ACS Poli Timișoara

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ACS Poli Timișoara
ACS Poli Timisoara logo.svg
Full name Asociația Club Sportiv Poli Timișoara
  • Alb-violeții (The White-Purples)
  • Timișorenii (The Timișoara People)
  • Bănățenii (The Banat People)
  • Echipa de pe Bega (The Bega River Team)
Short name ACS Poli
  • 4 December 1921; 95 years ago (1921-12-04)
    as FC Politehnica Timișoara
  • 2012; 5 years ago (2012)
    as ACS Poli Timișoara
Ground Dan Păltinișanu
Ground Capacity 32,972
Owner Timișoara Municipality
Chairman Sorin Drăgoi
Manager Ionuț Popa
League Liga I
2016–17 Liga I, 12th
Website Club website
Current season

Asociația Club Sportiv Poli Timișoara, commonly known as ACS Poli Timișoara, is a Romanian professional football club based in Timișoara, Timiș County, currently playing in the Liga I.

The club is credited as the official record holder and legal successor [1] of the original club founded in 1921, FC Politehnica Timișoara, which went bankrupt and was dissolved, following the 2011–12 season. It is co-owned by the City Council and the County Council and has the backing of the Politehnica University of Timișoara, all three being active members in the legal entity running the club.[2] Poli Timișoara is a Romanian football club established in 1921. 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 46 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 46 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.


Former logo.

In the summer of 2012, ACS Recaș, a club recently promoted to the Liga II, was moved to Timișoara and renamed ACS Poli Timișoara[3][4] after the dissolution of FC Politehnica Timișoara.[5] Valentin Velcea continued as head coach,[6] while the roster consisted mostly of the core ACS Recaș players and several current and ex-players from FC Politehnica.[7] Since its conception, the club has been primarily financed by the local authorities,[8][9][10] as Timișoara mayor Nicolae Robu has insisted control should not be forfeited to private investors.[11]

The club initially required consent from the owner of insolvent FC Politehnica, Marian Iancu, to use the historic badge, history, records and colours, as these had been bequeathed for a 25-year period.[12] In December 2012, it was announced that ACS Poli has received these free of charge [13] and that it could use them starting the following season.[14] However, due to the complications of the legal formalities and because of the FC Politehnica's debts, the team kept on playing under the ACS Poli name and using black/white/yellow for their official kits instead of the traditional purple colour.[15][16][17][18] This changed in the 2015–2016 season, as the club received temporary right to make use of the historic colours.[19] As of February 2016, it was announced that the club is now the sole and full owner of all the rights pertaining to and deriving from the Politehnica Timișoara brand and records, following a court decision which nullified the original agreement between the founding club and record holders, and Marian Iancu's insolvent club.[1]

From a competitive perspective, the club has achieved two promotions to the Liga I, while also being relegated once. Its rivalries with FC Steaua București and FC Dinamo București have endured, as the home matches against both teams keep drawing in above average crowds,.[20][21][22][23]

Early years (1921–1997)[edit]

The club was founded in 1921 by Polytechnic University of Timișoara under the name Societatea Sportiva Politehnica.[24] 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.[25]

The club promoted for the first time in the Divizia A in 1948,[26] and played under the name CSU Timișoara in the first season.[27]

In the following seasons (from 1950[28]), the club appear with the name Știința Timișoara. The club relegates for the first time in 1951,[29] but promotes after only one year[30] and played in the top league until the season 1958–59.[31] The team promoted back after only one year.[32] The following relegation came in 1963–64 season,[33] again for only a year.[34]

During the Știința years, Timișoara won its first trophy, the 1957–58 Romanian Cup, with a 1–0 victory against Progresul București.[35]

From the 1966–67 season, the team started using the name Politehnica Timișoara,[36] but the team goes to the second division in the same season.[36] Politehnica doesn't came back to the first division until 1973.[37]

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).[38]

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.[35] 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.[39] 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.[39]

Politehnica Timișoara played in the Divizia A for ten years, until 1983.[40] The next period was spent between the Divizia A and the Divizia B, with promotions in 1984,[41] 1987,[42] 1989[43] and relegations in 1986 [44] and 1988.[45]

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).[46] 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).[46]

