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Can Wydad Casablanca improve Africa's Club World Cup record?

Wydad Casablanca will be the latest African side to test their worth at the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday, a competition that has provided some unexpected successes for teams from the continent in the past.

African champions Wydad will take on Mexican side Pachuca in their quarter final in Abu Dhabi, a team that are the current CONCACAF Champions' Cups holders and will be making their fourth visit to the tournament, the most of any club from their region.

Waiting for the winner in the semi finals are Brazilian side Gremio, with a potential final against Real Madrid on the cards if the Spanish side get past either local UAE side Al-Jazira or Asian champions Urawa Red Diamonds in their semi.

Wydad become the ninth African side to compete at the FIFA Club World Cup since it was first played in 2000, though it only became a regular fixture on the calendar in 2005, with none of their predecessors succeeding in clinching the title.

In this feature, KweséESPN looks back at the performance of the other eight down the years.


Competed: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013

Best finish: Third

Egyptian giants Ahly are Africa's most frequent visitors to the tournament, with varying degrees of success.

They finished last in their first visit in 2005, losing 1-0 Saudi club Al-Ittihad and then 2-1 to Sydney FC from Australia to finish last.

They returned the following year and collected the bronze medal, beating America from Mexico to collect third.

Ahly faced Pachuca in the quarter finals in 2008 but lost on penalties, and were then beaten 1-0 by Australians Adelaide United to finish sixth.

They took fourth position in 2012 after a 1-0 loss to Brazilian side Corinthians in the quarter finals, and then crashed to a 2-0 loss to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande the following year for another disappointing early exit.


Competed: 2009, 2010, 2015

Best finish: Second

Mazembe appeared two years in a row in 2009 and 2010, and grew from their experience.

After a quarter-final exit in their first showing when they lost 2-1 to South Korea's Pohang Steelers, they made it all the way to the final before a 3-0 loss to Rafael Benítez's Inter Milan in Abu Dhabi.

They had earlier defeated Pachuca in the quarter finals, before claiming a major scalp with a 2-0 victory over Brazilian side Internacional in the semis.

Mazembe also competed two years ago but could not rediscover that magic as they lost 3-0 to Japanese side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the quarter finals.


Competed: 2000, 2013

Best finish: Second

Wydad's city neighbours Raja Casablanca were Africa's first competitors in the 2000 event that was played as a one-off in Brazil before being taken over and run by FIFA.

It was then played in a round-robin format with three games guaranteed for teams, but Raja lost them all to home side Corinthians (0-2), Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr (3-4) and Real Madrid (2-3).

They returned in 2013 as the champions of hosts Morocco and they did not disappoint, making it all the way to the final where they were eventual 2-0 losers to Bayern Munich.

They did it the hard way too, beating Auckland City 2-1 in the preliminary fixture, before edging Monterrey by the same scoreline in the quarter finals. They then stunned Brazilians side Atletico Mineiro to reach the decider.


Competed: 2007

Best finish: Fourth

Etoile du Sahel put on a good show a decade ago as they defeated Pachuca 1-0 in their quarter final, before being edged by legendary Argentine club Boca Juniors in the semis.

They went on to play Japanese home side Urawa Red Diamonds, but after a 2-2 draw lost the shoot-out 4-2 to finish fourth.


Competed: 2011

Best finish: Sixth

A disappointing showing for Esperance as they were defeated in the quarter finals by Al-Sadd of the UAE. Victory would have set up a semi final with Barcelona, but instead they lost their fifth-place play-off against Monterrey of Mexico 3-2.


Competed: 2014

Best finish: Fifth

African champions ES Setif lost 1-0 to Auckland City in their quarter final in Morocco, but did claim fifth place after beating Australian side Western Sydney Wanderers 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw.


Competed: 2014

Best finish: Seventh

Moghreb Tétouan earned their place in the competition as the Moroccan champions when the country hosted the tournament three years ago, but could not take their chance as they finished last following defeat in the preliminary round to New Zealand side Auckland City as they went down 4-3 penalties after a 0-0 draw.


Competed: 2016

Best finish: Sixth

The only South African side to compete in the Club World Cup so far, Mamelodi Sundowns disappointed last year.

They were beaten 2-0 in the quarter finals by Japanese side Kashima Antlers, before losing 4-1 to South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the play-off for fifth.


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