Floriana F.C.

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Full name Floriana Football Club
Nickname(s) Tal-Irish, Greens, tal-Qaghqa (of the Ring-cake[1]
Founded 1894
Ground Independence Ground,
Floriana, Malta
Ground Capacity 3,000
Chairman Italy Riccardo Gaucci
Manager Italy Giovanni Tedesco
League Maltese Premier League
2015–16 Maltese Premier League, 5th
Website Club home page

Floriana Football Club is a semi-professional Maltese football club in the town of Floriana that currently plays in the Maltese Premier League. It has one of the largest fan followings on the islands and remains the most successful club in Maltese history, along with Sliema Wanderers. In all, Floriana F.C. has won 25 national leagues and 19 FA Trophies. It is also the only team from Malta to have qualified from the qualifying rounds to the first round proper of the UEFA Champions League, in the 1993–94 season.


Floriana Football Club was founded in 1894 with the inauguration of the football ground officiated by Queen Alexandra.[2] The site was a cricket ground from 1890 till its conversion project.[2] Together with St. George's FC, is one of the two oldest clubs in Malta.[3] During that period, football in Malta was introduced by the British Servicemen who were stationed on the island, which was then a colony of the British Empire.[3]

The club is affiliated to the Malta Football Association which in turn is a member of both UEFA and FIFA.[4] The team, which plays in green and white, is nicknamed The Irish, after having adopted its colours following a friendly match against the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who were stationed in Floriana Malta at the time.[3]

Floriana Football Club has won the major Maltese League championship 25 times and the U*BET FA TROPHY 19 times. Floriana also have a futsal team which participates in Malta's top futsal league.


Football was introduced in Malta at the end of the 19th Century by the British troops stationed on the island.[2] At that time Malta formed part of the British Empire and, the Island was the base of British forces in the heart of the Mediterranean.[3] The forces' barracks, which were strategically located around the island of Malta, enjoyed large areas that were used as parade grounds, training areas and for sporting activities.[2]

The sports practised by the soldiers were mainly cricket, hockey and football.[2] The British forces in Malta were mainly stationed in Floriana, Cospicua, Mtarfa, Marsa and Sliema.[2] The locals who were influenced by the soldiers stationed in the area were introduced to these sporting activities.[3] The most popular sport amongst the residents of Floriana was football,[3] however some also practised cricket and hockey.[2] Floriana still has its hockey club, carrying the name Floriana Young Stars Hockey Club.

Club colours and mascot[edit]

Between 1894 and 1905 the club's colours were green/red quartered shirts, black shorts with green and red socks.[3] The official colours of the club as we know them today, green and white vertical striped shirts, white shorts and green/white horizontal striped socks, were introduced in 1905.[3] At that time the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were stationed in Floriana.[3] During that year, three friendly matches were held between this regiment and FFC.[3] At the end of the final match both teams exchanged their shirts and later the FFC changed their official colours to their green and white shirts.[3] The regiment left the Island for India in that same year.[3] The ties between Floriana and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were so strong that the people hailing from Floriana were nicknamed after the Irish, "Tal-Irish".[3]

The club's mascot is the lion, which features prominently on the club's badge since 1936 together with the Latin motto "Ex Ludis Virtus", meaning "virtue out of the game".[5] In this regard the club's badge represents the fierceness of the lion together with the virtues of sportsmanship. The lion was chosen as the clubs mascot for two general reasons attributed to history of Floriana.

First attribution is to the coat-of-arms of the Grandmaster of Order of St. John, Manoel de Vilhena, which has the lion on it.[5] Vilhena was the mastermind behind the construction of a fortification suburg of Floriana (originally known as Borgo Vilhena) to defend the capital city of Valletta from land attacks.[3] He even ordered the construction of a lion statue fountain, with his Grandmaster code of arms being held by the lions hand, in the centre of Floriana's main square, St. Anne Square, which is still there today.[5]

Second attribution to the lion is the statue of St. Publius who is the patron saint of Floriana. The St. Publius' statue has a lion with it which shows how Publius was killed for his Christian preachings.

