Football in Greece

Last updated
Football in Greece
CountryGreece
Governing body Hellenic Football Federation
National team(s) Greece
First played1905–06 (Unofficial)
1927–28 (Official)
Clubsabout 2,500
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Football is the most popular sport in Greece, followed by basketball.

Contents

History of Greek football

Ancient Greek Episkyros player balancing the ball. Depiction on an Attic Lekythos. Ancient Greek Football Player.jpg
Ancient Greek Episkyros player balancing the ball. Depiction on an Attic Lekythos.

The Ancient Greeks are known to have played many ball games, some of which involved the use of the feet. The Roman game harpastum is believed to have been adapted from a Greek team game known as "ἐπίσκυρος" ( Episkyros ) [1] [2] or "φαινίνδα" (phaininda), [3] which is mentioned by a Greek playwright, Antiphanes (388–311 BC) and later referred to by the Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215 AD). These games appear to have resembled rugby football. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

In the modern era, however, association football was introduced to the Greeks by expatriate British communities and military personnel. The first Greek football teams were created as part of long-established athletic and gymnastic clubs in the major port cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as among the large Greek communities of the Ottoman Empire, such as Constantinople and Smyrna, in the early 1900s. After the Asia Minor Disaster of 1922 which resulted in a large resettlement of Greeks from Turkey to Greece, several clubs, such as Panionios and Apollon Smyrnis, were transplanted, while many athletes of other clubs, like Pera, formed new organizations in their new home (e.g. AEK, PAOK).

League system

The first league of professional football in Greece was officially established as the Panhellenic Championship in 1927. The league ran until 1959, when it was replaced by the Alpha Ethniki which ran until 2006 when it was then replaced by Superleague Greece. According to FIFPro, an organization that represents professional players, nearly 70 percent of players complained in a 2011 survey of problems with not being paid. [9]

Superleague Greece is the top-flight professional football division within Greece. The league contains 14 clubs, with the winners of the league becoming the Champions of Greece. The team with the most national championships is Olympiacos, who have won 46 times - 11 Super League titles, 19 Alpha Ethniki titles and 15 Panhellenic Championships. [10] Two other P.O.K. clubs also dominate the history of Greek football; Panathinaikos with 20 titles and AEK Athens with 12 titles. [10]

Cup competitions

There is currently one major cup competition in Greek football, the Greek Cup. It includes clubs from every division of football in Greece. Until 2008, another major cup competition was the Greek Super Cup, an annual game held between the winner of the Greek Super League and Greek Cup.

International

UEFA competitions

The Karaiskakis Stadium during a 2009-10 UEFA Champions League fixture against Arsenal Karaiskakis Stadium Piraeus Olympiacos-Arsenal.jpg
The Karaiskakis Stadium during a 2009–10 UEFA Champions League fixture against Arsenal
The team of Panathinaikos against Ajax in the 1971 European Cup Final. 1971 Champions League Final Ajax - Panathinaikos.jpg
The team of Panathinaikos against Ajax in the 1971 European Cup Final.

Club sides may qualify to play in European tournaments under the jurisdiction of UEFA. The champions of Super League qualify for the Group Stage of the following season's UEFA Champions' League. The teams finishing in second to fifth position qualify for a round-robin playoff, the winner of which will enter the Champions League at the Third Qualifying Round. The other three teams will qualify for the following season's UEFA Europa League, at the Play-off, Third Qualifying or Second Qualifying Round stage, dependent on their performance in the national level playoff. The winner of the Greek Cup also qualifies for the Europa League. If this club has already qualified for a UEFA competition then the place is given to the runners-up.

The only Greek team to have reached the final of a UEFA competition is Panathinaikos, who were European Cup runners-up in 197071.

National team

Angelos Charisteas scoring Greece's winning goal in the UEFA Euro 2004 Final. Charisteas' Siegtreffer im Finale der Euro 2004.jpg
Angelos Charisteas scoring Greece's winning goal in the UEFA Euro 2004 Final.

