FC Politehnica Timişoara

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Politehnica Timișoara
logo
Full name Fotbal Club Politehnica Timișoara
Nickname(s) The Banat Boys, The Violets
Short name Poli Timișoara
Founded December 4, 1921
Dissolved September 3, 2012
Ground Dan Păltinişanu
Ground Capacity 32,972

Fotbal Club Politehnica Timișoara, commonly referred to as Poli Timișoara, was a Romanian football club established in 1921[1] and dissolved in September 2012. The team had won two Romanian Cups and was twice a runner-up in Liga I. It is ranked 8th in the Liga I All-Time Table, with 49 seasons played.

Named after and initially run by the Polytechnic University of Timișoara, the club was founded in 1921 by Traian Lalescu. After two decades spent in the regional leagues, Poli promoted in the first division in 1948. They have since spent 49 seasons at the top level, finishing as runner-up twice and featuring in six Romanian Cup finals. In the 2010-11 season, they finished on the second spot, but were relegated because of unpaid debts and incapacity to obtain a license for the next season.

Over the years, Poli developed rivalries with UTA Arad and Dinamo București. The rivalry with UTA stems from the natural competition between the cities of Timișoara and Arad, which are located close to each other and are the main cities in the region. Both Timișoara and Arad claim to be the first place where football was played in Romania, with Timișoara being the true first city in Romania to host a football game. Poli also has a friendly fan-relationship with the supporters of Rapid București and Borussia Mönchengladbach.[2]

History[edit]

Early years (1921–1997)[edit]

The club was founded in 1921 by Polytechnic University of Timișoara under the name Societatea Sportiva Politehnica.[1] Until the second World War, Poli was outclassed by two other teams from the city, Ripensia and Chinezul, both multiple winners of the Romanian championship.[3]

The club promoted for the first time in the Divizia A in 1948,[4] and played under the name CSU Timișoara in the first season.[5]

In the following seasons (from 1950[6]), the club appear with the name Știința Timișoara. The club relegates for the first time in 1951,[7] but promotes after only one year[8] and played in the top league until the season 1958–59.[9] The team promoted back after only one year.[10] The following relegation came in 1963–64 season,[11] again for only a year.[12]

During the Știința years, Timișoara won its first trophy, the 1957–58 Romanian Cup, with a 1–0 victory against Progresul București.[13]

From the 1966–67 season, the team started using the name Politehnica Timișoara,[14] but the team goes to the second division in the same season.[14] Politehnica doesn't came back to the first division until 1973.[15]

Politehnica played for the first time in Europe in 1978–79 UEFA Cup, after finishing third in the 1977–78 season. The team defeated MTK Budapest (2–0 and 1–2), but lost in the second round against Honved Budapest (2–0 and 0–4).[16]

The second trophy won by Politehnica Timișoara was the 1979–80 Romanian Cup. The final was disputed against Steaua București and the final score was 2–1, after extra time.[13] Politehnica played in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, defeating Celtic Glasgow (1–0 and 1–2) and being defeated by West Ham United (1–0 and 0–4) in the quarterfinals.[17] They played again in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981–82 season because the team lost the 1980–81 Romanian Cup to that year champions, Universitatea Craiova (0–6). Politehnica skipped the first round, and lost to Leipzig with 2–0 and 0–5.[17]

Politehnica Timișoara played in the Divizia A for ten years, until 1983.[18] The next period was spent between the Divizia A and the Divizia B, with promotions in 1984,[19] 1987,[20] 1989[21] and relegations in 1986 [22] and 1988.[23]

After the 1989 Revolution, Politehnica played in the 1990–91 UEFA Cup, beating Atlético Madrid (2–0 and 0–1), but lost in the second round to Sporting Lisbon (2–0 and 0–7).[24] In 1992–93 UEFA Cup, Politehnica scored a draw against Real Madrid (1–1 in Timișoara), but was defeated in the next match (0–4).[24]

The team was relegated to the Divizia B in 1994[25] and promoted back in 1995.[26] After the 1996–97 relegation,[27] the team didn't came back in the first division on competitions ground. Instead, it relegated once again, this time to the Liga III, at the end of the 2001–02 season.

The comeback and the record dispute (2002–2011)[edit]

In 2002, AEK Bucharest were promoted to Liga I, Romanian football's top division, for the first time,[28] whereupon Anton Doboș, the team's owner, moved it to Timișoara. It was renamed Politehnica AEK Timișoara, and received the full support of local authorities and Politehnica fans. The team was on the verge of relegation after only one year.[29] Poli was able to maintain the Liga I spot after winning a play-off against Gloria Buzău.[30]

From 2004–05 season, the team changed the name again in FCU Politehnica Timișoara.[31] From 2008, following a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision, the team changed the name in FC Timișoara. The colors and the records before 2002 were lost in favor of Politehnica Timișoara former owner, Claudio Zambon.[32]

At the end of 2007–08 Liga I, FC Timișoara qualified for UEFA Cup.[33] It was the first time in sixteen years that a team from Timișoara had achieved European qualification. The team was eliminated by Partizan Belgrade in the first round by an aggregate score of 1–3.[34]

