|Full name||Qarabağ Futbol Klubu|
|Nickname(s)||Atlılar (The Horsemen)|
|Founded||23 July 1951
|Ground||Tofiq Bahramov Stadium,
|League||Azerbaijan Premier League|
|Website||Club home page|
Formed in 1951, Qarabağ were founding members of the Azerbaijan Premier League in 1992. A season later they won their first league championship, becoming the first non-Baku based club to win the Azerbaijan Premier League title. Qarabağ is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Neftchi Baku which has participated in all Azerbaijan Premier League championships so far.
In 2014, the club won the Premier League, their first league title for 21 years. Qarabağ have won the Premier league title twice, and the Azerbaijan Cup three times. In same year, Qarabağ became the second Azerbaijani team to advance to the group stage of a European competition, beating Twente in the play-off round of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League.
- 1 History
- 2 Crest and colours
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Supporters
- 5 Domestic league and cup history
- 6 European record
- 7 Players
- 8 Individual records
- 9 Club officials
- 10 Notable managers
- 11 Honours
- 12 In popular culture
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Early years (1951–1991)
The club was founded on 1951 as Qarabağ after completion of building of Aghdam city stadium, there began serious efforts towards creating a professional football team. As a result of this has been created FK Qarabağ, initially acted under the name of Mehsul which has taken part in the championship of Azerbaijan in 1966 for the first time. In that year the club took 4th place in the local championship.
Qarabağ continuously participated in the local championship for four years in a row. Within these years – 2nd place was the best result achieved in 1968. However, after 1968 due to careless and lack of financial support the team did not participate in the championships for a long period. In 1977, the team has been given birth again under name Shafaq. In 1982 Shafaq was unique representative of Aghdam in football. Between the periods of 1982–87 the squad acted under the name "Cooperative society". In 1988, Qarabağ has won the champions title in Azerbaijan SSR local championship under its current name.
Effects of war and financial struggles (1991–2008)
In 1993, during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the city of Aghdam came under Armenian control, and the team was forced to move from Imarat Stadium to Baku, while club's head coach Allahverdi Bagirov died in the war. Financial problems have appeared at the club and club was living its hardest moments between 1998 to 2001 period. However, it did not stop the club to become the first ever Azerbaijani team that achieved a victory away from home in European competitions by defeating Israeli side Maccabi Haifa 2–1 in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup thanks to a double strike from club legend Mushfig Huseynov. Qarabağ has also represented Azerbaijan in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA cup competitions many times.
All these problems were solved in 2001, after one of the largest holding companies of Azerbaijan, Azersun Holding began to sponsor the team. The squad has played under the name of Qarabag-Azersun for two seasons, however returned its original name in 2004.
Gurban Gurbanov era (2008–present)
In 2008, former Azerbaijani football star Gurban Gurbanov was appointed as a head coach after the unexpected departure of Rasim Kara to Khazar Lankaran one week before the start of the 2008–09 season. Led by Gurban Gurbanov, Qarabağ have gone against the common strategy in Azerbaijani football, eschewing foreign signings in favour of nurturing local talent. Gurbanov brought with him the similar style of play to tiki-taka, which characterised by an abundance of short passes, long periods of build-up and by players interchanging positions.
Under Gurbanov, Qarabağ become one of the most successful Azerbaijani football clubs in Europe (with 3 continuous wins) and one which played UEFA Europa League play off-round by beating Rosenborg in UEFA Europa League, also eliminated Honka of Finland. The achievements in European competitions also made Gurban Gurbanov as one of most successful Azerbaijani managers in country's football history.
In 2010, the club made Azerbaijani record for the biggest win in a European competition during that time by beating Metalurg Skopje 4–1 in Baku as well as knocking out Wisła Kraków to reach the play-offs for the second year in succession. In 2011, club renewed the same record by beating Banga Gargždai 4–0 in Gargždai.
2011–12 season ended in disappointing style for Qarabağ as they finished in fourth place, leaving club without European competitions. In 2013, Qarabağ reached UEFA Europa League play off-round for third time in their history.
In May 2013, Qarabağ earned its second league title after 21 years. A month later, after victory of Red Bull Salzburg club became first Azerbaijani side to achieve victory in third round of UEFA Champions League. In August 2014, the club reached Europa League play off round, fourth time in last five seasons.
