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Athlitiki Enosi Lemesou (Greek: Αθλητική Ένωση Λεμεσού, lit. 'Athletic Union of Limassol'), commonly known as AEL, is a Cypriot sports club based in the city of Limassol, most famous for its football team.

AEL Limassol Logo.png
Full nameΑθλητική Ένωση Λεμεσού
Athlitiki Enosi Lemesou
Short nameAEL
Founded4 October 1930; 88 years ago (1930-10-04)
GroundTsirion Stadium
Limassol, Cyprus
Capacity13,331
ChairmanCyprus Andreas Sofocleous
ManagerBosnia and Herzegovina Dušan Kerkez
LeagueFirst Division
2017–18First Division, 5th
WebsiteClub website

AEL also maintains a men's and women's basketball teams, a women's volleyball team and a (newly established in 1976) Futsal team, a women's handball team as well as a cricket team. AEL is one of the most successful clubs on the island with 16 official football trophies consisting of 6 first division championships, 6 cups and 4 super cups.[1] The basketball branch of AEL is also well known, currently being the only team from Cyprus in any sport to have won a European title (the European Regional Challenge Cup). Limassol's official club mascot is a Lion, who was affectionately nicknamed the lions by their fans.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The club was founded on 4 October 1930, with Stavros Pittas serving as the club's first president.[2] The football section of the club competed in its first game on 6 January 1931 against PSC, winning 6–1 in Limassol.[2] The club won the national championship in 1934 though this is not credited as it is an unofficial title.[3] Later that year, AEL became one of the eight founding members of the Cypriot First Division for the 1934–35 season, the first official league of the country.[2][3]

AEL Limassol celebrated its first official title success in 1941, defeating APOEL 4–3 in a two-legged championship play-off.[3] AEL fans had to wait 12 years until tasting title success again, as the club finally became champions of Cyprus again in 1953.[2][3] AEL would twice repeat this success, winning back-to-back league championships in 1955 and 1956.[4]

The club won its last major trophy in 1989 – before the title success of 2012 –[5] when it defeated city rivals Aris Limassol 3–2 after extra time in final of the Cypriot Cup.[6][7]

In 2011, after disappointingly finishing in seventh-place in the previous campaign, AEL hired Pambos Christodoulou,[8] who had a reputation of steering "modest sides away from relegation", to start the club's rebuilding process.[9] AEL Limassol secured the Cypriot league title for the first time since 1968 on 5 May 2012, ending a 44-year drought without a Cypriot first division title.[10]

Christodoulou had a dream-like first season at the helm AEL, as his side was unbeaten and had not conceded any goals through the first five games. At the end of the second round, AEL finished top of the table,[11] three points clear of the second placed team and had only conceded seven goals, the best defensive record of all the league teams. In the play-off round, AEL battled with the top four teams for the championship, winning it with one game to spare and conceding only nine goals. As Christodoulou has managed to bring AEL the championship crown,[12][13][14][15] he was nicknamed by fans "Pambourinho", a combination of his name and of esteemed manager José Mourinho.

AEL received the championship trophy during a spectacular "fiesta" evening at the Tsirion Stadium on the evening of Saturday 12 May 2012. They followed this with an open-top bus parade through Limassol. Up to 7,000 AEL fans packed the stadium to watch the fiesta and trophy presentation. The club then turned their attention to the Cup Final of 16 May against Omonia and the chance to be crowned double winners for the first time in club history; the club, however, lost 1–0 in the final.[16] The following year, AEL made it to the group stage of a UEFA tournament for the first time, finishing last and picking up four points in their UEFA Europa League group.[17]

On 22 October 2013, Angolan manager Lito Vidigal was sacked after just over three months in charge.[18] Bulgarian Ivaylo Petev was appointed as AEL's manager on 25 October, having previously guided Ludogorets Razgrad to promotion to the A Group as well as two A Group titles, a Bulgarian Cup win as well as a triumph in the Bulgarian Super Cup.[18] Petev signed an initial deal to stay at AEL until the end of the 2014–15 season.[18]

