Aris Thessaloniki F.C.
(Athletic Club Aris)
|Nickname(s)||O Theos tou Polemou (The God of War)|
|Founded||25 March 1914
as Aris Thessalonikis Football Club
|Ground||Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium|
|2016–17||Football League, 3rd|
|Active departments of Aris Thessaloniki|
Created in 1914 as Aris Thessaloniki Football Club, the club was a founding member of Macedonian Football Clubs Association as well as the Hellenic Football Federation. The colours of the club are yellow of glory, dominant colour in the culture of Macedonia, such as reminiscent of the Byzantine heritage of Thessaloniki, and black. It is named after Ares, the ancient Olympian "God of War", associated also with courage and masculinity, whose image is portrayed on the club's logo as depicted in the Ludovisi Ares sculpture.
Aris was also one of the most popular and strongest teams in Greece during the interwar period. They have been champions of Greece three times (1927–28, 1931–32, 1945–46), they have won the Greek Cup once (1970), and they have remained undefeated at home in European competitions since 1968 for 26 home matches The team's home ground is the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium.
- 1 History
- 2 Supporters
- 3 Crest and colours
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Players
- 6 Honours and achievements
- 7 Aris F.C. in Europe
- 8 Managerial history
- 9 Statistics
- 10 Personnel
- 11 Aris FC presidents
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Foundation and golden years: 1920–1950
The club was established as a football club ("Podosferikos Syllogos Aris Thessalonikis") by a group of 22 young friends in a coffee bar in Votsi area on 25 March 1914 and given the name Aris from Ares, the ancient god of war. Its nickname was inspired by the two Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, when Greece fought against the Ottoman Empire before engaging in a war with Bulgaria. In Greek mythology, Aris was a deity who was in conflict with Heracles, the mythological character after which Aris's rival football team, Iraklis, was named. Aris holds a fierce rivalry with PAOK and Olympiakos. In the beginning the club was based on a near the Arch and Tomb of Galerius, but after the accession of two minor football clubs in 1919 and 1921 the club's base was moved near to Flemming Street. The first stadium was built on the site where Mars Field Park currently lies on Stratou Avenue. Quickly the club became very popular and soon new teams apart from football were established.
During this early stage of football in Greece no professional league was established. Instead, three minor leagues (in Macedonia (E.P.S.M.), Athens (E.P.S.A.) and Piraeus (E.P.S.P.)) were created, with the champions of each league competing in a postseason mini tournament to claim the title of the national champion. The first official game was held in 1923 against Megas Alexandros Thessaloniki (Alexander the Great), another Thessalonician team. That year marked the first title, when Aris was named regional champion of Macedonia, something that was repeated next year.
In 1926 the club was renamed "Athletic Club Aris Thessaloniki" to include also other sports than football.
The first big success for Aris came between 1927 and 1928 when they won the first Greek Championship, beating finalists Atromitos Athens and Ethnikos Piraeus exploiting the abstention from the championship teams of RECs. In the first race on 24 May, the team of Thessaloniki prevailed 3–1 Atromitos Athens, while three days after losing to National 3–2. In iterative matches played in June in Thessaloniki, Aris won both of his opponents by 3–1 and thus crowned the first champion of Greece. Coach of the team was the German Thomas Kessler, and prominent players of Aris were, among others, Costas Vikelidis, Savvas Vogiatzis that emerged and top scorer with six goals, Nikos Agelakis, scorer of the finals with four goals and Dionysis Caltech.
The following year, it was held the final stage of national championships although Aris won the championship title in Thessaloniki, playing two matches barrage against PAOK. The first took place on 12 May 1929 and ended 1–1, while the second was held on 2 June with Aris to beats 4–3, having Nick Angelaki scoring a hat-trick. 
On 20 April 1929, the first friendly match took place between Aris and Panathinaikos, the "yellows" to defeat 5–4. The second championship came four years later in 1932, only this time his opponents were Olympiakos, Panathinaikos, AEK, Ethnikos, PAOK and Iraklis. Aris managed to collect 22 points in this mini tournament, four more than the second, Panathinaikos, scoring large wins like 7–0 against Panathinaikos, 7–3 against Iraklis and 3–0 versus AEK and Olympiakos in Athens, also new star players emerged, Kitsios, Aggelakis, Mpogdanos, Gigopoulos, while Belgian manager De Valer guided effectively the club.
