Floriana F.C.

Floriana Football Club is a Maltese professional football club in the town of Floriana that currently plays in the Maltese Premier League.[2] In all, Floriana F.C. has won 26 national leagues and 21 FA Trophies (present and longest surviving main knockout competition). It is also the only team from Malta to have qualified from the qualifying rounds to the first round proper of the UEFA Champions League, in the 1993–94 season.

Floriana
Logo
Full nameFloriana Football Club
Nickname(s)Tal-Irish, Il-Greens[1]
Founded1894; 128 years ago (1894)
ManagerItaly Gianluca Atzori
LeagueMaltese Premier League
2021–22Maltese Premier League, 2th of 12
Current season

HistoryEdit

Floriana Football Club was founded in 1894 with the inauguration of the football ground officiated by Queen Alexandra.[3] The site was a cricket ground from 1890 until its conversion project.[3] Together with St. George's FC, is one of the two oldest clubs in Malta.[4] During that period, football in Malta was introduced by the British Servicemen who were stationed on the island, which was then a colony of the British Empire.[4]

The club is affiliated to the Malta Football Association which in turn is a member of both UEFA and FIFA.[5] The team's colours were green and red but after a friendly match against the Royal Dublin Fusiliers which plays in green and white, Floriana FC changed its colours to green and white. The team's nicknames are: Tal-Irish and Greens.

Floriana Football Club has won the major Maltese League championship 26 times and the FA Trophy 20 times.

FormationEdit

Football was introduced in Malta at the end of the 19th century by the British troops stationed on the island.[3] At that time Malta formed part of the British Empire and, the Island was the base of British forces in the heart of the Mediterranean.[4] The forces' barracks, which were strategically located around the island of Malta, enjoyed large areas that were used as parade grounds, training areas and for sporting activities.[3]

The sports practised by the soldiers were mainly cricket, hockey and football.[3] The British forces in Malta were mainly stationed in Floriana, Cospicua, Mtarfa, Marsa and Sliema.[3] The locals who were influenced by the soldiers stationed in the area were introduced to these sporting activities.[4] The most popular sport amongst the residents of Floriana was football,[4] however some also practised cricket and hockey.[3] Floriana still has its hockey club, carrying the name Floriana Young Stars Hockey Club.

Club colours and mascotEdit

Between 1894 and 1905 the club's colours were green/red quartered shirts, black shorts with green and red socks.[4] The official colours of the club as we know them today, green and white vertical striped shirts, white shorts and green/white horizontal striped socks, were introduced in 1905.[4] At that time the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were stationed in Floriana.[4] During that year, three friendly matches were held between this regiment and FFC.[4] At the end of the final match both teams exchanged their shirts and later the FFC changed their official colours to their green and white shirts.[4] The regiment left the Island for India in that same year.[4] The ties between Floriana and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were so strong that the people hailing from Floriana were nicknamed after the Irish, "Tal-Irish".[4]

The club's mascot is the lion, which features prominently on the club's badge since 1936 together with the Latin motto "Ex Ludis Virtus", meaning "virtue out of the game".[6] In this regard the club's badge represents the fierceness of the lion together with the virtues of sportsmanship. The lion was chosen as the club's mascot for two general reasons attributed to history of Floriana.

First attribution is to the coat-of-arms of the Grandmaster of Order of St. John, Manoel de Vilhena, which has the lion on it.[6] Vilhena was the mastermind behind the construction of a fortification suburg of Floriana (originally known as Borgo Vilhena) to defend the capital city of Valletta from land attacks.[4] He even ordered the construction of a lion statue fountain, with his Grandmaster coat of arms being held by the lions hand, in the centre of Floriana's main square, St. Anne Square, which is still there today.[6]

Second attribution to the lion is the statue of St. Publius who is the patron saint of Floriana. The St. Publius' statue has a lion with it which shows how Publius was killed for his Christian preachings.

The first game won by the team was confirmed on the feast of the patron's village St. Publius, on 13 April 1910, which is to some considered a divine confirmation.[6]

2020 Win and COVID-19 national outrageEdit

On 25 May 2020 Floriana FC were crowned champions of the BOV Premier League for the 26th title in their history and their first in 27 years, following a shortened season by a legal notice from the health authority in Malta to stop all contact sports on the Island because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020 a vote was taken in the MFA Counsel and declared all those on top of the table in all participating divisions will be declared champions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season was ultimately stopped earlier and Floriana was crowned champions of the league.

