Most prominent achievements of Al Rayyan in 2023-2024 Expo Stars League

Most prominent achievements of Al Rayyan in 2023-2024 Expo Stars League

Alkass Digital

The 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League witnessed challenges and difficulties, and competition between the teams lasted till the final round.

It is certain that the teams will seek to build on their positives and address areas for improvement in order to be better in the new season (2024-2025).

In successive episodes, we review each team’s performance in the 2023-2024 Expo Stars League.


Al Rayyan finished the 2023-2024 Expo Stars League in second place in the standings, only two points behind champions Al Sadd. Had it not been for the unexpected setbacks they suffered in some matches, The Lions could have emerged triumphant.

Of the 22 matches played, Al Rayyan won 15, drew two and lost five to finish with 47 points.

The team scored a total of 50 goals with the third strongest attack, behind Al Sadd and Al Gharafa, and conceded 26 goals to have the second strongest defence, behind Al Sadd.

Al Rayyan registered the same number of victories as Al Sadd (15) and had the least number of draws, on par with Al Ahli. Leonardo Jardim’s men also had the least number of defeats (five), behind Al Sadd (three) and Al Gharafa (four).

Special season

Considering that Al Rayyan occupied ninth place in the 2022-2023 season final standings with 20 points, this season was quite good for them, especially with the many changes witnessed at the technical and player levels.

Jardim takes charge

At the beginning of the season, Al Rayyan signed Portuguese Leonardo Jardim, a big name in coaching who has had notable successes with some clubs.

He has a long and distinguished career with a number of European clubs, such as Portuguese sides Braga and Sporting Lisbon, and Greek club Olympiacos with whom he won the Super Cup and Greek Cup in 2013.

At the Asian level, Jardim continued his achievements by winning the AFC Champions League with Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in 2021 and also won the UAE League title with Shabab Al Ahli.

Strengthening the ranks

The club management supported the team with deals of high-level competence by roping in a number of foreign professionals, namely Brazilian trio of Thiago Mendes, Gabriel Pereira and Roger Guedes, Portuguese Andre Amaro and Spaniard Rodrigo Moreno. They also kept the services of Japanese defender Shogo Taniguchi and Moroccan Sofiane Boufal.

After Boufal was injured, Al Rayyan replaced him with his compatriot Achraf Bencharki, who performed extremely well.

Starting victory over Al Markhiya

Al Rayyan started the season by defeating Al Markhiya 1-0 in the first round, then beat Qatar SC by the same score and overcame a stubborn Al Shamal 4-3 in the third round. They then defeated Al Arabi 1-0 in the fourth round to lead the standings with 12 points.

First stumble

Al Rayyan’s first stumble came in Week 5 when they lost 2-3 to Al Wakrah, but the team compensated for that loss by beating Umm Salal 2-0 before losing against Al Gharafa and Al Duhail in the seventh and eighth round respectively.

In the ninth round, they drew 0-0 with Muaither, before beating Al Ahli 4-0. However, in the Week 11 Qatar Clasico, Al Rayyan lost 0-4 to Al Sadd, but quickly bounced back by defeating Al Markhiya 6-0 in the 12th round.

Three more deals

During the Asian Cup 2023 Qatar break and as part of the team’s plan to strengthen the side in the winter transfer window, Al Rayyan signed three local professionals, namely Ali Qaderi from Al Ahli, and Hazem Shehata and Murad Naji, both from Al Wakrah. They played a number of friendly matches as part of the technical staff’s keenness to prepare the team before the competition returned.

League returns

The league championship returned after the Asian Cup, where Qatar retained the title they won in the UAE in 2019, with Week 14 action, where Al Rayyan defeated Al Shamal 2-1. They then beat Al Arabi 3-2 and Al Wakrah 3-0.

In the 17th round, Al Rayyan were held to a 2-2 draw by Umm Salal before losing 0-3 to Al Gharafa. They made up for it by beating Al Duhail 2-0, Muaither 1-0 and Qatar SC 3-0 (in the postponed match from Week 13).

The rivalry flared up and Al Rayyan were back in contention for the title in the final rounds. In Week 21, they defeated Al Ahli 4-1 and wrapped up their campaign with a 4-0 win over Al Sadd. However, Al Sadd had annexed the title following their win over Al Shamal in Wek 21 at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Guedes the sniper

A number of players excelled for Al Rayyan this season, especially Brazilian sniper Guedes, who scored 19 goals to be third in the scorers’ list behind Al Sadd star Akram Afif (26 goals) and Al Gharafa’s Yacine Brahimi (21 goals). Apart from the scoring act, Guedes gave decisive passes and created scoring opportunities galore.

Moroccan star Bencharki scored 10 goals for the team and Spaniard Rodrigo Moreno seven. Midfielder Abdelaziz Hatem, strong defender Bassam Al Rawi and goalkeeper Fahad Younis were the others who excelled for Al Rayyan.