The first league in which I’m going to try and find a team to support is Superleague Greece. Founded in 1927, 16 teams compete for the championship, but historically, only 3 can win. Only 6 times has a Greek champion come from outside of the three dominant powers of Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, and AEK Athens. The last time that happened was 1988. Throughout this, I will try to avoid choosing the most dominant teams in each league, but I make no promises. So in descending order of my choice, lets look at the 16 teams.
AEK Athens F.C.
Nicknames: Dikefalos Aetos (English: Double-Headed Eagle), Kitrinomavroi (English: Yellow-Blacks)
11 Time Greek League Champions(Last in 1994)
14 Time Greek Cup Winners(Last in 2011)
AEK was founded by a group of Constantinopolitan refugees in 1924. A large group of their fanbase are descendants from Constantinopolitan refugees. Their most successful period came in the 60s-70s, winning the league 5 times and the cup 3 times. This was in conjunction with the arrival Dimitris “Mimis” Papaioannou, who would go on to score 234 goals in 481 appearances for AEK. He also may have sung their club anthem, but no YouTube footage confirms this. Their second great period happened in the late 80s-early 90s, which again coincided with the prime of a club legend, Stelios Monolas. Monolas retired in 2000, after making 700 appearances. When did he make his debut you ask? NINTEEN SEVENTY EIGHT. Dude captained AEK for 19(!) years.
- Pretty great crest
- Their training center is in Sparta
- Despite being on of the biggest teams in Greece, they’re not too bandwagony
- Stelios Monolas sounds awesome
- Despite the crest, the nicknames are no fun
- Still fairly bandwagony though
Nickname: God of War
3 Time Greek League Champions(Last: 1946)
1 Time Greek Cup Winner(1970)
Founded by a group of 22 friends in a coffee bar, Aris named itself after the Greek god Aris. Why? To annoy their rivals who were named after Hercules, who was in conflict with Aris. Their league championships came in conjunction with Kleanthis Vikelidis who played at the club from 1933-1949. He would later go on to manage Aris, and the club’s stadium is named after him. They have had an absurd amount of managers. The last one to appears to have lasted more than a full season is Alketas Panagoulias, who managed them from 1988-1990. But have no fear, he would go back an manage them again in 1998-1999.
- They are proper mental
- The club was named as a way to create a rivalry, that is phenomenal
- Their stadium looks kinda cool: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleanthis_Vikelides_Stadium
- “God of War” is a phenomenal nickname, even if it is related to the name of the club
- They are proper mental
Asteras Tripoli F.C.
Asteras Tripolis have not won anything. They did get promoted three straight years in 05, 06, 07, so that’s nice. They went unbeaten at home from 2001 to 2006, at their home stadium. (Which apparently nicknamed Wembley. Random.) They don’t appear to have that much of a remarkable history from my sources.
- Finished 6th in 2011-2012, so they’re pretty decent
- Still haven’t won anything, so it’s not exactly picking a winner
- They just generally seem unremarkable
Atromitos have no nickname and have one nothing, so, like Asteras, they are another club that seem rather boring. They have lost in the Greek Cup final the past two seasons, however. And like Asteras they are a bit of a club on this rise. They were promoted from the second division in 09 and finished 4th this past season.
- On the rise, but still not good enough to be jumping on a bandwagon
- This picture: http://www.atromitosfc.gr/share/photos/news_en/Atromitos-4790afd64aca18.97671141.jpg
- Their stadium has a running track around it, points off
- Again…kind of boring
Doxa Drama F.C.
Nicknames: Mavraetoi (Black Eagles), Mavri Thyella (Black Storm)
Doxa Drama will be going back to the second division after being promoted this season. The club spent a decent amount of time in the first division in the 80s and 90s, but were in the fourth division by 1999. Since then they rose back up, but finished in last place this season by a large margin. Couldn’t find a ton about them.
- Awesome crest, awesome nicknames, awesome name. All of that stuff is awesome
- They’re pretty crap
Nickname: i Kritiki (the Cretans)
Another team that will be returning to the second division next season. But judging by their history, this isn’t much of a surprise. They have spent a lot of time in the second and third divisions, and became a first division yoyo club in the mid 2000s. They play on the island of Crete and now have a now semi-friendly rivalry with OFI who are also on Crete. One of their biggest club legends is the wonderfully named Patrick Ogunsoto, a Nigerian forward.
- Seriously, the name Patrick Ogunsoto is great
- I like the concept of rooting for a team on an island
- Their third kid features the colors claret and blue, that’s automatic points
- That crest is weird
- Seriously, that thing is kinda creepy
Nickname: Φαίακες (Phaiakes)
First off, their nickname is not as fun as it looks. Kerykra are very much a yoyo club, but one that will be in the Superleague next season. They have a small stadium and an apparent rabid fan base called Vourligans. Their biggest rival are seemingly nowhere near the top flight, which is no fun. This is another club I could not find a ton of information about.
- Pretty cool crest
- Cool nickname, and supporters group name
- Everything else
Add another club to the seemingly growing list of yoyo clubs in Part 1 of this list. The team rose up to prominence in ths 80s and became said yoyo club from there. Although a 7th place finish this season has them seemingly solid mid-table. Their current squad features my favorite name so far (which is crazy considering this is Greece): Epameinondas Koutroumanos.
- Their ground is sort of endearing: http://www.stadia.gr/levadia/levadia6.jpg
- Seemingly on the rise
- Livadeia seems like a fun city
- Like many Greek clubs they tend to go through a bunch of managers
That’s it for Part 1 of Greece. Part 2 is coming soon.
Clubhouse Leader: Aris