Panathinaikos, a Greek giant to kick off our Europa League campaign
Panathinaikos, a Greek giant to kick off our Europa League campaign

Villarreal will face the side from Athens on Thursday at 6:45pm CEST

Panathinaikos Football Club is a Greek football club in the Super League Greece that reached the UEFA Europa League after losing 3-1 to SC Braga in the final round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

Founded in 1908 under the name Podosfairikós Ómilos Athina (Athens Football Club), the club plays its matches at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, named in honour of the president who died in 1980. However, as an extraordinary measure, the Greek team will play their European competition matches at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, with a capacity of 70,000, as the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium does not comply with the regulations for matches of this nature.

The club, also known by the nicknames To Trifylli (The Shamrock) or Oi Prasinoi (The Greens), is currently coached by Serbian Ivan Jovanovic. Panathinaikos FC are one of the most important clubs in the country, being the second most successful domestic club with a total of 20 league titles and 18 cups and the only one to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League – then the European Cup – in the 1970/71 season.

World-class players such as the Argentinian Juan Verón have played in their ranks and, today, players such as the Brazilian Bernard, others with experience in Spanish football such as Ruben Perez or Juankar and even old acquaintances of the Yellows Academy such as Aitor Cantalapiedra stand out.