|Full name||Athletikos Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias|
|Nickname(s)||Τhrylos (The Legend)|
|Founded||8 November 1926|
|League||Cypriot First Division|
|Website||Club home page|
|Active departments of APOEL|
|Water polo||Runners Team||Club|
APOEL FC (Greek: ΑΠΟΕΛ; short for Αθλητικός Ποδοσφαιρικός Όμιλος Ελλήνων Λευκωσίας, Athletikos Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias, "Athletic Football Club of Greeks of Nicosia") is a professional football club based in Nicosia, Cyprus. They are one of the founding members of the Cyprus Football Association. APOEL is the most popular football team in Cyprus and they are the most successful with an overall tally of 23 championships, 20 cups and 13 super cups.
APOEL's greatest moment in the European competitions occurred in the season 2011–12, when the club participated in the group stages of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League (along with F.C. Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St. Petersburg) and achieved qualification for the quarter-finals of the competition by topping the group and eliminating Olympique Lyonnais in the last 16, becoming the only Cypriot club to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. APOEL's European competitions highlights include also appearances in the group stages of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League and the group stages of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. APOEL is the only Cypriot club who have reached the group stages of both major UEFA competitions (UEFA Champions League & UEFA Europa League).
APOEL FC is part of the APOEL multi-sport club, which was founded in 1926 and maintains departments for several sports including football, basketball, volleyball, futsal, table tennis, bowling, cycling, archery, swimming and water polo. APOEL is also an ordinary member of the European Club Association, an organization that replaced the previous G-14 which consists of major football clubs in Europe.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1926–1929 : The early years
- 1.2 The '30s : The first championships
- 1.3 The 1948 conflicts
- 1.4 1955–59 period
- 1.5 Triumph in the 1963–64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
- 1.6 The successful participation in pan-Hellenic Greek Championship
- 1.7 The '80s: European Cup 1986–87 withdrawal
- 1.8 The '90s : The unbeaten "double" in 1995–96
- 1.9 APOEL FC Company formation
- 1.10 2002–present: 7 championships, 3 cups and 6 super cups
- 1.11 European ambitions
- 2 APOEL FC as a company
- 3 Youth Academy
- 4 Colours and badge
- 5 Stadium
- 6 Supporters
- 7 Current squad
- 8 Club officials
- 9 Sponsorship
- 10 Former players
- 11 Managerial history
- 12 Presidential history
- 13 Honours
- 14 Records
- 15 League and Cup history
- 16 European competitions record
- 17 UEFA & IFFHS rankings
- 18 References
- 19 External links
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (November 2011)|
1926–1929 : The early years
The club was formed as POEL (Greek: ΠΟΕΛ; Ποδοσφαιρικός Όμιλος Ελλήνων Λευκωσίας, Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias, Football Club of Greeks of Nicosia) on 8 November 1926. The club's formation came about when a group of forty people, with a common vision, met and set the foundations for creating a football club that would represent the Greek residents of the capital and express their deep desire for Cyprus' incorporation (enosis) into Greece. The meeting took place at a traditional confectionery, owned by Charalambos Hadjioannou, downtown in Ledra Street and the first president of the club was Giorgos Poulias. The first clubhouse was the "Athenians Club" (Λέσχη Αθηναίων) at the end of Ledra Street.
After a journey to the football club in Alexandria, Egypt in 1927 the General Assembly of 1928 decided the players showed that they were not just good footballers but also excellent track and field athletes. Hence it was decided to create a track and field team in addition to the football team. The name APOEL was adopted to reflect this, with the 'A' standing for 'Athletic'. Soon after a volleyball team and a table tennis team were established.
The '30s : The first championships
Cyprus did not have any country-wide league until 1932. Football clubs of the time played friendly matches only. In 1932, Pezoporikos Larnaca organised an unofficial league, the first island-wide league, and it was won by APOEL after defeating AEL Limassol in the final by 4–0. In 1934, there was a disagreement between Trast AC and Anorthosis Famagusta on the organisation of the fourth unofficial league. APOEL and AEL Limassol organised a meeting for the foundation of a country-wide governing body and an official country-wide league. The meeting took place in APOEL's clubhouse on 23 September and the establishment of the Cyprus Football Association was agreed. Two years later the APOEL football team celebrated its first championship title of the official Cyprus football league. APOEL also won the championship for the following four years, making this a very successful period for the club with 5 consecutive championships (1936–1940).
