|Full name||Πανθεσσαλονίκειος Αθλητικός Όμιλος Κωνσταντινοπολιτών|
Panthessaloníkeios Athlitikós Ómilos Konstantinopolitón
(Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans)
|Nickname||Dikefalos Aetos (Double-Headed Eagle)|
|Titles||European Titles: 2|
Balkan Titles: 1
|Active departments of P.A.O.K.|
PAOK (Greek: ΠΑΟΚ, Πανθεσσαλονίκειος Αθλητικός Όμιλος Κωνσταντινοπολιτών, Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Constantinopoliton, Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans), commonly known as A.C. PAOK (Greek: Α.Σ. Π.Α.Ο.Κ.), is a major multi-sports club based in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. The club has several departments, including football, basketball, volleyball, handball, water polo, swimming, wrestling, ice hockey, and weightlifting. P.A.O.K was founded in April 1926. Because of its crest, it is also known as the "Double-Headed Eagle of the North", in contrast with AEK, the "Double-Headed Eagle of the South". They are one of the most popular Greek sports-clubs with many fans all over the country (mostly, but not exclusively, in Northern Greece), and also among the Greek diaspora.
PAOK is closely linked with Hermes Sports Club (Greek: Ερμής), which was formed in 1875 by the Greek community of Pera, a district of Constantinople (Istanbul). The club was founded in April 1926 by Constantinopolitans who fled to Thessaloniki after the Greek defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (see Rum Millet).
The club's first memorandum of association signed on 30 March 1926 at Enosis Konstantinoupoliton Thessalonikis office, and was approved on 20 April 1926 by a decision of the Thessaloniki Court of First Instance (No. 822). The founding members were A. Angelopoulos, A. Athanasiadis, K. Anagnostidis, M. Ventourellis, F. Vyzantinos, V.Karapiperis, A. Dimitriadis, D. Dimitriadis, N. Zoumboulidis, M. Theodosiadis, T. Ioakimopoulos, P. Kalpaktsoglou, T. Kartsambekis, D. Koemtzopoulos, K. Koemtzopoulos, P. Kontopoulos, K. Kritikos, M. Konstantinidis, P. Maleskas, I. Nikolaidis, L. Papadopoulos, F. Samantzopoulos, T. Tsoulkas, M. Tsoulkas, S. Triantafyllidis and T. Triantafyllidis (who was also its first Chairman).
P.A.O.K.'s first Board of Directors, serving between 1926 and 1927, consisted of:
- T. Triantafyllidis (President)
- P. Kalpaktsoglou (1st vice-president)
- K. Kritikos (General Secretary)
- M. Tsoulkas (Special Secretary)
- T. Ioakimopoulos (Treasurer)
- A. Angelopoulos (Director of Football)
- A. Dimitriadis (Director of Sports)
- P. Maleskas (Consultant)
- K. Koemtzopoulos (Consultant)
- M. Theodosiadis (Consultant)
The club's policy was to be open to every citizen of Thessaloniki, leading to a minor rivalry with AEK Thessaloniki, the other Constantinopolitan team of the city, in which only refugees were allowed to play. The original logo of PAOK was a horseshoe and a four-leaf clover. The leaves were green and above them were the initials of the word PAOK. Kostas Koemtzopoulos, one of PAOK's founding members, came up with this idea, inspired by his favourite brand of cigarettes.
The football club played their first game (friendly) on 4 May 1926, at Thermaikos stadium, defeating Megas Alexandros Thessaloniki 2–1. The first coach of the club was Kostas Andreadis, who spent five years on the bench without demanding any payment. Their first captain was Michalis Ventourelis.
The first professional contract was signed by the club on 5 September 1928. The contract stipulated that the French footballer Raymond Etienne – of Jewish descent from Pera Club – would be paid 4,000 drachmas per month. The contract was signed by Dr. Meletiou, the PAOK chairman, and Mr. Sakellaropoulos, the Hon. Secretary.
In early 1929, AEK Thessaloniki was virtually dissolved and absorbed by PAOK. PAOK thereupon changed their emblem, adopting the double-headed eagle, as a symbol of the club's Byzantine/Constantinopolitan heritage. PAOK also got possession of AEK's facilities located around Syntrivani (i.e. Fountain) Square.
In 1937, PAOK won his first title, the Macedonia (EPSM or Thessaloniki) Championship, and participated in the Panhellenic Championship, finishing second. The 1937 team included: Sotiriadis, Vatikis, Goulios, Kontopoulos, Bostantzoglou, Panidis, Glaros, Kritas, Ioannidis, Kalogiannis, Koukoulas, Kosmidis, Apostolou, Vafiadis, Vasiliadis, Anastasiadis, Moschidis, Tzakatzoglou, Zakapidas.