The first game won by the team was confirmed on the feast of the patron's village St. Publius, on 13 April 1910, which is to some considered as a divine confirmation.[5]

Domestic successes[edit]

Since the foundation of the Malta Football Association, in 1909,[6] and local competitions the club won a total of 104 honours, which includes 25 league titles and 25 Cup knock out competitions. The club has also achieved a number of impressive feats, such as four consecutive league championships, ten doubles (League plus Cup) and a League title with maximum points.

UEFA competitions[edit]

Over the years FFC participated in the various competitions organised by the European football body, UEFA, such as the:

  • UEFA Champions Cup
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  • Fairs Cities' Cup
  • UEFA Cup
  • Intertoto Cup

In 1962, the club was the first to represent Malta in UEFA competitions in its Cup Winners' Cup against the Hungarian side Ujpest Dozsa. Over the years, FFC had the opportunity to meet some renowned European football clubs, including the likes of:

On two occasions FFC made it to the next round, 1993–94 Champions Cup and Intertoto Cup 1999–00.

Youth sector[edit]

In 1987 the club founded its youth sector, Floriana FC Nursery (FFCN), which is affiliated to the Malta Youth Football Association.[7] The club's youth sector may also be considered as one of the most successful organisations of its type on the Island; not only has it produced a number of some of the finest footballers, but it has also managed to win a good number of league titles organised by the Association. The following are some of the major honours won by FFCN:

06 / 07 UNDER 14 Knock out competition

  • U/14 League Champions – twice
  • U/16 League Champions – six times, four of which in a row, 1993 to 1997
  • U/18 League Champions – six times, four of which in a row, 1996 to 2000

Today all the major six Premiership clubs in Malta have at least two players forming part of their squad, which have been raised by the Floriana Youth Nursery.


During their history Floriana had two main rivals Sliema Wanderers and neighbors Valletta.[3] The rivalry against Sliema is very old but today has lost much of its legacy.[3] The rivalry was at its peak from 1910 and till the late 1970s when the two sides dominated the Maltese football scene.[3] Football hooliganism between supporters and direct conflicts were something usual.[3]

Today the rivalry has declined due to Floriana's lack of good performances in the domestic scene were in the last 30 years they won only two league titles, in 1977 and in 1993.[8]

The rivalry against Valletta City is still alive.[8] Despite the fact that it has been a long time since Floriana were in their hey days, the fact that the two cities are near each other's the rivalry continues to persist and it is one of the most classic derbies in Maltese football.[8] The matches between the two sides always attract big crowds to the stadium and the fans treat these clashes as cup finals.[8]


Floriana' s official colors at the beginning of the century were green and red quartered shirts with black shorts.[3] Later on these were replaced with Green and white striped shirts and white shorts.[3] These colors were adopted after a game played at the Floriana Parade Ground against the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.[3] This regiment of the British army was stationed at Floriana.[3] The two sides played three times against each other in 1904–05.[3] The Fusiliers won the first two games while the third one ended all square.[3]

A fourth game was organized between the two sides and this time Floriana won 2–1.[3] As a symbol of friendship, the players swapped their shirts.[3] From that moment onwards, Floriana Football Club adopted the colors of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, which are the green and white stripes and white shorts.[3] The Florianites are still called 'Ta' l-Irish' meaning 'The Irish'.[3] In the early 1920s which went something like this:[3]

In plain English, this translates as 'The Irish are always as strong as metal; they decide if to inflict harm or not'.[3]


From 1900 to date, Floriana FC won 105 honours. 30 of them were won before the second war, that is, between 1900 and 1940. The other 75 honours were won from 1940 to date.Floriana FC holds the following records:*Won four consecutive championships – 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52 and 1952–53.*In 1961–62, Floriana FC won the league without losing a single point. Played and won 14 games, scored 43 goals and conceded 10 goals.*Made the League and Cup double for a record 10 times in seasons 1912–13, 1921–22, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1957–58 and 1992–93.*Between 15 February 1976 and 22 May 1977, Floriana played 37 consecutive games without losing a game. During this period, the Greens scored 99 goals and won seven major honours, which are the League, Trophy, Independence Cup, twice the Sons of Malta Cup and twice the Testaferrata Cup.During Season 1952–53 Floriana FC was the first Local Club to obtain SIX HONOURS in one season,League Champions-FA Trophy-Cassar Charity Cup-Infantile Paralyses Cup-Schembri Shield and Poppy Day Fund Cup (During this season another Cup was playeed the Coronation Cup but was won by Floriana FC arch rivals Valletta FC)

