AEK Larnaca FC

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AEK Larnaca FC (Greek: AEK; for short Αθλητική Έvωση Κίτιον Λάρνακας, romanizedAthletiki Enosi Kition Larnakas, "Athletic Union Kition of Larnaca") is a Cypriot professional football club from Larnaca, Cyprus. Their home ground as from the 2016–2017 season is the brand new AEK Arena - Georgios Karapatakis stadium with a capacity of 7,400 spectators.[1] The club was formed in 1994 after a merger of two Larnaca clubs, EPA Larnaca and Pezoporikos. The club has also basketball sections for men AEK Larnaca BC and a volleyball section for women.

AEK Larnaca
AEK Larnaca logo.svg
Full nameΑθλητική Ενωση Κίτιον
Athletic Union Kition of Larnaca
Nickname(s)Kitrinoprasinoi (Green-yellows)
Short nameAEK
Founded18 July 1994; 25 years ago (1994-07-18)
GroundAEK Arena - Georgios Karapatakis
Larnaca, Cyprus
ChairmanAntreas Karapatakis
ManagerDavid Caneda
LeagueFirst Division
2018–19First Division, 2nd
WebsiteClub website

The club's name comes from the ancient Greek city-kingdom of Cyprus Kition, located on the site of today's Larnaca.[2] The colours of the club are yellow and green and their emblem is admiral Kimon, who died at the seafront defending the city of Kition (modern Larnaca) in a major battle in Cyprus at about 450 BC, in a fight against the Persians. He had told his officers to keep the news of his possible death secret. The quote "Και Νεκρος Ενικα" ("Even in death he was victorious") refers to Kimon.[2]

Greatest successes of the football club are the qualification to the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League group stage and the win of Cypriot Cup in 2004 and 2018. The highest league performance is the 2nd place in three consecutive years.

In 2019 AEK signed their biggest ever shirt sponsorship with Cypriot-based betting company Bet on Alfa Ltd. in a three-year deal. It was also the first time Bet on Alfa became a major sponsor of a Cypriot professional football club.[3][4]



AEK was founded on 18 July 1994. It came from the merger of two historic clubs, EPA Larnaca and Pezoporikos.[5]

EPA and PezoporikosEdit

Pezoporikos had been established in 1924. In 1926, serving retired members of Pezoporikos founded the "Athletic Musical Larnaca Club" (Greek: ΑΜΟΛ; Αθλητικό Μουσικό Όμιλο Λάρνακας, Athlitikos Mousikos Omilos Larnakas). In 1932 the two clubs were merged by founding EPA Larnaca (Greek: Ένωσις Πεζοπορικούς ΑΜΟΛ, Enosis Pezoporikous AMOL). However, in 1937 a group of members and players of EPA left and refounded Pezoporikos. After several decades, in 1994, the two clubs were merged and created AEK Larnaca.[5]

EPA had 50 participations in the first division, won the championship three times (1945, 1946, 1970), five times the Cypriot Cup (1945, 1946, 1950, 1953, 1955) and once the shield of CFA (1955). In addition, the season 1970–71 participated in the Alpha Ethniki of Greece and had three appearances in European competitions.[5]

Pezoporikos had 49 participations in the first division, won two championships (1954, 1988) and one Cypriot Cup (1970). It also had three appearances in European competitions.[5]

Apart from football, the two clubs had other athletic departments. The efforts and the decision to merge was made to create in Larnaca a sports club that starred in all competitions (football, basketball, volleyball, etc.) and would not have financial problems.[5]

1994–1999: The early yearsEdit

After the merge of the Pezoporikos and EPA, AEK replaced Pezoporikos in the first division (EPA had relegated the last period of existence). In its first participation in the championship, in 1994–95 season, AEK finished in the 9th place. In 1995–96 season, won the 4th place. Together with APOEL had the best defense in the league with 21 conceded goals. In the Cypriot Cup 1995–96 the club reached the final, where they lost to APOEL.

However, because APOEL had won the championship and participated in the 1996–97 UEFA Cup, the finalists of the Cypriot Cup, AEK represented Cyprus in the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In the preliminary round has faced the Armenian club Kotayk Abovyan. The first match took place in Armenia (8 August 1996), where AEK lost 1–0.[6] The second leg was held at the New GSZ Stadium on 22 August 1996 with AEK winning 5–0 and progressing to the first round of the tournament. In this round, AEK were drawn to face Barcelona. The first leg (12 September 1996) held at Barcelona Olympic Stadium where Spanish team won 2–0.[7] The second leg took place at the GSZ Stadium (26 September 1996) with both teams stay tied 0–0 and the Spanish team qualified.[7] Barcelona reached the final and won the trophy.

