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Despite his short stint as head coach of Wydad Casablanca, Adil Ramzi has already proved that he has what it takes to lead the Morrocan club to a major title this year.

Wydad Casablanca have one hand on the inaugural Africa Football League (AFL) trophy after beating Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 at home last Sunday.

Should they hung onto the lead, Wydad will become the first club on the continent to win the AFL which comes with a $4m prize money for the champion. The final match will be played this Sunday in Pretoria.

Born on July 14, 1977 in Marrakech, this is Ramzi’s very first experience as a coach on the continent where he had a successful career as a footballer.

He joined Wydad just a few months ago from Jong PSV, a Dutch second division club who signed him after obtaining his UEFA Pro license in 2022. He was also a youth coach and assistant coach of PSV Eindhoven between 2016 and 2019.

Before graduating as a coach, Adil Ramzi had a respectable career as a professional footballer.

Trained at Kawkab Marrakech, he made his debut in the Moroccan league, at only 18 years old. As an attacking midfielder, he played in Botola Pro 1 with his former club for two seasons, scoring 13 goals in 30 matches.

He also won the CAF Cup in 1996 with Kawkab de Marrakech, before flying to Italy the following year to join Udinese.

Ramzi spent only one season in Serie A before moving to the Eredivisie (Netherlands) where he played for several clubs-Willem II Tilburg, PSV Eindhoven, FC Twente, AZ Alkmaar, FC Utrecht and Roda JC.

With PSV, he won the league in 2001 and 2003 and was runner-up in the Dutch Cup in 2004, the year in which he finished as the league’s top assister.

After a four-year detour to the Qatari league where he played successively at Al Wakrah Club (2007-2010) and um Salal SC (2011), he returned to finish his career at Roda JC in 2013.

He played for the Moroccan national team from 1998 to 2007, obtaining 41 caps and 5 goals. He also won the U20 AFCON in 1997 on home soil. It is he who scored the only goal in the final against South Africa. That same year, he played in the Under-20 World Cup in Malaysia, where his team was eliminated in the round of 16 by Ireland.