Legia Warszawa/ˈlɛɡjə/ (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛɡʲa varˈʂava]) is a professional football club based in Warsaw, Poland. It was founded in March 1916 (during the military operations of the World War I on the eastern front) in the area of Maniewicze in Volhynia as the football club of the Polish Legions. After World War I, it became the main official football club of the Polish Army – Wojskowy Klub Sportowy Legia Warszawa (Military Sports Club Legia Warsaw). In the years 1949–1957 Legia was known by the name CWKS Warszawa (Central Military Sports Club Warsaw). The club's home venue is the Polish Army Stadium. Legia is one of the most successful Polish football clubs in history winning a total of 9Ekstraklasa Champions titles, a record 16 Polish Cup trophies and a record 4 Polish SuperCup matches. Currently the club is owned by Dariusz Mioduski (80%) and Bogusław Leśnodorski (20%), who acquired it for unpublished sum, and have also to pay debts (19 mln zł). To 8 April 2004 it was owned by Pol-Mot. From 8 April 2004 (sale price of 3 mln złotych) to 9 January 2014 it was owned by media holding ITI Group.
Legia was formed between 5 and 15 March 1916 during the military operations of World War I on the Eastern Front in the neighborhood of Maniewicze in Volhynia as the main football club of the Polish Legions. However, team started its first trainings earlier in the spring of 1915, in the city of Piotrków Trybunalski. In July 1916, due to the Brusilov Offensive, Legia permanently moved to the capital city of Warsaw. First game in Warsaw, Legia played on 29 April 1917 against the local rivalry - Polonia Warsaw. The score was a draw - 1:1. Up to the end of World War I, Legia played nine games in Warsaw; six was won and three were a draw. First away game of Legia was against KS Cracovia, which ended with the result of 2:1 for Legia. With the win over Cracovia, current Polish first league champion at that time, Legia was baptized as unofficial champion of the country.
Legia played its first match in Polish first league in Łódź on 8 May 1927 against ŁKS Łódź, winning 6:1. Marian Łańko scored the first league goal for the club (in the same game he scored hat-trick). Since 1930 Legia had been playing at the Polish Army Stadium, the construction of which was a gift to the club from Józef Piłsudski. In 1936 Legia was relegated to the second division, where it remained until the end of World War II .
After World War II, Legia boosted its squad with many new players and at the end of 1949 the club changed its name again, this time to Centralny Wojskowy Klub Sportowy (Central Army Sports Club). Eventually Kazimierz Górski joined the club and became a player for both the team and the Poland national team.
One of the more memorable European runs was the near upset against Internazionale during the UEFA Cup 1985–86, after two 0–0 games Legia lost in extra time. The next season Legia were yet again drawn against Inter, this time winning at home 3–2 but losing away 1–0 thus losing on away goals.
Legia plays its games on Marshal Józef Piłsudski Polish Army Stadium (Polish: Stadion Wojska Polskiego imienia Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego), an all-seaterfootball-specific stadium in Warsaw, Poland. Legia has been playing there since 9 August 1930. With space for 31,800 spectators it is the 5th biggest football stadium in Ekstraklasa. The stadium has undergone a significant reconstruction between 2008 and 2011, during which all of the all stands were demolished and replaced with bigger and more modern ones. Consequently the stadium's capacity increased from 13,500 to 31,800 seats. Former Polish Army Stadium is currently owned by the City of Warsaw. On the basis of sponsorship agreement with PepsiCo the stadium has been named Pepsi Arena for commercial purposes.
As one of the most successful clubs in the history of Poland, Legia Warsaw remains also one of the most popular clubs in Poland. Over the past decades Legia gained devotion of generations of fans from Warsaw and all over the country. Legia supporters are generally considered very spontaneous, dedicated or even sometimes fanatical. Accordingly, in terms of quality of football support they are also often described as the best supporters in Poland. Groups of fans follow Legia on practically all away matches, both domestic and international. Supporters of Legia occasionally attract also some negative attention, in particular after events such as riots in Lithuania during the match against Vetra Vilnius on 10 July 2007.
Traditionally, the most devoted and spontaneous fans occupy the Żyleta stand, i.e. the northern stand of the stadium. Before the stadium renovation (2008–2011), the "old" Żyleta referred only to the center section within the eastern stand of the stadium (occasionally, it would also refer to eastern stand as a whole). There is a special exhibition dedicated to the "old" Żyleta in Legia club museum. Today, after the stadium renovation, the "new" Żyleta means the whole northern stand of stadium (located behind the goal).
As regards the political sentiments, the supporters of Legia tend more to the Right. During the times of communism, in particular in the 1980s, Legia fans manifested their patriotic and strongly anti-communistic views. Today, the fans actively participate in annual commemorations of the Warsaw Uprising and Polish Independence Day. Legia fans also manifest their views on domestic issues, e.g. their conflict with Polish Prime MinisterDonald Tusk, as well as on international politics, e.g. by way of displaying banners reading "Kosovo is Serbian" at the stadium as well as a huge 'Jihad' banner during the home leg of the 2011 Europa League group stage against Hapoel Tel Aviv, for which the club was fined €10,000.
This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.
^ abLegia won 1st place in 1992–93 Ekstraklasa, but was accused of corruption. Result of the last match was cancelled and the team dropped into second place in the table. The Polish FA (PZPN) decided to give the championship to Lech Poznań. "Poland - List of final tables (RSSSF)". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2013-06-08.