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Apollon Limassol FC

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Apollon Limassol (Greek: Απόλλων Λεμεσού, Apollon Lemesou) is a Cypriot sports club, based in Limassol. It has football, basketball and volleyball teams. Founded in 1954, Apollon FC currently plays in the Cypriot First Division and has won the championship title thrice, the cup nine times and the Super Cup thrice. Apollon is considered as one of the most successful clubs in the island and the second most successful in Limassol with 15 major trophies and participated four times in the Europa League Group Stages.

Apollon Limassol
Apollon Limassol FC logo.svg
Latin script logo
Full nameApollon Limassol
Nickname(s)Theos (God)
Κυανό-λευκοι (blue-whites)
Founded14 April 1954; 65 years ago (14 April 1954)
GroundTsirio Stadium,
Limassol, Cyprus
Capacity13,331
ManagerSofronis Avgousti
LeagueFirst Division
2018–19First Division, 3rd
WebsiteClub website

History and establishmentEdit

At the end of 1953, a team of young men placed as a dream and objective, the foundation of an association with national and athletic aims based on promoting the education and social skills of its young members. On 14 April 1954, the general assembly of these members with leader Mr Christakis Pavlides proposes the foundation of an athletic association called "APOLLON LIMASSOL".[1] The assembly approved the proposal and thus from that date "APOLLON was born". The first administrative council of the team included: Charalambos Lymbourides (Secretary), Andreas Psyllides (Cashier), Antonakis Fourlas (Adviser), Melis Charalampous (Adviser), Andreas Theoharous (Adviser) Andreas Aggelopoulos (Adviser) and Kostas Panayiotou (Adviser)

In its first year, Apollon had eight defeats in eight matches in the second division. Just before the next season (1956–57), Apollon won the regional group in the second division and subsequently the play-offs and then was promoted to the first division.

This took place in 1957 and ever since Apollon has been competing in the first division. Through its history, Apollon won three Championships (1991, 1994, 2006), nine Cups (1966, 1967, 1986, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2017), three Super Cup (2006, 2016, 2017) and also had some very successful participation in European competitions, winning several important games and at the same time, the respect of many European football clubs during the several participations in the Group Stage of the Europa League.[2]

1954–1955: Early yearsEdit

In its first year, Apollon suffered eight defeats in eight matches in the second division. Just before the next season (1956–57), Apollon won the regional group in the second division and subsequently the play-offs and then was promoted to the first division. This took place in 1957 and ever since Apollon has been competing in the first division. Things were not easy however for the newly promoted club. Apollon couldn't reach a satisfactory position in the rankings and was struggling in the middle of the table for many years. But in the mid-60's things changed.[1]

1964–1967: The first distinctionsEdit

In 1965 Apollon reached the Cup Final. However, Omonia won the title with a score of 5–1.[3] A year later, Apollon was in the Final again, and won the Cup by defeating Nea Salamina with the score of 4–2 (Scorers: Panikos Yiolitis, Andros Konstantinou, Panikkos Kristallis, Antonis Panayides), and triumphantly took the trophy to Limassol.[2] Apollon managed to maintain its Cup title in 1967, by beating Alki 1–0 thanks to the goal of Antonis Panayides.[3] After celebrating these titles, Apollon had to wait another 15 years to start making history once again.

1981–1987: Back to the Cup Final after 20 fallow yearsEdit

In the football season 1981–82 Apollon managed to reach once again the Cup final however in double games Omonia won the Cup. In the 1985–86 season, after 20 years of "drought" Apollon won once again the Cup in Tsirion Stadium, overcoming APOEL with a score of 2–0.[3] Scores were Kenny and Sokratous.[2]

