Panathinaikos A.O.

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Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (Greek: Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος, literally in English: "Panathenaic Athletic Club" or Panathinaikos A.C.[1]), also known simply as Panathinaikós [panˈaθinai̯ˈkos], is a major Greek multi-sport club based in the City of Athens. Panathinaikos is one of the most successful multi-sport clubs and one of the oldest clubs in Greece. The name "Panathinaikos" (which can literally be translated as "Panathenaic", which means "of all Athens") was inspired by the ancient work of Isocrates Panathenaicus, where the orator praise the Athenians for their democratic education and their military superiority, which use it for benefit of all Greeks.[2]

Full nameΠαναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος
Panathinaikós Athlitikós Ómilos
(Panathenaic Athletic Club)
NicknamesΟι πράσινοι (the Greens)
To τριφύλλι (the Trifolium/Trefoil)
Founded3 February 1908 as Podosferikos Omilos Athinon (115 years, 235 days old)
Based inAthens, Greece Greece
Colours    Green, White
AnthemSyllogos Megalos (Great Club)
ChairmanPanagiotis Malakates
TitlesIntercontinental Titles: (1)
European Titles: (7)
Balkan Titles: (1)

It was founded by Giorgos Kalafatis in 1908 as a football club, when he and 40 other athletes decided to break away from Panellinios Gymnastikos Syllogos following the club's decision to discontinue its football team. It is amongst the most popular clubs in the country and one of the biggest worldwide, based on the number of its sports departments. It is the club that introduced in Greece a number of sports, as it was the first, or amongst the first teams, in football, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, table tennis and handball, while they were also pioneer in the creation of women's teams in basketball and football.

Panathinaikos' teams and individual athletes have won numerous titles and have made notable participations in domestic and international competitions. The basketball and football teams of the club are the most successful Greek teams in terms of achievements in the European competitions. The football team of Panathinaikos is the only Greek team that has reached the UEFA Champions League final (in 1971) and also the semi-finals twice (in 1985 and 1996). It is also the only Greek football team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup. The basketball team of the club is the most successful in Greece and one of the most successful in Europe, with six European championships, one Intercontinental Cup and two Triple Crowns. The teams of Panathinaikos have played overall in 15 European and international finals (in football, basketball, men's volleyball and women's volleyball).

In the individual sports, Panathinaikos has a remarkable tradition in the athletics, cycling, shooting, fencing and boxing departments. It has produced numerous athletes; World champions and European champions, winners at the Olympic, Mediterranean and Balkan Games.



Football Club of Athens

Giorgos Kalafatis, founder of the Club

Football made its appearance in Greece at the end of the 19th century. In 1908, a young athlete of Panellinios, Giorgos Kalafatis, dismayed by his club's decision to discontinue its football team, left with 40 other athletes and founded "Podosferikos Omilos Athinon" (Football Club of Athens). Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, the great Greek athlete of the early 20th century, played as goalkeeper for the new team.

Panathenaic Athletic Club

The team of Kalafatis was renamed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos (PPO) – i.e. "Panhellenic Football Club" – in 1911. In 1918, it was decided that the official crest of the club would be the trifolium, symbol of unity, harmony, nature, and good luck, an idea of player Michalis Papazoglou. The officials of the club were looking for a universal, non-nationalistic or localistic symbol, aiming to represent the whole Athens at the country and further at the world.[3]

Papazoglou was also the main instigator of the Panathenaic Idea, the idea for the creation of a new club -for the Greek standards- which will participate in as more sports as possible (something that would by adopted later by all the major Greek clubs). With the help of the others of the leading four of the club (Kalafatis, Panourgias and Nikolaidis), this came true. In 1919, Kalafatis was a member of the Greece national football team that participated in the Inter-Allied Games in Paris. There, he collected informations also about basketball and volleyball (sports unknown then in Greece) and after his return to Athens, started his efforts on creating new teams for the club.

In 1924, the club took its final and current name "Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (PAO)" (Panathenaic Athletic Club), from now on a multi-sports club. During the next decades, with main contributor Apostolos Nikolaidis (considered Patriarch of the club), Panathinaikos not only will create teams almost in every sport, but they will be consecutive champions for many years in most of them.