Four years after winning the first Panhellenic title, the "yellows" won the championship. Aris became champion amassing a total of 22 points, four more than second Panathinaikos and scoring big wins like 7–0 against Panathinaikos with four goals Maywood,  6–1 on Apollo Athens with six goals in the Angelaki first home appearance with the first group of Kleanthis Vikelidis,  7–3 at Hercules with four goals Kitsos and away 0–3 over Olympiakos, PAOK and AEK. Leading scorer of the league emerged Nikos Kitsos with 15 goals and Nikos Agelakis to 14. 
Big stars of that team were Kitsos, Agelakis, Caltech, and Vogdanou Gkikopoulos while coach De Valera. 
That same year, the EPO instituted for the first time the Greek Cup, Mars crashing Panathinaikos 7–2 in the quarterfinal.  This was followed by victory over Apollo Athens, to reach the final where they lost 5–3 from AEK Athens, losing the chance to win the first doubles. 
Aris won their third title in 1946, playing against two teams, AEK from Athens and Olympiakos from Piraeus, champions of the other two minor domestic leagues. Aris beat Olympiakos twice, scoring two goals and conceding none; came to a draw with AEK in Athens and defeated them in PAOK's stadium in Thessaloniki (score 4–1). Aris has not won a championship since the establishment of the First Division (1959).
Up to 1959, when the united First Division was created, Aris managed to finish first 14 times in the Macedonian division.
Modern times 1950–1981
Aris' status remained high during this period, which was marked by the construction of the club's homeground, the Kleanthis Vikelides Stadium, named after the legendary homonymous player. Before World War II, Aris' homeground was located in the center of the city, near the International Trade Fair, but was abandoned by the state in 1936 in order for the Paedion tou Areos park (Mars Field) to be built. The club managed to buy some land during 1951 in a quarter of the city named Harilaou, where the new Stadium was slowly built. Also in 1959, the tripartite minor league system was abandoned and a new, unified Championship was created.
The club's accomplishments during these years were significant. It was one of the first teams in Greece to qualify for European tournaments. Under the leadership of Alexandros Alexiades, Giorgos Pantziaras and Takis Loukanidis, Aris earned high placings in the League during the 1960s and 1970s, with apex the 1970 Hellenic Cup Title against the club's fierce rival, PAOK, in Kaftanzoglio Stadium.
In the 1970s, Aris was reorganized and a vast number of young players from Thessaloniki, including Kouis, Foiros, Drambis, Zindros and Papafloratos led the club. Its most important achievements during that period included a successful 1980 UEFA campaign when Aris eliminated Benfica and Perugia. Aris was also the first Greek club to score a victory both in Italy and Portugal. At home, the team shared first place with Olympiakos at the end of the 1980 campaign, though it lost the title 2–0 in a tie-breaker against the Piraeus club in Volos National Stadium.
Stone years 1981–2006
After the mid-1980s and the retirement of the club's honored old guard, Aris entered in a slow decline, rarely reaching European league qualification or notable Greek League position, which—in combination with appreciable financial troubles that left the club near bankruptcy—led to the club's relegation to the Second Division in 1997 and 2005. Both times though Aris managed to resume its place in the first division.
Aris Members' Society era 2006–2014
In recent years, specially after the creation of an Aris Members' Society that controls the club's fortunes, Aris has qualified several times for the UEFA Europa League, finished fourth in the Superleague three times, and has reached in the Greek Cup Final four times, losing in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010, when 25,000 Aris fans went to Athens in the biggest ever move of fans in Greece,. In 2008 and 2010 Aris made it through to the UEFA Europa League group stage after eliminating Real Zaragoza and Austria Wien respectively during the Cup's play-off rounds. During the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League they managed to play for the first time in club's history in Europe after Christmas, after a very good appearance in the group stage where they won 1–0 at home and 2–3 away and eliminated the title holders Atlético Madrid. Recent developments include the interest from the club's board to construct a new, modern stadium in eastern Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area to replace the obsolete Kleanthis Vikelides Stadium and the modernization and expansion of the club's training facilities in Neo Rysio, Thessaloniki. Also, in a unique move for Greek standards, the board decided in December 2009 to establish a radio station, Aris FM 92.8 in order to promote the communication between Aris fans around the country and the coverage of the clubs activities. In 2014, due to financial problems Aris was relegated to the third tier of Greek football.
After their relegation many were wondering who was going to take care of the team. American business man Alex Kalas emerged the first season with him in charge of the football department while they failed to gain promotion to the Football League. In summer 2015 where the next elections for the role of head of football department Kalas won again and promised to put more money into the club. Kalas also made a number of signings, Honduran legend Carlos Costly, Sierra Leone international John Kamara, Spaniard Guillermo Pérez Moreno, Portuguese footballer Fábio Ruben Moreira Tavares, defender Paschalis Melissas and defender Stavros Petavrakis. Due to Aris failing to get into the second division Kalas was sacked despite only being there for a month. Aris would have to play another year in Gamma Ethniki On the stay of the team for another year in Gamma Ethniki category of the first speech from where finished the last championship 2014–15 will continue Aris having appealed and disposed of the Commission of Appeal EPO to fight in the barrage matches Gamma Ethniki between second place's teams in the rankings, which refused twice both Appeals committees EPO and went to the Administrative Court third degree for justice but was refused there and Aris will continue in 2015–16 Gamma Ethniki Category for the second consecutive year. This decision caused the anger of the fans. On the 26 and 31 August 2015 about 10,000 fans protested strongly against this decision in the streets of Thessaloniki. These protests caused clashes between the police and the fans that led to arrests and Aris didn't manage to get promoted to the professional divisions.
Karipidis era (2016–present)
Although after the Aris election, Arvanitidis became leader of football department, the AS named a day later, Theodoros Karipidis as the head of football department. He signed many players in a few days including former Greek footballer of the club Andreas Tatos, former Real Madrid C.F. defender Raul Bravo club legend Sergio Koke, as well as many super league quality players like Kostas Kaznaferis, Vasilios Rovas, Nikos Tsoumanis, Giannis Siderakis as well as many others. Theodoros Karipidis appointed Nikos Anastopoulos as the manager. During the 2015–16 season they managed to be promoted to the second division of Greece with a 21-point difference from the second club. Finally Irene Karipidis became the major shareholder with overwhelming proportion over 89%.
Aris' fan base is spread across all the economic classes in the city of Thessaloniki and the greater region of Greece. Their rivalry is against clubs such as arch-rival PAOK, but also against the biggest clubs of Athens Olympiacos Piraeus, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens. Matches against PAOK are local derbies and an event that splits Thessaloniki and Northern Greece in two. Aris' main fan club is Super 3. It exist since 1988 with 50 more Super 3 clubs spread all over Greece and Europe. There are over 12.000 Super 3 members. In the rest of Europe there are also some organized Aris' fan clubs in countries such as Germany, Italy and Sweden. According to some polls Aris is the 5th most popular team in Greece with around a million fans, an amount quite big considering the lack of titles for many decades.
Aris Members' Society
In January 2006, the club's board decided to create an organisation called "Aris Friends' Club" to give supporters the opportunity to participate in the club's management by buying no par value shares. According to the plan, each member will have the right to vote in the board elections for president, as well as to run as a candidate. In order to be involved in the elections, fans must also financially support the club.
The system was fully activated in May 2009, when the president, Thanasis Athanasiadis, was elected after prevailing against Lambros Skordas, obtaining 75.5% of the votes, while it has gained large support from the club's supporters, counting over 9,335 members, in 2011. Athanasiadis was reelected in May 2011, obtaining 73.9% of the votes In February 2012, the organisation was officially renamed "Aris Members' Society". In June 2012, after the resignation of former chairman, a new board of directors under Antonis Zampetas took over in order to face the serious financial problems.,
Crest and colours
A company of young Thessalonians inspired the name of the club by Ares, the ancient Olympian "God of War", after the successful military operations of the Kingdom of Greece during the Balkan Wars, and the liberation of Thessaloniki in 1912 from the Ottoman empire. The emblem of the team is a resting Ares (Greek: Άρης), as depicted in the Ludovisi Ares sculpture. This emblem was chosen in the late 1970s to replace an older and simpler logo which was used since 1914. Also, during the 2000s, a scheme of meander was added to the crest.
