Founded In
Nicosía (Levkosía), Cyprus


Athletikos Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias, usually known as APOEL, was founded in November 1926 as part of a wider sports club. Based in the capital city of Nicosia, the football club was a charter member of the Cyprus Football Association, which was established in 1934. APOEL are the country's most popular team and they have also achieved the most success, in both domestic and continental competitions. Their main rivals are the other major teams from the area, AC Omonia and Olympiakos Nicosia.

In the 2011-12 season, APOEL generated widespread attention for their performance in the UEFA Champions League. After being drawn into a group alongside continental heavyweights FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit Saint Petersburg, APOEL pulled off a huge surprise, beating Zenit and Porto en route to topping the group. As a result, they progressed to the last 16, where they faced another European giant, Lyon. APOEL caused another upset and won the tie on penalties, becoming the first team from Cyprus to ever reach the Champions League quarter finals in the process. Unfortunately, they were eventually knocked out in that round by Real Madrid. 

Altogether, the club have been crowned as league champions on 22 occasions; more than any other Cypriot team. Their most successful spell came during the 1930s and 1940s, when they won eight of those titles. In addition, APOEL have lifted the Cypriot Cup 19 times and have won the country's Super Cup on 13 occasions.

Yiannos Ioannou is perhaps APOEL's most notable former player and the former Cyprus international holds the club records for both goals and appearances. Other well-known alumni include the Brazilian striker, Aílton José Almeida and the Portuguese midfielder, Ricardo Fernandes. 

The club's home matches are held at the GSP Stadium, which opened in 1999. The venue has a 3-star rating from UEFA and is the largest stadium in Cyprus. It is currently able to hold up to 22,859 supporters.

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