The 1948 conflicts
Politics, however, would soon spark conflict within the team. On 23 May 1948 the board of the club send a telegram to the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics (Greek: Σ.Ε.Γ.Α.Σ.), with the opportunity of the annual Panhellenic Track and Field Competition, which included wishes that "the rebellion" is finished. Several leftist club members perceived the telegram as a political comment on the Greek Civil War and they distanced themselves from the club. A few days later, on 4 June 1948, they founded AC Omonia, which until today is the arch rival of APOEL and there has been a traditional animosity between the fans of the two teams.
More conflicts led to further struggles for APOEL. Athletes belonging to the club frequently participated in national clashes. During the 1955–59 national uprising against the British, many of APOEL's athletes and members of the club were active members of EOKA (the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters), the most outstanding example being the club's track and field athlete Michalakis Karaolis who was hanged by the British colonial authorities. During this period the football team had their closest brush with relegation as most football players were actively taking part in the national struggle.
Triumph in the 1963–64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The football team were quickly back to full strength and made their debut in European Competitions (the first not only for APOEL but for any Cypriot team) in 1963, when they faced the Norwegian team SK Gjøvik-Lyn in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Two victories for APOEL over both legs (6–0, 1–0) marked APOEL's successful European debut, as they became the first Hellenic team to progress in a European Competition. The next round against the tournament winners Sporting Clube de Portugal met APOEL with their heaviest defeat ever (16–1) and put an end to APOEL's European debut.
The successful participation in pan-Hellenic Greek Championship
Other triumphs followed in the early 1970s. In 1973 the domestic double was achieved with coach Panos Markovic. The following year APOEL became the only Cypriot team to avoid relegation from the pan-Hellenic Greek Championship. That was also the last season that the Cypriot champion played in the Greek Football League the following year due to the volatile situation in Cyprus during 1974.
The '80s: European Cup 1986–87 withdrawal
The 1980s were a relatively fruitless period for APOEL. They have only won two championships (1980,1986), one cup (1984) and two super cups (1984, 1986). In 1986 APOEL was drawn against Beşiktaş J.K. for the second round of the European Cup. This was the first time that a Cypriot team faced a Turkish team in a European football competition. The Cypriot government prohibited APOEL from playing against the Turkish team, so APOEL was punished with two years disqualification from any UEFA competition. This penalty was later reduced to one-year.
The '90s : The unbeaten "double" in 1995–96
The 90s were a successful decade for APOEL with 3 championships (1990, 1992, 1996), 5 cups (1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999) and 4 super cups (1992, 1993, 1996, 1999). The most successful season in the 90s was 1995–96 in which APOEL achieved a celebratory double while remaining undefeated in the league. The basketball team won a double on the same season, making this the ideal season for a 70th anniversary celebration.
APOEL FC Company formation
On 1996 the APOEL Football Ltd. was formed. This had a significant effect on the club because it separated the activities of the football team from those of the sports club. The formation of the company was necessitated by the financial difficulties the team faced at the time. The company began its operations with a capital of CY £600,000.
2002–present: 7 championships, 3 cups and 6 super cups
APOEL is the most successful football team in Cyprus in the 2000s. Since 2002, the club won 7 championships (2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014), 3 cups (2006, 2008, 2014) and 6 super cups (2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013). In season 2013-14, APOEL achieved a historical domestic treble by winning all the Cypriot competitions trophies, the championship, the cup and the super cup.
APOEL's first great run in European competitions came in 2002, when the team was knocked out on the third qualifying round of the Champions League, entered the UEFA Cup and reached the second round of the competition. Also, APOEL qualified twice for the UEFA Champions League group stages (2009–10 & 2011–12) and reached the quarter-finals in 2011–12 season. The team also participated in the group stages of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League.
2002–03 European campaign
In the 2002–03 season, the football team embarked on an impressive run, playing ten games before being knocked out from the European competitions. The team participated in the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League and after eliminating Flora Tallinn (0–0 away draw, 1–0 home win) and NK Maribor (1–2 away loss, 4–2 home win), was knocked out by AEK Athens (2–3 home loss, 0–1 away loss) in the third qualifying round. So, they entered the UEFA Cup on the first round and after eliminating Grazer AK (2–0 home win, 1–1 away draw) they advanced until the second round when they were knocked out by Hertha BSC Berlin (0–1 home loss, 0–4 away loss).