Maltese Football League (25):

1909–10, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1920–21, 1921–22, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1936–37, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1957–58, 1961–62, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1992–93

League Runners-up (12):

1922–23, 1925–26, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1975–76, 1993–94, 2010–11

First Division Champions (1):


MFA Knock-Out Competitions (26)

National Ground Cup (MFA Cup) (1):


Gaelic Whisky Cup (MFA Cup) (1):


Cousis Shield (3):

1921–22, 1922–23, 1930–31

Empire Sports Ground Cup (MFA Cup) (2):

1927–28, 1928–29

FA Trophy (19):

1937–38, 1944–45, 1946–47, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1960–61, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1971–72, 1980–81, 1992–93, 1993–94, 2010–11

FA Trophy Finalists (12):

1934–35, 1935–36, 1955–56, 1959–60, 1964–65, 1973–74, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1987–88, 1988–89, 2005–06

Super Cup (1):


Cassar Cup (10):

1920–21, 1922–23, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1949–50, 1951–62, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1960–61

Independence Cup (7):

1966–67, 1968–69, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79

Sons of Malta Cup (6):

1967–68, 1968–69, 1973–74, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78

Super 5 Cup (4):

1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98

Testaferrata Cup (3):

1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78

Schembri Shield (3):

1952–53, 1953–54, 1954–55

Scicluna Cup (3):

1958–59, 1961–62, 1962–63

Poppy Day Fund Cup (3):

1952–53, 1.953–54, 1954–55

Christmas Cup (2):

1968–69, 1969–70

Malta Playing Field Association Shield – MPFA (2):

1951–52, 1953–54

Partisans Cup (1):


Amateurs Cup (1):


Mtarfa Cup (1):


La Gloire Trophy (1):


Prince of Wales Cup (1):


Malaya Congress Cup (1):


Marian Congress Cup (1):


Infantile Paralysis Cup (1):


Lowenbrau Cup (1):


AME Cup (1):



Current squad[edit]

As of 10:10, Sunday, April 30, 2017 (UTC)

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

No. Position Player
2 Malta DF Andre Scicluna
3 Malta MF Darrell Baldacchino
4 Italy MF Antonio Monticelli
5 Italy DF Enrico Pepe
6 Argentina DF Enzo Ruiz
7 Malta MF Steve Pisani
8 Malta MF Clyde Borg
9 Argentina FW Ignacio Varela
10 Malta MF Conor Borg
11 Italy MF Maurizio Vella
94 Malta MF Ryan Camenzuli
No. Position Player
16 Malta GK Justin Haber
17 Malta DF Jurgen Pisani
20 Malta MF Brooke Farrugia
22 Malta DF Alex Cini
24 Malta GK Matthew Grech
25 Malta FW Daniel Agius
33 Malta MF Emanuel Briffa
77 Senegal FW Amadou Samb
80 Argentina MF Nicolas Chiesa
89 Italy FW Mario Fontanella

Non-playing staff[edit]


Position Name
President Riccardo Gaucci
Secretary Dione Borg
Treasurer Mark Frendo
Vice Treasurer Mario Cilia
Vice President Matthew Paris
Vice President Anthony Grech Sant
Webmaster Alan Michael Vella
Club Curator Paul Xuereb
MFA Club Delegate Riccardo Gaucci
Floriana FC Supporters Club Official Clayton Galea
Floriana FC Nursery Representative Nigel Holland
Committee Member Anthony Stellini
Committee Member Clayton Galea

Managerial history[edit]

