FC Rapid București
|Full name||SC Fotbal Club Rapid SA|
|Founded||25 June 1923|
|Capacity||19,100 (11,704 seated)|
|Owner||Sector 1 Municipality|
|2015–16||Liga II, Seria I, 1st (promoted)|
It was founded in 1923 by a group workers of the Grivița workshops under the name of Asociația culturală și sportivă CFR ("CFR Cultural and Sports Association"). Domestically, Rapid București is the third most succesful club in Romania, having won 3 Liga I titles, 13 Cupa României and 4 Supercupa României. Internationally, their biggest achievement is reaching the quarter-finals of the 2005–06 UEFA Cup. On 14 July 2016, the club was declared bankrupt and subsequently replaced in Liga I by ACS Poli Timișoara. Several new clubs have since claimed the legacy of Rapid, including AFC Rapid and AS Academia Rapid București, both playing as of 2017[update] in Liga IV.
Since 1939, the club had played its home matches at the Giulești-Valentin Stănescu in burgundy and white uniforms. Giuleștenii had strong local rivalries with Steaua București and Dinamo București, as well as with Petrolul Ploiești.
In June 1923, Teofil Copaci, Grigore Grigoriu, Aurel Kahane, Geza Ginzer and other Romanian railroad workers agreed the fusion of two amateur clubs, "CFR" (ex-"Rampa Militari") and "Excelsior". After a few years, the team started competing in the first league in 1931.
During the pre-war years, Rapid was one of Romania's top teams, regularly winning the cup but never the championship although they came close. Once Rapid lost the championship because of fair play. One of Rapid's players touched the ball with his hand in the penalty area during a decisive match against Venus Bucharest. Rapid needed a win to finish first in the league. In the first place the referee did not see the incident but when hearing the audience protest the referee asked the player if he touched the ball with his hand, the player admitting. Venus converted the penalty and managed to draw 1–1 and to finish first in the league.
The railway workers were not the selection pool any longer, but a strong supporting audience. Some players were also selected in the national team. During those years, but also during the war, the competitions' formats changed for various reorganizations and Rapid won the "Bassarabia" Cup, in 1942. The strangest of all might be the qualification in the final of the Mitropa Cup (precursor of the UEFA Champions League) at a moment when the competition was taking its last breath.
In 1940, Rapid played two ties in the Mitropa Cup semi-finals and were drawn to the final, which was never played due to the outbreak of World War II. Rapid managed to secure the Romanian title in 1967.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Rapid reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup and won the Romanian Cup in 1972 and 1975 before declining, eventually confined to the second league for six-straight seasons. Even with Stănescu as coach, Rapid could not do better than returning to the lower ranks of the first league. The club was slowly starved, with less and less money in a championship where Romania's leading teams were successfully competing at the European level (Steaua București played two European Cup finals in 1986 and 1989, winning the former, and an additional semi-final in 1989; Dinamo București reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals in 1990; and Universitatea Craiova reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1983). Rpaid narrowly avoided relegation in 1987 in the last match of the season.
In 1990, the fall of communism brought only partial solutions until 1992, when Traian Băsescu, then-Minister of Transportation, appointed a new manager, Marcel Pușcaș, and a new coach, Mircea Rădulescu, both of whom were experienced, having previously worked with the Romania national team.The UEFA Cup, Rapid was defeated by Internazionale (1–3; 0–2). It was the moment when George Copos started managing the Rapid business, finding strong corporate sponsorships and winning political capital.
In the following years, the club won the most important official honours (two league titles and four national cups) and had the most important European achievements, especially due to a careful appointment of coaches. The most notable coach that managed Rapid in this period is Mircea Lucescu, the man who transformed the club into a force in the Romanian championship again. Also, his son Răzvan Lucescu has been the manager with the greatest achievements in the European competitions with Rapid. However, the coach who won the most trophies for the club is Mircea Rednic.
After a few years during which their experience in the European competitions was limited, Rapid started to perform better, and for the third time in the post-war history, in the 2005–06 season, the team reached the spring, upper-level, phases of the UEFA Cup, up to the quarter-finals. Rapid was stopped by Steaua București after a 1–1 draw at home and a 0–0 draw away. In 2006, Rapid became an incorporated company with George Copos as its largest shareholder. After the 2006–07 season, Răzvan Lucescu left Rapid and went to manage Brașov. Cristiano Bergodi was named as the main coach, but after winning the Supercupa României and an unbeaten run in the championship, he was sacked by club owner George Copos.
In 2008, Fathi Taher became the new owner of Rapid. He named José Peseiro as his new coach and brought an important number of players, investing a considerable sum of money. The club's performances under Peseiro, however, were poor, and he was sacked several months later. Rapid finished the 2008–09 season in eighth place, outside the European qualification positions. In 2009–10, Viorel Hizo was named coach of Rapid, but the team missed Europe again. In 2010–11, Marius Șumudică came as the new coach and Dinu Gheorghe returned as the club's chairman. Rapid finished fourth and qualified for Europa League after a two-year absence.
The 2011–12 season started with high hopes, as Răzvan Lucescu had returned as coach. Rapid finished fourth at the end season and lost the Romanian Cup final against Dinamo București, with the score of 1–0. In the summer, Lucescu resigned and Ioan Ovidiu Sabău was brought in as new coach, along with many free agent players. However, after the elimination from the Europa League against Heerenveen (4–0 away and 1–0 at home) and several surprising defeats in the league, Sabău was sacked and Marian Rada was appointed as manager.
In December 2012, funding problems became serious and the club entered insolvency. This led to 16 players leaving the club, along with the president Constantin Zotta, during the winter break. Many youth players were brought in from the third league satellite team Rapid II. In 2013, Copos sold the club to another businessman, Adrian Zamfir. In July 2014, Rapid changed again its owner, Valerii Moraru buying the club from Zamfir.
In August 2017, Dan Tudorache, the mayor of Bucharest's Sector 1, announced that after a City Council meeting the Rapid logo, colours and club record have been rented until an auction set to commence in October 2017 and a new club, Academia Rapid, was founded and enrolled in Liga IV, the 4th tier of the Romanian football league system, with FC Rapid legends such as Daniel Pancu, Daniel Niculae or Constantin Schumacher in its new staff.
- 1923–37: Asociația culturală și sportivă Căile Ferate Române București
- 1937–45: Rapid București
- 1945–50: CFR București
- 1950–58: Locomotiva Grivița Roșie București
- 1958–94: Rapid București
- 1994–02: UFC Rapid București
- 2002–06: AFC Rapid București
- 2006–16: FC Rapid București
Rapid supporters make an important part of the club's image. They call themselves Legione Granata (The Crimson Legion). The group's presence is signaled by banners bearing their names:
T2: Piratii, Torcida Visinie, Ultra' Stil, Chicos del Infierno, Niste Baieti, Collettivo, Radicals, OldSchool;
Peluza Nord: Original, BOMBARDIERII 1998;
Dissolved groups: Ultras Unione, Maniacs, Brigada 921, Grant Ultras, Ultra Latina, Legione Titan, DsG 07, Alianza, Legiunea Chitila.
Traveling with the team for away matches being a custom since the first years of the club, local derbies being no exception. Immediately after the fall of the communist regime, on 14 February 1990, the Rapid Supporters League (Liga Suporterilor Rapidiști, LSR) was legally established.
A unique organization in Romania is the Rapid Aristocratic Club. The club's members are well-known artists, their purpose being spreading and defending Rapid's history and tradition.
Rapid's supporters are creating some of the most impressive shows in Romanian sport singing most of the time during matches and sometimes before the matches start. They often end by being arrested. The most impressive moment in the Giulești Stadium is when Rapid's anthem is being played at the beginning of each match and every supporter is standing on their feet, waving a flag in the colors of the club or displaying a white and crimson scarf.
