Olympiaκos Football Club, The Mighty Red and Whites

Olympiacos Football Club

Olympiacos F.C. Foundation: 1925

Olympiacos F.C. Team Colors: Red & White

Olympiacos F.C. Stadium: Georgios Karaiskakis

olympiakos football club logo

History of Olympiakos Football Club

Olympiakos Football Club, also known as Olympiakos FC or simply Olympiakos, is one of the most successful and popular clubs in Greek football history.

The club dates back to 1925, when it was formed from the merger of two pre-existing clubs. The vibrant colors of red and white, symbolizing passion and purity respectively, adorn the club’s emblem and kit, earning them the nickname “Thrylos” (legend in Greek). Throughout its illustrious history, Olympiakos has been backed by several wealthy owners, mostly shipping magnates, who have often played a significant role in the club’s financial stability and overall success.

One such example of a wealthy owner who has had a significant impact on the club is Evangelos Marinakis. Marinakis, a Greek ship owner and businessman, purchased Olympiakos FC in 2010. His tenure as owner has seen a significant improvement in the club’s fortunes, including providing financial stability, investing in high-profile player transfers, and developing the club’s infrastructure. Marinakis’ leadership and ambitious vision have been instrumental in the club’s recent successes and have reinvigorated the competitive spirit within the ranks of Olympiakos FC.

The club’s success and historical significance in Greek football cannot be underestimated. Olympiakos’ dominance in the national leagues and cups is a testament to the club’s consistency, competitiveness and relentless pursuit of excellence. The club’s rich history and tradition have not only shaped its identity, but also contributed significantly to the landscape of Greek football, setting standards and benchmarks for other clubs to aspire to.

Home stadium: Karaiskaki Stadium

olympiakos football club stadium karaiskakis

The Karaiskaki Stadium, located in Piraeus, a bustling port city near Athens, is the home ground of Olympiakos FC. Originally built for cycling events during the 1896 Summer Olympics, the stadium has a capacity of 33,334 and provides an exciting atmosphere on match days. The stadium was modernized in 2004, transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility for both the club and its passionate supporters.

Karaiskaki Stadium has been a silent witness to many iconic moments in the history of Olympiakos FC. One such example is the team’s triumphant victory over English giants Manchester United in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League during the 2013-2014 season. The electrifying atmosphere created by the passionate Olympiakos fans at the Karaiskaki Stadium was instrumental in the team’s memorable victory on a memorable night.

Karaiskaki Stadium is not only the home of Olympiakos, it’s also a symbol of the club’s rich history and the passionate support it enjoys from its fans. The stadium has seen several generations of players and fans, each contributing to the club’s legacy. From the deafening cheers and chants that fill the air on match days to the heartfelt tributes to past legends, the Karaiskaki Stadium is a testament to the enduring spirit and unity of the club.

Olympiakos Fans and Gate 7

Olympiacos F.C. holds the distinction of being the nation’s most esteemed football institution, commanding a substantial following that transcends geographical boundaries. Esteemed for its significant influence, the club prides itself on an expansive and dedicated international fan community that echoes its legacy beyond Greek confines.

As a testament to its prominence, Olympiacos F.C. boasted a membership count of 83,000 as of April 2006, securing the 9th rank globally in the roster of football clubs with a substantial paid membership, a figure that saw an impressive growth to 98,000 by 2014.

gate 7 olympiakos football club

The club’s supporters, colloquially celebrated as “Gate 7,” are synonymous with their fervent support and dynamic presence, significantly enhancing the vigor of the home game atmosphere. Further embodying the global footprint of the club is the establishment of Gate 7 International (link), an entity committed to offering English-language content and fostering a global dialogue among the supporters of Olympiacos.

However, the infamous Gate 7 is also associated with a tragic event that has left an indelible mark on the club’s history. In 1981, Gate 7 was the site of a devastating stampede after a victory that tragically claimed the lives of 21 fans. To honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the tragedy, Olympiakos FC holds an annual memorial service at Gate 7.

Olympiakos Famous Players

Here are some of the most successful players in Olympiacos F.C. history:

  1. Georgios Delikaris: Considered one of the greatest Greek footballers of all time, Delikaris had a significant impact on Olympiacos F.C. during his tenure
  2. Nikos Sarganis: Sarganis led Olympiacos to victory in the Greek Cup in 1980 and was capped 48 times at the international level.
  3. Olof Mellberg: Mellberg, a former captain of the Swedish national team, played for Olympiacos and earned 117 caps. He played in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals as well as the Euro 2000, Euro 2004, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012.
  4. Christian Karembeu: Karembeu, born in New Caledonia, played for several teams including Olympiacos. He won two UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid in 1998 and 2000 and had 53 caps for France during the Golden Generation in the 1990s. He won the World Cup with France in 1998, and the European Championship two years later.
  5. Giorgos Sideris: Sideris is the top scorer in the history of Olympiacos, with 224 goals.
  6. Alexis Alexandris: Alexandris is the second top scorer in the history of Olympiacos, with 170 goals.
  7. Predrag Đorđević: Đorđević is the third top scorer in the history of Olympiacos, with 156 goals.
  8. Nikos Anastopoulos: Anastopoulos is the fourth top scorer in the history of Olympiacos, with 119 goals.
  9. Giovanni: Giovanni is the fifth top scorer in the history of Olympiacos, with 96 goals.
  10. The Andrianopoulos brothers: The Andrianopoulos brothers, namely Jimmy, Dinos, Giorgos, Vassilis and Leonidas, significantly raised the club’s reputation and brought glory to it at the beginning of its history in 1925. The offensive line of the club, consisting of the five brothers, soon became legendary.

These players have made significant contributions to the success of Olympiacos F.C., helping the club to secure numerous titles.

olympiakos football club

Successful Coaches of Olympiakos F.C.

Throughout its history, Olympiakos FC has been led by a number of successful coaches who have played a key role in the club’s success. Some of the most notable names include:

  1. Márton Bukovi: The Hungarian coach led Olympiacos from 1965 to 1967, during which time the team was crowned Greek champions in both the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons.
  2. Kazimierz Górski: This iconic Polish coach led Olympiacos to titles in 1980, 1981 and 1983, winning the double in 1981.
  3. Alketas Panagoulias: Panagoulias, who also coached the Greek national soccer team and the United States national soccer team, led the team to the 1982 and 1986-87 titles.
  4. Dušan Bajević: Appointed head coach of the team in 1996, Bajević led the team to three Alpha Ethniki titles and one Greek Football Cup during his tenure from 1996 to 1999.
  5. Giannis Matzourakis: Matzourakis led the team to the Alpha Ethniki title during his tenure from April 2000 to November 2000.
  6. Takis Lemonis: Lemonis had two successful stints with the club. During his first stint from November 2000 to October 2002, the team won two Alpha Ethniki titles. He returned to the club in 2017, leading the team to two Super League titles and one Greek Football Cup.
  7. **Ernesto Valverde: The Spanish coach had two successful spells with Olympiacos. During his first stint from 2008 to 2009, the team won the Super League title and the Greek Football Cup. In his second spell from 2010 to 2012, the team won two Super League titles and the Greek Football Cup.
  8. Míchel: The Spanish coach led the team from 2013 to 2015, during which the team won two Super League titles and one Greek Football Cup.
  9. Vítor Pereira: The Portuguese coach led the team from 2015 to 2016, during which the team won one Super League title and one Greek Football Cup.
  10. Pedro Martins: Martins, who took over in 2018, led the team to three Super League titles and one Greek Football Cup during his tenure from 2018 to 2022.

These coaches have played a significant role in the success of Olympiacos F.C., contributing to its status as the most successful club in Greek football history.

Olympiakos in the National League and Greek Cup

Olympiakos FC has etched its name in the annals of Greek football history with a staggering 44 league titles, 27 cups (17 doubles) and 4 Super Cups. The club’s first national league triumph came in 1931, followed by its first Greek Cup win in 1947. With such a stellar track record, Olympiakos has firmly established its dominance in Greek football.

Some of the most successful seasons in the history of Olympiacos F.C. include

  • 1946 to 1959: During this period, Olympiacos won 9 of the 11 Greek championships, bringing home 15 championship titles in a total of 23 completed seasons in the Greek league. The six consecutive Greek championships won by Olympiacos from 1954 to 1959 was an unprecedented achievement in Greek football history.
  • 1966-67 season: Olympiacos won 12 of their first 14 league games, a record in Greek football history. This record stood for 46 years until 2013, when Olympiacos broke its own record by winning 13 of the first 14 games of the 2013-14 season.
  • 1973-74 season: This is considered the best year of the team. Olympiacos won the league with 26 wins and 7 draws in 34 games, scoring a record 102 goals and conceding only 14.
  • 1980 to 1983: Olympiacos once again became the dominant force in Greek football, winning the title four times in a row.
  • 1996-97 season**: Olympiacos won the Greek championship with a 12-point lead over AEK and a 20-point lead over third-placed Panathinaikos. This was the club’s first Greek championship in nine seasons, ending the “stone years” and officially beginning Olympiacos’ era of dominance.
  • 1997 to 2003: Olympiacos won their seventh consecutive Greek championship, breaking their own record of six (1954-1959).
  • 2011-12 season: Olympiacos had a very successful campaign both domestically and internationally. They won both the Greek league and the Greek Cup to complete the 15th domestic double in the club’s history.

Olympiakos in European Competitions

Olympiakos FC holds the distinction of being the first Greek club to participate in European competitions, marking a significant milestone in the club’s history. Participating in prestigious tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League has not only brought the club international recognition, but also significant financial benefits. Despite the challenges and fierce competition, Olympiakos continues to compete at the highest level and proudly represents Greek football on the European stage.

One of the most memorable European campaigns for Olympiakos FC was the 1998-1999 season, when the team reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. Under the guidance of coach Dušan Bajević, Olympiakos FC achieved remarkable victories over renowned teams such as AS Monaco and Real Madrid. The team’s performance that season demonstrated the club’s potential on the European stage and earned them respect and recognition.

The Rivalry with Panathinaikos

Olympiakos FC shares a fierce and historic rivalry with Panathinaikos, one of the top football clubs in Greece. Competitions between these two clubs constitute the most classic soccer derby in Greece and are widely recognized as one of the most intense rivalries in the soccer world. The rivalry between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos goes beyond the pitch and is deeply rooted in the clubs’ contrasting backgrounds and the passionate support of their respective fan bases.

game between panathinaikos and olympiakos

This rivalry represents more than just football; it’s a reflection of the social and cultural divisions within Greek society. Olympiakos, representing the working-class neighborhood of Piraeus, and Panathinaikos, representing the more affluent areas of Athens, embody distinct social and cultural identities. Matches between these two teams are not only about scoring goals, but also about asserting their cultural identities and regional pride.

The Olympiakos-Panathinaikos rivalry is one of the most heated and passionate rivalries in world football. The intense competition between the clubs and the passionate support of their fans make the derby matches between these two teams a spectacle to behold. Despite the fierce rivalry, the games between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos are a celebration of Greek football, showcasing the passion, talent and competitiveness that characterize the sport in the country.

Website: Olympiacos Football Team

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