Neftchi PFK

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Not to be confused with Neftchi FK (Fergana).
Neftçi Bakı PFK
Full name Neftçi Peşəkar Futbol Klubu
Nickname(s) Flaqman (Flagship)
Neftçilər (Oil Workers)
Xalq Komandası (Nation's Team)
Founded 18 March 1937; 78 years ago (1937-03-18)
Ground Bakcell Arena
Ground Capacity 15,000
President Sadyg Sadygov
Head Coach Arif Asadov
League Azerbaijan Premier League
2013–14 4th
Website Club home page
Current season

Neftchi PFK (Azerbaijani: Neftçi Peşəkar Futbol Klubu), commonly known as Neftchi, is an Azerbaijani football club based in the capital, Baku, that currently plays in the Azerbaijan Premier League.

Founded in 1937 as Neftyanik, the club is the most famous and the most successful Azerbaijani club with 8 Azerbaijan Premier League, 6 Azerbaijan Cup and 2 Azerbaijan Supercup titles. The club is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Qarabağ which has participated in all Azerbaijan Premier League championships so far.

In 2012, Neftchi Baku became the first Azerbaijani team to advance to the group stage of a European competition, beating APOEL of Cyprus 4–2 on aggregate in the play-off round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League.[1][2] Neftchi plays its matches at the Bakcell Arena, which also serves as the venue for Azerbaijan national football team matches.

The club is also a member of the European Club Association, an organization that replaced the previous G-14 which consists of major football clubs in Europe.


Soviet era (1937–1991)[edit]

Bronze medalist of the USSR in 1966.

Neftchi were founded in 1937.[3] During the years of 1937–1967, it was known as Neftyanik and it was renamed Neftchi in 1968. Neftchi played three spells in the Soviet Top League (1949–1950, 1960–1972, and 1977–1988), for a total of 27 seasons. The club appeared in the Soviet First League, the second-highest division, from 1946–1948, 1951–1959, 1973–1976, and 1989–1991, with its top finish in 1976 as the runner-up.[citation needed]

In 1966, under Ahmad Alaskarov's management, club earned its first silverware by gaining 3rd place in Soviet Top League.[4] The 1966 squad was made up of many of the all-time great Azerbaijani footballers, including forwards Anatoliy Banishevskiy (the UEFA Golden Player for Azerbaijan) and Kazbek Tuaev, midfielder Aleksandr Trofimov, and goalkeeper Sergey Kramarenko. Fans and journalists in Azerbaijan commemorated the 40th anniversary of Neftchi's success in 2006. Neftchi's top scorer in this early era was Azerbaijani footballing legend Alakbar Mammadov, who also played for Dynamo Moscow. Mamedov netted 51 goals in league play during the 1950s and 1960s for the club.[citation needed]

World famous referee Tofiq Bahramov originally played for Neftchi but a serious leg injury prevented him from continuing his playing career and he became a referee.[5] The Azerbaijan national stadium is named after him.[6]

Domestic hegemony (1991–2012)[edit]

Flavinho is Neftchi's current and first foreign captain.

Neftchi went on to dominate Azerbaijani club football throughout the 1990s. In strong contrast to the Azerbaijan national team's defensive and often criticized style of play at the time, Neftchi achieved success through strict adherence to crowd-pleasing, offensive football. The club became the first Azerbaijani football club ever to win eight domestic titles and five cups.[7][8]

In 2006, Neftchi managed to win the CIS Cup after defeating Kaunas in the final.[9] In European competitions, the club also have advanced to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League twice, having defeated Bosnian champions – Široki Brijeg – and Icelandic champions – FH Hafnarfjarðar – in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

A long period of decline followed the success of the 2005 to the end of the decade. Despite the appointment of famous names such as Gurban Gurbanov, Vlastimil Petržela, Anatoliy Demyanenko and Hans-Jürgen Gede, the club did not achieve any success and squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings.[10]

Things changed to positive in December 2009, when the club's control was given to Sadıq Sadıqov. The takeover was immediately followed by a flurry of bids for high-profile international players such as Bahodir Nasimov, Nicolás Canales, Flavinho, Bruno Bertucci, Eric Ramos, Igor Mitreski and Julius Wobay.[11] In May 2010, under Arif Asadov's first season as Neftchi head coach, the club won its sixth championship title.[12][13] Asadov also become first person in Azerbaijan to win the league title as a coach and football player.[14]

In the 2011–12 season, Boyukagha Hajiyev guided Neftchi to another domestic success as club become champions for seventh time in their history.[15][16] In November 2011, Neftchi celebrated its 1000th victory in official games and 1000th goal, which is scored by Araz Abdullayev.[17]

European breakthrough (2012–present)[edit]

Neftchi in Europa League before the match with Internazionale in 2012.

