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Panathinaikos A.O.

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Panathinaikos AC
Full name Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos
Nicknames Oi Prasinoi (the Greens)
Το Trifylli (the Trifolium)
O Megalos Syllogos (the Great Club)
Founded 3 February 1908 as Podosferikos Omilos Athinon
Colours           Green, White
Anthem Syllogos Megalos (Great Club)
Chairman Ilias Michalarias
Titles European Championships: 6
International Titles: 2
Website Club home page
Active departments of Panathinaikos
Football pictogram.svg
Basketball pictogram.svg
Basketball pictogram.svg
Basketball (Men's)
Basketball (Women's)
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Water polo pictogram.svg
Volleyball (Men's)
Volleyball (Women's)
Water Polo
Athletics pictogram.svg
Swimming pictogram.svg
Diving pictogram.svg
Table tennis pictogram.svg
Cycling (track) pictogram.svg
Modern pentathlon pictogram.svg
Table tennis
Modern pentathlon
Fencing pictogram.svg
Archery pictogram.svg
Shooting pictogram.svg
Boxing pictogram.svg
Wrestling pictogram.svg
Weightlifting pictogram.svg
Karate pictogram.svg
Kickboxing pictogram.svg
Rugby union pictogram.svg
Field hockey pictogram.svg
Field hockey

Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (Greek: Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος, Panathenaic Athletic Club) or in English Panathinaikos AC,[1] is a major Greek multi-sport club based in the City of Athens. It has the trifolium (shamrock) as its official emblem, symbol of harmony, unity and good luck, and green and white as its colours (green for health, youth and nature and white for virtue). Panathinaikos is one of the most successful multi-sport club and one of the oldest clubs in Greece. The name "Panathinaikos" (which can literally be translated as "Panathenaic", which means "of all Athens") was inspired by the ancient work of Isocrates Panathenaicus, where the orator praise the Athenians for their democratic education and their military superiority, which use it for benefit of all Greeks.[2]

It was founded by Giorgos Kalafatis in 1908 as a football club, when he and 40 other athletes decided to break away from Panellinios Gymnastikos Syllogos following the club's decision to discontinue its football team. It is amongst the most popular clubs in the country and one of the biggest worldwide, based on the number of its sports departments. It is the club that introduced in Greece a number of sports, as it was the first, or amongst the first teams, in football, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, table tennis and handball, while they were also pioneer in the creation of women's teams in basketball and football.

Panathinaikos' teams and individual athletes have won numerous titles and have made notable participations in domestic and international competitions. The football team of Panathinaikos is the only Greek team that has reached the UEFA Champions League final (in 1971) and also the semi-finals twice (in 1985 and 1996). It is also the only Greek football team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup. The basketball team of the club is the most successful in Greece and one of the most successful in Europe, with six European championships, one Intercontinental Cup and two Triple Crowns. The teams of Panathinaikos have played overall in 15 European and international finals (in football, basketball, men's volleyball and women's volleyball).

In the individual sports, Panathinaikos has a remarkable tradition in the athletics, cycling, shooting, fencing and boxing departments. It has produced numerous athletes; World champions and European champions, winners at the Olympic, Mediterranean and Balkan Games.



Football Club of Athens

Giorgos Kalafatis, founder of the Club

Football made its appearance in Greece at the end of the 19th century. In 1908, a young athlete of Panellinios, Giorgos Kalafatis, dismayed by his club's decision to discontinue its football team, left with 40 other athletes and founded "Podosferikos Omilos Athinon" (Football Club of Athens). Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, the great Greek athlete of the early 20th century, played as goalkeeper for the new team.

Panathenaic Athletic Club

The team of Kalafatis was renamed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos (PPO) - i.e. "Panhellenic Football Club" - in 1911. In 1918, it was decided that the official crest of the club would be the trifolium (shamrock), symbol of unity, harmony and good luck, an idea of player Michalis Papazoglou. He was possibly inspired by Billy Sherring, an Irish Canadian athlete who had won the Athens 1906 Olympic marathon wearing a white outfit with a big green shamrock on the chest.[3] The officials of the club were looking for a non-nationalistic or localistic symbol, aiming to represent the whole Athens at the country and further at the world.[4]

Papazoglou was also the main instigator of the Panathenaic Idea, the idea for the creation of a new club -for the Greek standards- which will participate in as more sports as possible (something that would by adopted later by all the major Greek clubs). With the help of the others of the leading four of the club (Kalafatis, Panourgias and Nikolaidis), this came true. In 1919, Kalafatis was a member of the Greece national football team that participated in the Inter-Allied Games in Paris. There, he collected informations also about basketball and volleyball (sports unknown then in Greece) and after his return to Athens, started his efforts on creating new teams for the club.

