AEL Limassol

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Athlitiki Enosi Lemesou
Αθλητική Ένωση Λεμεσού
AEL Limassol F.C.jpg
Full name Athli̱tikí̱ Éno̱si̱ Lemesoú
Founded 4 October 1930; 84 years ago (1930-10-04)
Ground Tsirion Stadium
Limassol, Cyprus
Ground Capacity 13 331
Chairman Cyprus Andгeas Sofocleous
Manager Cyprus Christakis Christoforou
League Cypriot First Division
2013–14 2nd
Website Club home page

Athlitiki Enosi Lemesou (Greek: Αθλητική Ένωση Λεμεσού), commonly known as AEL Limassol, is a Cypriot multisport club based in the city of Limassol, most famous for its football team.

Currently AEL also maintains a men's and women's basketball teams, a women's volleyball team and a newly established in 1976 Futsal team, a women's handball team as well as a cricket team. AEL is considered as one of the most successful clubs of the island, with 13 official football trophies.[1] The basketball branch of AEL is also well known, currently being the only team from Cyprus to have won a European title (the European Regional Challenge Cup). Limassol's official club mascot is a Lemur, who was affectionately nicknamed Lima Lima by their fans.

History[edit]

The club was founded on 4 October 1930, with Stavros Pittas voted in as the club's first president.[2] The football section of the club competed in its first game on 6 January 1931 against PSC, winning 6–1 in Limassol.[2] The club won its national championship in 1934 though this is not credited as it is an unofficial title.[3] Later that year, AEL became one of the eight founding members of the Cypriot First Division for the 1934–35 season, the first official league of the country.[2][3]

AEL Limassol celebrated its first official title success in 1941, beating out APOEL 4–3 in a two-legged championship play-off.[3] AEL fans had to wait 12 years until tasting title success again, as the club finally became champions of Cyprus again in 1953.[2][3] AEL would repeat this success again twice more, winning back-to-back league championships in 1955 and 1956.[4]

The club won its last major trophy in 1989, before the title success of 2012,[5] when it defeated city rivals Aris Limassol 3–2 after extra time in final of the Cypriot Cup.[6][7]

In 2011 after disappointingly finishing 7th in the previous campaign, AEL hired Pambos Christodoulou,[8] who had a reputation of steering "modest sides away from relegation," to start the rebuilding process.[9] AEL Limassol secured the Cypriot league title for the first time since 1968 on Saturday 5 May 2012, ending 44 years without a Cypriot first division title.[10]

Christodoulou had a dream-like first season at the helm AEL, as his side was unbeaten and had not conceded any goals through the first five games. At the end of the second round AEL finished top of the table,[11] three points clear of the second placed team and had only conceded seven goals, the best defensive record of all the league teams. In the play-off round AEL battled with the top 4 teams for the championship winning it with one game to go conceding only nine goals. As Christodoulou has managed to bring AEL the championship crown,[12][13] which the team last won in 1968,[14][15] he was nicknamed by fans "Pambourinho", a combination of his name and of Jose Mourinho.

AEL received the championship trophy during a spectacular "fiesta" evening at the Tsirion Stadium on the evening of Saturday 12 May 2012. They followed this with an open-top bus parade through Limassol. Up to 12,000 AEL fans packed the stadium to watch the fiesta and trophy presentation. The club then turned their attention to the Cup Final of 16 May against Omonia Nicosia; and the chance to be crowned double winners for the first time in their history. However the club lost in the final 1–0 to a goal by Brazilian striker Andre Alves.[16] The following year, AEL made it to the group stage of a UEFA tournament for the first time, finishing last and picking up four points in their UEFA Europa League group.[17]

On 22 October 2013, Angolan manager Lito Vidigal was sacked after just over three months in charge.[18] Romanian Ivaylo Petev was appointed as AEL's manager on 25 October, having previously guided Ludogorets Razgrad to promotion to the A Group as well as two A Group titles, a Bulgarian Cup win as well as a triumph in the Bulgarian Super Cup.[18] Petev signed an initial deal to stay at AEL until the end of the 2014-15 season.[18]

At the end of the 2013-14 season, AEL finished in first place in the initial phase of the competition. Going into the championship match against APOEL on 17 May 2014, AEL Limassol needed only a draw to secure their second league title in three years. However, the match was abandoned (at 0–0) after 52 minutes, when firecrackers thrown by AEL fans, hit and injured APOEL's player Kaká.[19] The match was replayed behind closed doors at a neutral stadium on 31 May 2014 and APOEL achieved to win their second consecutive league title after beating AEL Limassol by 1–0, courtesy of a Cillian Sheridan goal.[20][21] On 6 June 2014, the Cyprus Football Association’s (CFA) disciplinary committee – acting as an appeals board – unanimously cancelled on the CFA council’s decision to repeat the May 17 championship final, awarding the match to APOEL with a 0–3 score.[22] AEL winger Monteiro finished the season as joint-top scorer in the league with 18 goals and the former FC Porto academy product was voted player of the year by the CFA.[23]