In 2012, Neftchi qualified for the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League group stage, being the first Azerbaijani team to advance to this stage in a European competition. Neftchi managed to get three points in six matches, drawing with Partizan both times and holding Inter Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.[18][19]

A third consecutive Premier League title followed in 2012–13 season.[20] Neftchi then won the Azerbaijan Cup on 28 May 2013 to secure the domestic double.[21][22] Following Neftchi's early exit from European cups, Hajiyev resigned from his post.[23][24]Following defeat at 2013 Azerbaijan Supercup, Nazim Suleymanov appointed as Neftchi's new manager as Tarlan Ahmadov sacked after just three months in charge.[25]On January 8, 2014, Suleymanov resigned as manager after transfer fund dispute.[26][27] In May 2014, despite finishing fourth, Neftchi managed to win Azerbaijan Cup.[28] In August 2014, the club reached Europa League play off round after beating Chikhura Sachkhere on aggregate.[29]

On 2 November 2014, Neftchi's president Sadiqov stated that, the club is experiencing financial difficulties.[30]

Crest and colours[edit]

Neftchi's crests during its history

Since the club's foundation, Neftchi have had four main crests, though all underwent minor variations. In 1949, Neftchi adopted as their first crest the image of an oil platform with Russian n letter, which obviously contributed to the Oil Workers nickname, and remained for the next 27 years.[citation needed]

In 1977, Neftchi's crest was changed again as a ball and sunrise background elements added, which was to endure for the next two decades. The club's crest was changed again in 1997 as part of another attempt to modernise and to capitalise on new marketing opportunities. This was the first club badge without oil platform, as it was replaced by the national seal of the Baku. With new ownership, and the club's centenary approaching, combined with demands from fans for the club's traditional badge to be restored, it was decided that the crest should be changed again in 2004. The new crest was officially adopted for the start of the 2004–05 season and marks a return to the older design of the oil platform. As with previous crests, this one has appeared in traditional black and white colours.[citation needed]

Shirt sponsors and kit manufacturers[edit]

Neftchi's traditional kit was composed of black shirts, white shorts and socks of the same color. Although through the years these two have gone from alternating between white and black stripes. The club's kits are manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by SOCAR since 2004, a multinational oil and gas corporation from Baku.[31]


Neftchi Baku's home games are usually played at Tofiq Bahramov Stadium in Baku. Built by German prisoners of war in 1951 and constructed in the shape of C to honour Stalin, however it was renamed after famous football referee Tofiq Bahramov in 1993 after his death.[32] The stadium also serves as the home ground of the Azerbaijan national football team and holds 31,200 making it the largest stadium in the country.[33]

Neftchi's current home venue is 15,000 capacity Bakcell Arena. It has been the club's home since the 2012–13 season.


Neftchi fans during at Tofiq Bahramov Stadium.

Neftchi Baku is one of the most supported club in Azerbaijan, with supporters organized in many fan clubs around the world, including United States, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, and any other country with a sizeable Azerbaijani community. In 2010s, although Neftchi improved its position, the average attendance fell to record low levels.[34]

The club's most popular celebrity supporters are the likes of actors Bahram Bagirzade, Bashir Safaroglu and Lutfali Abdullayev, composers Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov and Niyazi, judoka Ilham Zakiyev and scientist Mirali Qashqai.[35][36][37]

Rivalry with Khazar Lankaran[edit]

Main article: Böyük Oyun

The game between Neftchi and Khazar Lankaran is one of the biggest clashes in Azerbaijan. The relationship between the two clubs has always been known for its great animosity, as the classic opposes two geographic regions – with Neftchi and Khazar Lankaran representing the north and south of Azerbaijan, respectively.[38]

Domestic league and cup history[edit]

[citation needed]

