AEK Larnaca FC
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AEK Larnaca FC (Greek: AEK; for short Αθλητική Έvωση Κίτιον Λάρνακας, romanized: Athletiki 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. 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.
|Full name||Αθλητική Ενωση Κίτιον|
Athletic Union Kition of Larnaca
|Founded||18 July 1994|
|Ground||AEK Arena - Georgios Karapatakis|
|2018–19||First Division, 2nd|
The club's name comes from the ancient Greek city-kingdom of Cyprus Kition, located on the site of today's Larnaca. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. The second leg took place at the GSZ Stadium (26 September 1996) with both teams stay tied 0–0 and the Spanish team qualified. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
In 2009–10 season AEK finished 2nd in the second division, ensuring its return to the first division. In 2010–11 season, AEK finished in 4th place winning ticket to participate in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League.
In 2011–12 season, the club ranked 5th 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.
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. They away win 8–0 is the largest winning range of Cypriot team in European competition. In the third qualifying round AEK faced the Czech Mladá Boleslav. In the first match at GSZ AEK won 3–0, 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. Next opponent was the Norwegian Rosenborg. A goalless draw was the result of the first leg between the two teams. 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.
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) and two draws (0–0 away against Schalke 04 and 1–1 home against Steaua), 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.
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. In the last matchday, AEK won Anorthosis and ranked 2nd for first time in its history.
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
European competitions recordEdit
Last update: July 25, 2019
|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|
|1996–97||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||Qualifying round||Kotayk Abovian||5–0||0–1||5–1|
|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|
|Group stage (J)||Maccabi Haifa||2–1||0–1||4th place|
|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|
|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|
- As of 31 January 2020
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
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.
International Cypriot Players
International Foreign Players
International Youth Cypriot Players
International Youth Foreign Players
EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)
UEFA Non-EU Nationals(agreement)
(one or more years in Cyprus)
Under-23 Foreign Players
Board of directorsEdit
Source: ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΙΚΟ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟ
Technical and medical staffEdit
|Technical director||Arnal Llibert|
|Team manager||Christoforos Petrouis|
|Head of Scouting||Santiago Carpintero|
|Head coach||Elias Charalambous|
|Assistant coach||Julio Bañuelos|
|Fitness coach||Sean Buckley|
|Assistant fitness coach / Rehabilitation||Panayiotis Michael|
|Goalkeeper coach||Giorgos Papasavvas|
|Team doctor (orthopaedist)||Dr Giannis Efstathiades|
|Team doctor (Pathologist)||Dr Kyriacos Economides|
Source: ΤΕΧΝΙΚΗ ΗΓΕΣΙΑ
|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|
|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|
|Goalkeeper coaches||Panayiotis Kythreotis|
|Head of Scouting||Giorgos Constantinou|
- Major Sponsor – Bet on Alfa
- TV Sponsor – PrimeTel PLC
- Clothing Sponsor – Puma
- Website Sponsor – Ideaseven Creative Solutions
- Official Sponsors:
UEFA and IFFHS rankingsEdit
UEFA Club rankingEdit
Last update: 25 October 2018
IFFHS Club World rankingEdit
Last update: 16 January 2018
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