|Full name||Ολυμπιακός Λευκωσίας
|Nickname(s)||Μαυροπράσινοι (The Green Blacks), Taktakalas (area of old Nicosia where club is based)|
|Chairman||Demos Georgiades (acting)|
|League||Cypriot Second Division|
|Website||Club home page|
Olympiakos Nicosia (Greek: Ολυμπιακός Λευκωσίας, Olympiakos Lefkosias) is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity. The team's main nickname is "mavroprasini" -the green blacks, the club's other nickname is Taktakalas from the area in Nicosia where the club hails.
In the past the club also had track and field, basketball, volleyball, cycling, table tennis and futsal teams. It also in the past had an orchestra, choir and camping divisions, the latter explaining why the club's badge has a tent on it.
- 1 The Golden Decade
- 2 Greek Experience
- 3 European Experience
- 4 Cup glory
- 5 Glory days revisited
- 6 Recent decline
- 7 Return to the top flight
- 8 Striving for Stability
- 9 Stadium
- 10 Supporters
- 11 Anthem
- 12 Current squad
- 13 Former players
- 14 Selected former managers
- 15 Honours
- 16 External links
The Golden Decade
The 1962–1972 decade is known as the "Golden decade" of Olympiakos as the club was champion of the Cypriot First Division three times, another three times it was runner-up, while it became the only Cyprus football club that participated three times in the Greek National 1st Division Championship.
It all started in the 1961–62 season, when Olympiakos reached the cup final for the first time in the club's history. Despite this, the team did not manage to win the cup trophy, as it lost from Anorthosis Famagusta FC with a score of 5–2.
The foundations had been laid however, in the 1964–65 season, Giorgos Paletsios an old Olympiakos football player for 18 years, who had also served as team captain, agreed to manage the team, without being paid a salary for his services. Paletsios proceeded to restructure the team's squad promoting to the first team young and talented players including: Kettenis, Limbouris, Argyrou. Bolstered with young enthusiasm, the team finished in second place in the championship, while in the same year the top scorer of the championship was Olympiakos player Costakis Pieridis, scoring 21 goals.
In the 1965–66 season Olympiakos was once again runner-up, with 49 points, one point less than the then champion Omonoia. Top scorer of the championship was again an Olympiakos player, Panikos Efthymiades scoring 23 goals.
In the 1966–67 season Olympiakos dominated the Cypriot Championship, with Pambos Avraamidis as their manager, the team finished in first place and won the championship with 55 points as many as APOEL Nicosia, who in the last game of the season beat Aris Limassol with the huge score of 17–1. The title was judged on goal difference and despite APOEL's huge score in the last game of the season, Olympiakos still had a superior goal difference so that the club was crowned champion.
In 1967, the champion Olympiakos played against the Cup-winner Apollon Limassol, winning 1–0 therefore gaining the Pakkos Shield (as the Super Cup/Shield was then known.)
In the 1968–69 season, Olympiakos with Englishman Eric Brookes as manager won the championship for a second time, collecting 52 points the same number as AC Omonoia. Olympiakos was champion however because of the better goal difference. Top scorer of the championship was once again Panikos Efthymiades scoring 17 goals.
The third Olympiakos championship came in the 1970–71 season with Englishman Rod Bradley as the manager, the team finished in first place with 31 points compared to 27 of runner up Digenis Morfou. The title of top scorer was shared by 3 footballers who all scored 11 goals amongst them once again Panikos Efthymiades.
In the 1972–73 season Olympiakos finished runner-up, while in the 1974–75 season the team finished third.
In 1971 Olympiakos won the Paligenesias cup that was organised by the Cyprus Football Association(KOP), defeating Nea Salamis Famagusta FC. In this golden period, Olympiakos' managers were: Pambos Avraamidis, Giorgos Paletsios, Takis Papaxeniou, Eric Brookes and Rod Bradley.