In 1924 the club took its final and current name "Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (PAO)" (Panathenaic Athletic Club), from now on a multi-sports club. During the next decades, with main contributor Apostolos Nikolaidis (considered Patriarch of the club), Panathinaikos not only will create teams almost in every sport, but they will be consecutive champions for many years in most of them.

The champion football team of 1930
Basketball team of 1940

The athletics department was founded in 1919. In the same year, Panathinaikos was one of the first clubs in Greece to form a volleyball team. The first dynamic presence of the team is dated back in the years 1927–1929 with many popular players of the time such as the historical member of the board Apostolos Nikolaidis as well as Aravositas, Goumas, Arg. Nikolaidis, Papageorgiou and Papastefanou.

In 1922, the basketball department was founded, also one of the first in Greece, and it has since developed into the most successful basketball team in the country and one of the most successful in Europe. They have won 34 Greek Championships, 15 Greek Cups, 6 European Championships and 1 Intercontinental Cup. In 1924, the table tennis department was founded, in 1926 the tennis department and in 1928 the cycling, shooting and field hockey departments. The swimming, the water polo and the handball departments were created in 1930.

In the 1928 Summer Olympics, for the first time, the parade of nations started with Greece. The athlete of Panathinaikos Antonis Kariofillis became the first Greek who started the parade.

Panathinaikos won the football championship in 1930 under the guidance of József Künsztler with Angelos Messaris as the team's star player. Other notable players of the era were Antonis Migiakis, Diomidis Symeonidis and Mimis Pierrakos. They beat rivals Olympiacos 8–2, a result that still remains the biggest win either team has achieved against its rival.

In 1937 the women's basketball team was created. During the WWII and the dark years of the Axis occupation of Greece, the athletes of Panathinaikos played a significant role. The football player Mimis Pierrakos was killed during the Greco-Italian war, while Michalis Papazoglou with Dimitris Giannatos (founding member of the basketball team) later participated in the resistance group of Jerzy Iwanow-Szajnowicz, an athlete of Polish origin of Iraklis Thessaloniki and secret agent of the British, and succeeded in destroying three German airplanes and sinking three small warships. They were arrested, tortured and finally Giannatos and Ivanof were executed.


The football team in the 1971 European Cup Final.
Ferenc Puskás, manager of Panathinaikos (1970–1974)

The boxing department was founded in 1946, the diving department in 1947, the weightlifting department in 1959, the chess department in 1960, the fencing department in 1960, the gymnastics department in 1962, the waterskiing department in 1963 and the wrestling department in 1965. Panathinaikos' hardcore fans are called Gate 13 and are the oldest union of supporters in Greece. Gate 13 was founded in 1966. Furthermore, in the 1966 European Athletics Championships, the pole vaulter of the club and 13 times Greek champion, Christos Papanikolaou, wins the silver medal.

The volleyball club has demonstrated many titles and honours due to the fact that the team roster has always included some of the top volleyball players in Greece. The first generation was that of the '60s with Andreas and Nikos Bergeles as well as Iliopoulos, Leloudas, Chasapis, Emmanouil, Perros and Fotiou who opened the road for the next generations.

In 1970, Christos Papanikolaou jumped 5.49 metres to capture the world record. It was the first pole vault over 18 feet.

Panathinaikos soon dominated Greek football along with rivals Olympiacos and AEK and, although they are second in domestic titles, they have done better than any other Greek club in the European competitions. In 1971, Panathinaikos became the first and only Greek team - so far - to have reached the final of a European competition, when they faced Ajax in Wembley Stadium for the European Cup, losing 2-0. In the late '70s, when football became professional in Greece, the club's football department passed to the hands of the Vardinogiannis family. In the following 30 years the team won the Greek championship 7 times, while in Europe the team reached also the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League two more times, in 1985 and 1996.

In 1974, the table tennis team reached the semi-finals of the ETTU Cup. In 1978, the modern pentathlon department was founded and in 1980, the judo department. An important achievement for the volleyball team was the participation in the final of the CEV Cup Winners' Cup in 1980. During the following years, Panathinaikos continued to perform well in Greek volleyball with players such as Kazazis (the current head coach), Tentzeris, Gontikas (later president of Panathinaikos FC), Galakos, Dimitriadis and Margaronis.

The archery department was founded in 1981 and the futsal department in 1990.