At the end of the 2013–14 season, AEL finished in first place in the initial phase of the competition. Going into the championship match against APOEL on 17 May 2014, AEL needed only a draw to secure their second league title in three years. The match, however, was abandoned (at 0–0) after 52 minutes when firecrackers thrown by AEL fans struck APOEL player Kaká.[19] The match was replayed behind closed doors at a neutral stadium on 31 May 2014, and APOEL achieved to win their second consecutive league title after beating AEL 1–0, courtesy of a Cillian Sheridan goal.[20][21] On 6 June 2014, the Cyprus Football Association's (CFA) disciplinary committee – acting as an appeals board – unanimously cancelled on the CFA council’s decision to repeat the 17 May championship final, awarding the match to APOEL with a 0–3 score.[22] AEL winger Jorge Monteiro finished the season as joint-top scorer in the league with 18 goals, and the former Porto academy product was voted player of the year by the CFA. AEL finished in the 4th place of the championship of 2016–2017 and as a result the team won a place in the first qualifying round of Europa League. Furthermore, AEL achieved to go up to third qualifying round from a not fair play game from the referee Artyom Kuchin and the players of Austria Wien. The referee had show the white dot of the penalty for a ghost faul outside of the box of AEL and a red card for AEL defender Marco Airosa in the twenty second minute. AEL had fight for the win for the whole game to achieve two goals that send her in the play offs but the score finished 1–2. [23]

AEL FC as a companyEdit

The football department of AEL is legally owned by AEL Football (Public) Ltd (Greek: ΑΕΛ Ποδόσφαιρο Δημόσια ΛΤΔ), a public limited company, since 2009. The company's main activity is the management, operation and commercial exploitation of AEL Football club.

StadiumEdit

AEL plays its home matches at the 14,000-seat Tsirion Stadium, also known as the Olympia Stadium (G.S.O). Tsirion Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Limassol. It is mostly used for football matches and is also the home ground of Apollon Limassol and Aris Limassol. The stadium was built in 1975.

The construction of a new stadium in Limassol will start in February and the new stadium is expected to be built until 2021 replacing Tsirion Stadium. The capacity of the new stadium will be approximately 15.000 and the official name of the stadium will be Limassol arena.

UEFA club coefficient rankingEdit

UEFA Team Ranking 2017

UEFA Club rankingEdit

Rank Country Team Points
209   Hapoel Tel Aviv 4.350
210   Hapoel Ramat-Gan 4.350
211   AEL Limassol 4.310
212   AEK Larnaca 4.310

Last update: 15 June 2018
Source: [1]

European recordEdit

1R = First round, PR = Preliminary round, Q = Qualifying round, PO = play-off round.

Season Competition Round Club 1st leg 2nd leg Aggregate
1968–69 European Cup 1R   Real Madrid 0–6 0–6 0–12  
1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Dukla Prague 2–2 0–4 2–6  
1987–88 European Cup Winners' Cup PR   DAC Dunajská Streda 0–1 1–5 1–6  
1989–90 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Admira Wacker 0–3 1–0 1–3  
2002–03 UEFA Cup QR   Ferencváros 0–4 2–1 2–5  
2012–13 UEFA Champions League 2Q   Linfield 3–0 0–0 3–0  
3Q   Partizan 1–0 1–0 2–0  
PO   Anderlecht 2–1 0–2 2–3  
UEFA Europa League Group C   Marseille 1–5 3–0 4th place  
  Fenerbahçe 0–1 0–2
  Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–0 0–2
2014–15 UEFA Champions League 3Q   Zenit 1–0 0–3 1–3  
UEFA Europa League PO   Tottenham Hotspur 1–2 0–3 1–5  
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 1Q   St Joseph's 4–0 6–0 10–0  
2Q   Progrès Niederkorn 1–0 2–1 3–1  
3Q   Austria Wien 0–0 1–2 1–2  
2019–20 UEFA Europa League Q

Current squadEdit

As of 9 January 2019

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 Vozinha
2   DF Dossa Júnior (Vice Captain)
4   DF André Teixeira
5   MF Jon Gaztañaga
6   MF Leandro Silva
7   DF Andreas Avraam
8   MF Davor Zdravkovski
9   FW Nestoras Mitidis
10   MF Alex da Silva
13   DF Kevin Lafrance (Captain)
14   FW Andreas Makris (on loan from APOEL)
15   MF Fidelis Irhene
16   MF Manuel Torres
20   MF Giannis Gerolemou
No. Position Player
21   DF Boris Godál
22   FW Ruben Jurado
26   MF Markos Moustakis
30   GK Andreas Keravnos
33   DF Konstantinos Michaelides
40   DF Charis Kyriakou
42   DF Christos Wheeler
44   DF Nils Teixeira
71   MF Dani Benítez
77   FW Jarchinio Antonia
93   FW Ivan Schranz
95   GK Patryk Procek
97   MF Marko Adamović
99   MF Adnan Aganović