The colors of the team are yellow or gold of glory, dominant colour in the culture of Macedonia, and black. Alternative colours also used include white or even dark red uniforms. During the 2000s, the club introduced also a shade of lime.
Shirt and sponsors history
The following table shows in detail Aris kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors by year:
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|2003–2004||Le Coq Sportif||DEPA|
|2014–2015||Stabomania||Swedish Systems Security|
The stadium of Aris Thessaloniki is named Kleanthis Vikelides after the club's legendary player. It is located at 69 Alkminis, Charilaou; 54249 Thessaloniki, and was built in 1951. In 1972, it got a new roof, in 1975 a new north stand, and in 2004, it was fully renovated. Its current total capacity is 22,800 spectators.
Since the late 1970s, Aris FC has created its own training grounds in Neo Rysio just outside Thessaloniki near the International Airport covering three hectares and including football fields, hosting area with gym, pool and sauna, press room, offices, restaurant and locker rooms. The facilities were rebuilt in September 2010 after a demand placed by manager Héctor Cúper.
- As of 19 July 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Other players under contract
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Aris U19 squad
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Honours and achievements
- Super League Greece
- Football League
- Champions (1): 1997–98
- Gamma Ethniki
- Greek Cup
- Greater Greece Cup
- Winners (1): 1971
- EPSM Championship (local level until 1959)
- Winners (12) (record): 1923–24, 1925–26, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1937–38, 1945–46, 1948–49, 1952–53, 1958–59
Aris F.C. in Europe
Aris has not lost a home game in UEFA competitions. Over 42 years the club has gone 26 home games undefeated.
|1964||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Roma||0–0||0–3||0–3|
|1965||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Köln||2–1||0–2||2–3|
|1966||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Juventus||0–2||0–5||0–7|
|1968||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Hibernians||1–0||6–0||7–0|
|1968||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Újpest||1–2||1–9||2–11|
|1969||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Cagliari||1–1||0–3||1–4|
|1970||Cup Winners' Cup||Chelsea||1–1||1–5||2–6|
|1974||UEFA Cup||Rapid Wien||1–0||1–3||2–3|
|1980||UEFA Cup||Ipswich Town||3–1||1–5||4–6|
|1994||UEFA Cup||Hapoel Be'er Sheva||3–1||2–1||5–2|
|1999||UEFA Cup||Celta Vigo||2–2||0–2||2–4|
|2007||UEFA Cup||Red Star Belgrade||3–0||Single
|2007||UEFA Cup||Bolton Wanderers||Single
|2007||UEFA Cup||Bayern Munich||Single
|2009||UEFA Cup||Slaven Belupo||1–0||0–2||1–2|
|2010||UEFA Europa League||Jagiellonia Bialystok||2–2||2–1||4–3|
|2010||UEFA Europa League||Austria Wien||1–0||1–1||2–1|
|2010||UEFA Europa League||Atlético Madrid||1–0||3–2||4–2|
|2010||UEFA Europa League||Bayer Leverkusen||0–0||0–1||0–1|
|2010||UEFA Europa League||Rosenborg||2–0||1–2||3–2|
|2011||UEFA Europa League||Manchester City||0–0||0–3||0–3|
|UEFA Europa League / Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||16||60||22||16||22|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1||2||0||1||1|
Last updated: 2018
|Grigoris Vlachopoulos||1914–22||Alketas Panagoulias||1975||Henri Michel||2001||Siniša Dobrašinović||2015|