The Greek national team's first match came on April 7, 1929 in a 1-4 loss to Italy. Greece have qualified for the FIFA World Cup three times, in 1994, in 2010 and in 2014. Greece have qualified for the European Championship four times, their first in 1980, their second in 2004, their third in 2008 and their fourth in 2012. 2004 was their most successful run as they became champions by defeating hosts Portugal in the finals.

Women's football

A national league for women has existed since 1987. Now known as the Greek football women A Division, it was started in 1987 as the Pan-Hellenic Championship. In recent years PAOK have dominated the league.

Greek footballers

Records

Seasons in Greek football

1950s: 195960
1960s: 196061 196162 196263 196364 196465 196566 196667 196768 196869 196970
1970s: 197071 197172 197273 197374 197475 197576 197677 197778 197879 197980
1980s: 198081 198182 198283 198384 198485 198586 198687 198788 198889 198990
1990s: 199091 199192 199293 199394 199495 199596 199697 199798 199899 199900
2000s: 200001 200102 200203 200304 200405 200506 200607 200708 200809 200910
2010s: 201011 201112 201213 201314 201415 201516 201617 201718 201819 201920
2020s: 202021

See also

Related Research Articles

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Michalis Kapsis is a Greek former professional footballer who played as a centre-back. He was an integral part of Greece national team's UEFA Euro 2004 winning squad. At club level, he played most notably for Olympiacos, Girondins de Bordeaux and AEK Athens. He is the son of Anthimos Kapsis, who played for Panathinaikos in the 1971 European Cup final.

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The 1994–95 Alpha Ethniki was the 59th season of the highest football league of Greece. The season began on 24 September 1994 and ended on 4 June 1995. Panathinaikos won their 17th Greek title and their first one in four years.

The 2007–08 Super League Greece was the 72nd season of the highest football league of Greece and the second under the name Super League. The season began on 1 September 2007 and ended on 20 April 2008. The defending champions were Olympiacos. Asteras Tripolis, Veria and Levadiakos were promoted from Beta Ethniki in the previous season.

AEK Athens F.C. is one of the greatest and most historical association football clubs in Greece. They have a long, unique and idiosyncratic history and has experienced both the highs and lows of the game. They won their first championship in 1939 and has gone on to become one of Greece's most successful football teams.

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The 2010–11 season was Panathinaikos' 52nd consecutive season in Super League Greece.

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The 2015–16 season was PAOK's 90th in existence and the club's 57th consecutive season in the top flight of Greek football. The team will enter the Greek Cup in the Second Round and will also compete in UEFA Europa League starting from the Group stage.

The 2016–17 Super League Greece was the 81st season of the highest tier in league of Greek football and the eleventh under its current title. The season started on 10 September 2016 and ended in June 2017. The league comprised fourteen teams from the 2015–16 season and two promoted from the 2015–16 Football League.

The 2016–17 season is PAOK Football Club's 91st in existence and the club's 58th consecutive season in the top flight of Greek football. The team will enter the Greek Football Cup and will also compete in UEFA Champions League starting from the third qualifying round.

This article concerns football records in Greece and it includes the top flight and lower divisions as well.

References

  1. ἐπίσκυρος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007 Edition: "In ancient Greece a game with elements of football, episkuros, or harpaston, was played, and it had migrated to Rome as harpastum by the 2nd century BC".
  3. φαινίνδα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. Nigel Wilson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, Routledge, 2005, p. 310
  5. Nigel M. Kennell, The Gymnasium of Virtue: Education and Culture in Ancient Sparta (Studies in the History of Greece and Rome), The University of North Carolina Press, 1995, on Google Books
  6. Steve Craig, Sports and Games of the Ancients: (Sports and Games Through History), Greenwood, 2002, on Google Books
  7. Don Nardo, Greek and Roman Sport, Greenhaven Press, 1999, p. 83
  8. Sally E. D. Wilkins, Sports and games of medieval cultures, Greenwood, 2002, on Google books
  9. Another Victim of Global Financial Crisis: Pro Soccer Players, New York Times, March 24, 2014.
  10. 1 2 "All Time Champions". Hellenic Football Federation. Archived from the original on December 11, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-28.