Africa’s Greatest Football Clubs: Tp Mazembe

By Joburg Post

Tout Puissant Mazembe, formerly known as Englebert, is a Congolese football club based in Lubumbashi. It is easily one of the most dominant sides in African football, with 5 Champions League victories to their name. Its nickname is Les corbeaux (the ravens) despite having a crocodile with a ball in its mouth on the team crest. CS Don Bosco serves as a feeder club to the team. Mazembe are among the major sports clubs in DR Congo and one of the most successful football teams in Africa ever. Their home games are played at Stade TP Mazembe situated in the suburb of Kamalondo.

TP Mazembe was founded in 1939 by Benedictine monks of the order of Sanctimonious Saint that directed the Holy Institute Boniface of Élisabethville (Lubumbashi). To add an extra-curricular activity for those who may have wanted to escape the seriousness of priesthood studies, they set up a football team, named Saint Georges FC, after the patron of the Troop. This team affiliated itself directly in the first division of the Royal Federation of the Native Athletic Associations (FRASI for French Fédération Royale des Associations Sportives Indigènes) founded by the Belgian King. In 1944 FC St. Georges was rechristened Saint Paul F.C. In the years that followed, politics began to trifle with the club, which saw the withdrawal of missionaries from the club. The team took the name of F.C. Englebert after its sponsor, a tire brand. The qualifier "Tout Puissant" (Almighty) was added to the club's name after it went undefeated in winning its first league title in 1966.

The Ravens are the most dominant team in their domestic competitions, winning 16 league titles from 1966, including every campaign from 2011 until 2017, bar 2015. The have to their names 8 additional domestic cups to their name. After the independence of Congo in 1960, Englebert restructured itself. In 1966, they won their first ever treble (national Championship, Coupe du Congo and Katanga Cup). In 1967 and 1968, it won the African Cup of Champions, the old version of the CAF Champions League. The team would be finalist four times successively in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970. Mazembe was the first team to successfully defend the African Champions Cup. This feat was finally repeated in 2003 and 2004 by Enyimba. After an 18 sabbatical, the club returned to the African scene thanks to 38-year-old governor Moïse Katumbi Chapwe. In November 2009 the team won the CAF Champions League for the third time against Heartland 2–2 on aggregate, winning on the away goals rule. By winning the CAF Champions League, they qualified for the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup. In their first match in the quarter-finals they lost 2–1 to Pohang Steelers of South Korea. Following a 3–2 defeat to Auckland City in the fifth placed match, they finished the tournament in 6th place. In 2010, they defended their 2010 CAF Champions League title once again, and in December they became the first African side to contest the final of the FIFA Club World Cup after defeating both Pachuca of Mexico 1–0 in the quarter-finals and Internacional of Brazil 2–0 in the semi-finals. In the final on 18 December, they were defeated 3–0 by Internazionale. TP Mazembe secured their fifth title in 2015 after defeating USM Alger of Algeria 4–1 aggregate in the 2015 CAF Champions League Final. 

Famous Players The teams most popular export is Dieumerci Mbokani, who has had spells across several teams in Europe such as Andelecht, Standard Lierge, Monaco and Wolfsburg. He is currently plying his trade in Ukraine at Dynamo Kiev. In their ranks they also have Tresor Mputu, a midfielder-cum-striker who has been the club’s key man for over a decade, having first arrived at the club in 2002. He has been compared to Samuel Eto’o by Legendary coach Claude Leroy. The evergreen Mputu is currently the captain of the DR Congo national team. TP Mazambe have other key men in their books, such as the veteran goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba, and also Rainford Kalaba.


Linafoot: Winners (16): 1966, 1967, 1969, 1976, 1987, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 

Coupe du Congo: Winners (5): 1966, 1967, 1976, 1979, 2000. Super Coupe du Congo: Winners (3): 2013, 2014, 2016. 

African Cup of Champions Clubs / CAF Champions League:
Winners (5): 1967, 1968, 2009, 2010, 2015 

CAF Confederation Cup
Winners (1): 2016

African Cup Winners' Cup:
Winners (1): 1980 

CAF Super Cup: Winners (3): 2010, 2011, 2016     


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