In 2014, Qarabağ qualified for the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League group stage, being the second Azerbaijani team to advance to this stage in a European competition. On 23 October 2014, after defeating 1-0 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, the team became the first Azerbaijani club to win a Europa League's group stage game.
Crest and colours
The crest on the club emblem is the symbol of the Karabakh. It is produced by English designers and based on the Karabakh horse. The horse stems from the club's nickname The Horsemen; it was included on club programmes and scarves in the early period, although the crest was not included on the chest of the shirt until 2004. After Gurban Gurbanov's appointment, Qarabağ's attractive style of play led fans to call the team Qafqazın Barselonası (Barcelona of The Caucasus), which associates with FC Barcelona's success in Europe. The club sometimes called Qaçqın Klub (The Refugee Club) after club's conservative position on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and refugee problem in Azerbaijan.
Shirt sponsors and kit manufacturers
Qarabağ's traditional kit allude to the club's location in Nagorno-Karabakh with the black and white representing light and darkness respectively. The club's kits are manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by Azersun, a food producing company from Baku.
The club have previously used Guzanli Olympic Stadium, which is situated in Quzanlı, the most populous municipality in the Agdam Rayon of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. The Imarat Stadium which was club's original home stadium was destroyed by bombardments from Armenian military forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
The largest number of spectators for the Qarabağ was recorded on July 30, 2014, in a 2014–15 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round match against FC Red Bull Salzburg which was ended in the favour of the Qarabağ with the result of 2-1 and attended by 32,000 fans.
Although a large part of Qarabağ's support is drawn from the local Aghdam population, they remain immensely well supported in the rest of Azerbaijan. This is mainly due to their being the only team to represent war-torn Nagorno-Karabakh region in the league. The club is a sole remnant of the past and a living symbol of hope and pride for over half a million Azerbaijani internally displaced people. In recent years, thanks to achievements on the pitch, the club has been able to inspire and initiate special youth projects enforcing stability and development in the IDP-settlements near the border of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Domestic league and cup history
- As of 11 December 2014
|UEFA Champions League||4||3||0||1||7||3|
|UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League||42||16||13||13||43||48|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||4||0||1||3||1||12|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup||4||1||0||3||2||11|
Azerbaijani teams are limited to nine players without Azerbaijani citizenship. The squad list includes only the principal nationality of each player; several non-European players on the squad have dual citizenship with an EU country.
- As of 7 October 2014
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for the club, as of 21 November 2014 (players in bold signifies current Qarabağ player). Mushfig Huseynov is the club's all-time most capped player and top scorer with 125 goals in 320 games.
|1||Mushfig Huseynov||1989–99; 2003–04; 2005–07||320||125|
|5||Tarlan Ahmadov||1993–97; 2004||102||28|
|6||Vugar Nadirov||2001–05; 2009–present||193||27|
|7||Vagif Javadov||2007–10; 2012–13||110||25|
|1||Mushfig Huseynov||1989–99; 2003–04; 2005–07||320||125|
|2||Vugar Nadirov||2001–05; 2009–present||193||27|
|4||Namiq Yusifov||2006–07; 2008–present||174||1|
|5||Aslan Kerimov||1993–97; 2003–11||168||12|
|7||Rashad Sadygov||2009–10; 2011–present||147||8|
|10||Vagif Javadov||2007–10; 2012–13||110||25|
The Board of Directors
|Managing Director||Emrah Çelikel|
|Financial Director||Murat Karaman|
|Facilities Director||Asif Asgarov|
|Press and Operations Officer||Nurlan Ibrahimov|
|Assistant manager||Zaur Tagizade|
|Assistant manager||Čudomir Čakarov|
|Goalkeeper coach||Elkhan Hasanov|
The following managers have all won at least one trophy when in charge of FK Qarabağ:
|Agaselim Mirjavadov||1992–96||Azerbaijan Premier League, Azerbaijan Cup, Azerbaijan Supercup|
|Elkhan Abdullayev||2005–06||Azerbaijan Cup|
|Gurban Gurbanov||2008–present||Azerbaijan Premier League, Azerbaijan Cup|
As of 7 May 2014, Qarabağ has won Azerbaijan Premier League twice, 3 Azerbaijan Cup and Azerbaijan Supercup trophies. The club is the first non-Baku based club to have won the Azerbaijan Premier League title. Qarabağ is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Neftchi Baku which has participated in all Azerbaijan Premier League championships so far.