From the historic point of view, Rapid's traditional rival is Petrolul from Ploiești. Rapid fans and Ploiești fans have never ended their rivalry, even if the teams didn't meet (as either would often play in the second tier of Romanian football). On a national basis, Rapid's greatest rivalries are with the two other teams from Bucharest, Steaua and Dinamo. Matches between the three Bucharest rivals often end up with clashes between the rival supporters after or before the match in which the police force is often caught in the middle.
Originally, Universitatea Craiova and Rapid fans formed an alliance, but this ended in 1998 when Universitatea refused to concede a match against Rapid in the final round of the league, which would have guaranteed Rapid their first title in over two decades. After that, Rapid fans declared the alliance broken, which might have ended in 2013, as Craiova's fans supported the rapidists when they started the hunger strike to protest against Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) decision to expel the team from Liga I for the 2013–14 season, demanding the resignations of the leaders of the Romanian football, Mircea Sandu (FRF president) and Dumitru Dragomir (LPF president), and Rapid's fans from T2 boycotted the friendly match with CSU Craiova, the main Universitatea's rival.
Rapid supporters consider Politehnica Timișoara supporters to be their allies, as both have nostalgic supporter segments who think they had been "wronged" during the communist regime. Fans of both teams had the opportunity to support the other during matches. Most recently, Rapid fans supported Timișoara during their games in Bucharest, and Timișoara fans supported Rapid during Rapid's Romanian Cup game against Pandurii Târgu Jiu, played at Timișoara's Stadionul Dan Păltinișanu.
Another rival is a non-communist team from the capital of Romania, Progresul Bucuresti.
The history of Giulești Stadium begins in 1934; on 31 March, CFR began the construction of a field on the Giulești Road. The field would have a width of 65 m and a length of 105 m.
At first, the mayor of Bucharest did not want to authorize the construction of the stadium because it did not fit in the systematization of the capital. Eventually, the authorization was given and in April 1936 it was estimated that the stadium would be ready in September. The construction did begin in that year but it lasted more than two. The chief architect was Gheorghe Dumitrescu.
The stadium was inaugurated on 10 June 1939. At the time, it was the most modern stadium in Romania, a smaller replica of Arsenal's Highbury Stadium with a capacity of 12,160 seats. Among the guests at the opening ceremony was King Carol II and his son, future King Michael of Romania.
The construction of the north stand was ended in the mid-1990s, the capacity being increased to 19,100 seats. The pitch was changed in 2003, being considered the best in Romania at the time. The floodlight was installed in the summer of 2000. The stadium got the name of "Valentin Stănescu" in 2001, in respect to the manager who won the second championship for Rapid, but it is still commonly known as "Giulești Stadium", by the name of the neighborhood it is located in. Landmarks near the stadium are the Grant Bridge, Giulești Theatre, Gara de Nord (North Station) and the Grivița Railway Yards.
The stadium will be demolished in 2015, making room for a 22,000–25,000-seat modern stadium. The renovation will be funded by the Romanian government and UEFA after Bucharest was announced as one of the host cities for UEFA Euro 2020.
- Liga I
- Liga II
- Cupa României
|UEFA Champions League / European Cup||3||8||1||3||4||9||11||– 2|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup||3||12||5||3||4||19||17||+ 2|
|UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup||13||72||33||16||23||104||72||+ 32|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup||1||4||2||1||1||8||5||+ 3|
Top scorers by season in all competitions
* Season in progress.
- "Romania: Rapid Bucharest club declared bankrupt". The Washington Times. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "Rapid Bucharest will not play in Liga 1". romaniajournal.ro. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "Hotarare pentru Copos". Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Euro 2020, şansă imensă pentru fotbalul românesc. Veste excelentă: două noi arene de lux pot apărea în Bucureşti". prosport.ro.
- "Romania Final League Tables". Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Divizia A - Tables - statistics". Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Tot ce trebuie să știi despre finala Cupei Ligii.". Pro Sport. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
- "Sezonul 1993 - 1994.". Colecție FC Rapid.
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