Andreas Filotas, Varnavas Christofi, Nikos Theocharidis, Demos Flourentzou, Giorgos Hadjikonstantis, Dimitrakis Argyrou, Yiannis Xipolitas, Savvakis Constantinou, Michalakis Argyrou, Sotirakis Georgiou, Lakis Avraamidis, Markos Markou, Andreas Nicolaou (Lympoyris), Vasilis Fragkiskou (Katsis), Dimitriadis, Tasos Louka, Andreas Assiotis, Giorgos Kettenis, Panikos Efthymiades, Costakis Pieridis, Charalambos Partasidis, Giannos Pavlou, Takis Papettas, Kokos Michael, Nikos Mailos, Michalis Stavrou, Giorgos Aristeidou, Koullis Iliadis, Lakis Mitsidis, Panagiotis Prodromou, Giannis Serafeim were the footballers of the great successes of this period.
Olympiakos became the first Cypriot football team that participated in the Pan-Hellenic Championship, in the 1967–68 season, something which recurred twice more, in 1969–70, and in 1971–72, rendering the club the only Cypriot team that participated three times in the Greek National 1st Division Championship. Olympiakos has also taken part in all three European competitions.
Also in the European Champions Cup, Olympiakos Nicosia played against Real Madrid in 1969, losing both matches with 8–0 and 6–1. Olympiakos later played in the same competition in 1971 and met Feyenoord of the Netherlands and lost 8–0 and 9–0.
In all these European games Olympiakos was forced to play both games away from home as at the time the Cypriot football stadia did not meet the European regulations.
In 1977, Olympiakos Nicosia beat Alki Larnaca 2–0 to win the Cypriot Cup. In 1991, Olympiakos Nicosia lost the Cypriot Cup in the finals losing 1–0 to AC Omonia. That was their last appearance in the Cypriot Cup finals.
Glory days revisited
Olympiakos Nicosia also played in the UEFA Cup (after finishing runner up in the Cypriot championship) in the 2001–02 season against the Hungarian team Dunaferr FC (drawing 2–2 in Nicosia and scoring a 2–4 away win, the first for the club in Europe) and proceeded to the next round of the Uefa Cup to play against Club Brugge of Belgium and was eventually eliminated.
With Olympiakos' TV rights hastily agreed at the lowest amount for any Cypriot first division club in 2007 for 9 seasons and these rights assigned to repay old debts until 2016 the club has little cash inflow apart from gate receipts and commercial sponsorships. After a disastrous 2007–2008 season, where economic problems hindered the building of a strong squad, Olympiakos Nicosia finished bottom of the Cypriot First Division (the first time the club finished bottom). The club was relegated for the third time in its history. In both the 1983–84 and 1997–98 seasons the club had spent just one season in the second tier of Cypriot football, only to win the Cypriot Second Division title each time and return to the Cypriot First Division.
The club tried to re-organise itself and to return to the top flight as quickly as possible. In the 2008–09 season the club finished fourth and missed the promotion to the Cypriot First Division on the last day of the season by one point.
In the 2009–10 season, an old goalkeeper of Olympiakos Petros Savva, was appointed as the new chairman. Savva initially re-appointed Andros Kouloumbris, an old player of Olympiakos, as manager. After the end of the first round, however, Kouloumbris was sacked due to the bad defensive record of the team, despite the team being in 3rd place.
The next coach for 7 games was Saša Jovanović who only managed two wins, with the team languishing in 5th place after some bad appearances, Saša Jovanović was removed to make way for old Olympiakos midfield player and ex-manager Nikodimos Papavasiliou.
With Papavasiliou at the helm the team improved and entered the play-offs for promotion to the Cypriot First Division after finishing third at the end of the regular season. The club finished third at the end of the play-offs and therefore gained promotion, despite helping the team with winning promotion Nikodimos Papavasiliou's contract was not renewed at the end of the season.