- Winners (1): 1994
In popular culture
- Atayev, Oktay. "Qarabağ end 21-year wait for Azerbaijani title". www.uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- "Azerbaycan'da şampiyon Karabağ". www.fanatik.com.tr (in Turkish).
- Official Qarabagh website: Club's Creation(Azerbaijani)
- Gault, Matt. "Qarabag are exiled from their home but could shock the Champions League". www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Müşfiqin "Qarabağ"dan böyük sevgisi yoxdur (Azerbaijani)
- "QARABAĞ"A SADİQ YAŞAR HÜSEYNOV (Azerbaijani)
- "QARABAĞ" AĞDAMIN – "QARABAĞ" AĞDAMA NƏ QƏDƏR DƏXLİ VAR?! (Azerbaijani)
- Ibrahimov, Erkin. "Qarabağ back and hoping for more". UEFA. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Atayev, Oqtay. "Who are Qarabağ FK?". www.uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- В Баку в футбольном матче Лиги Европы «Карабах» обыграл «Русенборг» (Russian)
- "Qarabağ" "Rusenborq"u diz çökdürdü (Azerbaijani)
- Suleymanov, Mehman. "Qurban Qurbanov 1-ci, komandası 2-ci" (in Azerbaijani). APASPORT News Agency. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
- Карабах громит Металлург! (Russian)
- "Villa and Rapid to meet again". uefa.com. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
- Aliyev, Elmir. ""Карабах" победил "Вислу" в Лиге Европы". 1news.az. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- Kheyrullaev, Vugar. "Azərbaycan futbolunda görünməmiş hadisə Litvada gerçəkləşdi". Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Не попадание Карабаха в еврокубки является трагедией". Azerisport.com. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Mörk svensk kväll i Europa League". www.svd.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- "Karabağ, play-off turuna yükseldi". spor.haber7.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- ""Karabakh" FC becomes Azerbaijani Champion after 21 years". en.apa.az. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Три красных и победа "Карабаха". ru.uefa.com (in Russian). UEFA. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Red Bull Salzburg verliert Hinspiel gegen Karabach". www.salzburg.com (in German). Salzburger Nachrichten. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Еще один шанс, еще одна жеребьевка. www.azerisport.com (in Russian). Azerisport.com. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Карабах стал вторым азербайджанским клубом, прошедшим в групповой этап Лиги Европы. www.azerisport.com (in Russian). Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk - Qarabağ FK : 0-1 (Match report) ScoresPro.com
- "Карабах установил историческое достижение для азербайджанских клубов". www.azerisport.com. Azerisport.com. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- "Qarabağ make history as Muarem stuns Dnipro". www.uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Karabakh: История (Russian)
- Azimo, Rustam. ""Карабахские скакуны" покоряют Европу, или Пара слов о матче "Карабах" – "Висла"". 1news.az. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- "Qafqazın "Barselona"sı: axı niyə məhz o?". news.milli.az (in Azerbaijani). Day.az. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "UEFA "Qarabağ"dan yazdı". futbolinfo.az (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Vaxt olmayan yer (Azerbaijani)
- Ermənilərin xarabaya çevirdiyi Ağdamın «İmarət» stadionu (Azerbaijani)
- "Caqa" ikinci dəfə lotereyada uddu (Azerbaijani)
- ""Tofiq Bəhramov" futbolsuz qalacaq". fanat.az (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Qarabağ–Salzburg". Soccerway. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- Rza, Kamal. "Üç günə dəyişən Azərbaycan futbolu" (in Azerbaijani). 90plus.info. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- OFF SIDE by Dirk-Jan Visser
- Нефтяной фонд Азербайджана выделит около 100 млн. долларов на обустройство беженцев (Russian)
- "Azarkeşlər bu dəfə də "Qarabağ"ı tək qoymadılar". Sportal.az (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Qarabağ" fanklubunun rəhbəri: "İmarət"in səsini bütün Avropa eşidəcək" (Azerbaijani)
- "Qarabağ FK - History". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
- "Azerbaijan Premier League Stats". PFL.az. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- ИСТОРИЯ И ДОСТИЖЕНИЯ. footballtop.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- ""Qarabağ" PES-2015-də!". sportinfo.az (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 9 November 2014.
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