In 1996, before the begging of the 1996–97 season because APOEL had won the league and cup 1995–96, AEK, as finalist of the Cypriot Cup, played against league winners the match for shield of CFA, losing 1–0.[8] In the 1996–97 season, AEK finished again 4th place and reached to Cypriot Cup semi-finals. This was followed by 5th place in 1997–98, to return to 4th place the 1998–99 season.

Decade 2000–2010Edit

Three seasons in a row, 1999–00, 2000–01 and 2001–02, AEK finished in 7th place. In 1999–00 season the Cypriot Cup reached the semi-finals and the 2002–03 ranked in 8th place.[citation needed]

The 2003–04 season was very important in the history of the team, where managed to win the first trophy. Although in the league finished in 9th place, in the Cyprus Cup 2003–04 reached the final, where beat AEL Limassol the GSP stadium with score 2–1. The conquest of the cup gave the opportunity to participate the second time in European competition, the 2004–05 UEFA Cup. In the second qualifying round of the competition faced Maccabi Petah Tikva. The first match took place on 12 August 2004 at GSP stadium where AEK won 3–0.[9] However, the first match score was not enough to offer the qualification in the Cyprus team. In the rematch in Israel, AEK lost 4–0 thus eliminated from the next round of the tournament.[10]

In 2004, as a cup winner, before the beginning of the 2004–05 season, AEK faced champions APOEL in the match for the shield of CFA. Match final score ended 3–3. AEK lost at extra time 5–4.[8] In 2004–05 AEK finished in 9th place, just three points ahead of 12th place which leads to the second division. The following season ranked 8th. In Cypriot Cup 2005–06 reached the final against APOEL. After the draw between the home stadiums of the two clubs, the final took place at the home ground of AEK GSZ Stadium. However, the team failed to win the trophy after being defeated 3–2 at extra time.[citation needed]

In 2006–07 season, AEK finished in 7th place and reached the semi-finals of the 2006–07 Cypriot Cup. In the 2007–08 season, won the 4th place in the league. The darkest page in the history of team was the 2008–09 season where AEK finished in 13th place and were relegated for the first time in its history in the second division.[11]

Decade 2010–Edit

In 2009–10 season AEK finished 2nd in the second division, ensuring its return to the first division.[12] In 2010–11 season, AEK finished in 4th place winning ticket to participate in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League.[13]

In 2011–12 season, the club ranked 5th[14] and also reached the semi-finals of the Cypriot Cup. The next season 2012–13, AEK reached the 4th place of the league and again to the semi-finals of the cup. In the 2013–14, the team were limited at the 8th place after a moderate season.[15]

UEFA Europa League 2011–2012 Group StagesEdit

The participation of the team in Europa League 2011–12 was historic for both the club and for Cyprus football. AEK Larnaca became the first Cypriot team which secured its qualification to the group stages of the Europa League (were preceded the entries of Anorthosis and APOEL in the group stages of the Champions League). In the second qualifying round AEK faced Maltese Floriana which won by 8–0 away and 1–0 at home.[16][17] They away win 8–0 is the largest winning range of Cypriot team in European competition.[18][19] In the third qualifying round AEK faced the Czech Mladá Boleslav. In the first match at GSZ AEK won 3–0,[20] while in the second leg away the teams were drawn by 2–2 with AEK qualifying to the play-offs of the UEFA Europa League.[21] Next opponent was the Norwegian Rosenborg. A goalless draw was the result of the first leg between the two teams.[22] In the second leg (which held at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium due to the fact that UEFA endorsed GSZ Stadium inappropriate at that phase of the tournament), AEK won 2–1 and qualified through to the group stages of the tournament.[23][24]

In group stages the tournament the team was asked to face Schalke 04, Maccabi Haifa and Steaua Bucharest. The only stadium in Cyprus which could host matches of group stages of European competitions was new GSP, whereupon AEK there gave its home matches of group stages. AEK finished at the bottom of Group J and eliminated. The club's performance at the tournament was one win (2–1 at home against Maccabi Haifa[25]) and two draws (0–0 away against Schalke 04 and 1–1 home against Steaua[26][27]), gathering five points. During that season, AEK created an unbeaten record for Cypriot club with six matches (four wins and two draws at the qualifying phase of the tournament). The same record is also hold by APOEL the same season but with three wins and three draws.

AEK Larnaca Fans at the GSZ Stadium

Spanish LarnacaEdit

In 2014, the arrival of Thomas Christiansen marked the beginning of a Spanish era at AEK Larnaca. Under the Spanish coach, there have been six regular starters from Spain in the lineup during the 2014–15 season.