Name Nat From To
Karim Bencherifa Morocco July 1, 2000 June 30, 2002
Ziya Yildiz Bosnia and Herzegovina 2002 2004
Jimmy Briffa Malta 2005 2006
Joseph Grech Malta 2006 2007
Danilo Dončić Serbia July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008
Zoran Popović Serbia July 1, 2008 Jan 9, 2009
Antonio Carlos Vieira Brazil July 1, 2008 March 24, 2009
Roddy Collins Republic of Ireland July 1, 2009 Dec 15, 2009
Zoran Popović Serbia 2009 2010
Todor Raykov Bulgaria July 1, 2010 Feb 21, 2011
Michael Woods Malta 2010 2012
Joe Brincat Malta March 20, 2012 2012
Mark Wright England Aug 18, 2012 Oct 18, 2012
Stephen Azzopardi Malta Oct 18, 2012 Jan 25, 2012
Iain Brunskill England Jan 29, 2013 May 8, 2013
Ian Dawes England May 9, 2013 April 8, 2014
Giovanni Tedesco Italy April 8, 2014 May 8, 2015
Luis Oliveira Belgium June 14, 2015 May 8, 2016
Giovanni Tedesco Italy June 15, 2016

European Record[edit]

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup[edit]

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1961–62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Preliminary Round Hungary Újpest 2–5 2–10 4–15
1965–66 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round West Germany Borussia Dortmund 1–5 0–8 1–13
1966–67 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Netherlands Sparta Rotterdam 1–1 0–6 1–7
1967–68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Netherlands NAC Breda 1–2 0–1 1–3
1972–73 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Hungary Ferencvárosi 1–0 0–6 1–6
1976–77 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Poland Śląsk Wrocław 1–4 0–2 1–6
1978–79 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Italy Internazionale 1–3 0–5 1–8
1981–82 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Belgium Standard Liège 1–3 0–9 1–12
1988–89 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Scotland Dundee United 0–0 0–1 0–1
1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying Round Republic of Ireland Sligo Rovers 2–2 0–1 2–3

UEFA Intertoto Cup[edit]

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 11, game 1st Austria Tirol Innsbruck 0–4
Group 11, game 2nd Israel Hapoel Petah Tikva 1–1
Group 11, game 3rd France Strasbourg 0–4
Group 11, game 4th Turkey Gençlerbirliği 0–3
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 12, game 1st Austria SV Ried 1–2
Group 12, game 2nd Georgia (country) Tbilisi 0–5
Group 12, game 3rd Russia Torpedo Moscow 0–1
Group 12, game 4th Greece Iraklis 0–1
1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1. Round Wales Aberystwyth Town 2–1 2–2 4–3
2. Round Finland Jokerit 1–1 1–2 2–3
2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1. Round Norway Stabæk 1–1 0–2 1–3

Europa League[edit]

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1. Round Romania Dinamo Bacau 0–1 0–6 0–7
1991–92 UEFA Cup 1. Round Switzerland Neuchâtel Xamax 0–0 0–2 0–2
1992–93 UEFA Cup 1. Round Germany Borussia Dortmund 0–1 2–7 2–8
1996–97 UEFA Cup Preliminary Round Israel Beitar Jerusalem 1–5 1–3 2–8
2011–12 Europa League 2. Round Cyprus AEK Larnaca 0–8 0–1 0–9
2012–13 Europa League 1. Round Sweden Elfsborg 0–4 0–8 0–12

UEFA Champions League[edit]

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1962–63 European Cup Preliminary Round England Ipswich Town 1–4 0–10 1–14
1968–69 European Cup 1. Round Finland Lahti 1–1 0–2 1–3
1970–71 European Cup 1. Round Portugal Sporting CP 0–4 0–5 0–9
1973–74 European Cup 1. Round Belgium Club Brugge 0–2 0–8 0–10
1975–76 European Cup 1. Round Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Hajduk Split 0–5 0–3 0–8
1977–78 European Cup 1. Round Greece Panathinaikos 1–1 0–4 1–5
1993–94 UEFA Champions League Preliminary Round Lithuania Ekranas 1–0 1–0 2–0
1993–94 UEFA Champions League 1. Round Portugal FC Porto 0–0 0–2 0–2


  1. ^ Cassar Pullicino, J. (1956). "Social Aspects of Maltese Nicknames" (PDF). Scientia. 22 (2): 92. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 23, 29, 68. ISBN 9781134269198. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 43–46. ISBN 9781134269198. 
  4. ^ Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. p. 31. ISBN 9781134269198. 
  5. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 44, 47, 50. ISBN 9781134269198. 
  6. ^ Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 9781134269198. 
  7. ^ Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. p. 81. ISBN 9781134269198. 
  8. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 48–50. ISBN 9781134269198. 

External links[edit]