Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church also shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages, locations and cultures. The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, 88th-largest island in the world and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065, Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits. It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization, which is regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and it was also known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island. The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words
Iraklis 1908 Thessaloniki F.C.
Iraklis 1908 FC or Iraklis FC, is a Greek football club, based in the city of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece, currently playing in the Superleague, the top tier of Greek football. Their home ground is the Kaftanzoglio Stadium with a capacity of 27,770, founded in 1908 as Macedonikos Gymnasticos Syllogos, they are one of the oldest in Greek football and the oldest in Thessaloniki, hence the nickname Ghireos. A year later, the name Iraklis was added to the name as an honour to the ancient Greek hero Heracles. The teams colours are cyan or blue and white, inspired by the Greek flag, Iraklis was a founding member of Macedonia Football Clubs Association, as well as the Hellenic Football Federation, as a part of G. S. Iraklis. Before the formation of the league of Alpha Ethniki, Iraklis competed in the league that was run by the Macedonia Football Clubs Association. The club has played in five Greek Cup finals, lifting the trophy once in the 1976 final. They have also a title, as they won the Balkans Cup in 1985. Iraklis traces its roots back in 1899 when Omilos Filomouson was established, the club was established as a cultural union of the Greeks of Thessaloniki, but in 1902 it founded a sports department. Football was a new sport at the time, but rapidly increasing in popularity, the first match that was held by the Omilos Filomouson football team was on 23 April 1905, against a team of the Western European diaspora of the city called Union Sportive. Omilos Filomouson won the match by a 3-0 scoreline, later on, the club faced financial problems, but members of the club joined forces with another Greek athletic club of the city, called Olympia. The result of union was the foundation of a new club on 29 November 1908, called Makedonikos Gymnastikos Syllogos. The new clubs first president was a Greek doctor, Alkiviadis Maltos, the name of the club had a direct reference to the ethnic tensions that took place in the area at that time. Due to the Young Turks revolt of 1908 and their promises for ease of ethnic tensions in the area, thus a new name was decided for the club, Ottomanikos Ellinikos Gymnastikos Syllogos Thessalonikis Iraklis. The new name was approved, together with a new statute, Iraklis won Alliance 3-1, Progrès Sportive 5-1 and after winning the French-German School Alumni Union, the club was proclaimed Champion of Thessaloniki. On 6 April 1914, Iraklis played a match against Athinaikos Syllogos Podosfairou and it was the clubs first match against a club outside Thessaloniki. In 1914, Iraklis established the clubs youth squad, so the students of the Greek Gymnasium of the city could train in football, a year later Iraklis won the second Thessaloniki Football Championship. The next championship was not held due to World War I, in the years following World War I, several football clubs were established in Thessaloniki and that led to the establishment of the Macedonia Football Clubs Association in 1923. The first championship from the newly founded association was organised shortly afterwards, in 1924 Iraklis played its first match against a club from outside the borders of Greece
AO Kavala, the Athletic Club Kavala, is a professional association football club based in the city of Kavala, Macedonia, Greece. The club was formed in 1965 from the merger of Phillipoi Kavala, Iraklis Kavala and they have had a few runs in the top division of the Greek League. They were promoted to Alpha Ethniki for the first time in 1969 and they returned to top division in 1976 and played again for six seasons. In 1982 the club were relegated to the Beta Ethniki, after 11 years in Beta Ethniki and one year in Gamma Ethniki they were promoted to Alpha Ethniki. There black period began for the team in which played only in Beta Ethniki. In 2009 they signed Miltiadis Sapanis and EURO2004 winner Fanis Katergiannakis, Kavala were promoted for the first time in 9 years to Greeces top division. In their quest to remain in the top flight they have signed Pepe Reinas back up at Liverpool, Charles Itandje, additional season signings include Craig Moore, Željko Kalac, Ebi Smolarek, Diogo Rincón, Sotiris Leontiou, Serge Dié, Wilson Oruma and Frédéric Mendy. This combined with coach Aad de Mos meant that Kavala set the league alight and they subsequently achieved notable victories in the 2009–2010 season against Iraklis FC, Panionios, AEK FC and Panathinaikos FC. Ending in 6th place, the team entered the transfer season, in July, the Spanish goalkeeper, Javier Lopez Vallejo was added to the roster. The teams owner sought the new manager throughout Europe and settled on the Serbian coach Dragomir Okuka who lasted until November, in Kasperczaks debut as a coach, Kavala beat AEK, 2–1, in what was considered a very good appearance. But in March 2011, Kasperczak, retired as the coach of team, and he was replaced by