The team was relegated to the Divizia B in 1994[47] and promoted back in 1995.[48] After the 1996–97 relegation,[49] 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)[edit]

In 2002, AEK Bucharest were promoted to Liga I, Romanian football's top division, for the first time,[50] 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.[51] Poli was able to maintain the Liga I spot after winning a play-off against Gloria Buzău.[52]

From 2004–05 season, the team changed the name again in FCU Politehnica Timișoara.[53] 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.[54]

At the end of 2007–08 Liga I, FC Timișoara qualified for UEFA Cup.[55] 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.[56]

In 2008–09, Timișoara finished the season in 2nd place, qualifying the 3rd preliminary round of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League.[57] 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.[56]

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.[56]

In November 2010, the Romanian Court of Appeal returned Politehnica's name, colors and records to FC Timișoara.[58] 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)[edit]

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.[59] 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 .

The team played in top-tier Liga I for the 2015-16 season but multiple point deductions due to financial problems led to a 13th-placed finish and automatic relegation. They were reprieved, however, after Rapid Bucharest failed to obtain a license. The next season also started with point deductions and Timișoara escaped automatic relegation in the last minute of the last matchday. They qualified for the relegation play-off, which they won 5-2 on aggregate against UTA Arad to retain their top-tier status.

Supporters and Rivalries[edit]

Historically, Poli has been the most prominent football club in Timisoara after 1945, playing consistently in either the first or the second tier of Romanian football. Local rivalries with CFR Timisoara[60] and UM Timisoara[61] were relevant until the early 2000s. Afterwards, the former was relegated to a semi-professional status in the lower leagues and the latter was dissolved in 2008.

Nationally, there were strong rivalries with UTA Arad and Dinamo București. The matches against UTA were labeled as the West Derby, due to the proximity of Timisoara and Arad. Matches against CFR Cluj, FCSB and Universitatea Craiova also drew large crowds.

After the club reincarnated as ACS Poli in 2012, the core factions of the ultras movement decided to support an alternate club in the lower leagues, ASU Politehnica Timisoara. ACS Poli struggled to fill the void created by their departure, with smaller fan factions forming to support the club. Although top-bill matches with historic rivals still attract fans to the stadium, attendances have dropped compared to the averages attained in the 2000s.[62]




Current squad[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 18 August 2017

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

No. Position Player
1 Romania GK Mădălin Smaranda
2 Romania DF Denis Haruț
3 Romania DF Valentin Crețu
5 Romania MF Cosmin Bîrnoi
7 Romania MF Alexandru Ciucur
8 Romania MF Marius Croitoru (Vice-Captain)
9 Brazil FW Miguel Bianconi
10 Romania MF Cătălin Doman
12 Romania MF Sebastian Mailat
13 Romania MF Gabriel Vașvari
15 Romania DF Cristian Bocșan
16 Croatia MF Josip Šoljić
17 Romania DF Cristian Melinte
18 Romania MF Andrei Artean
No. Position Player
20 Romania DF Alexandru Țigănașu
22 Romania MF Alexandru Munteanu
23 Romania DF Gabriel Cânu (Captain)
25 Romania GK Cătălin Straton
30 Romania DF Alin Șeroni
32 Romania DF Bogdan Străuț
33 Romania GK Vasile Curileac
35 Romania MF Eduard Codrean
38 Romania DF Cristian Podină
43 Romania MF Slagian Andreici
45 Romania MF Narcis Popan
46 Romania MF Lucian Oprea
47 Romania DF Ciprian Sturz
85 Romania FW Octavian Drăghici

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
6 Romania DF Harald Fridrich (at CSM Lugoj)
14 Romania FW Cristian Pădurariu (at CSM Lugoj)
39 Romania MF David Pop (at ACS Ghiroda)
41 Romania FW Damir Totić (at ACS Ghiroda)
42 Romania MF Sebastian Velcotă (at CSM Şcolar Reşiţa)
Romania GK Mario Contra (at ACS Ghiroda)
No. Position Player
Romania GK Sebastian Ureche (at ACS Ghiroda)
Romania DF Denis Ciobanu (at ACS Ghiroda)
Romania DF Radu Motreanu (at SS Politehnica Timișoara)
Romania DF Ionuț Murariu (at ACS Ghiroda)
Romania MF Raul Cochințu (at ACS Ghiroda)
Romania MF Alexandru Dincă (at ACS Ghiroda)