Celebrations were then hosted in the Fosos in Floriana, where a mass gathering of supporters broke social distancing rules and broke several Maltese laws by not staying in groups of six of less. The event sparked national outrage within the public in Malta and was featured on nearly all Maltese national newspapers.[7]

 
Floriana FC fans celebrate 2020 win

Domestic successesEdit

Since the foundation of the Malta Football Association, in 1909,[8] (fiv)and local competitions the club won a total of 108 honours, which includes 26 league titles and 25 Cup knock out competitions. The club has also achieved a number of impressive feats, such as four consecutive league championships, ten doubles (League plus Cup) and a League title with maximum points.

UEFA competitionsEdit

Over the years FFC participated in the various competitions organised by the European football body, UEFA, such as the:

  • UEFA Champions League
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  • Fairs Cities' Cup
  • UEFA Europa League
  • Intertoto Cup

In 1962, the club was the first to represent Malta in UEFA competitions in its Cup Winners' Cup against the Hungarian side Ujpest Dozsa. Over the years, FFC had the opportunity to meet some renowned European football clubs, including the likes of:

On two occasions FFC made it to the next round, 1993–94 Champions Cup and Intertoto Cup 1999–00.

Youth sectorEdit

In 1987 the club founded its youth sector, Floriana FC Nursery (FFCN), which is affiliated to the Malta Youth Football Association.[9] The club's youth sector may also be considered one of the most successful organisations of its type on the Island; not only has it produced a number of some of the finest footballers, but it has also won a number of league titles organised by the Association. The following are some of the major honours won by FFCN:

06 / 07 UNDER 14 Knock out competition

  • U/14 League Champions – twice
  • U/16 League Champions – six times, four of which in a row, 1993 to 1997
  • U/18 League Champions – six times, four of which in a row, 1996 to 2000

Today all the major six Premiership clubs in Malta have at least two players forming part of their squad, which have been raised by the Floriana Youth Nursery.

RivalriesEdit

During their history Floriana had three main rivals St. Georges FC, Sliema Wanderers and neighbors Valletta.[4] The rivalry against St. Georges FC started from the very first of football in Malta circa 1890, and then Sliema Wanderers FC as now known as the old firm rivalry was at its peak from 1922 and until the late 1970s when the two sides dominated the Maltese football scene.[4] Football hooliganism between supporters and direct conflicts were something usual.[4]

Today the rivalry has declined. Recently Floriana won the 20th FA Trophy against Sliema. This triggered again the rivalry between both clubs as Floriana won 9 finals in this Cup Competition against The Blues. [10]

The rivalry against Valletta City is still alive.[10] The fact that the two cities are near each other's the rivalry continues to persist and it is one of the most classic derbies in Maltese football.[10] The matches between the two sides always attract big crowds to the stadium and the fans treat these clashes as cup finals.[10]

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 7 July, 2022[11]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   MLT Duncan Formosa
2 DF   MLT Adam Magri Overend
3 DF   ESP Christian Rutjens
4 DF   TUN Oualid El Hasni
5 DF   MLT Zachary Cassar
7 MF   MLT Mattia Veselji
8 MF   JAM Kemar Reid
9 FW   ROU Andrei Ciolacu
10 MF   ARG Ulisses Arias
11 MF   MLT James Scicluna
17 DF   MLT Owen Spiteri
20 MF   MLT Matías García
No. Pos. Nation Player
21 MF   MLT Carlo Zammit Lonardelli
22 MF   MLT Brandon Paiber
25 DF   ITA Lorenzo Trillò
26 GK   MLT Manuel Bartolo
27 DF   MLT Andreas Vella
28 DF   ARG Emiliano Callegari
30 MF   MLT Jan Busuttil
33 GK   BUL Georgi Kitanov
77 DF   MLT Aleandro Garzia
83 GK   MLT Aiden Portelli
96 FW   MLT Daniel Agius
99 MF   MLT Manolito Micallef

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
No. Pos. Nation Player

Non-playing staffEdit

Administration[12]Edit

Position Name
President Johann Said
Vice President Shazoo Ghaznavi
CEO Matthew Carbone
Secretary Dione Borg
Treasurer Edward Spiteri
Vice Secretary Jacques Grima
Vice Treasurer Calvin Sammut
Director of Nursery Mario Galea
Director of Commercial Affairs Karl Azzopardi
Director of Medical Affairs Jordan Camilleri
Director of Communications Stefan Sammut