For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers winter 2018–19

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 Andreas Kyriakou (at   Enosis Neon Paralimni until 31 May 2019)
  DF Konstantinos Kyriakou (at   THOI Lakatamia until 31 May 2019)
  DF Momčilo Rašo (at   FK Jelgava until 31 May 2019)
  MF Stylianos Panteli (at   FK Jelgava until 31 May 2019)
  MF Andreas Frangos (at   Enosis Neon Paralimni until 31 May 2019)
No. Position Player
  MF Marios Pechlivanis (at   Aris Limassol until 31 May 2019)
  FW Yiannis Mavrou (at   Ermis Aradippou until 31 May 2019)
  FW Marios Elia (at   Alki Oroklini until 31 May 2019)
  FW Kire Markoski (at   Spartak Trnava until 31 May 2019)

Foreign playersEdit

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

Non-EU Nationals

Current staffEdit

Technical staff
Head Coach   Dušan Kerkez
Assistant Coach   Christos Charalabous
Football Tactical Analysis   Christos Panteli
Goalkeeping Coach   Marios Stavrinides
Fitness Coach   Haris Falas
Assistant Fitness Coach   Charalambos Pittakas
Medical staff
Head Doctor   Dr. Christos Patsalides
Physical Therapist   Giorgos Zantis
Physical Therapist   Polis Achilleos
Physical Therapist   Kimonas Papamiltiadous

HonoursEdit

Champions (6): 1940–41, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1967–68, 2011–12
Runners-up (2): 1947–48, 2013–14
Champions (1): 1996–97
Champions (6): 1938–39, 1939–40, 1947–48, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1988–89
Runners-up (11): 1937–38, 1940–41, 1958–59, 1978–79, 1987–88, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
Champions (4): 1953, 1968, 1985, 2015
  • Cyprus K.A. Severi Cup
Champions (3): 1953, 1955, 1956

Managerial historyEdit

Notable playersEdit

Presidential historyEdit

Name From To
Stavros Pittas 1930 1932
Kriton Tornaritis 1932 1934
Yiangos Limanititis 1934 1953
Nikos Solomonides 1953 1971
Nikos Kountas 1971 1976
Georgios Tornaritis 1976 1982
Loris Lysiotis 1982 1996
Dimitris Solomonides 1996 2002
Giorgos Frantzis 2002 2003
Akis Ellinas 2003 2005
Agis Agapiou 2005 2006
Marios Herodotou 2006 2007
Zacharias Koundouros 2007 2008
Andreas Sofocleous 2008 Present
Costas Christodoulou 2018 Present

AEL Football AcademiesEdit

  • Cypriot U21 Championships: 13
1940, 1951, 1960, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008
Runners-up: 1
2012
  • Cyprus U21 Cup: 1
1997
  • Cypriot U19 Championships: 1
2018(Participating 2018–19 UEFA Youth League)
  • Cypriot U17 Championships: 6
2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2018
Runners-up: 1
2019
  • Cypriot U16 Championships: 1
2017
  • Cypriot U15 Championships: 2
2005, 2009
  • Cypriot U13 Championships: 3
2006, 2008, 2017

Men's AEL Basketball TeamEdit

Women's AEL Basketball Team (C2S AEL)Edit

Women volleyball team (TRB-Danoi ΑΕΛ)Edit

Fullname TRB-Danoi ΑΕΛ
Nicknames Βασίλισσα (Greek)
Queen (English)
Tranbunker Danoi ΑΕΛ founded 1976
Team Colors Yellow With Blue
Arena Nicos Solomonidis
Arena Nickname Το κλουβί (Greek)
The Cage (English)
Arena Capacity 3,000
Women Volleyball Team Titles
Championship titles: 29 (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012)
Cup titles: 28 (1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2011)
Super Cup titles: 13 (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012)
Women U21 Volleyball Team Titles
Championship titles: 11 (1987, 1988, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Cup titles: 5 (2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010)
Women U17 Volleyball Team Titles
Championship titles: 11 (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009)
Cup titles: 1 (2000)

A founding member of the Cyprus Volleyball Federation in 1976, AEL's women team has dominated in the Cypriot volleyball. The team's achievements are phenomenal; Out of the 32 seasons played so far in Cyprus since the commencement of the women's volleyball league, the team won the Championship 27 times. Out of the 31 cups they won it 27 times, 24 consecutive times, from 1980 until 2003. Also they have won the Championship 15 consecutive times, from 1977 until 1991. They have also the amazing records of winning the Double 12 times from 1980 until 1991 and 9 times from 1993 until 2001. In the past the club had also a men's team for 10 years which participated in the Cypriot Championship.

Bowling teamEdit

The bowling club was founded in 1999 and the same year became a member of the Limassol District Federation. In 2001, the team participated in the Cypriot Championship as one of the two representatives of the Limassol District Federation. In the team won its first trophy by winning the Limassol District Federation Cup and in 2006 its first Championship by winning the Limassol District Federation Championship. The home of the team is the Galaktika Bowling Center.