The first Greek championship for the basketball team was achieved in 1958–59 season. The first Greek championship for the football team was achieved in 1975–76 season.
Crest and Colours
The original logo of PAOK was a horseshoe and a four-leaf clover. The current symbol since 1929 is the double-headed eagle. The eagle symbolizes the origins of the club in the former Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and the legacy of the Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, Pontus and Caucasus. In 2013, a golden outline was added to the football team's crest, as a symbol of the club's Byzantine heritage.
P.A.O.K. is the most widely supported sports-club in Northern Greece and one of the 4 most popular in the country (along with the big-three of capital Athens and Piraeus). PAOK's traditional fanbase comes from the city of Thessaloniki, where the club is based, as well as from the rest of Macedonia region and Northern Greece. They also have fans all over the country and in the Greek Diaspora (Germany, Australia, USA, etc.).
Football kit evolution
P.A.O.K. Departments – Honours
- Greek Championship: 3
- Greek Cup: 8
- Greater Greece Cup: 1 (Defunct)
- Greek Championship: 18 (record)
- 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Greek Cup: 6 (record)
- 2002, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Greek Championship: 2
- 1959, 1992
- Greek Cup: 3
- 1984, 1995, 1999
- FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup: 1
- FIBA Korać Cup: 1
- Greek Cup: 1
- Greek Championship: 3
- 2009, 2010, 2015
- Greek Cup: 3
- 2012, 2015, 2017
- Greek beach handball championship: 1
- Greek Championship: 6
- 2013, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Greek Cup: 6
- 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
- Super Cup: 1
- 5 Greek men's Championship: 2006, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022
- 7 Greek men's Championship Greco-Roman: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- 2 Greek men's/women's Championship: 2019, 2022
- 3 Greek women's Open Athletics Championship: 1976, 1977, 1982
- 2 Greek women's Cross Country Championships: 1968, 1974
- 1 Greek OPEN Championship: 1987
- 1 Greek men's Championship Mountain Bike: 2002
- 2 Greek men's Championship: 2003, 2007
- 1 Greek men's Championship: 2008
- 1 Balkan Cup: 2007
|Season||Men's Football||Men's basketball||Men's ice hockey|
|1973–74||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
|1989–90||FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup
|1990–91||FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup
|1991–92||FIBA European Cup
|1992–93||FIBA European League
|1993–94||FIBA Korać Cup
|1995–96||FIBA European Cup
|2006–07||Balkan Amateur Hockey League|
|2021–22||UEFA Europa Conference League
Notable former athletes
- Football: Men: Giorgos Koudas, Stavros Sarafis, Konstantinos Iosifidis, Christos Terzanidis, Angelos Anastasiadis, Giorgos Skartados, Giorgos Kostikos, Thodoris Zagorakis, Zisis Vryzas, Georgios Georgiadis, Pablo Gabriel García, Lino, Sérgio Conceição, Vieirinha, Dimitar Berbatov, Aleksandar Prijović, Lucas Pérez, Magdy Tolba, Hossam Hassan, Percy Olivares, Dimitris Paridis, Giannis Gounaris, Filotas Pellios, Neto Guerino, Ioannis Damanakis, Nikos Alavantas, Christos Dimopoulos, Giorgos Toursounidis, Kostas Frantzeskos, Omari Tetradze, Pantelis Kafes, Stelios Venetidis, Ioannis Okkas, Panayiotis Engomitis, Pablo Contreras, Zlatan Muslimović
Women: Natalia Chatzigiannidou, Jelena Dimitrijević, Dimitra Panteliadou
- Basketball: Men: Bane Prelević, John Korfas, Peja Stojaković, Scott Skiles, Walter Berry, Ken Barlow, Cliff Levingston, Nikos Boudouris, Giorgos Balogiannis, Efthimios Rentzias, Giannis Giannoulis, Kostas Vasileiadis, Zoran Savić, Anthony Bonner, Frankie King, Claudio Coldebella, Manthos Katsoulis, Nikos Stavropoulos, Vangelis Alexandris, Panagiotis Fasoulas, Rasho Nesterovic, İbrahim Kutluay, Damir Mulaomerović, Dejan Tomašević
- Volleyball: Men: Dante Amaral, Ernardo Gómez, Alexander Shafranovich, Rolando Cepeda, Javier Jiménez, David Lee, Giannis Pantakidis, Giannis Kalmazidis, Vasileios Kournetas, Vladimir Grbić, Kevin Hansen, Matti Hietanen, Plamen Konstantinov, Paul Lotman, Olli-Pekka Ojansivu, Evan Patak, Vlado Petković, Konstantinos Prousalis, Clayton Stanley, Riley Salmon, Nikolaos Smaragdis, Saša Starović, Mitar Tzourits, Nikolay Uchikov, Ronald Zoodsma
- Athletics: Men: Michalis Akritidis, Themistoklis Akritidis, Dimitrios Kokotis, Konstantinos Koukodimos, Dimitrios Koutsoukis Women: Vasiliki Anastasiou, Xanthipi Koukoumaka, Voula Patoulidou
- Swimming: Men: Christos Papadopoulos Women: Kalliopi Araouzou, Antonia Machaira, Aikaterini Sarakatsani, Katerina Stikoudi, Aikaterini Klepkou, Anna Ntountounaki.