Stadium[edit]

AEL FC plays in the 14000-seat Tsirion Stadium, also known as the Olympia Stadium (G.S.O). Tsirion Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Limassol, Cyprus. It is mostly used for football matches and is also the home ground of Apollon Limassol and Aris Limassol. The stadium was built in 1975 with the help of the contributor and philanthropist Petros I. Tsiros, a benefactor and humanitarian of Cyprus, thus the name of the stadium.

Supporters[edit]

Ael is one of the most popular teams is Cyprus. Its football team has a dedicated fan base and at a home games regularly expects a fulled to capacity Tsirion stadium. Away games also attract a large traveling fan base. Its basketball team also attracts a significant following.

For the cup final in 1985 against EPA Larnaca almost 16,000 AEL fans followed their team to the stadium, in Nicosia.

For the cup final of 2009, 10,000 AEL fans traveled to Nicosia for the game in GSP stadium. 9000 tickets were issued and sold in total, 5600 of which were sold out in one day. Also during 2007 more than 1500 AEL supporters followed their basketball team to Larnaka (Kitio) for the Championship final against APOEL.

AEL supporters during a basketball match in 2012

The main supporter group of the team is SY.F.AEL (ΣΥ.Φ. – Σύνδεσμος Φιλάθλων) οtherwise known as Gate 3 .The latter name originated from the gate used to enter the East stand at Tsirion Stadium where AEL fans are seated. Organized fan groups of AEL also exist outside Cyprus worldwide. Notable fans include London Mayor – Boris Johnson, who upon a visit in 2011 said "What a jolly good football establishment you boys are running here, it is truly splendid."

UEFA club coefficient ranking[edit]

UEFA Team Ranking 2015

Full List

Current squad[edit]

As of 18 December 2014.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Morocco GK Karim Fegrouche
2 Venezuela DF Jonathan España
4 Cyprus DF Valentinos Sielis
5 Argentina MF Esteban Sachetti
7 Nigeria FW Marco Tagbajumi
8 Cyprus MF Andreas Stavrou
9 Poland FW Łukasz Gikiewicz
10 Brazil MF Diego Barcelos
11 Portugal MF Caló
12 Cyprus MF Marios Nicolaou (Captain)
14 Cyprus MF Leandros Lillis
19 Brazil DF Edmar
20 Brazil MF Luciano Bebê
No. Position Player
21 Angola DF Marco Airosa
23 Cape Verde DF Carlitos
27 Cyprus MF Georgios Eleftheriou
30 Spain GK Pulpo Romero
32 Romania FW Alexandru Ioniță
33 Mauritania DF Diallo Guidileye
40 Cyprus GK Evangelos Georgiou
44 France DF Joshua Nadeau
45 Cyprus DF Andreas Kyriakou
50 Portugal DF Cadú
77 Spain FW Adrián Sardinero
94 Ghana MF Carlos Ohene

On loan[edit]

Out Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Angola DF Miguel Quiame (on loan to Benfica Luanda until May 2015)
Ghana MF Moustapha Quaynor (on loan to Ermis Aradippou until May 2015)
Cyprus FW Minas Antoniou (on loan to AEZ Zakakiou until May 2015)

For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers summer 2014.

Foreign players[edit]

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

Non-EU Nationals

Under-21

Current staff[edit]

Technical staff
Director of Football Angola Rui Paulo Silva Júnior
Head coach Cyprus Christakis Christoforou
Assistant coach Cyprus Marios Neophytou
Goalkeeping coach Cyprus Nikos Konstandinidis
Physical fitness coach Cyprus Efthymios Kyprianou
Medical staff
Sports Physiologist Bulgaria Dr. Valentin Velikov
Head Doctor Cyprus Dr. Christos Patsalides
Physical Therapist Cyprus Michalis Xenofontos
Physical Therapist/Masseur Cyprus Giorgos Epiphaniou
Physical Therapist/Masseur Cyprus Kimonas Papamiltiadous

Managerial history[edit]

Presidential history[edit]

Name From To
Stavros Pittas 1930 1932
Kriton Tornaritis 1932 1934
Yiangos Limanititis 1934 1953
Nikos Solomonides 1953 1971
Nikos Kountas 1971 1976
Georgios Tornaritis 1976 1982
Loris Lysiotis 1982 1996
Dimitris Solomonides 1996 2002
Giorgos Frantzis 2002 2003
Akis Ellinas 2003 2005
Agis Agapiou 2005 2006
Marios Herodotou 2006 2007
Zacharias Koundouros 2007 2008
Andгeas Sofocleous 2008