Return to the top flight
After 2 seasons Olympiakos returned to the top flight in the 2010–2011 season and Pambos Christodoulou an old Olympiakos midfield player and ex-manager of Doxa Katokopias was appointed as manager. Olympiakos showed good attacking football in the 2010–2011 season, easily avoiding relegation and having qualified for the Cup quarterfinals. The club played fluid attacking football having the third best attacking record after leaders APOEL and 3rd placed Anorthosis, playing with a 4–4–2 formation with pressing from within the opponent's half, but the Achilles heel of the team was the bad defensive record with goals conceded in most games and the third worst record in this area. Christodoulou decided to leave the club in 2011 to join AEL Limassol, one year before his contract expired. The club decided to pursue this breach in court (in an out of court settlement AEL Limassol paid an undisclosed sum of money to Olympiakos to avoid sanctions against them and Pambos) and Christodoulou angered both the club president and the supporters,as well as the Cypriot football fans in general, with his unprofessional conduct.
Striving for Stability
In the 2011–2012 season there were a few changes in Olympiakos, the new Greek manager was ex Xanthi FC Nicos Papadopoulos who mainly brought in defensive players playing in the Greek league to strengthen this area of weakness. Few additions were made to the attacking mechanism of the team and some early warnings in the pre season friendlies indicated that after the departure of the previous season's top scorer, the team would be less productive in scoring than last season, which was in fact the case. Papadopoulos was released by mutual consent at the end of February 2012 with the club in the cup quarterfinals but fourth from bottom in the league, although defensively the club was marginally better it lost its attacking flair and pressing style with majority ball possession and suffered from conceding goals right after scoring.
Nikodimos Papavasiliou was again appointed as manager for 2012, after lowering his wage by mutual consent with chairman Savva. It was announced that the budget would be reduced from the previous season and to achieve this only a few players from the previous season's squad remained. The team started the season with a 3 point deduction after failing to meet the UEFA Financial fair play criteria. Papavasiliou received an offer from Apollon Limassol after 2 games in charge of Olympiakos and was released from his contract by mutual consent.
Renos Demetriades an old Olympiakos Nicosia defensive player was appointed as the new coach. Olympiakos was close to mid-table with Demetriades and despite the loss of key players in the January transfer window was on track to keep its top level status, until an unexpected home loss which plunged the club in a battle for survival forced the club to replace Demetriades with Marios Constantinou.
The club was relegated, for a fourth time in its history, on the last day of the 2012-2013 season, finishing third from bottom, while being level on points, but was demoted due to the inferior head to head record with Nea Salamis Famagusta FC. The club started the new 2013-2014 season with a 6 point deduction after failing to meet the UEFA Financial fair play criteria. Chairman Petros Savva resigned and Manager Marios Constantinou left making way for old Olympiakos Nicosia player Costas Seraphim. Old chairman Demos Georgiades stepped in as acting chairman and the club used the Makario stadium as the home ground. Seraphim who is offering his services for free totally reorganised the club for the new season. From the senior players only captain defender Nikolas Nicolaou and midfielder Kyriacos Polycarpou remained. All the foreign players left. The young Olympiakos players such as forward Giannis Mavrou, midfielder Giannis Pachipis and goalkeeper Constantinos Panagi stepped up to fill in the places in the starting line up. Together with other local players all under 21 years old as well as 3 foreign players, the club is trying to reorganise bolstered with young enthusiasm to return to the top flight as soon as possible. After 4 games with 3 wins the club managed to erase the 6 point deduction and register a positive point tally. Had the penalty not been imposed the club would have been top of the league.
Previously Olympiakos had played at the old GSP Stadium (1934–1998) and the Makario Stadium (1998–1999) (2008–2009). Both stadiums were also shared with APOEL and Omonoia but Olympiakos was the only club playing at the old GSP Stadium between 1978 and 1998 as Apoel and Omonoia had both moved to Makario.