Club officials[edit]

European record[edit]

UEFA Champions League / European Cup[edit]

Season Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
2009-10 Third qualifying round Ukraine Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk 0 – 0 2 – 2 (a) 2 – 2
Play-off round Germany Germany Stuttgart 0 – 2 0 – 0 0 – 2

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup[edit]

Season Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1980-81 First round Scotland Scotland Celtic 1 – 0 1 – 2 (a) 2 – 2
Second round England England West Ham United 1 – 0 0 – 4 1 – 4
1981-82 Preliminary round East Germany East Germany 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig 2 – 0 0 – 5 2 – 5

UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup[edit]

Season Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1978-79 First round Hungary Hungary MTK Hungária FC 2 – 0 1 – 2 3 – 2
Second round Hungary Hungary Budapest Honved FC 2 – 0 0 – 4 2 – 4
1990-91 First round Spain Spain Atlético Madrid 2 – 0 0 – 1 2 – 1
Second round Portugal Portugal Sporting CP 2 – 0 0 – 7 2 – 7
1992-93 First round Spain Spain Real Madrid 1 – 1 0 – 4 1 – 5
2008-09 First round Serbia Serbia Partizan 1 – 2 0 – 1 1 – 3
2009-10 Group stage (A) Netherlands Netherlands Ajax 1 – 2 0 – 0 4th place
Croatia Croatia Dinamo Zagreb 0 – 3 2 – 1
Belgium Belgium Anderlecht 0 – 0 1 – 3
2010-11 Third qualifying round Finland Finland MYPA 3 – 3 2 – 1 5 – 4
Play-off round England England Manchester City 0 – 1 0 – 2 0 – 3

Total statistics[edit]

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
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
Total 9 32 9 7 16 27 53 −26



Most capped players[edit]

# Name Career Matches Goals
1 Dan Păltinișanu 1970–1985 271 24
2 Sorin Vlaicu 1987–2001 244 25
3 Emerich Dembrovschi 1966–1981 208 51
4 Valentin Velcea 1990–2006 180 12
5 Iosif Rotariu 1980–2000 173 33
6 Dan Alexa 2001–2011 138 5
7 Mircea Oprea 2000–2007 132 28
8 Gheorghe Bucur 2005–2010 124 52

Notable former players[edit]



Competitive, professional matches only. Only pertains to 2012 onwards.

As of 23 June 2017

Name Years League Cup Other Total
1 Romania Cristian Bărbuț 2012–2017 120 11 2 133
2 Romania Cristian Scutaru 2012–2017 100 9 1 110
3 Romania Alexandru Popovici 2013-2017 81 9 1 91
4 Romania Alin Șeroni 2012–2014; 2016-present 78 10 2 90
5 Romania Adrian Poparadu 2012–present 80 6 0 86


Competitive, professional matches only. Appearances, including substitutes, appear in brackets. Only pertains to 2012 onwards.

As of 21 July 2017

# Name Years League Cup Other Total Ratio
1 Brazil Pedro Henrique 2014-2017 18 (40) 2 (3) 2 (2) 22 (45) 0.49
1 Romania Szabolcs Szekely 2012–2015 18 (57) 2 (2) 0 (0) 20 (59) 0.34
3 Romania Cristian Bărbuț 2012–2017 13 (120) 1 (11) 1 (2) 15 (133) 0.11
4 Romania Alexandru Popovici 2013–2017 11 (81) 2 (9) 0 (1) 13 (91) 0.14
5 Romania Cristian Boldea 2012–2016 12 (72) 0 (2) 0 (0) 12 (74) 0.16