Honours[edit]

Champions (6): 1940-41, 1952-53, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1967-68, 2011-12
Runners-up (2): 1947-48, 2013-14
Champions (1): 1996-97
Champions (6): 1938-39, 1939-40, 1947-48, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1988-89
Runners-up (10): 1937-38, 1940-41, 1958-59, 1978-79, 1987-88, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2012-13
Champions (3): 1953, 1968, 1985
  • Cyprus K.A. Severi Cup
Champions (3): 1953, 1955, 1956

European record[edit]

1R = First round, PR = Preliminary round, Q = Qualifying round, PO = play-off round.

Season Competition Round Club 1st leg 2nd leg Aggregate
1968–69 European Cup 1R Spain Real Madrid 0–6 0–6 0–12 Symbol delete vote.svg
1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Czechoslovakia Dukla Prague 2–2 0–4 2–6 Symbol delete vote.svg
1987–88 European Cup Winners' Cup PR Czechoslovakia Dunajská Streda 0–1 1–5 1–6 Symbol delete vote.svg
1989–90 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Austria Admira Wacker 0–3 1–0 1–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
2002–03 UEFA Cup QR Hungary Ferencváros 0–4 2–1 2–5 Symbol delete vote.svg
2012–13 UEFA Champions League 2Q Northern Ireland Linfield 3–0 0–0 3–0 Symbol keep vote.svg
3Q Serbia Partizan 1–0 1–0 2–0 Symbol keep vote.svg
PO Belgium Anderlecht 2–1 0–2 2–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
2012–13 UEFA Europa League Group C France Marseille 1–5 3–0 4th place Symbol delete vote.svg
Turkey Fenerbahçe 0–1 0–2
Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–0 0–2
2014–15 UEFA Champions League 3Q Russia Zenit St. Petersburg 1–0 0–3 1–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
2014–15 UEFA Europa League PO England Tottenham Hotspur 1–2 0–3 1–5 Symbol delete vote.svg

U21 football team titles[edit]

  • Cypriot U21 Championship: 11
1940, 1951, 1960, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012

U17 football team titles[edit]

  • Cypriot U17 Championship: 4
2004, 2005, 2007, 2011
  • Cyprus U17 Cup: 1
1997

Basketball team (Proteas EKA AEL)[edit]

see full article Proteas EKA AEL

Women's basketball team (KV Imperial AEL)[edit]

Women Basketball Team Titles
Championship titles: 12 (1993, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Cup titles: 11 (1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Super Cup titles: 5 (1998, 2006, 2007,2008, 2009)
Women U21 Basketball Team Titles
Championship titles: 8 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008)
Women U17 Basketball Team Titles
Championship titles: 1 (2005)
Cup titles: 1 (2005)

Women volleyball team (Tranbunker Danoi ΑΕΛ)[edit]

Fullname Tranbunker Danoi ΑΕΛ
Nicknames Βασίλισσα (Greek)
Queen (English)
Tranbunker Danoi ΑΕΛ founded 1976
Team Colors Yellow With Blue
Arena Nicos Solomonidis
Arena Nickname Το κλουβί (Greek)
The Cage (English)
Arena Capacity 3000
Women Volleyball Team Titles
Championship titles: 27 (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012)
Cup titles: 28 (1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2011)
Super Cup titles: 10 (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Women U21 Volleyball Team Titles
Championship titles: 9 (1987, 1988, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008)
Cup titles: 3 (2000, 2002, 2004)
Women U17 Volleyball Team Titles
Championship titles: 9 (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006)
Cup titles: 1 (2000)

A Founding member of the Cyprus Volleyball Federation in 1976, AEL's women team has dominated in the Cypriot volleyball. The team's achievements are phenomenal; Out of the 32 seasons played so far in Cyprus since the commencement of the women's volleyball league, the team won the Championship 27 times. Out of the 31 cups they won it 27 times, 24 consecutive times, from 1980 until 2003. Also they have won the Championship 15 consecutive times, from 1977 until 1991. They have also the amazing records of winning the Double 12 times from 1980 until 1991 and 9 times from 1993 until 2001. In the past the club had also a men's team for 10 years which participated in the Cypriot Championship.

Bowling team[edit]

The bowling club was founded in 1999 and the same year became a member of the Limassol District Federation. In 2001, the team participated in the Cypriot Championship as one of the two representatives of the Limassol District Federation. In the team won its first trophy by winning the Limassol District Federation Cup and in 2006 its first Championship by winning the Limassol District Federation Championship. The home of the team is the Galaktika Bowling Center.