Champions League 2009–10 group stages
The first big success of the club in European competitions came on season 2009–10, when the team reached the group stages of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League for the first time, by eliminating EB/Streymur (2–0 away win, 3–0 home win), FK Partizan (2–0 home win, 0–1 away loss) and F.C. Copenhagen (0–1 away loss, 3–1 home win) in the play-off round. APOEL were drawn in Group D against Chelsea F.C., F.C. Porto and Atlético Madrid. APOEL drew 0–0 against Atlético Madrid in the first game at Vicente Calderón, lost 0–1 from Chelsea F.C. at GSP stadium on matchday 2, lost 2–1 from F.C. Porto at Dragão in the third match and lost again 0–1 from F.C. Porto at GSP Stadium on matchday 4. In the fifth match of the group APOEL drew with Atlético Madrid 1–1 at GSP Stadium and on matchday 6, APOEL drew with Chelsea F.C. at Stamford Bridge. So, APOEL finished fourth having equal (3) points with the eventual UEFA Europa League winner Atlético Madrid, but failed to qualify to UEFA Europa League, because of the away goal that Atlético Madrid had scored in Nicosia.
Champions League 2011–12 quarter-finals
APOEL's greatest success in European competitions came on season 2011–12. Two years after its first participation, APOEL qualified again for the UEFA Champions League group stages by eliminating Skënderbeu Korçë (2–0 away win, 4–0 home win), Slovan Bratislava (0–0 home draw, 2–0 away win) and Wisła Kraków (0–1 away loss, 3–1 home win) in the play-off round. APOEL drawn in Group G, alongside F.C. Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St. Petersburg. On matchday 1, APOEL won 2–1 against Zenit St. Petersburg at GSP Stadium and secured its first ever victory in the UEFA Champions League group stage. On matchday 2, APOEL held Shakhtar Donetsk to a 1–1 draw at the Donbass Arena and in the third match they drew 1–1 with F.C. Porto at Dragão. On matchday 4, APOEL won 2–1 against F.C. Porto at GSP Stadium and on the next matchday they made history and reached the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League by holding Zenit St. Petersburg to a 0–0 draw in Petrovsky Stadium. Eventually, APOEL reached the last 16 as a group winner, despite losing 0–2 at home from Shakhtar Donetsk on the last matchday. In the last 16, APOEL was drawn against Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon won 1–0 in the first leg at Stade de Gerland, but in the second leg at GSP Stadium APOEL won 1–0, sending the match to penalties where they won 4–3, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time. In the quarter-finals, APOEL hosted Real Madrid in the first leg, but were defeated 0–3 by the Spanish giants. In the second leg at Santiago Bernabéu, APOEL managed to score twice but Real Madrid won by 5–2 and reached the semi-finals with an aggregate score of 8–2.
Europa League 2013–14 group stages
APOEL began their 2013–14 European campaign in the third qualifying round of the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League against Slovenian side NK Maribor. In the first leg, the two teams drew 1–1 at GSP Stadium, but in the second leg at Slovenia, APOEL only managed a goalless draw and eliminated by NK Maribor on away goals rule after a 1–1 aggregate score.