Another successful period for the volleyball team was the seasons 1994-95 and 1995-96 when Panathinaikos won two Greek Championships in a row with Stelios Prosalikas as head coach and Andreopoulos, Triantafyllidis, Filippov, Spanos, Chatziantoniou, Ouzounov, A. Kovatsev, P. Kovatsev, Karamaroudis and Tonev as players.

The men's basketball department is currently owned by two pharmaceutical magnates, the brothers Pavlos and Thanassis Giannakopoulos. In 1996 in Paris final-four (F4), Panathinaikos was the first Greek team to win the European Champions' Cup (now called Euroleague), beating Barcelona in a unique final, by 67-66. In September of the same year the team also won the Intercontinental Cup, prevailing by 2-1 wins over Olimpia of Argentina (83-89, 83-78, 101-76). In the same year, the football team reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

In 2000, in the F4 of Thessaloniki, Panathinaikos were the Champions of Europe for the second time, beating Maccabi 73-67 in the final. In 2002 in Bologna, they conquered the most prestigious European trophy for the third time, beating hosts Kinder Bologna 89-83. Also, in 2000, the women's volleyball team reached the CEV Cup final.


In 2007 in Athens F4, Panathinaikos were crowned European Champions for the fourth time, beating CSKA Moscow 93-91. In 2009 in Berlin, the "greens" defeated again CSKA 73-71 to become the Champions of Europe for the fifth time. Their latest Euroleague triumph came in Barcelona in 2011, after defeating Maccabi 78-70 in the final. Panathinaikos won its sixth European Championship and became the second most successful club (behind Real Madrid) in the history of the competition.

In 2009, the men's volleyball team reached the CEV Cup final, while the women's volleyball team reached the Challenge Cup final.

In 2013, a new sports department was founded for the first time after many years. It is the rugby team, which was announced on the 7th of November 2013, while the re-foundation of the field hockey department and the creation also of a baseball team was announced in 2014.


Emblem evolution

Description and titles of the professional departments

Panathinaikos men's football

Mimis Domazos, the General

Football is the first and oldest department of the club. The football team of Panathinaikos is the only Greek that has reached the UEFA Champions League final (in 1971) and semi-finals (in 1985 and 1996), such as the Intercontinental Cup final.

  • SEGAS and FCA Panhellenic Championship: (6): 1909, 1911, 1912, 1915, 1921, 1922 (as Podosferikos Omilos Athinon and Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos)

Panathinaikos men's basketball

Founded in 1922, the basketball team of the club is the most successful in Greece and one of the most successful in Europe, with six European championships and one Intercontinental Cup.

  • Greek Championship: (34) (record): 1946, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
  • Greek Cup: (16) (record): 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Panathinaikos men's volleyball

The volleyball department was founded in 1919. it is one of the oldest and most successful volleyball teams in Greece.

  • Greek Championship: (18): 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2006
  • Greek Cup: (6): 1982, 1984, 1985, 2007, 2008, 2010

Description and titles of the amateur departments

Panathinaikos women's basketball

The department was founded in 1937, one of the oldest in the country.

Panathinaikos women's volleyball

The department was founded in 1969 and is the women's volleyball team with more trophies in Greece.

  • Greek Championship: (24) (record): 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Greek Cup: (5) (record): 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010

Individual Sports

Panathinaikos athletics

The athletics department was founded in 1919. The first athletes were the football players of the club.

  • Greek Championship, Men: (23): 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1989, 1990
  • Greek Indoor Championship, Men: (4): 1986, 1989, 1990, 1994
  • Greek Cross Country Championship, Men: (26) (record): 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2012
  • Greek Championship, Women: (3): 1946, 1947, 1949
  • Greek Cross Country Championship, Women: (6): 1949, 1950, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986

Panathinaikos cycling

Cycling team of 1928

Founded in 1928, it is one of the most successful departments of Panathinaikos.

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (15) (record): 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1963, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990
  • Greek Road Championship, Men: (22) (record): 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1997
  • Greek Track Championship, Men: (11) (record): 1951, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990

Panathinaikos table tennis

Nikos Mantzaroglou

The department was founded in 1924 by Nikos Mantzaroglou.

  • Greek Clubs' Championship, Men: (11): 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956,1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1975
  • Greek Clubs' Championship, Women: (3): 1972, 1973, 1974
  • Greek Cup, Men: (3): 1965,1966, 1969
  • Greek Cup, Women: (1): 1972

Panathinaikos boxing

It was founded in 1912 by John Cyril Campbell, the coach of the football team.