The champion football team of 1930
Basketball team of 1940

The athletics department was founded in 1919. In the same year, Panathinaikos was one of the first clubs in Greece to form a volleyball team. The first dynamic presence of the team is dated back in the years 1927–1929 with many popular players of the time such as the historical member of the board Apostolos Nikolaidis as well as Athanasios Aravositas, Goumas, Arg. Nikolaidis, Papageorgiou and Papastefanou.

In 1922, the basketball department was founded, also one of the first in Greece, and it has since developed into the most successful basketball team in the country and one of the most successful in Europe. In 1924, the table tennis department was founded, in 1926 the tennis department and in 1928 the cycling, shooting and field hockey departments. The swimming, water polo and handball departments were created in 1930.

In the 1928 Summer Olympics, for the first time, the parade of nations started with Greece. The athlete of Panathinaikos Antonis Kariofillis became the first Greek who started the parade.

Panathinaikos won the football championship in 1930 under the guidance of József Künsztler with Angelos Messaris as the team's star player. Other notable players of the era were Antonis Migiakis, Diomidis Symeonidis and Mimis Pierrakos. They beat rivals Olympiacos 8–2, a result that still remains the biggest win either team has achieved against its rival. In 1937 the women's basketball team was created, being the first in the country.

During World War II and the dark years of the Axis occupation of Greece, the athletes of Panathinaikos played a significant role. The football player Mimis Pierrakos was killed during the Greco-Italian war, while Michalis Papazoglou with Dimitris Giannatos (founding member of the basketball team) later participated in the resistance group of Jerzy Iwanow-Szajnowicz, an athlete of Polish origin of Iraklis Thessaloniki and secret agent of the British, and succeeded in destroying three German airplanes and sinking three small warships. They were arrested, tortured and finally Giannatos and Ivanof were executed.


The football team in the 1971 European Cup Final
Ferenc Puskás, head coach of Panathinaikos (1970–1974)

After the war, the boxing department was re-founded in 1946, the diving department was created in 1947, the weightlifting department in 1959, the chess department in 1960, the fencing department was re-founded in 1960, the gymnastics department in 1962, the waterskiing department in 1963 and a wrestling department in 1965.

Panathinaikos' hardcore fans are called Gate 13 and are the oldest union of supporters in Greece. Gate 13 was founded in 1966. Furthermore, in the 1966 European Athletics Championships, the pole vaulter of the club and 13 times Greek champion, Christos Papanikolaou, won the silver medal.

The volleyball club has demonstrated many titles and honours due to the fact that the team roster has always included some of the top volleyball players in Greece. The first generation was that of the 1960s with Andreas and Nikos Bergeles as well as Iliopoulos, Leloudas, Chasapis, Emmanouel, Perros and Fotiou who opened the road for the next generations.

In 1970, Christos Papanikolaou jumped 5.49 metres (18.0 ft) to capture the world record. It was the first pole vault over 18 feet (5.5 m).

Panathinaikos soon dominated Greek football along with rivals Olympiacos and AEK and, although they are second in domestic titles, they have done better than any other Greek club in the European competitions. In 1971, Panathinaikos became the first and only Greek team – so far – to have reached the final of a European competition, when they faced Ajax in Wembley Stadium for the European Cup, losing 2–0. In the late 1970s, when football became professional in Greece, the club's football department passed to the hands of the Vardinogiannis family. In the following 30 years the team won the Greek championship 7 times, while in Europe the team reached also the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League two more times, in 1985 and 1996.

In 1974, the table tennis team reached the semi-finals of the ETTU Cup. In 1978, the modern pentathlon department was founded and in 1980, the judo department. An important achievement for the volleyball team was the participation in the final of the CEV Cup Winners' Cup in 1980. During the following years, Panathinaikos continued to perform well in Greek volleyball with players such as Kazazis, Tentzeris, Gontikas (later president of Panathinaikos F.C.), Galakos, Dimitriadis and Margaronis.

The archery department was founded in 1981 and a futsal department in 1990.


Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium
Olympic Indoor Hall during a Panathinaikos B.C. game.