Managerial positionsEdit

Name Nat From To
Karim Bencherifa   1 July 2000 30 June 2002
Ziya Yildiz   2002 2004
Jimmy Briffa   2005 2006
Joseph Grech   2006 2007
Danilo Dončić   1 July 2007 30 June 2008
Zoran Popović   1 July 2008 9 Jan 2009
Antonio Carlos Vieira   1 July 2008 24 March 2009
Roddy Collins   1 July 2009 15 Dec 2009
Zoran Popović   2009 2010
Todor Raykov   1 July 2010 21 Feb 2011
Michael Woods   2010 2012
Joe Brincat   20 March 2012 2012
Mark Wright   18 Aug 2012 18 Oct 2012
Stephen Azzopardi   18 Oct 2012 25 Jan 2013
Iain Brunskill   29 Jan 2013 8 May 2013
Ian Dawes   9 May 2013 8 April 2014
Giovanni Tedesco   8 April 2014 8 May 2015
Luis Oliveira   14 June 2015 8 May 2016
Giovanni Tedesco   15 June 2016 4 December 2017
Nicolas Hernan Chiesa   15 December 2017 27 August 2018
Luis Oliveira   28 August 2018 14 November 2018
Guido Ugolotti   14 November 2018 15 May 2019
Vincenzo Potenza   15 May 2019[13] 23 December 2020[14]
John Buttgieg   26 December 2020[15] 11 February 2021[16]
Darren Vella   11 February 2021[17] 16 February 2021
Vincenzo Potenza   16 February 2021[18] 14 June 2021
Gianluca Atzori   17 June 2021[19]

HonoursEdit

European recordEdit

MatchesEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup Preliminary round   Újpest 2–5 2–10 4–15
1962–63 European Cup Preliminary round   Ipswich Town 1–4 0–10 1–14
1965–66 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Borussia Dortmund 1–5 0–8 1–13
1966–67 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Sparta Rotterdam 1–1 0–6 1–7
1967–68 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   NAC Breda 1–2 0–1 1–3
1968–69 European Cup First round   Lahti 1–1 0–2 1–3
1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round   Dinamo Bacău 0–1 0–6 0–7
1970–71 European Cup First round   Sporting CP 0–4 0–5 0–9
1972–73 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Ferencvárosi 1–0 0–6 1–6
1973–74 European Cup First round   Club Brugge 0–2 0–8 0–10
1975–76 European Cup First round   Hajduk Split 0–5 0–3 0–8
1976–77 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Śląsk Wrocław 1–4 0–2 1–6
1977–78 European Cup First round   Panathinaikos 1–1 0–4 1–5
1978–79 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Internazionale 1–3 0–5 1–8
1981–82 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Standard Liège 1–3 0–9 1–12
1988–89 European Cup Winners' Cup First round   Dundee United 0–0 0–1 0–1
1991–92 UEFA Cup First round   Neuchâtel Xamax 0–0 0–2 0–2
1992–93 UEFA Cup First round   Borussia Dortmund 0–1 2–7 2–8
1993–94 UEFA Champions League Preliminary round   Ekranas 1–0 1–0 2–0
First round   Porto 0–0 0–2 0–2
1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying round   Sligo Rovers 2–2 0–1 2–3
1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 11   Tirol Innsbruck 0–4 5th
  Hapoel Petah Tikva 1–1
  Strasbourg 0–4
  Gençlerbirliği 0–3
1996–97 UEFA Cup Preliminary round   Beitar Jerusalem 1–5 1–3 2–8
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 12   SV Ried 1–2 5th
  Tbilisi 0–5
  Torpedo Moscow 0–1
  Iraklis 0–1
1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup First round   Aberystwyth Town 2–1 2–2 4–3
Second round   Jokerit 1–1 1–2 2–3
2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup First round   Stabæk 1–1 0–2 1–3
2011–12 Europa League Second qualifying round   AEK Larnaca 0–8 0–1 0–9
2012–13 Europa League First qualifying round   Elfsborg 0–4 0–8 0–12
2017–18 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round   Red Star Belgrade 3–3 0–3 3–6
2020–21 UEFA Champions League First qualifying round   CFR Cluj 0–2[20]
UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round   Linfield 1–0
Third qualifying round   Flora 0–0 (2–4 p)
2022–23 UEFA Europa Conference League First qualifying round   Petrocub Hîncești 0–0 0–1 0–1