  • Greek Championship, Men: (30) (record): 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1982, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2011
  • Greek Cup, Men: (2): 1988, 1999

Panathinaikos fencing

Just like the boxing department, it was founded in 1912 by John Cyril Campbell, the coach of the football team.

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (13): 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
  • Greek Foil team championship: (11): 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978
  • Greek Épée team championship: (12): 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980
  • Greek Sabre team championship: (5): 1964, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974

Panathinaikos shooting

It was founded in 1928 by Athanasios Aravositas and it is one of the most successful departments of the club.

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (10) (record): 1958, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991

Panathinaikos archery

  • Greek Championship, Men: (4): 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
  • Greek Championship, Women: (3): 1984, 1985, 1986
  • Greek Championship, Olympic archery: (1): 1993

Panathinaikos diving

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (4): 1969, 1972, 1975, 2015

Panathinaikos swimming

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (12): 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968

Panathinaikos weightlifting

  • Greek Championship, Men: (6): 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969

Panathinaikos wrestling

  • Greek Championship, Men: (2): 2014, 2015

Panathinaikos modern pentathlon

  • Greek Championship, Men: (2): 1980, 1987

Titles of the inactive departments

Panathinaikos gymnastics

  • Greek Championship, Men: (1): 1972

Panathinaikos chess

  • Greek Championship: (2): 1970,1971

Panathinaikos baseball

Panathinaikos footvolley

  • Greek Championship: (1): 1991

Notable athletes


Fans of Panathinaikos in the Olympic Stadium of Athens

According to the most recent polls, Panathinaikos is one of the most popular clubs in Greece, with nearly 30,2%[11] of the population supporting them, and the most popular in greater Athens and the region of Attica.[12] They have also a large fanbase in all Greek prefectures (central Greece, Peloponnese, Epirus, Thessaly, Aegean and Ioanian islands, Macedonia and Crete), in Cyprus and in the Greek diaspora. They have the largest fanbase among high educated people and the Greek upper class (traditionally representing the old Athenian society), while they are popular among middle and lower class also.

The main organized supporters of Panathinaikos are known as Gate 13 (est. 1966), which consists of around 80 clubs alongside Greece and Cyprus.[13] Gate 13 style of supporting includes the use of green fireworks, large and small green flags, displaying of banners and especially the creation of colorful and large choreographies, noisy and constant cheering and other supporters stuff. Gate 13 has over the years become a part of the club by affecting club decisions and by following the club on all occasions. PALEFIP (Panhellenic club of Panathinaikos friends) is the other major supporters organization.[14] Panathinaikos F.C. currently is the only supporter-owned football club in Greece.

Panathinaikos supporters hold both records of the most season tickets sales (31.091 in 2010) and highest average attendance for a unique season (44.942 in 1985-86 season) in the history of Greek football.

Regarding the basketball, the fans of Panathinaikos, notable for their passionate support, also hold continuous attendance European records, such as the 20,000 fans against Benetton Treviso in 2006 and the 30,000 (over 25.000 officially) viewers against FC Barcelona Bàsquet in 2013.

The club is quite popular among artist cycles (actors, musicians, singers etc), such as some notable politicians.

Notable supporters

European and Worldwide honours of team sports

Season Football Basketball Women's Basketball Men's Volleyball Women's Volleyball Table Tennis
1968–69 FIBA Saporta Cup
1970–71 European Cup
1971–72 Intercontinental Cup
European Champions Cup
1974–75 ETTU Cup
1977–78 Balkans Cup
1979–80 CEV Cup
1980–81 Challenge Cup
4th place
1981–82 European Champions Cup
1984–85 European Cup
1987–88 UEFA Cup
1988–89 CEV Cup
3rd place
1991–92 European Cup
1993–94 European Champions Cup
3rd place
European Champions Cup
1994-95 European Champions Cup
3rd place
4th place
1995–96 UEFA Champions League
European Champions Cup
CEV Champions League
7th place
1996–97 FIBA Intercontinental Cup
CEV Champions League
5th place
1997–98 FIBA Saporta Cup
Ronchetti Cup
1999-00 European Champions Cup
2000–01 European Champions Cup
2001–02 UEFA Champions League
2002–03 UEFA Cup
2003–04 Challenge Cup
4th place
2004–05 Euroleague
3rd place
2005–06 CEV Cup
3rd place
2006–07 Euroleague
2007–08 CEV Champions League
Fase of 6
2008–09 Euroleague
Challenge Cup
2010–11 Euroleague
2011–12 Euroleague
4th place


See also


External links

Fan sites