Another successful period for the volleyball team was the seasons 1994–95 and 1995–96 when Panathinaikos won two Greek Championships in a row with Stelios Prosalikas as head coach and Andreopoulos, Triantafyllidis, Filippov, Spanos, Chatziantoniou, Ouzounov, A. Kovatsev, S. Kovatsev, Karamaroudis and Tonev as players.

The men's basketball department became professional in 1992 and since then is owned by two pharmaceutical magnates, the brothers Pavlos and Thanassis Giannakopoulos. In 1996 in Paris final-four (F4), Panathinaikos was the first Greek team to win a European Champions' Cup (now called Euroleague), beating Barcelona in a unique final, by 67–66. In September of the same year the team also won the Intercontinental Cup, prevailing by 2–1 wins over Olimpia of Argentina (83–89, 83–78, 101–76). In the same year, the football team reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

In 2000, in the F4 of Thessaloniki, Panathinaikos were the Champions of Europe for the second time, beating Maccabi 73–67 in the final. In 2002 in Bologna, they conquered the most prestigious European trophy for the third time, beating hosts Kinder Bologna 89–83. Also, in 2000, the women's volleyball team reached the CEV Cup final.


In 2007 in Athens F4, Panathinaikos BC were crowned European Champions for the fourth time, beating CSKA Moscow 93–91. In 2009 in Berlin, the "greens" defeated again CSKA 73–71 to become the Champions of Europe for the fifth time.

In 2009, the men's volleyball team reached the CEV Cup final, while the women's volleyball team reached the Challenge Cup final.

The sixth Euroleague triumph for Panathinaikos BC came in Barcelona in 2011, after defeating Maccabi 78–70 in the final. Panathinaikos BC became so, the second most successful club (behind Real Madrid) in the history of the competition.

In 2013, a new sports department was founded for the first time after many years. It is the rugby team, which was announced on 7 November 2013, while the re-foundation of the field hockey department and the creation also of a baseball team was announced in 2014.

On 29 December 2016, following the current trend of sports clubs getting involved in electronic sports, the club announces the establishment of an eSports section.[4]

In December 2018, Panathinaikos proceeded to the foundation of Wheelchair Basketball department.[5]


Michalis Papazoglou, a member of the Greek Resistance

In 1918, Michalis Papazoglou proposed the trifolium as emblem of Panathinaikos, symbol of harmony, unity, nature, and good luck.[6] Georgios Chatzopoulos, member of the club (later President) and director of the National Gallery, took over to design the emblem for the club. Up to the end of the 1970s, a trifolium (green or white) was sewed on the heart's side on the jersey of the club΄s teams.[7]

With the beginning of professionalism in the Greek football, the crest of the FC was created, accompanied by the club initials and the year of founding (1908).[7] The basketball team uses also since 1992 its own logo.

In 2014, the direction of the club introduced a separate crest for the whole club and all the amateur departments.

Crest evolution

Description and major titles of the professional departments

Panathinaikos men's football

Mimis Domazos
Dimitris Saravakos
Gilberto Silva

Football is the first and oldest department of the club. The football team of Panathinaikos is the only Greek that has reached the UEFA Champions League final (in 1971) and semi-finals (in 1985 and 1996), such as the Intercontinental Cup final.

Panathinaikos men's basketball

Nikos Galis
Dimitris Diamantidis

Founded in 1919,[16] the basketball team of the club is the most successful in Greece and one of the most successful in Europe, with six European championships and one Intercontinental Cup. Panathinaikos' basketball department is also the only team in Europe to have won at least one trophy for 24 straight seasons, from 1996 to 2019.[17]

Panathinaikos men's volleyball

The volleyball department was founded in 1919. it is one of the oldest and most successful volleyball teams in Greece.

Description and major titles of the amateur departments

Panathinaikos women's basketball

The department was founded in 1937, the first in the country.

Panathinaikos women's volleyball

The department was founded in 1969 and is the women's volleyball team with more trophies in Greece.

  • Greek Championship: (25)[21] (record): 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2022, 2023
  • Greek Cup: (6): 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2022

Individual sports

Panathinaikos athletics

Christos Papanikolaou

The athletics department was founded in 1919. The first athletes were the football players of the club.

