An air of familiarity engulfs the Caf Champions League final.
Record eight-time winners will Al Ahly will clash against archrivals and the five-time champions Zamalek in the 2019/20 final at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday evening (21:00).
Meeting familiar foes is quite common in Africa’s premier club competition, especially for North African teams who have dominated the Caf Champions League over the years.
Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian and Egyptian clubs have made 20 appearances in the previous 15 finals. With the exception of some South African and Congolese sides, the North Africans have reigned supreme in most of those finals with Esperance Tunis being crowned champions three times in the last decade.
However, for the first time in the history of the Caf Champions League, the final will see two Egyptian powerhouses Ahly and Zamalek fight for the Holy Grail of African club football.
The final between the two Egyptians giants will be decided in a single game for the first time since the inaugural Champions League decider back in 1965. Caf introduced the concept of a single final for the competition after last season.
FARPost looks at the previous 10 Caf Champions League champions ahead of the much-anticipated final in Cairo on Friday.
2019 Esperance Tunis (Tunisia)
Esperance were crowned champions in shambolic circumstances. The Tunisian outfit won the 2019 final after Wydad Casablanca abandoned the game in the 55th minute owing to Walid El Karti’s disallowed goal and subsequent VAR controversy.
After an hour of uncertainty, match official Bakary Gassama decided to blow the fulltime whistle, handing a 2-1 victory and the title to Esperance.
2018 Esperance Tunis (Tunisia)
Esperance put in an impressive second-leg performance to beat Al Ahly 3-0 in the final at home and secured a 4-3 aggregate success.
It was a massive comeback by Esperance as they scored three times without reply to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit.
2017 Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)
Wydad Casablanca defeated Al Ahly 2-1 on aggregate in the final of the 53rd Caf Champions League. It was the Moroccan club’s first Champions League title in 25 years.
2016 Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
Sundowns became the second South African team after Orlando Pirates to be crowned Caf Champions League champions after they defeated Egypt’s Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate over two legs.
Sundowns showed guts against Zamalek to concede just one goal and lose the second leg of the final 1-0.
2015 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo won the Caf Champions League for a fifth time after a 2-0 victory over Algeria’s USM Alger in the second leg of the final.
The victory gave Mazembe a 4-1 triumph on aggregate after the Congolese side had won 2-1 in the first leg.
2014 Es Setif (Algeria)
Algerian heavyweights ES Setif won the African Champions League title for the second time in their history after a 26-year wait against As Vita.
Setif walked away with the title six years ago, beating Vita on the away goals rule after the final finished 3-3 on aggregate over two legs.
2013 Al Ahly (Egypt)
Egyptian giants Al Ahly are the most successful side in the history of the Caf Champions League with eight titles.
The Red Devils beat Orlando Pirates 3-1 on aggregate in the 2013 Caf Champions League final. In the second leg, Ahly won 2-0 after drawing 1-1 in the first leg.
2012 Al Ahly (Egypt)
Al Ahly defied the odds to win the 2012 Caf Champions League as they edged Esperance 2-1 for a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Esperance were deemed favourites to retain the title after holding Al Ahly to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, but they were outplayed by the ruthless Cairo giants in the return leg.
2011 Esperance Tunis (Tunisa)
Esperance clinched the 2011 Champions League after a 1-0 win over Wydad Casablanca in the second leg of the final.
They clinched the title 1-0 on aggregate following a goalless draw in the first leg.
2010 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
It was TP Mazembe’s fourth Caf Champions League title. The Congolese giants drew 1-1 with Tunisia’s Esperance in the second leg of the final but their 5-0 victory in the first match secured them a 6-1 aggregate victory over two legs.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi