Akademik Sofia (Bulgarian: Академик) is a Bulgarian football club from Sofia, which currently plays in the fourth tier of Bulgarian football, A RFG Sofia South. The team's stadium is located in the Slatina municipality of Sofia and its capacity is 10,000.
|Full name||Професионален футболен клуб Академик София|
(Professional football club Akademik Sofia)
|Nickname(s)||Студентите (The Students)|
(as FC Akademik 1947)
|League||A Regional Group (South) - Sofia (capital)|
|2020-21||A Regional Group (South) - Sofia (capital), 9th|
Akademik was founded in 1947 by students from the Sofia University and debuted in A PFG in 1949. The team would quickly establish itself as a top flight team in Bulgarian football in the next decades. The team became one of the top Bulgarian teams in the 1950s and 1970s, performing strongly in the domestic and European competitions, having been crowned Balkans Cup champions in 1974. Akademik's last appearance in the Bulgarian First League came in 2010, after which the club experienced financial problems and folded after the 2011-12 season. It was refounded in 2013, starting from the fourth division.
Akademik was founded in the 1947, by Sofia University (the oldest higher education institution in Bulgaria, founded on 1 October 1888) students as a football club. A two years later, Akademik were promoted for the first time to Bulgarian A Group. The 1950 season in the domestic league was very successful for the team, which finished 3rd in the top division. In the next campaign Akademik finished fourth and reached the final of Bulgarian Cup, losing 0–1 to CSKA Sofia. In 1952 the club's form dropped, however, and they were relegated to B PFG finishing before the last Spartak Varna. In 1963–64 season they won a second promotion to the top division by winning the B PFG. However, the next year they were relegated again.
The third promotion to A Group in 1969 marked the beginning of Akademik's golden age. From 1969 to 1979 they spent their longest ever period in the top division. In 1974 Akademik won first international throphy, beating Vardar Skopje 2–0 on aggregate in the final of Balkans Cup. In the 1975–76 season the team finished 3rd in the domestic league and qualified for first time in UEFA Cup. At the European level Akademik made a memorable appearance in the second round against Italian giants A.C. Milan, winning 4–3 at home on 20 October 1976. Before reaching the second round of the football competition, the Students eliminated the Czech Slavia Prague respectively. In this period two players from Akademik have played for the Bulgarian national squad at a FIFA World Cup: Ivan Dimitrov in 1970 and Mladen Vasilev in 1974.
In the 1978–79 season Akademik won just six games in the campaign and were relegated. In the next season the team won promotion back to the top division, scoring 100 goals in the campaign. In 1981 the Students qualified for second time in UEFA Cup, where they lost 1–3 on aggregate in the first round against 1. FC Kaiserslautern. In the same 1981–82 season Akademik again relegated. From 1982 to 2010 they spent their longest ever period out of the top division.
After 28 years in the lowers divisions of Bulgarian football, in 2009–10 Akademik finished 2nd in B PFG and the club managed to participate in the play-off for promotion in the A PFG. On May 23, 2010, Akademik surprisingly won the play-off against Nesebar with a result of 2:1 and finally qualified again for the top division.
During the summer of 2010, Akademik announced that they will play their home games at the Slavia Stadium, home of Slavia, instead of their usual stadium, Akademik Stadium. This was because Akademik Stadium did not obtain approval from the BFU. The return to the elite proved to be difficult for the students. Akademik won only 5 games, and drew 5 more, out of 30 games in total. This only earned the team 20 points, which was 5 points below PFC Vidima-Rakovski Sevlievo, who qualified for the relegation playoffs. Despite the bad results, Akademik was above the relegation zone up until round 25 of the season. The biggest highlight for Akademik was probably when the team managed to draw 1-1 against CSKA, the most decorated team in Bulgarian football. However, Akademik was eventually relegated from the A Group at the end of the season after finishing in 15th place.
The team finished 7th in the 2011–12 B Group, meaning they were relegated to the V AFG. However, the team decided not to play the following season, citing financial problems as the main reason. The team was subsequently dissolved in 2012, only keeping its youth levels active until 2013, when Akademik was re-founded, starting from the fourth tier of Bulgarian football, the regional league of Sofia city.
- Winners (2): 1963–64, 1979–80
- Runners-up (1): 2009–10
- Runners-up (1): 1951
- Winners (1): 1974
- 1/16 finalist: 1976–77
European cup historyEdit
|1976–77||UEFA Cup||1||Slavia Prague||3–0||0–2||3–2|
|1981–82||UEFA Cup||1||1. FC Kaiserslautern||0–1||1–2||1–3|