In the 2014–15 season, the team claimed the championship trophy until the last matchday. In the penultimate matchday, the team faced APOEL with whom stayed at draw 1–1. If AEK won it would go to the top of the table.[28] In the last matchday, AEK won Anorthosis and ranked 2nd for first time in its history.[28][29]

As in 2014–15, Larnaca finished a strong second place in the League for the 2015–16 season. As it was the case in the previous season, there were six Spaniards in the starting eleven, but this time just one player from Cyprus.

Christiansen then left to League rivals APOEL Nicosia. Christiansen was followed by another Spaniard, Imanol Idiakez. Under Idiakez, Larnaca finished second once again in the 2016–17 season. The two best scorers of AEK Larnaca in the First Division where Ivan Trickovski with 14 goals, followed by the Spaniard Acorán Barrera who netted 9 goals. Idiakez nominated even seven Spaniards as regular starters, but no single player from Cyprus. 2017–18 season saw AEK Larnaca finishing in 4th place but winning the Cyprus Cup after 14 years. The French Striker Florian Taulemesse scored a staggering 22 goals in the championship and was nominated player of the year and player of the Cyprus Cup Final for the season. Imanol Idiakez completed 100 games in AEK Larnaca bench and in the final game he won the Cyprus Cup Final. He is replaced as from the 23rd of May by another Spaniard Andoni Iraola.

UEFA Europa League 2018-2019 Group Stages


The home stadium of the football team was the Neo GSZ Stadium, which was common used by EPA and Pezoporikos.[30][31] Before the construction of the stadium, the two teams used old GSZ stadium.

On 7 September 2015, works for the creation of a privately owned new stadium were launched, next to new GSZ stadium.[32][33][34]

On 17 October 2016 the new home of AEK Larnaca the AEK ARENA opened its doors hosting the very first match of AEK Larnaka against Aris Limassol.[35]



Runner-up (4): 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2018–19
Winners (2): 2003–04, 2017–18
Runner-up (2): 1995–96, 2005–06
Winners (1): 2018
Runner-up (2): 1996, 2004

European competitions recordEdit

Last update: July 25, 2019[36]

UEFA competitions
Competition Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Last season played
UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup 48 24 12 12 78 48 2019–20
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 4 1 1 2 5 3 1996–97
Total 52 25 13 14 83 51


Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying round   Kotayk Abovian 5–0 0–1 5–1  
First round   Barcelona 0–0 0–2 0–2  
2004–05 UEFA Cup Second qualifying round   Maccabi Petah Tikva 3–0 0–4 3–4  
2011–12 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round   Floriana 1–0 8–0 9–0  
Third qualifying round   Mladá Boleslav 3–0 2–2 5–2  
Play-off round   Rosenborg 2–1 0–0 2–1  
Group stage (J)   Maccabi Haifa 2–1 0–1 4th place  
  Steaua Bucureşti 1–1 1–3
  Schalke 04 0–5 0–0
2015–16 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round   Bordeaux 0–1 0–3 0–4  
2016–17 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round   Folgore 3–0 3–1 6–1  
Second qualifying round   Cliftonville 2–0 3–2 5–2  
Third qualifying round   Spartak Moscow 1–1 1–0 2–1  
Play-off round   Slovan Liberec 0–1 0–3 0–4  
2017–18 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round   Lincoln Red Imps 5–0 1–1 6–1  
Second qualifying round   Cork City 1–0 1–0 2–0  
Third qualifying round   Dinamo Minsk 2–0 1–1 3–1  
Play-off round   Viktoria Plzeň 0–0 1–3 1–3  
2018–19 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round   Dundalk 4–0 0–0 4–0  
Third qualifying round   Sturm Graz 5–0 2–0 7–0  
Play-off round   AS Trenčín 3–0 1–1 4–1  
Group stage (A)   Bayer Leverkusen 1–5 2–4 3rd place  
  Ludogorets Razgrad 1–1 0–0
  Zürich 0–1 2–1
2019–20 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round   Petrocub Hîncești 1–0 1–0 2–0  
Second qualifying round   Levski Sofia 3–0 4–0 7–0  
Third qualifying round   Gent 1–1 0–3 1–4  

Current squadEdit

As of 31 January 2020[37]

