kotoko (Ghana) 43 Espérance (Tunisia) 42
- ASEC (Ivory Coast) 40
- Canon de Yaoundé (Cameroon) 36 JS Kabylie (Algeria) 34
- Hearts of Oak (Ghana) 31
- Africa Sports (Ivory Coast) 30
- Raja Casablanca (Morocco) 28 Ismaily (Egypt) 26
- TP Mazembe (Dr Congo) 26
- FAR Rabat (Morocco) 23
- Hafia (Guinea) 20
- Enugu Rangers (Nigeria) 19
- Al-Mokawloon (Egypt) 18
- Shooting Stars (Nigeria) 18
- AS Vita Club (Dr Congo) 18
- Club Africain (Tunisia) 17
- Nkana (Zambia) 17
- WAC Casablanca (Morocco) 17
This article highlights the top best football clubs in Africa Statistically Ranked using the CAF 5-year ranking system.