1990–1999: 10 years of gloryEdit

 
Diethelm Ferner

In these years, it emerged clearly that absent was this "something" that could make the difference for the team to lead in the Championship. This "something" therefore was non-other than the German coach named Diethelm Ferner who, upon arriving in Cyprus was determined to win. The German, with his discipline and hard work accomplishes "links" between young talented footballers with older more experienced footballers creating a team ready for the big time. Thus in the season 1990–91 the team entered the championship "marathon" wanting to write the biggest and most glorious page in its history book. After a frantic and impressive season, offering both substance and spectacle in its game, Apollon was finally crowned Champion of Cyprus![4] From that year and for a five-year period the team gained the admiration of all Cypriot football fans after playing modern football. In 1991–92 season Apollon won the Cup for the fourth time, overcoming Omonia in final with a final score of 1–0.[3] The scorer was Evgenio Ptak. However, in the next season of 1992–93 Apollon lost both titles. The team returned strongly and gained the club's second Championship one year later in 1993–94 season, later after a hard duel with Anorthosis where the title was judged on the last day of the season.[4] In the 1994–95 season Apollon reached the Cup final losing from Apoel with 2–4 while the same happened also in the 1997–98 season with "executioner" this time the almighty Anorthosis, that accomplishes and gains the cup with a final score 1–3. In that five-year period Apollon was accomplished in the European ties, winning enough games and at the same time the respect of many European football clubs. However, the game, in which Apollon wrote his own unique history is non-other than with the big opponent of Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup! The 1–0 in "Stadio Giuseppe Meazza" (San Siro) left margins for Apollon to believe in a miracle, against the Italians for the second leg game of 3 November 1993. The Cup Champions, staffed with a squad of international players led by Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp talked for a walkover in Cyprus against "fishermen" (thus called the footballers of Apollon the goalkeeper of Inter, Walter Zenga before the game) and that the game in Milan was just a bad game for their team. However, the Inter team was found in Limassol, losing in the first ten minutes with a 0–2 score and only finally managed to recover and to finish another historic tie with 3–3, leaving at the end the great Italian goalkeeper speechless!. Scorers for the Apollon team were Milenko Špoljarić, Zlatan Šcepovic and Giorgos Iosifidis.[5]

2000–2010: 1 Championship, 2 Cups and 1 Super CupEdit

 
Apollon supporters during a match in 2006.

In the 2000–01 season Apollon won the Cup against Nea Salamis Famagusta in the GSP stadium, with final score 1–0. Scorer was the unforgettable Viktor Zubarev.[3]

In the middle of the football season (2004–05) and after enough failed attempts for glory after the final of 2001, German manager Bernd Stange took the responsibility, accomplishing late but regularly he brought back the lost glamour of the team. In the season, 2005–06 Apollon won the league title undefeated and earned a club record of 64 points.[4] Apollon had 19 wins and 7 draws in 26 matches and this went down in Cypriot Football history, due to fact that it was the fourth team in the Cyprus Championship that won the title unbeaten (*Apollon was the only undefeated team in Europe, running an unbeaten streak since 12 March 2005 (30 games). The next year Apollon won for the first time in his history the Super Cup beating APOEL 1–3 at home.

In 2010 Apollon won the Cup after 9 years (2001 Final Cup), beating APOEL Nicosia in GSZ Stadium. The final score was 2–1.[3]

2010–11: Cup finalistsEdit

The following year (2011), Apollon reached the final of the Cypriot Cup for the second consecutive year, but lost to Omonia on penalties, after a 1–1 draw following extra time[3]

2012–13: Cypriot Cup winnersEdit

On 22 May 2013, Apollon won the Cup after three years (last Cup won in 2010). Apollon won in the final by beating 1–2 AEL Limassol at Tsirion Stadium in extra time, achieving the club's 7th Cypriot Cup title.[6] Apollon fans are very demanding and loyal to the Club and after 3 years they celebrated the Cup by singing, drinking, celebrating the whole week.

2013–14: Gold history and big dreamsEdit

Apollon Limassol skipper Giorgos Merkis implored his team-mates not to rest on their laurels after securing a famous 2–0 victory against OGC Nice in the first leg of their 2013–14 UEFA Europa League play-off. Christakis Christoforou's men were billed as overwhelming underdogs going into the tie, but a second-half double from Argentinian forward Gaston Sangoy has put them in a commanding position ahead of the 29 August decider at Stade Municipal du Ray. The next week Apollon travelled to Nice and the dream came true. Apollon lost 1–0 from OGC-Nice but qualified at the group stage of Europa League for the first time in team's history. In the group stage Apollon will play with: Lazio, Trabzonspor and Legia Warsaw. At the debut match at GSP stadium in Nicosia in the group stage of Europa League Apollon Limassol defeated by Trabzonspor 1–2 and scorer was the team's star Gaston Sangoy. On 26 September Apollon became the first Cypriot side to win a game in Poland on matchday two, ending a seven-game losing streak away from home in Europe to beat Legia Warsaw 1–0. Scorer against Polish side was again Gaston Sangoy. It is a first away victory for a Cypriot side in a UEFA club competition group stage in their last 16 attempts. In the third match on 24 October, Apollon claimed a 0–0 draw against Serie A side Lazio in Nicosia to keep alive their chances of qualifying from UEFA Europa League Group J.