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

No. Position Player
1   GK Andreas Christodoulou
2   DF Simranjit Thandi
4   DF Joan Truyols
6   MF Abraham González
7   MF Matija Špoljarić
8   MF Acorán
9   FW Jozsef Keaveny
10   FW Ivan Trichkovski (Captain)
11   MF Tete
13   MF Hector Hevel
15   MF Facundo García (on loan from Leganes)
17   DF José Manuel Fernández
18   DF Mikel González (3rd Captain)
19   DF Thomas Ioannou
20   MF Constantinos Anastasiou
No. Position Player
21   DF Carles Planas
22   MF Lluís Sastre
23   FW Florian Taulemesse
24   DF Román Golobart
25   GK Toño
26   FW Dimitris Raspas
28   FW José Naranjo (on loan from Tenerife)
29   DF Christos Tryfonos
30   GK Ioakeim Toumbas
31   FW Konstantinos Konstantinou
32   MF Giorgos Pelekanos
34   MF Giorgos Thoma
40   MF Ektoras Stefanou
61   MF Giorgos Naoum
99   FW Apostolos Giannou

For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers winter 2019–20.

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Position Player
  DF Rafael Anastasiou (on loan to Onisilos Sotira)
  DF Marios Antoniades (on loan to Apollon Limassol)
  MF Michael Music (on loan to Podosfairikos Omilos Xylotymbou 2006)
  MF Nacho Cases (on loan to Volos)
  DF Raúl Ruiz (on loan to Hércules)

International playersEdit

International Cypriot Players

International Foreign Players

International Youth Cypriot Players

International Youth Foreign Players

Foreign playersEdit

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

UEFA Non-EU Nationals(agreement)

(one or more years in Cyprus)

Under-23 Foreign Players

Club officials[38]Edit

Board of directorsEdit

Position Staff
Chairman   Antros Karapatakis
Members   Andreas Lefkaritis
  Joseph Frangos
  Giorgos Savva
  Evmeos Efthymiades


Technical and medical staffEdit

Position Staff
Technical director   Arnal Llibert
Team manager   Christoforos Petrouis
Head of Scouting   Santiago Carpintero
Head coach   Elias Charalambous
Assistant coach   Julio Bañuelos
Analyst/Scouter   David Catala
Fitness coach   Sean Buckley
Assistant fitness coach / Rehabilitation   Panayiotis Michael
Goalkeeper coach   Giorgos Papasavvas
Medical staff
Team doctor (orthopaedist)   Dr Giannis Efstathiades
Team doctor (Pathologist)   Dr Kyriacos Economides
Physiotherapists   Elias Hadjiioannou
  Tasos Kyriacou
Nutritionist   Christos Konstantinou
Massuers   Dimitar Yordanov
  Yordan Stoyanov
Caregiver   Florin Jucan


Other staffEdit

Position Staff
General Manager   Afxentis Evangelou
Press Officer   Kyriacos Demetriou
Secretary   Sofia Georgiou
Boutique Manager   Maria Yiasemidou
Head of Marketing Department   Christina Evangelou
Marketing Officer   Christoforos Stylianou
Head of the Ticket Department   Melina Sklavou
Voluntary Staff
Head of Social Media Networking   Adamantini Elia
Head of Player Escorts   Maria Tziva

Academy organisationEdit

Position Staff
Academy President   Joseph Frangos
General Director   Demetris Frangos
Head of Academies   Kyriacos Vassiliou
Academy Officer   Nicolas Sergiou
Technical Director   Giorgos Theodotou
Head of Grassroots   Antonis Antoniou
U7-U13 coaches   Charalambos Christoforou
  Yiannakis Ioannou
  Veselin Toskov
U14 B coach   Chrysanthos Efstathiou
U14 coach   Héctor González
U15 coach   Chatalambos Christoforou
U16 coach   Andreas Dareiou
U17 coach   Stavros Raounas
U19 coach   David Catala
Fitness coaches   Panayiotis Michael
  Michalis Andreou
Goalkeeper coaches   Panayiotis Kythreotis
  Makis Mama
Head of Scouting   Giorgos Constantinou



  • Major Sponsor – Bet on Alfa
  • TV Sponsor – PrimeTel PLC
  • Clothing Sponsor – Puma
  • Website Sponsor – Ideaseven Creative Solutions
  • Official Sponsors:
    • AJK Wealth Management Limited
    • Petrolina
    • K. Treppides & CO Certified Public Accountants
    • C & C Londou Bros
    • SunnySeeker Hotels
    • ZEMCO Group
    • McDonald's
    • UCLan Cyprus
    • METRO Supermarkets
    • Kapnos Airport Shuttle
    • Top Kinisis Travel



Former playersEdit

Managerial historyEdit

UEFA and IFFHS rankingsEdit


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External linksEdit