  • Greek Championship, Men: (23):[22] 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1989, 1990
  • Greek Indoor Championship, Men: (4): 1986, 1989, 1990, 2023
  • Greek Cross Country Championship, Men: (27) (record): 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1996, 1997, 2012, 2016, 2021
  • Greek Championship, Women: (3):[22] 1946, 1947, 1949
  • Greek Indoor Championship, Women: (1): 2023
  • Greek Cross Country Championship, Women: (8): 1949, 1950, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 2017, 2022

Panathinaikos cycling

Founded in 1928, it is one of the most successful departments of Panathinaikos.

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (8): 1951,[23] 1956, 1958, 1963, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973
  • Greek Championship, Track Standings Men: (1): 2017[24]

Panathinaikos table tennis

The department was founded in 1924 by Nikos Mantzaroglou.

  • Greek Clubs' Championship, Men: (11): 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956,1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1975
  • Greek Clubs' Championship, Women: (3): 1972, 1973, 1974
  • Greek Cup, Men: (3): 1965,1966, 1969
  • Greek Cup, Women: (2): 1972, 2022
  • ETTU Europe Trophy, Women: 2022

Panathinaikos boxing

It was founded in 1912 by John Cyril Campbell, the coach of the football team.

  • Greek Championship, Men: (32) (record): 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1982, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2011, 2015, 2016

Panathinaikos fencing

Just like the boxing department, it was founded in 1912 by John Cyril Campbell, the coach of the football team.

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (13): 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975[25]

Panathinaikos archery

  • Greek Championship, Men: (3): 1983, 1984, 1985, 2018

Panathinaikos shooting

  • Greek Championship, bullseye shooting: (8): 1960, 1964, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991
  • Greek Championship, clay target: (1): 2021

Panathinaikos diving

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (6): 1969, 1972, 1975, 2015, 2016, 2017

Panathinaikos swimming

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (12): 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968
  • Greek Masters Championship: (3) (Greek record): 2018, 2019, 2021

Panathinaikos weightlifting

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: (1): 2019
  • Greek Championship, Men: (5):[26] 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968

Panathinaikos modern pentathlon

  • Greek Championship, Men: (2): 1980, 1987

Panathinaikos wrestling

  • Greek Championship, Men: (2): 2014, 2015

Panathinaikos chess

  • Greek Championship: (2):[27] 1970,1971

Titles of inactive departments

Panathinaikos gymnastics

  • Greek Championship, Men: (1): 1972

Notable athletes


Fans of Panathinaikos in the Olympic Stadium of Athens

According to the most recent polls, Panathinaikos is one of the most popular clubs in Greece, with nearly 30,2%[29] of the fans supporting them, and the most popular in greater Athens and the region of Attica.[30] They have also a large fanbase in all Greek prefectures, in Cyprus and in the Greek diaspora. They have the largest fanbase among high educated people and the Greek upper class (traditionally representing the old Athenian society), while they are popular among middle and lower class also.

The main organized supporters of Panathinaikos are known as Gate 13 (est. 1966), which consists of around 80 clubs alongside Greece and Cyprus.[31] Gate 13 style of supporting includes the use of green fireworks, large and small green flags, displaying of banners and especially the creation of colourful and large choreographies, noisy and constant cheering and other supporters stuff. Gate 13 has over the years become a part of the club by affecting club decisions and by following the club on all occasions. PALEFIP (Panhellenic club of Panathinaikos friends) is the other major supporters organization.[32] Panathinaikos F.C. currently is the only supporter-owned football club in Greece.

Panathinaikos supporters hold both records of the most season tickets sales (31.091 in 2010) and highest average attendance for a unique season (44.942 in 1985–86 season) in the history of Greek football.

Regarding the basketball, the fans of Panathinaikos, notable for their passionate support, also hold continuous attendance European records, such as the 20,000 fans against Benetton Treviso in 2006 and the 30,000 (over 25.000 officially) viewers against FC Barcelona Bàsquet in 2013.

The club is quite popular among artist cycles (actors, musicians, singers etc.), as well as some notable politicians.