Season Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Europe Top Scorer (League goals) Head Coach
1992 APL 1 36 30 2 4 104 23 62 QF - Azerbaijan Alakbarov (36) Azerbaijan Alaskarov
Azerbaijan Kramarenko
1993 5 18 11 5 2 39 11 27 QF - Azerbaijan Alakbarov (16) Azerbaijan Sadygov
1993-94 8 30 11 7 12 37 11 29 QF - Azerbaijan Alakbarov (12) Azerbaijan Sadygov
1994-95 3 24 17 4 3 67 15 38 W - Azerbaijan Aliyev (26) Azerbaijan Sadygov
1995-96 1 20 11 6 3 42 17 39 W WC Qual. Azerbaijan Aliyev (16) Azerbaijan Sadygov
Azerbaijan Tuaev
1996-97 1 30 23 5 2 98 20 74 QF UC Qual. Azerbaijan Gurbanov (34) Azerbaijan Tuaev
1997-98 6 26 13 4 9 43 23 43 SF CL Qual. Azerbaijan Gurbanov (9) Azerbaijan Tuaev
1998-99 3 26 15 4 4 57 18 52 W - Ukraine Kalfa (15) Azerbaijan Tuaev
1999-00 3 22 13 4 5 35 17 43 SF UC Qual. Azerbaijan Vasilyev (8) Azerbaijan Alaskarov
2000-01 2 20 16 3 1 57 11 51 RU UC Qual. Azerbaijan Ismayilov (11) Azerbaijan Namazov
Azerbaijan Abdullayev
Azerbaijan Ozbakov
2001-02 3 22 13 5 4 34 7 44 - UC Qual. Azerbaijan Gurbanov (9) Azerbaijan Tuaev
2003-04 1 26 22 3 1 66 15 69 W - Azerbaijan Vasilyev (17) Azerbaijan Tuaev
2004-05 1 34 24 6 4 52 18 78 QF CL Qual. Azerbaijan Tagizade (14) Azerbaijan Mirjavadov
2005-06 3 26 15 9 2 51 16 54 SF CL Qual. Azerbaijan Nabiyev (12) Azerbaijan Mirjavadov
2006-07 2 24 17 3 4 47 15 44 SF - Georgia (country) Adamia (10) Azerbaijan Gurbanov
2007-08 6 26 16 7 3 42 18 55 SF UC Qual. Azerbaijan Subašić (14) Czech Republic Petržela
Ukraine Demyanenko
2008-09 8 26 9 9 8 30 21 36 QF IC R3 Romania Neaga (5) Ukraine Demyanenko
Germany Gede
Azerbaijan Aghayev
2009-10 5 42 13 19 10 31 26 58 QF - Romania Neaga (11) Azerbaijan Sadygov
2010-11 1 32 19 10 3 53 17 67 QF - Uzbekistan Nasimov (15) Azerbaijan Asadov
2011–12 1 32 20 3 9 55 30 63 RU CL Qual. Uzbekistan Nasimov (16) Azerbaijan Hajiyev
2012-13 1 32 19 5 8 59 32 62 W CL
Chile Canales (26) Azerbaijan Hajiyev
2013-14 4 36 17 9 10 48 42 60 W CL Qual. Uzbekistan Nasimov (7) Azerbaijan Ahmadov
Azerbaijan Suleymanov
Azerbaijan Hajiyev

European record[edit]

Neftchi against Internazionale, at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (UEFA Europa League 2012–13 - Group H)
As of 22 August 2014
Competition Matches W D L GF GA
UEFA Champions League 18 5 5 8 14 32
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 24 6 6 12 26 38
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 2 0 1 1 0 3
UEFA Intertoto Cup 6 3 1 2 7 7
Total 50 14 13 23 47 80



For a list of all former and current Neftchi Baku PFK players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:PFC Neftchi players.

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.[citation needed]

Current squad[edit]

As of 03 February 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Azerbaijan GK Aqil Mammadov
2 Brazil DF Carlos Cardoso
3 Brazil DF Denis Silva
4 Azerbaijan DF Rahil Mammadov
5 Azerbaijan DF Elvin Yunuszade
7 Azerbaijan MF Araz Abdullayev
8 Azerbaijan MF Elshan Abdullayev
9 Brazil MF Flavinho (captain)
10 Sierra Leone MF Julius Wobay
11 Chile FW Nicolás Canales
12 Latvia GK Pāvels Doroševs
15 Paraguay MF Éric Ramos
16 Azerbaijan DF Aziz Guliyev
17 Azerbaijan MF Rahman Hajiyev
No. Position Player
18 Brazil MF Cauê
19 Azerbaijan MF Mirhuseyn Seyidov
20 Azerbaijan FW Fahmin Muradbayli
21 Azerbaijan MF Samir Masimov
22 Azerbaijan FW Rauf Aliyev
27 Azerbaijan DF Magsad Isayev
28 Azerbaijan MF Emin Mehdiyev
29 Azerbaijan FW Javid Mukhtarzadeh
30 Serbia GK Saša Stamenković
53 Azerbaijan GK Maksim Vaylo
88 Azerbaijan FW Mirkamil Hashimli
90 Cameroon FW Ernest Nfor
95 Azerbaijan DF Elvin Badalov

