FC Politehnica Timișoara
|Full name||Fotbal Club Politehnica Timișoara|
The Banat Boys |
|Short name||Poli Timișoara|
|Founded||4 December 1921|
Fotbal Club Politehnica Timișoara (Romanian pronunciation: [po.liˈteh.nika timiˈʃo̯ara]), commonly referred to as Poli Timișoara, was a Romanian football club established in 1921 and dissolved in September 2012. The team had won two Romanian Cups and was twice a runner-up in Liga I. It is ranked 8th in the Liga I All-Time Table, with 49 seasons played.
Named after and initially run by the Polytechnic University of Timișoara, the club was founded in 1921 by Traian Lalescu. After two decades spent in the regional leagues, Poli promoted in the first division in 1948. They have since spent 49 seasons at the top level, finishing as runner-up twice and featuring in six Romanian Cup finals. In the 2010–11 season, they finished in the second spot, but were relegated because of unpaid debts and incapacity to obtain a license for the next season.
Over the years, Poli developed rivalries with Dinamo București and UTA Arad. Timișoara and Arad are located close to each other and are the main cities in the Romanian Banat region. Both Timișoara and Arad claim to be the first place where football was played in Romania. Poli has a friendly fan-relationship with the supporters of Rapid București and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Early years (1921–1997)
The club was founded in 1921 by Polytechnic University of Timișoara under the name Societatea Sportiva Politehnica. Until the second World War, Poli was outclassed by two other teams from the city, Ripensia and Chinezul, both multiple winners of the Romanian championship.
In the following seasons (from 1950), the club appear with the name Știința Timișoara. The club relegates for the first time in 1951, but promotes after only one year and played in the top league until the season 1958–59. The team promoted back after only one year. The following relegation came in 1963–64 season, again for only a year.
From the 1966–67 season, the team started using the name Politehnica Timișoara, but the team goes to the second division in the same season. Politehnica doesn't came back to the first division until 1973.
Politehnica played for the first time in Europe in 1978–79 UEFA Cup, after finishing third in the 1977–78 season. The team defeated MTK Budapest (2–0 and 1–2), but lost in the second round against Honved Budapest (2–0 and 0–4).
The second trophy won by Politehnica Timișoara was the 1979–80 Romanian Cup. The final was disputed against Steaua București and the final score was 2–1, after extra time. Politehnica played in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, defeating Celtic Glasgow (1–0 and 1–2) and being defeated by West Ham United (1–0 and 0–4) in the quarterfinals. They played again in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981–82 season because the team lost the 1980–81 Romanian Cup to that year champions, Universitatea Craiova (0–6). Politehnica skipped the first round, and lost to Leipzig with 2–0 and 0–5.
Politehnica Timișoara played in the Divizia A for ten years, until 1983. The next period was spent between the Divizia A and the Divizia B, with promotions in 1984, 1987, 1989 and relegations in 1986  and 1988.
After the 1989 Revolution, Politehnica played in the 1990–91 UEFA Cup, beating Atlético Madrid (2–0 and 0–1), but lost in the second round to Sporting Lisbon (2–0 and 0–7). In 1992–93 UEFA Cup, Politehnica scored a draw against Real Madrid (1–1 in Timișoara), but was defeated in the next match (0–4).
The team was relegated to the Divizia B in 1994 and promoted back in 1995. After the 1996–97 relegation, the team didn't came back in the first division on competitions ground. Instead, it relegated again, this time to the Liga III, at the end of the 2001–02 season.
The comeback and the record dispute (2002–2011)
In 2002, AEK Bucharest were promoted to Liga I, Romanian football's top division, for the first time, whereupon Anton Doboș, the team's owner, moved it to Timișoara. It was renamed Politehnica AEK Timișoara, and received the full support of local authorities and Politehnica fans. The team was on the verge of relegation after only one year. Poli was able to maintain the Liga I spot after winning a play-off against Gloria Buzău.
From 2004–05 season, the team changed the name again in FCU Politehnica Timișoara. From 2008, following a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision, the team changed the name in FC Timișoara. The colors and the records before 2002 were lost in favor of Politehnica Timișoara former owner, Claudio Zambon.
At the end of 2007–08 Liga I, FC Timișoara qualified for UEFA Cup. It was the first time in sixteen years that a team from Timișoara had achieved European qualification. The team was eliminated by Partizan Belgrade in the first round by an aggregate score of 1–3.
In 2008–09 Liga I, Timișoara finished the season in 2nd place, qualifying the 3rd preliminary round of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. The team defeated the reigning UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk, but they were eliminated from the competition during the Playoff Round by an aggregate score of 0–2 by German club VfB Stuttgart. In the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League Group A, FC Timișoara finished in last place, after Anderlecht, Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb.
After the 2009–10 Liga I, fifth placed team FC Timișoara were drawn in the third qualifying round of the Europa League against MyPa from Finland, which they surpassed 5–4 on aggregate, after a spectacular comeback from three goals down in the second leg. However, in the play-off round they were drawn against Manchester City and were defeated twice in a row, 0–1 and 0–2.
In November 2010, the Romanian Court of Appeal returned Politehnica's name, colors and records to FC Timișoara. Due to rules that forbid changes of team names during a season, the team used the name FC Timișoara until the end of 2010–11 season.
Relegated to Liga II by RFF and dissolution (2011–2012)
Despite finishing second in the 2010–11 Liga I, the team was relegated to Liga II after the club failed to meet the requirements for obtaining the necessary licence to play in the first division. They played in the 2011–12 Liga II under the name of Politehnica Timișoara, and gained promotion back to the Liga I but were again denied the licence and were dissolved in September 2012. ACS Recaș was moved to Timișoara and was renamed ACS Poli Timișoara but the fans decided to support the amateur team ASU Politehnica Timișoara, considering ACS Poli Timișoara is a fraud and a political maneuver.
- Winners (10): 1947–48, 1952, 1959–60, 1964–65, 1972–73, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1994–95, 2011–12
- Runners-up (2): 1943–44, 1970–71
|UEFA Champions League / European Cup||1||4||0||3||1||2||4||−2|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup||2||6||3||0||3||5||11||−6|
|UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup||6||22||6||4||12||20||38||−18|
Most capped players
Notable former players
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- "Arbitration CAS 2006/A/1109" (PDF). Court of Arbitration for Sport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-05.
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- "comunicare" (PDF). Opinia Timişoarei.
- "13 cluburi din Liga I au primit licenţa pentru sezonul 2011–2012". FRF. 31 May 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013.