Notable supporters

Gold trifolium

The Gold trifolium of Panathinaikos AC is the major club's award given to special personalities. According to sources it has been awarded to:

European and worldwide honours

Season Football Men's basketball Women's basketball Men's volleyball Women's volleyball Men's table tennis Women's table tennis
1968–69 FIBA Saporta Cup
1970–71 European Cup
Intercontinental Cup
1971–72 European Champions Cup
1974–75 ETTU Cup
1977–78 Balkans Cup
1979–80 CEV Cup
2nd place
1980–81 Challenge Cup
4th place
1981–82 European Champions Cup
1984–85 European Cup
1987–88 UEFA Cup
1988–89 CEV Cup
3rd place
1991–92 European Cup
1993–94 FIBA European League
3rd place
1994–95 FIBA European League
3rd place
4th place
1995–96 UEFA Champions League
FIBA European League
FIBA Intercontinental Cup
1997–98 FIBA Saporta Cup
Ronchetti Cup
1999–00 EuroLeague
2000–01 FIBA SuproLeague
2001–02 UEFA Champions League
2002–03 UEFA Cup
2003–04 Challenge Cup
4th place
2004–05 Euroleague
3rd place
2005–06 CEV Cup
3rd place
2006–07 EuroLeague
2007–08 CEV Champions League
Fase of 6
2008–09 EuroLeague
Challenge Cup
2010–11 EuroLeague
2011–12 Euroleague
4th place
2021–22 CEV Challenge Cup
ETTU Europe Trophy


See also


  1. ^ Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine Panathinaikos AC
  2. ^
  3. ^ Η δεκαετία του 1920 και η εμφάνιση νέων αθλητικών σωματείων
  4. ^ Panathinaikos A.C. establishes an eSports section! (in Greek), 29 December 2016
  5. ^ Φτιάχνει τμήμα ΑΜΕΑ ο Παναθηναϊκός (in Greek), 3 December 2018
  6. ^ "1908–1920" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Trifylli". Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  8. ^ "". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  9. ^ "EPO - Hellenic Football Federation" Οι Πρωταθλητές Ελλάδας από το 1928 μέχρι σήμερα (in Greek). Hellenic Football Federation
  10. ^ Kárpáti, Tamás; Schöggl, Hans. "List of Greece championships". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Panathinaikos F.C. trophies". Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Panathinaikos F.C. profile". Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Greece – List of Cup Winners". RSSSF.
  14. ^ "Greece - List of Super Cup and League Cup Finals".
  15. ^ newsroom, sport-fm. "Σούπερ Καπ: Ένας… ξεχασμένος θεσμός". Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  16. ^ "1919-2019: Το λογότυπο του "Green Century"".
  17. ^ "Panathinaikos BC OPAP Win the 2019 Greek Cup". Archived from the original on 2 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Πρωταθλητές".
  19. ^ "Hellenic Volleyball League - Πρωταθλήτριες Ομάδες - Χρυσή Βίβλος 1936-2020".
  20. ^ "Η χρυσή βίβλος της Volley League". Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  21. ^ sunTech s.a. (12 May 2022). "Η Χρυσή Βίβλος της Volley League Γυναικών". ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΟΜΟΣΠΟΝΔΙΑ ΠΕΤΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΗΣ (in Greek). Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Αύριο η παραλαβή των ρούχων για την αποστολή της Ζυρίχης". / Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  23. ^ Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "ΞΙΦΑΣΚΙΑ". Archived from the original on 27 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Ομαδικά Ανδρών - Αρχικη".
  27. ^ "Διασυλλογικο Πρωταθλημα Ελλαδασ « Ελληνικη Σκακιστικη Ομοσπονδια".
  28. ^ "ΠΑΝΑΘΗΝΑΪΚΑ ΒΡΑΒΕΙΑ". Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος (in Greek). 9 February 2022. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  29. ^ "H πιο πρόσφατη... "απογραφή"! | blog, βαγγέλης μπραουδάκης | SentraGoal". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  30. ^ "". Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Gate 13 - 1966".
  32. ^ "PALEFIP". Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2008.

External links

  Media related to Panathinaikos A.O. at Wikimedia Commons