Player
  Christos Krassas
  Nikolas kleanthous
  Michalis Perikleous
  Georgios Georgiou
  Andros Kalogirou
  Demetris Demetriou
  Panikos Kleanthous
Bowling Team Titles
Limassol Championship: 3 (2006, 2008, 2009)
Limassol Cup: 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008)

Cycling teamEdit

The cycling team was founded in 2001 and the same year became a member of the Limassol District Federation. The first men's cycling team consisted of the following : Ομηρος Χριστοφόρου, Παντελής Τίμινης, Μιχάλης Τσουλόφτας, Ηρόδοτος Κυριάκου, Σωτήρης Σκουταρίδης, Δημήτρης Αραούζος

Cycling Team Titles
General – Road cup: 3 (2004, 2005, 2006)
Men – Road cup: 3 (2004, 2005, 2006)
Masters 1 – Road cup: 1 (2006)
Masters 2 – Road cup: 2 (2004, 2005)

Defunct sports departmentsEdit

Apart from the currently active sports departments, AEL had in the past some other sports departments, which today are defunct. Despite this, these currently not active departments had all won titles for AEL when they were active.

Field hockeyEdit

In the past AEL Limassol had a field hockey team which is currently not active. The team had plenty of victories led by its star player Renos Antoniadis. In 1931, AEL won the Cup in a match which was played in Larnaca. One year later, the team became Cypriot Champions. The team consisted of the following players: Antoniadis, Pareas, Frangos, Christophides, Michaelides, Kalogirou, Victor Mousteris, Anastasiadis and Williamson. However, there were no further hockey competitions in Cyprus afterwards, as the other teams hockey teams of the era closed down their hockey departments because of financial problems.

HandballEdit

Another AEL sport department that currently does not exist is the handball. The team was active for a small period of time but that did not stop the team from adding another trophy to the hundreds that AEL won in various other sports. On 11 June 1989, a day after the football team of the club won the Cypriot Cup, the handball team won the Cypriot Cup in handball by beating Youth Centre Larnaca 23–19 in the final which was played in Lefkotheo Indoor Hal, Nicosia.

Men's volleyballEdit

AEL maintains 3 teams for women's volleyball but does not currently have a men's Volleyball team.

WaterpoloEdit

AEL was also active in maritime sports, especially those that needed team participation. AEL pioneered in Regattas in 1932, 1933 and 1934 in the Cyprus Regatta Games. The members of the team were Nearchos Pieris, Christakis Dixon, Andreas Araouzos, Sotiris Antoniades and Maximos Morides. The club had also a waterpolo team which was unbeaten Cypriot Champions. The team achieved a noted victory against a selected team of the Royal Navy which were then Mediterranean Champions. Apart from the Cypriot Championships, AEL won the Mediterranean Naval Cup.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "96 trophies". Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Ιστορία Συλλόγου (in Greek). AEL Limassol. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Cyprus – List of Final Tables 1931–1998". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Cyprus – List of Final Tables 1931–1998". RSSSF. 6 January 2005. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  5. ^ "AEL Limassol end 44-year Cypriot title wait". UEFA. 5 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Cyprus Coca Cola Cup".
  7. ^ "Cyprus – Cup History 1934–1996". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Pambos Christodoulou: AEL FC was my dream!" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Season review: Cyprus". UEFA. 18 May 2012.
  10. ^ "AEL Limassol end 44-year title wait". FIFA. 5 May 2012.
  11. ^ "AEL Lemesos won the Championship" (in Greek). Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Pambos Christodoulou: My first Championship Crown" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  13. ^ "AEL Lemesos Cypriot Championship Winners 2011–2012" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  14. ^ "AEL Limassol end a long time title wait". Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  15. ^ "AEL Limassol end 44-year Cypriot title wait with Pambos Christodoulou". Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Κυπελλούχος η Ομόνοια". Κυπριακή Ομοσπονδία Ποδοσφαίρου. 16 May 2012.
  17. ^ "AEL — History — UEFA.com". UEFA. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  18. ^ a b c "European Football – Coach who was chased out by hooligans named AEL Limassol boss". Eurosport. 25 October 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  19. ^ "APOEL Nicosia vs AEL Limassol title decider abandoned due to Kaka's head injury from missile attack will be replayed". dailymail.co.uk. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Sheridan strike hands APOEL Cypriot title". UEFA. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Sheridan strike hands APOEL Cypriot title". UEFA. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  22. ^ "APOEL are champions... again!". cyprus-mail.com. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  23. ^ "Season review: Cyprus". UEFA. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.

External linksEdit