- Stefanos Athanasiadis, footballer, former PAOK captain
- Angelos Anastasiadis, former football player and coach
- Giorgos Aftias, journalist 
- Giannis Aggelakas, musician
- Anna Korakaki, shooter
- Elena Asimakopoulou, actor
- Iordanis Chasapopoulos, journalist
- Vicky Chatzivasileiou, journalist, TV presenter
- Sissy Christidou, TV presenter
- Rallia Christidou, singer, politician
- Makis Christodoulopoulos, singer
- Olympia Chopsonidou, model
- Demy, singer
- Georgios Donis, football player and coach
- Pyrros Dimas, Olympic champion, politician
- Stratos Dionysiou, singer
- Konstadinos Gatsioudis, Greek javelin thrower
- Periklis Iakovakis, athlete, European champion
- Michalis Iatropoulos, actor
- Antonis Kanakis, journalist
- Vasilis Karras, singer
- Stavros Kalafatis, former MP
- Charis Kastanidis, former MP with PASOK
- Nikos Kourkoulis, singer
- Eva Kaili, journalist, politician
- Georgios Koudas, footballer, former PAOK captain
- Razvan Lucescu]], Romanian former football player and coach 
- Manos Loizos, composer 
- Kostas Makedonas, singer
- Sokratis Malamas, singer
- Manolis Mitsias, singer
- Giorgos Minos, sports journalist
- Alkinoos Ioannidis, singer
- Ioanna Lilly, former model
- Nikos Oikonomou, basketball player
- Marinos Ouzounidis, football player and coach
- Kyriakos Papadopoulos, footballer
- Nikos Papazoglou, singer
- Paola, singer
- Elena Rapti, politician
- Branislav Prelevic, Serbian basketball player and coach, former PAOK president and Greek champion
- Dimitris Salpingidis, football player and coach, former PAOK captain
- Dionysis Savvopoulos, musician
- Euclid Tsakalotos, former Minister of Economy
- Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Former Minister of National Defence of Greece
- Popi Tsapanidou, journalist
- Giorgos Toursounidis, football player and coach, former PAOK captain
- Natassa Theodoridou, singer
- Rania Thraskia, journalist, politician
- Tasos Telloglou, journalist
- Fay Skorda, TV presenter
- Gerasimos Skiadaresis, actor
- Katerina Stikoudi, actress, model, singer
- Sofoklis Schortsanitis, basketball player, 2006 FIBA Silver Medalist, former PAOK player
- Stavros Sarafis, footballer, former PAOK player
- Kyriakos Velopoulos, politician
- Nikos Vertis, singer
- Evangelos Venizelos, politician
- Zisis Vryzas, footballer, Euro 2004 champion, former PAOK player and president
- Kostas Vasileiadis, basketball player
- Loukas Vyntra, football player
- Theodoros Zagorakis, footballer, Euro 2004 champion, politician, former PAOK president
- Christos Zabounis, journalist
- Kostas Zouraris, author, former MP 
The team of 1928–29
The team of 1936–37
Raymond Étienne, the first foreign player of the club
Gyula Lóránt, coach of the 1976 champion team
Player and later coach Angelos Anastasiadis
Theodoros Zagorakis, the iconic captain and later president of PAOK FC
Pablo Gabriel García, one of the most popular players ever played for PAOK FC
Aleksandar Prijović, top scorer during the 2017–18 season
The team in 2018
PAOK vs YMCA Thessaloniki in the '20s
Dušan Ivković, coach of the 1992 champion team
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- "Αυτιάς: «Είμαι ΠΑΟΚάρα, αλλά μακάρι να πάρει το πρωτάθλημα ο Παναθηναϊκός» (vid) | SDNA".
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- "Τσακαλώτος: Τραγoυδάει το σύνθημα του ΠΑΟΚ για τον… Μάικλ Τζάκσον (βίντεο)". Retrieved 18 August 2023.
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