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
-- Azerbaijan GK Elchin Sadigov (at Azerbaijan Baku)[40]
-- Azerbaijan GK Rashad Azizli (at Azerbaijan Simurq)
-- Azerbaijan MF Javid Imamverdiyev (at Turkey Elazigspor)
-- Azerbaijan MF Nijat Gurbanov (at Azerbaijan AZAL PFK)
No. Position Player
-- Azerbaijan FW Ruslan Qurbanov (at Croatia Hajduk Split)
-- Azerbaijan MF Tanrıverdi Maharramli (at Azerbaijan Neftchala)
-- Azerbaijan FW Ilham Allahverdiyev (at Azerbaijan Qaradağ FK)

Club officials[edit]

Boyukagha Hajiyev is one of club's most successful managers, having won 2 titles and 2 national cups

The Board of Directors[edit]

Position Staff
President Azerbaijan Sadıq Sadıqov
Vice-President Azerbaijan Elnur Mammadov
Press and Operations Officer Azerbaijan Gunduz Abbaszade
Adviser Azerbaijan Elnur Ashrafoglu
Head of Security Service Azerbaijan Vagif Musayev
Source: Neftchi Baku PFK

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Staff
Manager Azerbaijan Arif Asadov
Assistant coach Azerbaijan Elmir Khankishiyev
Assistant coach Azerbaijan Nazim Aliyev
Selection coach Azerbaijan Bakhtiyar Musayev
Goalkeeper coach Latvia Pāvels Doroševs
Fitness coach Romania Carmel Barbulescu
Club doctor Azerbaijan Boris Khatagurov
Assistant doctor Azerbaijan Tofig Gasimov
Physiotherapist Azerbaijan Rasim Gadimaliev
Source: Neftchi Baku PFK

Presidential history[edit]

Neftchi has had numerous presidents over the course of its history, some of whom have been owners of the club while others have been honorary presidents. In 1988, Neftchi had registered as a professional football club and club since then had 6 presidents.

Name Years
Aydin Ibrahimov 1988–97
Agil Pashayev 1997–01
Ramiz Mirzayev 2001–03
Rovnag Abdullayev 2004–08
Akbar Hajiyev 2008–10
Sadyg Sadygov 2010–

Notable managers[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Neftchi Baku PFK managers.

The following managers have all won at least one trophy when in charge of Neftchi:

Name Period Trophies
Azerbaijan Ahmad Alaskarov 1992 Azerbaijan Premier League
Azerbaijan Vagif Sadygov 1993–95 Azerbaijan Cup (2), Azerbaijan Supercup (2)
Azerbaijan Kazbek Tuaev 1996–97, 1998–99, 2003–04 Azerbaijan Premier League (3), Azerbaijan Cup (2)
Azerbaijan Agaselim Mirjavadov 2004–06 Azerbaijan Premier League, CIS Cup
Azerbaijan Boyukagha Hajiyev 2011–13, 2014 Azerbaijan Premier League (2), Azerbaijan Cup (2)
Azerbaijan Arif Asadov 2010–11, 2014– Azerbaijan Premier League


Neftchi's first trophy was the Azerbaijani league title in 1992. The club currently holds the record for most top-division titles (8), the most Azerbaijan Cups (6), the most Azerbaijan Supercups (2) and the most Azerbaijan Cup Final appearances (8).[41] The club's most recent trophy came in May 2013 with the 2012–13 Azerbaijan Cup title.[42]


Winners (8) : 1992, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13
Runners-up (3) : 2000-01, 2001-02, 2006-07
Winners (6) : 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2012-13, 2013-14
Runners-up (2) : 2000-01, 2011-12
Winners (2) : 1993, 1995
Runners-up (1) : 2013


Third place (1) : 1966
Winners (1) : 2006
Runners-up (1) : 2005

In popular culture[edit]

A number of television programmes have included references to Neftchi Baku over the past few decades. In the sitcom Aramizda Galsin, the character Aslan is a Neftchi supporter.[43] Neftchi have also featured on several occasions in meykhana.[44][45]