|Kostas Vikelidis||1922–27||Dobromir Zhechev||1975–76||Richard Tardy||2001–02||Dimitris Kalaitzidis||2015|
|Thomas Kössler||1927–29||Alketas Panagoulias||1976–77||Giannis Tzifopoulos||2001||Nikos Anastopoulos||2015–2017|
|De Valer||1929–32||Panagiotis Patsidis||1977||Bernd Krauss||2002||Nikos Kostenoglou||2017|
|Kostas Vikelidis||1932||Carl-Heinz Rühl||1977||Giorgos Foiros||2002–03||Dimitris Spanos||2017–|
|Gyula Antal||1932–34||Panagiotis Patsidis||1977–78||Giannis Michalitsos||2003|
|Kostas Vikelidis||1934–40||Milovan Ćirić||1978||Giorgos Pantziaras||2003|
|World War II||Apostol Čačevski||1978–79||Ole Skouboe||2003|
|Dionysis Kaltekis||1945–49||José Sasía||1979–80||Makis Katsavakis||2003–04|
|Iakovos Yakumis||1949–50||Frank Blunstone||1980||Giorgos Chatzaras||2004–05|
|Nikolaos Aggelakis||1950–53||Michal Vičan||1980–81||Martti Kuusela||2005|
|Kleanthis Vikelidis||1953–55||Giannis Nalbantis||1981||Nikos Anastopoulos||2005–06|
|Kiril Simonovski||1955||Dettmar Cramer||1981–82||Guillermo Ángel Hoyos||2006–07|
|Ernst Netuka||1955||Antonis Georgiadis||1982–84||Nikos Passialis||2006|
|Aleksandar Petrović||1955–56||Kostas Chatzikostas||1984||Quique Hernández||2006–07|
|Mladen Kašanin||1956||Thijs Libregts||1984–86||Juan Oliva||2007|
|Ivan Stevović||1956–57||Giannis Venos||1986||Dušan Bajević||2007–08|
|Kleanthis Vikelidis||1957||Gojko Zec||1986–87||Quique Hernández||2008–09|
|Ivan Stevović||1957–58||Klimis Gounaris||1987||Mazinho||2009|
|Dionysis Kaltekis||1958||Gerd Prokop||1987–88||Dimitris Bugiuklis||2009|
|Carl Panagl||1958||Alketas Panagoulias||1988–90||Héctor Cúper||2009–11|
|Kleanthis Vikelidis||1958–59||Kostas Tsilios||1990||Giannis Michalitsos||2011|
|Svetislav Glišović||1959–61||Jacek Gmoch||1990–91||Sakis Tsiolis||2011|
|Kleanthis Vikelidis||1961||Kostas Tsilios||1991||Michał Probierz||2011–12|
|Kostas Velliadis||1961||Ivan Vutsov||1991–92||Giorgos Semertzidis
|Ljubiša Spajić||1961–62||Giorgos Foiros||1992–96|
|Vasilis Grigoriadis||1962||Giannis Tzifopoulos||1996||Manuel Machado||2012|
|Ettore Trevisan||1962||Jozef Jarabinský||1996||Makis Katsavakis||2012|
|Bela Palfi||1962–66||Stavros Diamantopoulos||1996–97||Nikos Passialis
|Svetislav Glišović||1966–67||Giorgos Semertzidis
|Severiano Correia||1967–69||Lucas Alcaraz||2012–13|
|Nikolaos Aggelakis||1969||Juan Ramón Rocha||1997||Giannis Michalitsos||2013|
|Milovan Ćirić||1969–70||Giorgos Foiros||1997–98||Soulis Papadopoulos||2013|
|Michalis Baltatzis||1970||Georgios Paraschos||1998||Giannis Chatzinikolaou||2013|
|Milovan Ćirić||1970–71||Alketas Panagoulias||1998–99||Zoran Milinković||2013|
|Michalis Baltatzis||1971||Ilija Petković||1999–00||Soulis Papadopoulos||2013–14|
|Les Allen||1971||Giorgos Semertzidis
|Wilf McGuinness||1971–73||Dimitris Kalaitzidis||2014|
|Branko Stanković||1973–75||Babis Tennes||2000–01||Paulo Campos||2014–15|
League top scorers
Most league appearances
Most goals in a Superleague match
|Nikolaos Aggelakis||6 goals (10 April 1932, Aris vs Apollon Smyrni: 6–1)|
Superleague top scorers
|1||Nikos Kitsos||3||1931, 1932, 1934|
|President & CEO||Theodoros Karipidis|
|Member||Theodoros A. Karipidis|
|AC Representative||Panagiotis Alexandridis|
Technical and medical staff
Aris FC presidents
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- Official football website (in Greek and English)
- Aris FC uefa.com
- Club-owned Radio Station
- Aris Members' Society website
- All about Aris (in Greek)