FC Astra Giurgiu
|Full name||Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu|
|Short name||Astra Giurgiu|
|Ground||Stadionul Marin Anastasovici|
|2013–14||Liga I, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu is a Romanian professional football club from Giurgiu, Romania. They were founded in 1921, in Ploiești and spent their vast majority in the lower leagues. Only after 1990, when the club was taken under the ownership of Ioan Niculae, it began to achieve some performances, starting with the first season of Liga I in 1998-99. They are currently playing in the country's top league, Liga I.
The traditional colors of the team are white and black.
Clubul Sportiv Astra-Română (Astra-Română Sports Club) was founded on 18 September 1921 by the "Astra-Română" Society, an oil-company owned by Henri Deterding and based in Prahova. Initially, the club consisted of several football sides based in towns from the entire county. The players of these teams were workers of the company.
In the summer of 1934, the inaugural edition of the "Astra" Societies Cup” was organised by the rafinery, a trophy open for all the Astra teams. The matches were played in the town of Moreni. At the time, the rafinery had only one team, Astra Română Câmpina, that was playing in the district championship. In order to make the cup more attractive, the society created three new football sides for the event: Astra Română Moreni, Astra Română Boldești and Astra Română Unirea Hârsa.
After the 1937 edition of the Cup, the society decided to merge all of its Prahova teams and thus created Astra Română Ploiești on 29 May 1937. The team was registered in the district championship. Just a few months after the team's foundation, the society changed its name to Columbia and moved it to a ground located near the society's headquarters, in Câmpina.
In May 1945, Astra Română Ploiești was refounded and played its home matches on the old Columbia Stadium, a stadium that still exists today in Ploiești.
In the summer of 1992, Astra promoted for the very first time in history to the Divizia C. The following seasons it finished 6, 12, 3 and 14 in the championship.
In the summer of 1996, it merged with Danubiana București, it changed its name to Danubiana Ploiești, and played for the first time in the Divizia B. After one season the club changed its name back to Astra.
In the summer of 1998, Astra promoted to the Divizia A for the very first time in history. They played at this level for five consecutive seasons, until 2003, when it merged with Petrolul Ploiești.
Two years of pause passes for Astra, until 2005, when Ioan Niculae founded once again the club directly in the Liga II. It relegated to the Liga III after only one season. In the summer of 2007, the club is renamed FC Ploiești and promotes at the end of the season back to the Liga II.
In the summer of 2009, after 6 years, it played once again in the Liga I, after the promotion achieved at the end of the 2008–09 season. It changed its name back to the traditional Astra Ploiești and the black and white colours were brought back, hence the team's old nickname, "The Black Devils".
After 91 years in Ploiești, in September 2012, the club has been moved to Giurgiu. The last match played on the Astra Stadium was on 2 September 2012, against Bucharest giants Dinamo București, won by Astra 1–0. The first game played on the Marin Anastasovici Stadium was on 23 September 2012, against Gaz Metan Mediaș, won by Astra with 4–0.
The 2013/14 season was the most prolific season in the club's history, reaching the 2nd place of the Liga I, losing the title for only 5 points, in favor of Steaua București and winning the Romanian Cup, on penalties, against, the same, Steaua București.
Club world ranking
|37||FC Zenit Saint Petersburg||171,0|
|41||Guangzhou Evergrande F.C.||166,0|
Crest and colors
Astra's primary colors are white and black, although the kit design also included red on many occasions, especially on the away outfits.
Astra's home kit consists of white and black stripped shirts, white shorts and white socks, making them similar to those of Juventus Torino. The away shirts are decorated with red and black strips, making them similar to those of AC Milan. The shorts and socks are predominantly black, but they also include splashes of white.
The present Astra crest was adopted in July 2009, following the team's promotion from Liga II. The design is based on a classical template, and is characterized by the same black and white stripes which can be found on the team's shirts. The numerous stars which adorn the crest have their origin in the club's name, with Astra (like Steaua) being a Romanian word that translates as "star".
After Astra's premiere promotion to the Divizia A in the summer of 1998, its few fans engaged in a grudge with their cross-town rivals Petrolul Ploiești. Often, the matches between Astra and Petrolul ended with violent clashes between the supporters of both teams. Most Astra fans consider Petrolul as their main rivals, but the Yellow Wolves regard Rapid București as their main arch-enemies. Even after the moving of the team to Giurgiu, the rivalry is kept, because between Giurgiu and Petrolul, there's an old rivalry kept from the time when Petrolul was playing in the Romanian 2nd league.
- Winners (1): 2013–14
- Runners-up (1): 2013–14
- Winners (1): 2014
- Winners (1): 2007–08
First team squad
- As of 30 July 2014
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Shirt sponsor and supplier
|Kit supplier||Shirt sponsor|
|2012/13||Liga I||4||34||17||9||8||64||37||60||Qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League|
|2013/14||Liga I||2||34||22||6||6||70||28||72||Qualified for the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League|
|Season||Opponent||1st Leg||2nd Leg||Cup Round||Notes|
|1999/00||Oțelul Galați||1–2 (a.e.t.)||1/16|
|2000/01||Metrom Brașov||1–2 (a.e.t.)||1/32|
|2002/03||Dinamo București||2–1||1–3 (a.e.t.)||Semi-finals|
|2005/06||Chimia Brazi||1–2||5th Round|
|2006/07||Petrolistul Boldești||0–3||3rd Round|
|2007/08||FCM Câmpina||3–4||4th Round|
|2013/14||Steaua București||0-0 (a.e.t.) 4-2 (p.k.)||Final||Winner of the Romanian Cup 2013/14|
|2013–14||UEFA Europa League||1Q||NK Domžale||2–0||1–0||3–0|
|3Q||FK AS Trenčín||2–2||3–1||5–3|
|2014–15||UEFA Europa League||3Q||Slovan Liberec||–||–||–|
- 1Q: First qualifying round
- 2Q: Second qualifying round
- 3Q: Third qualifying round
- PO: Play-off round
Notable former players
- "Astra - from 1921!". Ziarul Prahova. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Astra has european stadium!". Giurgiuveanul. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
- "History of FC Astra!". FC Astra. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Here lies Petrolul Ploiești!". România Liberă. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- "Astra had risen again!". liga2.ro. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- "Astra will move to Giurgiu, and Ploiești will only remain as a memory!". Sport Total FM. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Club World Ranking". IFFHS.de. 2014-05-04.
- (Romanian) Official site
- (Romanian) Club profile on RomanianSoccer
- (Romanian) Club profile on Liga1.ro
- (English) Club profile on UEFA.com
- (English) (German) Club profile on Transfermarkt