Al-Najaf

 

Name: Al-Najaf
Nickname: Ghizlan Al-Badiah (meaning The Desert Gazelles in English)
City: Najaf
Year of foundation: 1961
Manager: Hatif Shamran (Iraq)

Number of Iraqi Premier League titles: 0
Number of Iraqi FA Cup titles: 0
Number of Iraqi Elite Cup titles: 1 (1997/98)
Number of Iraqi Super Cup titles: 0
Number of major continental titles: 0

Season-by-season record in the Iraqi Premier League:
1987/88: 16th
1988/89: ~5th
1989/90: 8th
1990/91: 7th
1991/92: 6th
1992/93: 13th
1993/94: 4th
1994/95: 3rd
1995/96: 2nd
1996/97: 4th
1997/98: 4th
1998/99: 8th
1999/00: 9th
2000/01: 6th
2001/02: 5th
2002/03: 3rd
2003/04: Season abandoned
2004/05: ~6th
2005/06: 2nd
2006/07: 3rd
2007/08: 5th
2008/09: 2nd
2009/10: ~11th
2010/11: ~11th
2011/12: 9th
2012/13: 11th
2013/14: 15th
2014/15: ~17th
2015/16: ~13th

Al-Najaf used to be one of the biggest clubs in Iraq. They have never been relegated since their first season in the top-flight in 1987/88 and their sole major honour came in 1997 when they demolished Al-Shorta 4-0 in the Umm Al-Ma’arik Cup (now known as Iraqi Elite Cup) final. However, Al-Najaf are known as one of the most unlucky Iraqi teams. Al-Najaf have finished as the Iraqi Premier League runners-up more times than any other team that has not won the league, with three second-place finishes. The 2005/06 and 2008/09 seasons were especially unlucky as Al-Najaf missed out on the league title by way of a penalty shootout in both seasons. Since the 2008/09 season, Al-Najaf have never looked like reaching the heights that they once reached and have become a mid-table club, almost getting relegated in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons.

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