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AEK Celebrates 13th Championship Title in Greece

AEK Champions
AEK players celebrate winning the 2022-23 Super League championship. Credit: AEK FC

AEK celebrated its 13th league title on Sunday, as its easy victory over Volos sealed its triumph in the 2022-23 Super League championship.

Having secured a three-point lead from last Monday, AEK strolled to a 4-0 win over visiting Volos and partied all night with its fans for its first title in the new OPAP Arena stadium at Nea Filadelfia.

Steven Zuber, Mijat Gacinovic, Orbelin Pineda and Damian Szymanski scored in AEK’s final match, followed by wild celebrations inside and outside the stadium.

It was the second title for AEK in the last five years as the Athenian club returned to the top after an epic battle with rivals Panathinaikos who drew 1-1 at home against Aris, ending up five points from the top where it had stayed for most of the season.

Olympiakos won 1-0 at PAOK and snatched the third spot, which will lead to next season’s Europe League unless PAOK wins the Greek Cup in the final on May 24 against AEK.

The final table of the playoffs is as follows: AEK 83, Panathinaikos 78, Olympiakos 73, PAOK 67, Aris 51 and Volos 40.

AEK’s new stadium a catalyst for success

Most football pundits in Greece believe that AEK played the most attractive football of the season, despite the fact that it had a mountain to climb being at one stage 10 points behind Panathinaikos.

Argentinian coach Matías Jesús Almeyda who took over in June 2022 introduced a dynamic style and an attacking flair to the team, which had a disappointing 2021-22 season.

On 10 January 2023, Almeyda renewed his contract with AEK until 2028.

The new football stadium at Nea Filadelfia inaugurated in October 2022 was also a catalyst for the club.

Construction on an all-new purpose-built stadium began on July 28, 2017 at the site of the old Nikos Goumas stadium. It has a capacity of approximately thirty thousand and features a unique underground road system that the teams can use to enter the stadium.

The previous soccer ground Nikos Goumas Stadium served as AEK’s home ground since 1930. The stadium suffered severe damages from the 1999 earthquake and was demolished in 2003 with the prospect of building a new stadium for AEK FC. Prolonged obstruction, legal issues, and tight deadlines contributed to the postponement of the new stadium opening.

For nineteen years, the historic club was forced to play its home games at various soccer grounds in Athens and mainly in the seventy thousand-capacity “Spyros Louis” (Athens Olympic Stadium).

History of AEK

Established in Athens in 1924 by Greek refugees from Istanbul in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), AEK is one of the three most successful teams in Greek football (including Olympiacos and Panathinaikos).

The club has appeared several times in European competitions (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup).

It is the only Greek team to have advanced to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup (1976–77) and the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup twice (1996–97 and 1997–98). AEK was also the first Greek team to advance to the quarter-finals of the European Cup (1968–69) and also to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (1994–95).

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