Ioannis Matzourakis. Kavala finished 7th and later faced the threat of relegation to Football League due to the match-fixing scandal, after an appeal, the team managed to avoid relegation by starting the new league with 8 points less. On 23 August, however, the Professional Sports Committee stripped both Kavala and Olympiakos Volou from their licence and demoted them to the Delta Ethniki. Kavala competed in Delta Ethniki Group 1, Ιn September 2013 Germans investors take the management of Kavala F. C. The agreement provides that the new investors will catch and a significant part of its debts to old players. Indeed, the Germans will be able to buy a majority stake of the shares of FC paying €500,000 clause of the first season and €700,000 for the second, respectively. The Anthi Karagianni Municipal Stadium, formerly the Kavala National Stadium, is a stadium in Kavala. It is the homebase of Kavala F. C, the stadium was built 1970, and currently has a seating capacity of 10,500. It is named after the athlete, Anthi Karagianni, who won three silver medals in the 2004 Paralympic Games
Pierikos or Pierikos Syndesmos Filathlon Katerinis is a Greek football club based in Katerini, Greece. The club was founded on 11 April 1961 from the merger between Megas Alexandros Katerinis and Olympos Katerinis, unification of the two clubs has seen as the only way for the city of Katerini to have a team in the 1st Division. In its first season Pierikos took the place of Megas Alexandros in the 2nd Division and it played in the Group of Western and Central Macedonia and finished 1st. Therefore, it was able to play in the 2nd Division play-offs, in the final Pierikos won 2–0 in a match against Olympiakos Kozanis and gained promotion to the 1st Division. In this season Pierikos scored 108 goals and conceded 28. In its first season in the 1st division Pierikos finished in the 9th position scoring 36 goals and his biggest win was a 4–0 against Aris Thessaloniki F. C. Pierikos also played in the Greek Cup final this season. The club suffered a 3–0 defeat by Olympiacos CFP, in the 1963–64 season Pierikos finished in the 7th position. Its biggest wins were, a 5–1 against Doxa Dramas and a 4–0 against Ethnikos Piraeus. The club scored 34, Pierikos also played in the Greek Cup Semi-Final this season where was suffered a 3–1 defeat by AEK Athens FC. This was as Final because the other Semi-Final between Olympiacos CFP and Panathinaikos FC never ended and therefore AEK Athens FC was awarded the Greek Cup by E. P. O, the 1964–65 season is, probably, the best season in the History of Pierikos. Pierikos finished in the 5th position scoring 39 and conceding 39 and its biggest win was a 4–0 against Niki Volou. In the 1965–66 season Pierikos finished in the 8th position and its biggest win was a 5–1 against AO Trikala. The club scored 40 and conceded 40 goals, in the 1966–67 season Pierikos finished in the 14th position. Its biggest win was a 4–1 against Vyzas Megaron, the club scored 36 and conceded 51 goals. In the 1967–68 season Pierikos finished in the 5th position and its biggest win was a 9–1 against Olympiakos Nicosia. This is the biggest victory of the club, in the 1st Division, ever. The club scored 42 and conceded 46 goals, in the 1968–69 season Pierikos finished in the 9th position. Its biggest win was a 5–1 against Apollon Smyrnis, the club scored 31 and conceded 37 goals. In the 1969–70 season Pierikos finished in the 7th position and its biggest win was a 3–0 against Olympiakos Nicosia. The club scored 45 and conceded 44 goals, in the 1970–71 season Pierikos finished in the 14th position. The club didnt manage to win any game by more than one goal
Agrotikos Asteras F.C.
Agrotikos Asteras is a Thessaloniki-based football club, currently playing in the Football League. It was founded in 1932 by refugees from Asia Minor, Agrotikos Asteras was founded from Greek refugees from Asia Minor, that formerly lived in Koukloutzas, Smyrni. The idea of the establishment was conceived by a group of teenagers living in Neos Koukloutzas, Thessaloniki. Its statute was handed to Greek court on 10 January 1930, the most important season for the teams history was 2005-2006, when the club won the trophy of Gamma Ethniki and achieved the semi finals of the Greek Cup. The best players this season were Nikos Kyzeridis and Nikos Sakellaridis, 2005-2006 was the most successful season in history of the club. Agrotikos finished 1st in Gamma Ethniki and achieved promotion to Beta Ethniki for the first time in its history, the team had many wins with big scores. It had built many times consecutive wins with producing great football, all Greek football was talking for Agrotikos Asteras. A small team in Euosmos were saying and this team, had achieved the semi-finals, an excellent journey. In second round, Agrotikos played with Vyzas Megaron, and won by 6-2, in third round, it won Kastoria F. C. 3-1. In fourth round, Agrotikos achieved a victory, winning in penalties 5-4 historical PAOK FC. In fifth round, Agrotikos met Ergotelis and won 2-0, in quarter finals, Agrotikos Asteras played Ethnikos Asteras in a two-leg round. Agrotikos goal scored by captain Nikos Kyzeridis, at home leg, Agrotikos won 4-0. Asteras was through in semi finals, then, the club was drawn with AEK Athens, the 3rd in cup conquests. In away leg ended 3-0 and at home ended 1-0 with Tsouklis goal, Football League 2 Winners, 2005-06, 2013-14 Delta Ethniki Winners, 1993-94 As of 18 February,2017. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality