FC Astra Giurgiu
|Full name||Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu|
|Nickname(s)||Dracii Negrii (Black Devils)|
|Short name||Astra Giurgiu|
|Founded||1921; 93 years ago as Astra-Română Sports Club |
|Ground||Stadionul Marin Anastasovici|
|2014–15||Liga I, 4th|
|Website||Club home page|
Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu is a Romanian professional football club from Giurgiu, Romania. They were founded in 1921, in Ploiești and spent their vast majority in the lower leagues. Only after 1990, when the club was taken under the ownership of Ioan Niculae, it began to achieve some performances, starting with the first season of Liga I in 1998-99. They are currently playing in the country's top league, Liga I.
The traditional colours of the team are white and black.
- 1 History
- 2 Rankings
- 3 Crest and colors
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Honours
- 6 Players
- 7 League history
- 8 Cup history
- 9 European record
- 10 Notable players
- 11 Former managers
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Clubul Sportiv Astra-Română (Astra-Română Sports Club) was founded on 18 September 1921 by the "Astra-Română" Society, an oil-company owned by Henri Deterding and based in Prahova. Initially, the club consisted of several football sides based in towns from the entire county. The players of these teams were workers of the company.
In the summer of 1934, the inaugural edition of the "Astra" Societies Cup” was organised by the rafinery, a trophy open for all the Astra teams. The matches were played in the town of Moreni. At the time, the refinery had only one team, Astra Română Câmpina, that was playing in the district championship. In order to make the cup more attractive, the society created three new football sides for the event: Astra Română Moreni, Astra Română Boldești and Astra Română Unirea Hârsa.
After the 1937 edition of the Cup, the society decided to merge all of its Prahova teams and thus created Astra Română Ploiești on 29 May 1937. The team was registered in the district championship. Just a few months after the team's foundation, the society changed its name to Columbia and moved it to a ground located near the society's headquarters, in Câmpina.
In May 1945, Astra Română Ploiești was reformed and played its home matches on the old Columbia Stadium, a stadium that still exists today in Ploiești.
In the summer of 1992, Astra were promoted for the first time to the Divizia C. The following seasons it finished 6, 12, 3 and 14 in the championship.
In the summer of 1996, it merged with Danubiana București, it changed its name to Danubiana Ploiești, and played for the first time in the Divizia B. After one season the club changed its name back to Astra.
Two years of pause passes for Astra, until 2005, when Ioan Niculae founded once again the club directly in the Liga II. It was relegated to the Liga III after only one season. In the summer of 2007, the club was renamed FC Ploiești promoted back to the Liga II at the end of the season.
In the summer of 2009, after six years, it played once again in the Liga I, with promotion achieved at the end of the 2008–09 season. It changed its name back to the traditional Astra Ploiești and the black and white colours were brought back, hence the team's old nickname, "The Black Devils".
After 91 years in Ploiești, in September 2012, the club moved to Giurgiu. The last match played in the Astra Stadium was on 2 September 2012, against Bucharest giants Dinamo București, won by Astra 1–0. The first game played on the Marin Anastasovici Stadium was on 23 September 2012, against Gaz Metan Mediaș. Astra won 4–0.
The 2013–14 season was the most successful season in the club's history, reaching 2nd place in Liga I, losing the title by only five points to Steaua București and winning the Romanian Cup on penalties against the same team, Steaua. One month later they defeated Steaua București on penalties again, and won the Romanian Supercup.
2013–14 Europa League campaign
Astra Giurgiu played its first European match ever in first qualification round of UEFA Europa League against Domžale, winning 1–0 in the first leg. In the second leg in Bucharest, Astra won 2–0 and qualified. In the second qualification round, Astra draw 1–1 with Omonia in the first leg in Bucharest and beat 2–1 in the second leg in Nicosia to advance. Seeded team after eliminating Omonia, Astra was drawn in third qualification round with Trenčín and qualified after winning 3–1 the first leg in Dubnica nad Váhom and drawing 2–2 in the second leg in Bucharest. In play-off, Astra faced the very first European defeat in a 0–2 against Maccabi Haifa in the first leg in Haifa, thus being eliminated after drawing 1–1 in the second leg in Bucharest.