After being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, APOEL dropped down into the UEFA Europa League play-off round, and drawn against Belgian side Zulte Waregem. The first leg was held at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels and ended in a 1–1 draw. In the second leg, APOEL lost 1–2 at GSP Stadium and Belgians went through 3–2 on aggregate. Despite losing to Zulte Waregem in the play-off round, APOEL reinstated in Europa League replacing the Turkish side Fenerbahçe who were banned because of the match-fixing case related to the 2010–11 Süper Lig title. APOEL were selected by a random drawing among all the losing teams from the play-off round and drawn in Group F, alongside Bordeaux, Eintracht Frankfurt and Maccabi Tel Aviv. APOEL began their group stage adventure with a goalless draw at Bloomfield Stadium against Maccabi Tel Aviv on 19 September 2013. On matchday 2, APOEL were beaten 0–3 at GSP Stadium by German side Eintracht Frankfurt. On matchday 3, APOEL were stunned by a last-minute Bordeaux winner, as they went down to a 2–1 defeat at Stade Chaban-Delmas in France. On matchday 4, APOEL won 2–1 against French side Bordeaux at Nicosia’s GSP Stadium and secured its first ever victory in the UEFA Europa League group stages. On matchday 5, APOEL were held to a goalless draw by Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv at GSP Stadium and remained in third place of Group F, three points behind second-placed Maccabi Tel Aviv. APOEL’s Europa League adventure was concluded at Commerzbank-Arena with a 2–0 loss to Group F winners Eintracht Frankfurt on 12 December 2013. Eintracht completed the group stage of the competition on top of the Group F standings with 15 points, Maccabi Tel Aviv ended second with 11 points, APOEL ended in third place with five points, while Bordeaux were at the bottom with just three points.
APOEL FC as a company
The football department of APOEL is legally owned by APOEL Football Ltd (Greek: ΑΠΟΕΛ Ποδόσφαιρο Λτδ.), a public limited company, since 1997. The company owns all the rights for the football department under an agreement with the APOEL sports club. The company pays the club CY£100,000 annually for the privilege. The agreement between the company and the club is renewed every five years. The company, besides the football club, also maintains a team boutique (Orange Shop), the APOELFC (Greek: ΑΠΟΕΛFC) magazine and the apoelfc.com.cy website among others.
APOEL's youth academy is a separate legal entity from the football club. They are responsible for the under 21 teams for football, basketball and volleyball and they have their own board of directors and budget. The football academy has produced many quality Cypriot players over the years. The following players started from the academy and are now playing for APOEL: Michalis Morfis, Constantinos Charalambides, Nektarios Alexandrou, Marinos Satsias and Tasos Kissas. All of them have also competed at international level with the Cyprus national football team while Charalambides and Alexandrou have played for teams in the Greek Super League in the past.
Colours and badge
APOEL's colours are blue and yellow. Blue symbolizes Greece and yellow symbolizes Byzantium. The logo is a blue and yellow shield with the name of the club written diagonally in blue. After the club won their 20th championship (2008–09 season), two stars were added above the logo to symbolize the 20 championship titles (one star for every ten championships won). Other than that, the badge has remained the same since the establishment of the club.
APOEL is the most popular team in Cyprus. APOEL fans are right-wing in their majority but there are no strong ties between the organised fans and any political party. That wasn't always the case but during the past years they have actively avoided association with any political party.
The main supporter group is PAN.SY.FI (Greek: ΠΑΝ.ΣΥ.ΦΙ). PAN.SY.FI was founded in 1979 and has branches in all major cities in Cyprus and also in other countries. The PAN.SY.FI (and most ultras) wear orange jackets (or T-shirts). The first game they sported the orange jackets was during the first round game of the 1992–93 championship against AEL Limassol in Makario Stadium. APOEL have reserved the shirt number 79 in honour of PAN.SY.FI. (APOEL Ultras), to denote the year the group was founded, 1979.
The club record for ticket sales in a single season is 141,268 (15 matches, home league games only) during the 2010–11 season. The club record for average league games attendance in a single season is 9,582 (13 matches, home league games only) during the 2012–13 season. The club's season tickets sales record was set on season 2012–13, in which 7,514 season tickets were sold.
APOEL holds the record of the highest home attendance for Cyprus First Division in the game against Omonia with 23,043 tickets for 2002–03 season. The match was held at GSP Stadium on 7 December 2002 and ended in a goalless draw.
The club holds also the record of the highest attendance of a Cypriot team for a European Competition game with 22,701 tickets in the match against Olympique Lyonnais for the return leg of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League last 16. The match which was held on 7 March 2012 at GSP Stadium of Nicosia ended with a 1–0 win for APOEL after extra time and 4–3 win on penalties.
On 8 December 2009, APOEL fans created another impressive record. More than 6,000 fans of the team travelled to London at Stamford Bridge for the last match of the 2009–10 Champions League group D against Chelsea F.C. which ended in a 2–2 draw. This is the biggest number of fans of any Cypriot team that had ever travelled away from Cyprus. A similar record created on 14 February 2012, in APOEL's participation to the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League last 16, when more than 5,000 APOEL fans travelled in France to support their team against Olympique Lyonnais. The match was held at Stade de Gerland and Olympique Lyonnais took a slender advantage into the second leg by winning 1–0. Also, on 4 April 2012, about 4,000 APOEL fans travelled to Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, to support APOEL against Real Madrid for the return leg of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, in a match which Real Madrid won by 5–2.