Player
Flag of Cyprus.svgChristos Krassas
Flag of Cyprus.svgNikolas kleanthous
Flag of Cyprus.svgMichalis Perikleous
Flag of Cyprus.svgGeorgios Georgiou
Flag of Cyprus.svgAndros Kalogirou
Flag of Cyprus.svgDemetris Demetriou
Flag of Cyprus.svgPanikos Kleanthous
Bowling Team Titles
Limassol Championship: 3 (2006, 2008, 2009)
Limassol Cup: 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008)

Cycling team[edit]

The cycling team was founded in 2001 and the same year became a member of the Limassol District Federation. The first men's cycling team consisted of the following : Ομηρος Χριστοφόρου, Παντελής Τίμινης, Μιχάλης Τσουλόφτας, Ηρόδοτος Κυριάκου, Σωτήρης Σκουταρίδης, Δημήτρης Αραούζος

Cycling Team Titles
General – Road cup: 3 (2004, 2005, 2006)
Men – Road cup: 3 (2004, 2005, 2006)
Masters 1 – Road cup: 1 (2006)
Masters 2 – Road cup: 2 (2004, 2005)

Defunct sports departments[edit]

Apart from the currently active sports departments, AEL had in the past some other sports departments, which today are defunct. Despite this, these currently not active departments had all won titles for AEL when they were active.

Field hockey[edit]

In the past AEL Limassol had a field hockey team which is currently not active. The team had plenty of victories led by its star player Renos Antoniadis. In 1931, AEL won the Cup in a match which was played in Larnaca. One year later, the team became Cypriot Champions. The team consisted of the following players: Antoniadis, Pareas, Frangos, Christophides, Michaelides, Kalogirou, Victor Mousteris, Anastasiadis and Williamson. However, there were no further hockey competitions in Cyprus afterwards, as the other teams hockey teams of the era closed down their hockey departments because of financial problems.

Handball[edit]

Another AEL sport department that currently does not exist is the handball. The team was active for a small period of time but that did not stop the team from adding another trophy to the hundreds that AEL won in various other sports. On 11 June 1989, a day after the football team of the club won the Cypriot Cup, the handball team won the Cypriot Cup in handball by beating Youth Centre Larnaca 23–19 in the final which was played in Lefkotheo Indoor Hal, Nicosia.

Men's volleyball[edit]

AEL maintains 3 teams for women's volleyball but does not currently have a men's Volleyball team.

Waterpolo[edit]

AEL was also active in maritime sports, especially those that needed team articipation. AEL pioneered in Regattas in 1932, 1933 and 1934 in the Cyprus Regatta Games. The members of the team were Nearchos Pieris, Christakis Dixon, Andreas Araouzos, Sotiris Antoniades and Maximos Morides. The club had also a waterpolo team which was unbeaten Cypriot Champions. The team achieved a noted victory against a selected team of the Royal Navy which were then Mediterranean Champions. Apart from the Cypriot Championships, AEL won the Mediterranean Naval Cup.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 96 trophies
  2. ^ a b c d Ιστορία Συλλόγου (in Greek). AEL Limassol. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Cyprus – List of Final Tables 1931–1998". RSSSF. 
  4. ^ "Cyprus - List of Final Tables 1931-1998". RSSSF. 6 January 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "AEL Limassol end 44-year Cypriot title wait". UEFA. 5 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Cyprus Coca Cola Cup". 
  7. ^ "Cyprus – Cup History 1934–1996". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Pambos Christodoulou: AEL FC was my dream!" (in Greek). Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Season review: Cyprus". UEFA. 18 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "AEL Limassol end 44-year title wait". FIFA. 5 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "AEL Lemesos won the Championship." (in Greek). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Pambos Christodoulou: My first Championship Crown" (in Greek). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "AEL Lemesos Cypriot Championship Winners 2011–2012" (in Greek). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "AEL Limassol end a long time title wait". Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "AEL Limassol end 44-year Cypriot title wait with Pambos Christodoulou". Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Κυπελλούχος η Ομόνοια". Κυπριακή Ομοσπονδία Ποδοσφαίρου. 16 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "AEL - History - UEFA.com". UEFA. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c "European Football - Coach who was chased out by hooligans named AEL Limassol boss". Eurosport. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "APOEL Nicosia vs AEL Limassol title decider abandoned due to Kaka's head injury from missile attack will be replayed". dailymail.co.uk. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Sheridan strike hands APOEL Cypriot title". UEFA. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Sheridan strike hands APOEL Cypriot title". UEFA. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "APOEL are champions… again!". cyprus-mail.com. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Season review: Cyprus". UEFA. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 

External links[edit]