2014–15 Europa league Gold dreamsEdit

After finishing 3rd in the 2013–14 Cypriot First Division, Apollon entered the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League play-off round, where they faced Russian Premier League club Lokomotiv Moscow. First leg was held in Cyprus and ended with a 1–1 draw. Second leg, held in Moscow, ended with a 4–1 win to the guests and brought Apollon to group stage of the competition. Apollon became the first team in Cyprus to qualify for a European competition by winning in an away game in the play-off round for two consecutive years as well as joining UEFA Europa League for two years a row.

Apollon, having three points, were out of the competition after losing to FC Zürich in a replay match.

Crest and coloursEdit

The team' s emblem represents the olympian God Apollo from the Greek mythology. Apollo was considered the god of sun, poetry and music. The colours of the team are blue and white. They represent the colours of the Greek flag as the creation of the team was well connected with the struggles of Cypriot people for unification with Greece. The away colours are white and the home kit blue.

Other teamsEdit

Basketball teamEdit

The Basketball team of Apollon was founded in 1967 and is one of the founding members of Cyprus Basketball Federation.[citation needed] From then the team participated regularly in the championship of 1st Division. The unique titles in the history of department, are two cups in 2002 and 2014 and a Super Cup in 2004. While it finished many times in second places.

Volleyball teamEdit

A Founding member of the Cyprus Volleyball Federation, the women's team participated in several Championship finals (1999, 2001, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and in eight Cup finals (1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013) . Apollon won: 5 National Championships (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), 4 National Cups (2014– AEK Larnaca 3–0, 2015– AEK Larnaca 3–0, 2016– AEL Limassol 3–0, 2017-Anorthosis Famagusta 3–1), 5 Super Cups (2003– AEL 3–0, 2013– Anorthosis Famagusta 3–0, 2014– AEK Larnaca 3–0, 2015– AEK Larnaca 3–2, 2016– AEL 3–2 )

Women's football teamEdit

The women's team has won the Cypriot First Division as well as the Cypriot Women's Cup four consecutive times from 2009 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2017. The team also reached the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 in 201,2011 and 2014.

On 15 October 2013, Apollon Limassol girls win the first Super Cup Beating Anorthosis 3–0 in the final, Anorthosis had won the double the previous year and played Apollon Limassol in the cup final.

StadiumEdit

Football

The team's current stadium is the 13,000 seater Tsirion Stadium, also known as the Olympia Stadium (GSO), it is also the home ground of AEL Limassol and Aris Limassol, The stadium holds 13,331 people and was built in 1975. Apollon Limassol generally use the West Stand of the stadium, but when the match attendance necessitates, the North and East Stands are sometimes used.

Apollon deposited to KOA (Cyprus Sports Organisation, GREEK: Κυπριακού Οργανισμού Αθλητισμού) its plans for the creation of its own stadium and every Apollon supporter is now looking forward for the work to begin. The stadium will be able to accept 12,500 (seated) people but a prospect will allow the increase of the capacity to 16,000.

Basketball/Volleyball

Apollon has its own indoor hall, the PrimeTel Apollon Stadium, with a capacity of 2,800.

SupportersEdit

In 1981, the organised portion of the supporters of the club, elected council members and began organising themselves, in a tiny room of the clubhouse (where it now houses the offices of the football Company) the membership fee was then 10 Cypriot cents. Later on in 1982 after the positive response in enlisting new members of the fan club, the cost of registration was increased to 2 Cyprus pounds. At a time when no other team had yet an organised group of fans on the island, a new fan club was registered. The registration was triggered after a game in Paphos where the followers of Apollon made an organised excursion something that had not been done previously. On their return, everyone was happy with the experience, that they agreed to set up formally and officially the Sy.Fi Association (Apollon Limassol)-Apollon Limassol Fan club. In 1982 Costas Katafygiotis was elected first president of the Apollon Sy.Fi in September 1982. The next year the fan club worked in an official manner. Chaired by Dino it opened in parallel a souvenir shop on the street and gained its Independence from the football club and became a housing association for the fans. Later, the Apollon Sy.Fi renamed itself to PA.SY.FI Apollon (Apollon Cyprus Association of Supporters) and much later PAN.SY.FI APOLLON (Pan Hellenic Supporters Association of Apollon) to show the bond of our association with Greece.