League and cup historyEdit

Season League Top Scorer Cup Youths
Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Name Goals Sect. Pos. Cup
2000–2001 1st 5th 28 13 4 11 54 48 27   Rufin Oba 12 SF A 3rd RU
2001–2002 5th 28 10 6 12 39 38 25   Eduardo 'Bizu' Do Nascimento 9 R2 1st SF
2002–2003 8th 24 8 6 10 32 34 20   Grigol Gvazava
  Nicolò Baldacchino
6 SF 1st R1
2003–2004 6th 28 8 7 13 41 51 18   Eduardo 'Bizu' Do Nascimento
  Nicolò Baldacchino
8 QF 2nd W
2004–2005 6th 28 7 7 14 28 39 16   Nicolò Baldacchino 6 QF 4th SF
2005–2006 7th 24 6 9 9 36 37 18   Adrian Mifsud 15 RU 6th QF
2006–2007 7th 24 9 7 8 41 30 22   Adrian Mifsud 9 R1 5th QF
2007–2008 5th 28 10 6 12 40 42 22   Ryan Darmanin 10 SF 6th QF
2008–2009 6th 28 7 6 15 25 44 16   Ryan Darmanin 10 QF 8th RP
2009–2010 7th 24 10 6 8 35 41 25   Ryan Darmanin 17 R2 4th RU
2010–2011 2nd 28 14 5 9 46 32 34   Daniel Nwoke 13 W 4th SF
2011–2012 4th 32 16 6 10 47 35 33   Christian Caruana
  Andre Grabowski
7 QF 5th SF
2012–2013 7th 32 14 10 8 48 38 38   Igor Coronado 13 R4 7th R2
2013–2014 7th 32 14 5 13 50 48 30   Igor Coronado 14 R4 9th R2
2014–2015 5th 33 13 11 9 58 51 36   Matteo Piciollo 14 R4 B 7th R3
2015–2016 5th 33 18 4 11 60 42 39   Mario Fontanella 20 QF 4th SF
2016–2017 5th 33 15 9 9 51 37 54   Mario Fontanella 14 W 7th R2
2017–2018 5th 26 12 10 4 48 18 46   Mario Fontanella 17 R3 9th QF
2018–2019 8th 26 9 5 12 28 25 32   Arthur Oyama 5 R3 C 4th R3
2019–2020 W 20 12 5 3 38 15 37   Tiago Adan 8 R3 C 4th R3
2020–2021 12th 23 7 6 10 26 34 27   Kristian Keqi 5 QF C 4th QF
2021–2022 2nd 16 8 6 2 24 13 30   Andrei Ciolacu 4 R3 ? 4th

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cassar Pullicino, J. (1956). "Social Aspects of Maltese Nicknames" (PDF). Scientia. 22 (2): 92.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 23, 29, 68. ISBN 9781134269198.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 43–46. ISBN 9781134269198.
  5. ^ Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. p. 31. ISBN 9781134269198.
  6. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 44, 47, 50. ISBN 9781134269198.
  7. ^ "Charges expected against Floriana fans over mass celebration". Times of Malta. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 9781134269198.
  9. ^ Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. p. 81. ISBN 9781134269198.
  10. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 48–50. ISBN 9781134269198.
  11. ^ "Squad". Floriana FC. Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  12. ^ "FLORIANA FC 2020/21 CLUB ADMINISTRATION". Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Floriana appoint Potenza as coach". Times of Malta. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  14. ^ Aquilina, Kurt (23 December 2020). "Updated: Potenza resigns as Floriana coach". Times of Malta. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  15. ^ Camilleri, Valhmor (26 December 2020). "John Buttigieg appointed new Floriana coach". SportsDesk. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  16. ^ "John Buttigieg steps down as Floriana coach". Times of Malta. 11 February 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  17. ^ Busuttil, Antoine (13 February 2021). "FLORIANA RETURN TO WINNING WAYS". MaltaFootball. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  18. ^ Camilleri, Valhmor (16 February 2021). "I could never turn my back on Floriana, says Potenza". SportsDesk. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  19. ^ Busuttil, Antoine (17 June 2021). "FLORIANA FC APPOINT GIANLUCA ATZORI AS THEIR NEW COACH". MaltaFootball. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  20. ^ Lia, Gianluca (19 August 2020). "Watch: CFR Cluj need two second-half goals to knock out Floriana". SportsDesk. Retrieved 19 August 2020.

External linksEdit