During 2009–10 season APOEL sold in total 244,977 tickets for its home matches in all competitions (Championship, Cup, Champions League), which is the biggest number of tickets sold by a Cypriot club in a single season.
Last Update: 23 July 2014
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers summer 2014.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Loan deals expire at the end of 2014–15 season
EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)
Board of directors
Technical and medical staff
|Head coach||Giorgos Donis|
|Assistant coach||Makis Aggelinas|
|Assistant coach / Scouter||Miodrag Medan|
|Goalkeeping coach||Panagiotis Maliaritsis|
|Fitness coach||Grigoris Georgitsas|
|Technical director||David Nascimento|
|Academy technical director||Savvas Paraskeva|
|Head doctor||Costas Schizas|
|Assistant doctor||Giannis Papagiannis|
|Head physio||Constantinos Voniatis|
|Assistant physio||Constantinos Kaparis|
- Official shirt sponsor – MTN
- Official sport clothing provider – Puma
- Official host broadcaster – Cytavision
Last Update: 11 October 2013
APOEL has had numerous presidents over the course of their history. Since the establishment of APOEL Football Ltd., the presidents of the board of directors of the company (chairmen) have assumed all presidential duties for the football club. Here are complete lists of both:
- Winners (23) (record): 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014
- Winners (20) (record): 1937, 1941, 1947, 1951, 1963, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2006, 2008, 2014
- Winners (13): 1963, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
Updated: 13 December 2013
- Record League win: 17–1 vs Aris Limassol (4 June 1967) – 1966–67
- Record League defeat: 6–1 vs Nea Salamina (2 May 1998) – 1997–98
- Record European competition win: 6–0 vs SK Gjøvik-Lyn (8 September 1963) – UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Preliminary round 1st leg, 1963–64
6–0 vs HB Tórshavn (28 August 1997) – UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Qualifying round 2nd leg, 1997–98
- Record European competition defeat: 16–1 vs Sporting CP (13 November 1963) – UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, 1st round 1st leg, 1963–64
- Most consecutive League games unbeaten: 34 – From 18 September 1946 to 23 November 1949
- Most consecutive League games won: 16 – From 21 December 2008 to 11 April 2009
- Most League points in a season:
- Most League goals in a season: 89 – 1966–67
- Record average League home attendance: 9,582 – 2012–13
- Record League home attendance: 23,043 vs Omonia (7 December 2002) – 2002–03
- Record European competition home attendance: 22,701 vs Olympique Lyonnais (7 March 2012) – UEFA Champions League, Last-16 2nd leg, 2011–12
- Most League appearances for club: 371 – Yiannos Ioannou
- Most League goals for club : 191 – Yiannos Ioannou
- Most European competitions appearances for club: 70 – Constantinos Charalambides
- Most European competitions goals for club : 9 – Aílton José Almeida
League and Cup history
European competitions record
Last update: 12 December 2013.
|Competition||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals For||Goals Against||Last season played|
|UEFA Champions League||52||16||13||23||58||73||2014–15|
|UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup||64||24||17||23||88||87||2013–14|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||30||6||6||18||27||78||1997–98|
#Q = #preliminary, #R = #round, PO = play-offs, G = Group stage, R16 = last 16, QF = quarter-finals
1: Both matches played in Portugal.
2: Both matches played in Germany.
3: Both matches played in Belgium.
4: APOEL reinstated in the Europa League by random draw after Fenerbahçe's exclusion from the UEFA competitions due to match-fixing.
UEFA & IFFHS rankings
UEFA Club Ranking
Last update: 24 May 2014
IFFHS Club World Ranking
Last update: 4 June 2014
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- Official website (Greek), (English)
- APOEL Athletic Football Club - official website (Greek)
- APOEL FC Youth Academy (Greek)
- APOEL Ultras official website (Greek)
- APOEL fans website (Greek)
- APOEL Fans Forum (Greek)