In 2008–09, Timișoara finished the season in 2nd place, qualifying the 3rd preliminary round of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League.[35] The team defeated the reigning UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk, but they were eliminated from the competition during the Playoff Round by an aggregate score of 0–2 by German club VfB Stuttgart. In the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League Group A, FC Timișoara finished on the last place, after Anderlecht, Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb.[34]

After the 2009–10 Liga I, fifth placed team FC Timișoara were drawn in the third qualifying round of the Europa League against MyPa from Finland, which they surpassed 5–4 on aggregate, after a spectacular comeback from three goals down in the second leg. However, in the play-off round they were drawn against Manchester City and were defeated twice in a row, 0–1 and 0–2.[34]

In November 2010, the Romanian Court of Appeal returned Politehnica's name, colors and records to FC Timișoara.[36] Due to rules that forbid changes of team names during a season, the team used the name FC Timișoara until the end of 2010-11 season.

Relegated to Liga II by RFF and dissolution (2011–2012)[edit]

Despite finishing second in the 2010–11 Liga I, the team was relegated to Liga II after the club failed to meet the requirements for obtaining the necessary licence to play in the first division.[37] They played in the 2011–12 Liga II under the name of Politehnica Timișoara, and gained promotion back to the Liga I but were again denied the licence and were dissolved in September 2012. ACS Recaș was moved to Timișoara and was renamed ACS Poli Timișoara but the fans decided to support the amateur team, considering ACS Poli Timișoara is a fraud and a political maneuver.

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

The roots of the Poli ultras movement can be found in 1995 when groups like Urban Guerilla or Gruppo Autonomo Viola appear in the South End. Poli's most important rivalry is with UTA Arad. The match between them, Derby-ul Vestului (The West Derby), has been the leading Romanian football encounter in the last 65 years, as Poli and UTA are the two most successful football teams from west the country.

Other rivalries are shared with Dinamo București and Steaua București, and a minor one with Universitatea Craiova.

Over the years, Politehnica Timișoara fans have established close friendships with the supporters from Rapid București and the Nordkurve from Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Achievements[edit]

Liga I:

Liga II:

Romanian Cup:

European record[edit]

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League / European Cup 1 4 0 3 1 2 4 –2
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup 2 6 3 0 3 5 11 –6
UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup 6 22 6 4 12 20 38 –18
Total 9 32 9 7 16 27 53 –26

Players[edit]

Most capped players[edit]

# Name Career Matches Goals
1 Dan Păltinişanu 1970–1985 271 24
2 Sorin Vlaicu 1987–2001 244 25
3 Emerich Dembrovschi 1966–1981 208 51
4 Valentin Velcea 1990–2006 180 12
5 Iosif Rotariu 1980–2000 173 33
6 Dan Alexa 2001–2011 138 5
7 Mircea Oprea 2000–2007 132 28
8 Gheorghe Bucur 2005–2010 124 52

Notable former players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History". fcupoli.com. 
  2. ^ "Fan friendship". Tempo Poli. 
  3. ^ "Romania - List of Champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  4. ^ "Season 1947-48". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  5. ^ "Season 1948-49". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  6. ^ "Season 1950". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  7. ^ "Season 1951". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  8. ^ "Season 1952". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  9. ^ "Season 1958–59". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  10. ^ "Season 1959–60". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  11. ^ "Season 1963–64". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  12. ^ "Season 1964–65". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  13. ^ a b "History of Poli". Tempo Poli. 
  14. ^ a b "Season 1966–67". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  15. ^ "Season 1972–73". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  16. ^ "1970-1980". StatisticiFotbal.ro. 
  17. ^ a b "1980-1990". StatisticiFotbal.ro. 
  18. ^ "Season 1982-83". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  19. ^ "Season 1983-84". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  20. ^ "Season 1986-87". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  21. ^ "Season 1988-89". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  22. ^ "Season 1985-86". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  23. ^ "Season 1987-88". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  24. ^ a b "1990-2000". StatisticiFotbal.ro. 
  25. ^ "Season 1993–94". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  26. ^ "Season 1995-95". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  27. ^ "Season 1996-97". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  28. ^ "Season 2001-02". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  29. ^ "Season 2002-03". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  30. ^ "Poli remianing in Divizia A". Agenda. 
  31. ^ "Season 2004–05". RomanianSoccer.ro. 
  32. ^ "Arbitration CAS 2006/A/1109". Court of Arbitration for Sport. 
  33. ^ "Poli qualified to UEFA Cup after 16 years". Realitatea TV. 
  34. ^ a b c "2000-2010". StatisticiFotbal.ro. 
  35. ^ "Poli qualified in UEFA Champions League". Timpul. 
  36. ^ "comunicare". Opinia Timişoarei. 
  37. ^ "13 cluburi din Liga I au primit licenţa pentru sezonul 2011-2012". FRF. 31 May 2011. 

See also[edit]