Omonoia FC

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Athletic Club Omonoia (or "Omonia") is a Cypriot football club, which plays in the capital, Nicosia. It's the biggest club in Cyprus with the most fans. The club still holds several records including the record for the most trophies ever won by a Cypriot club Omonia won 20 Championship titles and 13 Cyprus Cups and 15 Cyprus Super Cups. It was established in 1948 and became member of Cyprus Football Association in 1953.

Omonia AC were founded just after the Second World War, but it was not until the 1960s that they announced their arrival on the Cypriot football scene by winning their first league title in 1960/61. Omonia finished seven points above second-placed Anorthosis Famagusta FC that season - and they have subsequently stayed ahead of their rivals in the first division with an impressive haul of trophies. With 19 league championships and 12 Cypriot Cups, they are the country's most-titled club. In addition, Omonia have claimed a record five domestic doubles - in 1972, 1974, 1981, 1982 and 1983.

They were most dominant in the 1970s, winning the league for six consecutive seasons from 1974 to 1979. It was then that Omonia produced one of Cyprus's greatest footballers in striker Sotiris Kaiafas, as well as the impressive Gregory Savvas. Kaiafas would win the European Golden Boot after finishing as Europe's top domestic scorer in 1976 with 44 goals - an accolade still considered the greatest achievement by any Cypriot player.

Despite the gap in quality between Omonia and other European champions, Omonia proved to be worthy opponents in UEFA club competition. In the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1979/80, they avenged a 10-0 defeat at AFC Ajax to win the return leg 4-0 with a dazzling display in Nicosia.

After the departure of Kaiafas, Omonia continued to produce talented players to keep up their winning ways. They were champions from 1981 to 1985 and again in 1987 and 1989. But despite claiming the title in 1992/93, Omonia were forced to live in the shadow of Anorthosis in the 1990s. Even so, the fans were able to enjoy the goalscoring exploits of Hungarian Joseph Juriac during the first part of the decade, and later those of Rainer Rauffmann.

A native German, Rauffmann arrived at the club in 1998. He was the island's leading marksman for four years and also played for Cyprus after gaining Cypriot citizenship. He recently retired through injury at the age of 37. Another star of the 1990s was midfield player Kostakis Malekkos, who played after for APOEL Nicosia FC.

However, it was not until the 1999/00 campaign that Omonia ended a six-year wait for silverware by lifting the Cypriot Cup. As well as rewarding the patience of supporters, this success maintained the club's strong cup tradition. They had held this trophy for four years between 1980 and 1983.

The next term, the championship flag was restored to Omonia. Following Henk Houwaart's arrival as coach midway through the season, the team climbed the table to claim the title after beating defending champions Anorthosis 3-1 in what was effectively a championship decider. Further glory followed in 2002/03 when coach Toni Savevski led the club to their 19th league triumph. Omonia won the Cyprus Cup in 2004/05.

In 2010, Omonia celebrated their 20th league title victory.


Trophies

  • Cypriot Championship:
    • Champion (20): 1961, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2003, 2010
  • Cyprus Cup:
    • Winner (14): 1965, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2011, 2012.
  • Cyprus FA Shield:
    • Winner (16): 1966, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012

External link