From 1996 onwards PAN.SY.FI became synonymous with GATE-1 a designation which originated from the entrance gate in the West Tsireio stadium stand, where members gather.

PAN.SY.FI Apollon Gate 1 is the name of the supporters fan club.

Apollon is amongst the most popular football teams in Cyprus. The fans are very demanding and loyal to the Club. More than 14,000 Apollon fans traveled from Limassol for the 2001 Cup Final that took place in Nicosia (16,828 tickets). This number also beat the previous top record for a team traveling for an away game to Nicosia. Celebrations for winning the League championship for the 1993–94 season following the victory against Omonoia FC More than 20,000 fans overflowed the Stadium to see Apollon clinch the title in the final game of the season. Celebrations following the victory against Omonoia FC at the 1992 FA Cup Final in Tsirio, stadium. More than 20,000 fans attended the game.

After 13 years (2005–06 season) Apollon was the unbeaten champion and the fans were singing, drinking, celebrating the whole week and in Limassol the only colours on public display were white and blue.

Current squadEdit

As of 10 July 2019[7]

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

No. Position Player
2   DF Emilio Nsue
3   DF Marios Antoniades (on loan from AEK Larnaca)
4   DF Vahid Selimović
5   MF Esteban Sachetti
8   DF Vincent Bessat
9   FW Ioannis Pittas
10   MF Saša Marković
11   FW Emilio Zelaya
13   GK Samu Volotinen
14   FW Facundo Pereyra
17   DF João Pedro
18   MF Diego Aguirre
20   MF Giannis Gianniotas
No. Position Player
22   DF Valentin Roberge
25   MF Chambos Kyriakou
26   MF Fotis Papoulis (vice-captain)
36   GK Joël Mall
41   DF Attila Szalai
44   DF Héctor Yuste
57   MF Petros Psychas
77   FW Adrián Sardinero
87   FW Serge Gakpé
88   DF Giorgos Vasiliou (Captain)
94   FW Daniel Carr
95   MF Roger Tamba M'Pinda
99   GK Demetris Demetriou

For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers summer 2019

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
  GK Michalis Papastylianou (to Aris Limassol)
  MF Danilo Špoljarić (to Enosis Neon Paralimni)
  FW Nikolas Mattheou (to Aris Limassol)

Club officialsEdit

Board of directors[8]Edit

Position Staff
Chairman   Nicos Kirzis
Vice-Chairman A'   Marinos Efstathiou
Vice-Chairman A'   Fanos Kinnis
Vice-Chairman A'   Antonis Glykis
Member   Costas Papachristoforou
Member   Ntinos Ellinas
Member   Charalampos Antoniou
Member   Dakis Mavroudes

Staff [9]Edit

Position Staff
General Director   George Papayiannis
Press Officer   Fanourios Constantinou
Marketing Department   Koulla Stavrinidou
Events and Public Relations Department   Jovana Alavania
Accountant   Despo Panayi
Sports Material Department   Kyriakos Vassiliou
Football Operations Department   Giannis Kyriakides
Tickets Department   Panicos Frangkoudes
Secretary   Stella Ignatiou

Technical and medical staff[10]Edit

Technical staff
Team manager   Socratis Socratous
Head coach   Sofronis Avgousti
Assistant coach   Periclis Papapanagi
Fitness coach   Ioakim Ioakim
Goalkeeping coach   George Nikolaou
Kit Man   Grigorii Sprinceam
  Stavros Stavrou
  Charalambos Evripidou
Medical staff
Doctor   Dr. Christoforos Kannavas
Rehabilitation Head Coach   Andreas Nicolaou
Rehabilitation Trainer   Giannis Demetriou
Head Physiotherapist   Andreas Giorgallis
Physiotherapist   Panayiotis Georgiades
Physiotherapist   Lambros Kantzias
Masseur   Nicos Menelaou
Nutritionist   Costas Nicolaou

Sponsorship[11]Edit

SupportersEdit

HonoursEdit

European competition historyEdit

As of December 7, 2017

Competition App. Pld W D L GF GA
UEFA Champions League 2 6 1 1 4 5 9
UEFA Cup/Europa League 12 58 18 14 26 80 99
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 6 16 3 2 11 16 50
Total 20 79 22 17 40 101 155

MatchesEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1966–67 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Standard Liège 0–11 1–5 1–6  
1967–68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Győri ETO 0–42 0–5 0–9  
1982–83 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Barcelona 1–1 0–8 1–9  
1984–85 UEFA Cup 1R   Bohemians 2–2 1–6 3–8  
1986–87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Malmö FF 2–1 0–6 2–7  
1989–90 UEFA Cup 1R   Real Zaragoza 0–3 1–1 1–4  
1991–92 European Cup 1R   Universitatea Craiova 3–0 0–2 3–2  
2R   Red Star Belgrade 0–2 1–3 1–5  
1992–93 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Liverpool 1–2 1–6 2–8  
1993–94 UEFA Cup 1R   Vác 4–0 0–2 4–2  
2R   Inter Milan 3–3 0–1 3–4  
1994–95 UEFA Cup PR   Teuta 4–2 4–1 8–3  
1R   Sion 1–3 3–2 (aet) 4–5  
1997–98 UEFA Cup 1Q   MYPA 3–0 1–1 4–1  
2Q   RE Mouscron 0–0 0–3 0–3  
1998–99 Cup Winners' Cup QR   FK Ekranas 3–3 2–1 5–4  
1R   Baumit Jablonec 2–1 1–2 (aet) 3–3 (4–3 p)  
2R   Panionios 0–1 2–3 2–4  
2001–02 UEFA Cup QR   Tirana 3–1 2–3 5–4  
1R   Ajax 0–3 0–2 0–5  
2006–07 UEFA Champions League 1Q   Cork City 1–1 0–1 1–2  
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 3Q   Sibir Novosibirsk 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a)  
2013–14 UEFA Europa League PO   Nice 2–0 0–1 2–1  
Group J   Trabzonspor 1–2 2–4 3rd place  
  Legia Warsaw 0–2 1–0
  Lazio 0–0 1–2
2014–15 UEFA Europa League PO   Lokomotiv Moscow 1–1 4–1 5–2  
Group A   FC Zürich 3–2 1–3 4th place  
  Villarreal 0–2 0–4
  Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–2 0–5
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Saxan 2–0 2–0 4–0  
2Q   Trakai 4–0 0–0 4–0  
3Q   Gabala 1–1 0–1 1–2  
2016–17 UEFA Europa League 3Q   Grasshopper 3–3 (aet) 1–2 4–5  
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 2Q   Zaria Bălți 3–0 2–1 5–1  
3Q   Aberdeen 2–0 1–2 3–2  
PO   Midtjylland 3–2 1–1 4–3  
Group E   Lyon 1–1 0–4 4th place  
  Everton 0–3 2–2
  Atalanta 1–1 1–3
2018–19 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Stumbras 2–0 0–1 2–1  
2Q   Željezničar 3–1 2–1 5–2  
3Q   Dynamo Brest 4–0 0–1 4–1  
PO   Basel 1–0 2–3 3–3  
Group H   Lazio 1–0 1–2 3rd place  
  Marseille 2–2 3–1
  Eintracht Frankfurt 2–3 0–2
2019–20 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Kauno Žalgiris 2–0 4–0 6–0  
2Q   Shamrock Rovers 3–1 (aet) 1–2 4–3  
3Q   Austria Wien 3–1 2–1 5–2  
PO   PSV Eindhoven 0–4 0–3 0–7  

Notes

  • QR: Qualifying round
  • PR: Preliminary round
  • 1R: First round
  • 2R: Second round
  • 1Q: First qualifying round
  • 2Q: Second qualifying round
  • 3Q: Third qualifying round
  • PO: Play-off round
  • 1: Both matches played in Belgium.
  • 2: Both matches played in Netherlands.

Source: UEFA.com

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Apollon FC". apollon.com.cy. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Apollon FC Europe".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Τελικοί Κυπέλλου Κύπρου – Κυπριακή Ομοσπονδία Ποδοσφαίρου". Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Cyprus Football Association – Championship record". Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  5. ^ "UEFA Europa League UEFA.com".
  6. ^ "Apollon Limassol win Cyprus Coca – Cola Cup".
  7. ^ "Roster 2018–19". Apollon FC. apollon.com.cy. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Board". Apollon FC. apollon.com.cy. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Staff". Apollon FC. apollon.com.cy. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Coaching Staff". Apollon FC. apollon.com.cy. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Sponsors". Apollon FC. apollon.com.cy. Retrieved 13 December 2016.

External linksEdit