  1. ^ "Нефтчи" стал первым азербайджанским футбольным клубом, вышедшим в групповой этап еврокубков - ФОТО. (in Russian). Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  2. ^ ЦСКА вылетел из еврокубков. UEFA (in Russian). Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Neftci PFC Baki". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Andrei Balitskiy and Mike Dryomin (29 February 2012). "Class A - First Group (First Level)". Soviet Union 1966 championship. RSSSF. 
  5. ^ Сын Тофика Бахрамова рассказал о своем отце (Интервью). (in Russian). Retrieved 16 April 2013. {{|date=December 2013}}<
  6. ^ "Baku memorial for 1966 linesman". BBC. 13 October 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Нефтчи" впервые за шесть лет стал чемпионом Азербайджана. (in Russian). Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  8. ^ История азербайджанского футбола. Время позора, успеха и денег. (in Russian). Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Скандал на Кубке Содружества: чемпионы Армении отказались играть с азербайджанцами (Scandal at the CIS Cup: The champions of Armenia refused to play the Azerbaijanis)" (in Russian). 19 January 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  10. ^ Aliyev, Elmir. "Вице-президент "Нефтчи": "Ханс-Юрген Геде хотел нас "кинуть""". Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Sabah futbol üzrə Azərbaycan milli çempionatı başlayır". Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  12. ^ Ibrahimov, Erkin. "Neftçi take title honours in Azerbaijan". UEFA. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Neftchi are Azerbaijani champions". 
  14. ^ "Arif Əsədov Azərbaycan futbolu tarixinə düşdü". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Ibragimov, Erkin. "Neftçi take honours in Azerbaijan". UEFA. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Нефтчи - чемпион второй год подряд. (in Russian). Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "2011-ci ilin sirrini APASPORT açdı – EKSKLÜZİV - STATİSTİKA". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Neftçi claim creditable draw at Inter". UEFA. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Neftçi hold Partizan on group stage debut". UEFA. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Three in a row for Azerbaijani champions Neftçi". UEFA. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Нефтчи в пятый раз завоевал Кубок страны (ОБНОВЛЕНО). (in Russian). Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  22. ^ Atayev, Oktay. "Нефтчи" выиграл кубок. (in Russian). UEFA. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Skënderbeu strike late to end Neftçi resistance". UEFA. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  24. ^ Беюкага Гаджиев ушел с поста главного тренера "Нефтчи". (in Russian). Rambler (portal). Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Назим Сулейманов возглавил "Нефтчи". (in Russian). Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Назим СУЛЕЙМАНОВ: Мне не позволили усилить Нефтчи. (in Russian). Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "Nazim Süleymanovun istefasının təfərrüatı BİZDƏ - AÇIQLAMA". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Нефтчи в шестой раз завладел Кубком Азербайджана. (in Russian). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "Заря" восходит, Одесса тонет. (in Russian). UEFA. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Sadıq Sadıqov "Neftçi"də maliyyə problemlərinin olduğunu etiraf etdi". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  31. ^ Так, кто же ты, Нефтчи?. (in Russian). Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  32. ^ Наш соперник: сборная Азербайджана (Russian)
  33. ^ В столице Азербайджана будет построен 60-тысячный стадион (Russian)
  34. ^ Кому нужен азербайджанский футбол?. (in Russian). Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Cüdo üzrə ikiqat paralimpiya çempionu İlham Zəkiyev də "Neftçi"yə dəstək oldu". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  36. ^ "Keçmişə Salam 08.04.2013". ANS TV (in Azerbaijani). 8 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  37. ^ Дело - за первой сборной. (in Russian). Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  38. ^ Раиль МЕЛИКОВ: «Это главное дерби Азербайджана и его невозможно сравнить с другим матчем»(Russian)
  39. ^ "Neftçi PFK - History". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  40. ^ Нефтчи отдал Садыгова в ФК Баку. (in Russian). Azerifootball. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  41. ^ Bagirov, Rustam. Век живи!. (in Russian). Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  42. ^ "“Neftçi” kuboku “Xəzər Lənkəran”a vermədi: dava düşdü - FİNAL". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  43. ^ ""Aramızda qalsın"da "Böyük oyun" həyəcanı - VİDEO". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  44. ^ "Meyxanaçılar "Neftçi" - "Araz" haqda meyxana dedi". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  45. ^ "Мастера мейханы снова поддержали Нефтчи (ФОТО)". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 9 November 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilson, Jonathan (2006). Behind the Curtain: Football in Eastern Europe: Travels in Eastern European Football. Orion. ISBN 0752879456. 

External links[edit]