  1. ^ a b "ACS Poli Timișoara are, oficial, palmares. Instanta a decis: culorile si numele ii raman definitiv". Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  2. ^ "Hotărâre a senatului Universităţii Politehnica din Timișoara, Nr. 36/20.09.2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  3. ^ Robu a elucidat misterul: "Nu-i spunem Politehnica, îi spunem Poli!"
  4. ^ ACS Recaş a primit acordul lui Marian Iancu pentru a purta denumirea ACS Poli Timișoara
  5. ^ A treia operaţie estetică! AC Recaş se mută de luni pe "Dan Păltinişanu"
  6. ^ Velcea, reconfirmat ca antrenor la Timișoara! Ce a spus primarul după întâlnirea cu jucătorii
  7. ^ "ACS Poli Timișoara Soccer Statistics and Results in Liga II 2012–2013". 
  8. ^ "Cati bani primesc anul acesta din partea Consiliului Local, ACS Poli, RCM Timișoara si BC Timișoara?". Opinia Timişoarei. 
  9. ^ "Din nou despre buget. Şi despre ACS". 
  10. ^ ACS Recaş, transformată în ACS Poli, trăieşte din bani publici: CLT i-a dat 4 milioane de lei!
  11. ^ "Planuri mari la ACS Poli Timișoara » Ce a promis primarul Nicolae Robu". GSP. 
  12. ^ "SS Politehnica, la mana lui Marian Iancu". 
  13. ^ Marian Iancu a cedat gratuit palmaresul Politehnicii Timișoara!
  14. ^ ACS Poli s-a transformat în Politehnica Timișoara! Iancu le-a cedat culorile, denumirea şi palmaresul
  15. ^ "ACS Poli Timișoara porneste la drum fara violet, cu alb, negru si galben". 
  16. ^ "Marian Iancu explică de ce ACS Poli nu joacă în alb-violet la şase luni de la anunţul triumfalist al primarului Robu". Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "ACS Poli şi-a prezentat noile echipamente fără urmă de violet". Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Planuri mari la ACS Poli Timișoara » Ce a promis primarul Nicolae Robu". Gazeta sporturilor. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Echipa ACS Poli Timișoara, promovată în Liga I, poate folosi numele Politehica şi culorile alb-violet". Gazeta sporturilor. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "ACS Poli – Dinamo 2013/2014". 
  21. ^ "ACS Poli – Steaua 2013/2014". 
  22. ^ "ACS Poli – Steaua 2015/2016". 
  23. ^ "ACS Poli – Dinamo 2015/2016". 
  24. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 2008-09-29. 
  25. ^ "Romania – List of Champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  26. ^ "Season 1947–48". 
  27. ^ "Season 1948–49". 
  28. ^ "Season 1950". 
  29. ^ "Season 1951". 
  30. ^ "Season 1952". 
  31. ^ "Season 1958–59". 
  32. ^ "Season 1959–60". 
  33. ^ "Season 1963–64". 
  34. ^ "Season 1964–65". 
  35. ^ a b "History of Poli". Tempo Poli. [permanent dead link]
  36. ^ a b "Season 1966–67". 
  37. ^ "Season 1972–73". 
  38. ^ "1970–1980". 
  39. ^ a b "1980–1990". 
  40. ^ "Season 1982–83". 
  41. ^ "Season 1983–84". 
  42. ^ "Season 1986–87". 
  43. ^ "Season 1988–89". 
  44. ^ "Season 1985–86". 
  45. ^ "Season 1987–88". 
  46. ^ a b "1990–2000". 
  47. ^ "Season 1993–94". 
  48. ^ "Season 1995-95". 
  49. ^ "Season 1996–97". 
  50. ^ "Season 2001–02". 
  51. ^ "Season 2002–03". 
  52. ^ "Poli remianing in Divizia A". Agenda. [permanent dead link]
  53. ^ "Season 2004–05". 
  54. ^ "Arbitration CAS 2006/A/1109" (PDF). Court of Arbitration for Sport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-05. 
  55. ^ "Poli qualified to UEFA Cup after 16 years". Realitatea TV. Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. 
  56. ^ a b c "2000–2010". 
  57. ^ "Poli qualified in UEFA Champions League". Timpul. 
  58. ^ "comunicare" (PDF). Opinia Timişoarei. 
  59. ^ "13 cluburi din Liga I au primit licenţa pentru sezonul 2011–2012". FRF. 31 May 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. 
  60. ^ "CFR Timișoara, legendă a fotbalului bănățean". Ripensia Sport Magazin. 
  61. ^ "Poveste UMT-ului". Ripensia Sport Magazin. 
  62. ^ "European Football Statistics Attendances". European Football Statistics. 

External links[edit]