Europa League 2014–15 group stages
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2015)|
Astra qualified directly in the third qualifying round after winning the Romanian Cup and met Slovan Liberec, winning both legs 3–0 in Giurgiu and 3–2 in Liberec, this time being the first European match to take place in Giurgiu. In the play-off round, Astra met French squad Olympique Lyon. They defeated them in Lyon in a 2–1 win, with Kehinde Fatai and Constantin Budescu scoring the goals of victory. In Giurgiu, Olympique Lyonnais won 1–0 but Astra Giurgiu went on to the group stage phase due to the away goal rule. They were subsequently drawn in Group D alongside Red Bull Salzburg, Glasgow Celtic and Dinamo Zagreb. Astra began their group stage adventure with a harmful 1–5 defeat at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb against Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, ending with Aurelian Chițu scoring their first goal in the group stages of a European cup. On 2 October 2014, Astra played against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg one of the most important matches held on Marin Anastasovici Stadium in Giurgiu. Astra took the 1–0 lead with Takayuki Seto's goal, but were stunned by Soriano's winner, losing 1–2. In matchday three, Astra faced Celtic at Glasgow, and hold them to a goalless draw until Stefan Šćepović's opener, a match that ended 1–2. In matchday four, Astra hold Celtic in a 1–1 draw at Giurgiu, with William Amorim scoring the equaliser that brought their first group stage point. In matchday five, Astra won 1–0 against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb with Sadat Bukari's winner, and secured its first ever victory in the UEFA Europa League group stages. Astra's Europa League was concluded at Red Bull Arena in Salzburg with another harmful 1–5 defeat to FC Salzburg. Astra ended in fourth place with four points, behind Red Bull Salzburg with 16 points, Celtic with eight and Dinamo Zagreb with six points.
Club world ranking
UEFA club coefficient rankings
- As of 28 May 2014.
Crest and colors
Astra's primary colors are white and black, although the kit design also included red on many occasions, especially on the away outfits..
The present Astra crest was adopted in July 2009, following the team's promotion from Liga II. The design is based on a classical template, and is characterized by the same black and white stripes which can be found on the team's shirts. The numerous stars which adorn the crest have their origin in the club's name, with Astra (like Steaua) being a Romanian word that translates as "star".
After Astra's premiere promotion to the Divizia A in the summer of 1998, its few fans engaged in a grudge with their cross-town rivals Petrolul Ploiești. Often, the matches between Astra and Petrolul ended with violent clashes between the supporters of both teams. Most Astra fans consider Petrolul as their main rivals, but the Yellow Wolves regard Rapid București as their main arch-enemies. Even after the moving of the team to Giurgiu, the rivalry is kept, because between Giurgiu and Petrolul, there's an old rivalry kept from the time when Petrolul was playing in the Romanian 2nd league.
- Runners-up (1): 2013–14
- Winners (1): 2007–08
- Winners (1): 2013–14
- Winners (1): 2014
First team squad
- As of 19 July 2015
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Shirt sponsor and supplier
|Kit supplier||Shirt sponsor|
|2012/13||Liga I||4||34||17||9||8||64||37||60||Qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League|
|2013/14||Liga I||2||34||22||6||6||70||28||72||Qualified for the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League|
|2014/15||Liga I||4||34||15||12||7||53||27||57||Qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League|
|Season||Opponent||1st Leg||2nd Leg||Cup Round||Notes|
|1999/00||Oțelul Galați||1–2 (a.e.t.)||1/16|
|2000/01||Metrom Brașov||1–2 (a.e.t.)||1/32|
|2002/03||Dinamo București||2–1||1–3 (a.e.t.)||Semi-finals|
|2005/06||Chimia Brazi||1–2||5th Round|
|2006/07||Petrolistul Boldești||0–3||3rd Round|
|2007/08||FCM Câmpina||3–4||4th Round|
|2013/14||Steaua București||0-0 (a.e.t.) 4-2 (p.k.)||Final||Winner of the competition|
|2013–14||UEFA Europa League||1Q||Domžale||2–0||1–0||3–0|
|2014–15||UEFA Europa League||3Q||Slovan Liberec||3–0||3–2||6–2|
|Group D||Red Bull Salzburg||1–2||1–5||4th|
|2015–16||UEFA Europa League||2Q||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||0–0||1–0||1–0|
|3Q||West Ham United||5–0||2–2||7–2|
- 1Q: First qualifying round
- 2Q: Second qualifying round
- 3Q: Third qualifying round
- PO: Play-off round
Current technical staff
- As of 4 March 2015.
|Assistant Coach||Andrei Martin|
|Assistant Coach||Cătălin Ciorman|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Dorin Roșca|
|Fitness Coach||Nils Haacke|
- "Astra - from 1921!". Ziarul Prahova. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Astra has european stadium!". Giurgiuveanul. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
- "History of FC Astra!". FC Astra. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Here lies Petrolul Ploiești!". România Liberă. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- "Astra had risen again!". liga2.ro. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- "Astra will move to Giurgiu, and Ploiești will only remain as a memory!". Sport Total FM. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Club World Ranking". IFFHS.de. 2015-01-13.
- "UEFA club coefficient rankings". UEFA.
- "FC Astra Official Website" (in Romanian). afcastragiurgiu.ro. 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
- (Romanian) Official site
- (Romanian) Club profile on RomanianSoccer
- (Romanian) Club profile on Liga1.ro
- (English) Club profile on UEFA.com