Olympiakos supporters since 2002 are organised under the Panhellenic Fans Association "Taktakalas 1931" which takes its name from the area of old Nicosia where the clubhouse and the original training ground and now football academy "Promahonas"(near the old Venetian Walls of Nicosia) are located. 1931 refers to the date of foundation of the football club.
Traditionally Olympiakos was supported by residents of the inner old part of Nicosia within the Venetian Walls, the attendance at home games peaked in the late 1960s and early 1970s when fans from all over Cyprus would attend Olympiakos home games at the old GSP stadium filling it to its 12,000 capacity, especially when the club participated three times in the Greek First Division. After 1977 when the club won its last major title, the fanbase started to shrink. From a position where it could rival the other two Nicosia clubs, the fanbase dwindled for two reasons. Firstly outward migration from the Nicosia city centre to the suburbs after 1974 meant that the neighbourhoods of traditional Olympiakos supporters were becoming less populated, despite this trend the club made a conscious decision to leave the new clubhouse on the "green line" dividing Nicosia. Also the Turkish invasion spelt economic problems for the club and the fact that it was located in an inner city area next to the green line only made things harder. Up until the late 1990s many traditional Olympiakos supporters out of frustration for the lack of titles either stopped going to games and others switched allegiances to other Nicosia clubs that were richer and could still afford to win titles such as APOEL. It could be said that the club did not transition well from the era of amateur to semi-professional football in Cyprus beginning in the early 1980s mainly for the reasons mentioned above. Also the younger generation of Cypriots did not grow up with Olympiakos as a major power in the Cyprus league and despite their parents supporting Olympiakos they would often choose to support another side that won titles in the 1980 to 2000 years.
Despite all these factors that contributed to the dwindling of the fanbase Olympiakos supporters are still regularly polled as the 6th most populous in the Cypriot First Division behind Omonia, Apoel, Anorthosis, Apollon and AEL. In general Olympiakos supporters tend to be of an older age and very rarely engage in trouble with other fans unless severely provoked. They also tend to be right wing politically, although not officially affiliated to any political party, and speak fondly of the time when Olympiakos played with other Greek teams in the Greek First Division.
In the early 2000s, with the shift from semi-professional to professional status in Cyprus football and with a wealthy President at the helm, a brief revival of the club fortunes with an UEFA cup participation, as the club finished second, after 25 years, increased the fans at the New GSP to around 5000 in the two home European games. Olympiakos fans although now less than those of the other Nicosia, Limassol teams and Anorthosis are nevertheless fiercely loyal to their team. Even when the club fell to the Second Division between 2008 to 2010 due to economic problems, 300 supporters would follow the club to even the most remote village of Cyprus, with home attendance varying between 500 and 750. At home games now in the First Division around 1000 to 2000 Olympiakos supporters will cheer the team on and are quite demanding for their team due to its past glories, one could say as demanding as other teams that have recently won silverware.
- As of 30 September 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers summer 2013.
Selected former managers
- Eli Fuchs (1968–69)
- Constantin Cernăianu (1983–85)
- David Kipiani (1992–93)
- Ronnie Whelan (2000–02)
- Svetozar Šapurić (July 2002–June 2003)
- Mpampis Tennes (2003)
- Giorgos Foiros (2003–04)
- Nikolay Kostov (2004–05)
- Rainer Rauffmann (May 2005–Nov 05)
- Diethelm Ferner (2005–06)
- Nikolay Kostov (2006–07)
- Juan Ramón Rocha (2007–08)
- Jorge Barrios (2008)
- Nicos Papavasiliou (2008–09), (Nov 2009–June 2010)
- Saša Jovanović (2010)
- Pambos Christodoulou (July 2010–March 2011)
- Nicos Papadopoulos (Aug 2011–Feb 2012)
- Nicos Papavasiliou (Feb 2012–Sep 2012)
- Renos Demetriades (Sep 2012-Feb 2013)
- Marios Constantinou (Feb 2013-June 2013)
- Costas Seraphim (June 2013-
- Cypriot Cup: 1
- 1974, 1976
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