Top Eleven emigrant clubs

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - AUGUST 21: Fans of Saloniki celebrate during the UEFA Champions League Play-off first leg match between FC Schalke 04 and PAOK Saloniki at Veltins-Arena on August, 21, 2013 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images,)
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – AUGUST 21: Fans of Saloniki celebrate during the UEFA Champions League Play-off first leg match between FC Schalke 04 and PAOK Saloniki at Veltins-Arena on August, 21, 2013 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

All across the world migrations played big role in forming modern society. From Chile to Australia and all across Europe dozens of emigrant groups have formed football clubs which were to play a big role in there new home countries.

11. PAOK

Back in 1877, the expatriate Greek community in Istanbul formed Hermes Sports Club, which the locals used as a form of recreation. But once the Greco-Turkish war broke out nearly 30 years later, the founders of Hermes fled to Thessaloniki. From the ruins of Hermes, thus, arose a new, proud football club, one of the rare teams which managed to break the Athenian hegemony in the top flight of Greece. PAOK’s last title (won in 1985) might be turning thirty these days, but that doesn’t stop the fans from being one of the loudest, proudest and fiercest bunches in the entire Balkans.

10. HAKOAH VIENNA

A proud Jewish club from the heart of Vienna, Hakoah was a famous name in early 20th century Europe, playing in the Austrian league as well as touring the world and entertaining the Jewish diaspora. In 1925, Hakoah even won the Austrian national title, in dramatic last-gasp fashion thanks to the heroic efforts of goalkeeper Alexander Fabian, whose arm was broken midway through the match – only for him to put his injured limb in a sling, continue on as a forward and score the winning goal. Hakoah was banned shortly after the “Anschluss” in 1938, and its results were nullified by the Nazi officials – but the name and memories still live on.

9. PALMEIRAS

Nowadays one of the most popular clubs in Brazil, the mighty Palmeiras – eight-time national champion – a record jointly held with city rivals Santos – started its life as a humble immigrant club for Italian expatriates. Formed in 1914 as Palestra Italia, Palmeiras enjoys the support of around 17 million fans, many of them being Brazilians of Italian origin. And if you wondered why they changed their name – when Brazil joined the allied war effort in 1942, then-president Getulio Vargas banned the use of names related to any of the Axis Powers. Italy, obviously, was one of them.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 13: Fans of Fluminense in action during a match between Fluminense and Palmeiras as part of Brasileirao Series A 2014 at Maracana Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Carmen Flores/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 13: Fans of Fluminense in action during a match between Fluminense and Palmeiras as part of Brasileirao Series A 2014 at Maracana Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Carmen Flores/Getty Images)

8. SYDNEY UNITED 58 FC

A mere look at the club crest should tell you all you need to know about this club – the red-white checkered pattern gives away the Croatian origins of Sydney United (formerly Sydney Croatia), a household name in Australian football which has produced 34 full Aussie international players – Mark Bosnich, Jason Culina, Zeljko Kalac, Mile Sterjovski, and Tony Popovic being just few. United nowadays plays in the New South Wales Premier League, where they are part of a fierce derby game against the …

7. BONNYRIGG WHITE EAGLES FC

Just like with Sydney, all it takes is one glance at the club crest. The double-headed white eagle, royal crown and the red, blue and white pattern? Welcome to the Bonnyrigg White Eagles, home of Serbian-Australian football enthusiasts who happen to live around the greater Sydney area. The club, originally known as Avala Sports Club, named after the iconic Belgrade mountain, is definitely less storied than their crosstown Croatian rivals, but their derbies are always a fierce affair –fan violence often rears its ugly head during those fixtures.

6. FC LUSITANOS

The name itself is a dead giveaway – FC Lusitanos is an Andorra-based club consisted almost exclusively of Portuguese immigrants. The Lusitans are a relative newcomer to the Andorran football scene, having been formed in 1999, but they quickly progressed, winning back-to-back national titles in 2012 and 2013. Their record in European competitions, though, is 0-1-5, with a goal average of 4-33, having never progressed past the first stage in any of their four attempts. They will try again in the forthcoming weeks, as they are slated to appear in the 2015/2015 UEFA Europa League qualifiers.

5. FBK BALKAN

Located in the Rosengard district of Malmo, FBK Balkan was formed in 1962 by Yugoslav immigrants. They have bounced up and down in the Swedish lower tiers, never really making a big splash, but they are known as being the first point of entry for the young Skåne players of former Yugoslav heritage. Amongst them, one name has to be singled out – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the icon of modern Swedish and European football, started his ascend to glory playing for the Rosengard Blues.

4. ASSYRISKA FF

Formed by Assyrian immigrants in 1974, Assyriska are one of the most storied immigrant clubs to ever arise from Sweden. They were the first immigrant team to ever reach the 2nd and 1st tier of the Swedish national league, and played in the Swedish cup final in 2003 as well. Assyriska are viewed by many as the unofficial national team of the Assyrian people, the stateless Christian minority spread between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

3. ALIANZA LIMA

The best-supported club in all of Peru originally started out as an athletic association of Italian and Chinese working class Lima residents. Founded in 1901, the very first kit of the team, then known as “Sport Alianza”, was green and white, in honor of their first president, the Italian-Peruvian Eduardo Pedreschi. Alianza nowadays sports a tally of 22 national titles, second only to cross-city rivals Universitario.

2. PALESTINO

Hailing from the Chilean capital of Santiago, Palestino’s very name reflects its immigrant roots – the club was founded by Santiago’s Palestinian community. During their 95 years of existence, “Los Arabes” have won two national titles and two cups, while proudly wearing the Palestinian-inspired red, green and black striped kit. It comes as a no surprise that their biggest rivals in Santiago are also of immigrant origin – Union Española and Audax Italiano, whose names should be descriptive enough for you.

1. ALBION FC

The oldest football club in Uruguay, founded in 1891, traces its origins to the English High School in Montevideo. The Albion, which initially refused non-British players from joining its ranks, nowadays toils in the third tier, their glory days long gone – their last trophy was won at the turn of the 19th century, in 1900. Still, they enjoy a historic reputation – they were runners-up in the first ever edition of the Uruguayan league, and their name is linked to the first ever international match in Uruguay’s football history, when Albion, reinforced by two Nacional players, faced a combined Argentinian League team.

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