Nickname: Thrylos (Legend)
UEFA club competition honours
Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• League title: 21 (2011)
• Cypriot Cup: 19 (2008)
• The club was founded at a confectionery shop in November 1926, born out of a desire to create a side representing Nicosia’s Greek-Cypriot population. Initially named POEL, they added an A two years later with the creation of a track and field athletics division.
• Within a decade they were Cypriot champions, announcing themselves with a title in the second edition of the top flight, then underlining their early dominance with a further four in a row. APOEL collected another four championships in eight seasons after the Second World War.
• The emergence of AEL Limassol FC, Anorthosis Famagusta FC and especially AC Omonia ended APOEL’s hegemony. The Thrylos added only three more titles over the next 31 seasons and though they became the first Cypriot club to win a European tie in 1963, any kudos vanished when they lost 16-1 to Sporting Clube de Portugal next time out. That UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup second round first-leg loss remains a UEFA club competition record.
• The 1990s brought a returned to prominence for APOEL, a haul of three championships and five cup successes reaching a peak in 1995/96 when they responded to Super Cup disappointment by going through the season unbeaten. The revival continued and, 25 years after losing the status to Omonia, they re-established themselves as Cyprus’ most successful side in 2009.
• It would prove APOEL’s annus mirabilis, as that autumn they defeated FK Partizan and FC København to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage. The foray into unknown European territory brought no repeat of 1963, either, as they twice held Club Atlético de Madrid and drew 2-2 at Chelsea FC. Two years later they booked a return, becoming the first Cypriot side to grace the group stage twice.
Most appearances: Yiannos Ioannou (371)
Most goals: Yiannos Ioannou (191)
Record victory: APOEL 17-1 Aris Limassol FC (First Division, 4 June 1967)
Record defeat: Sporting Clube de Portugal 16-1 APOEL (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (13 November 1963)