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Legia Warszawa

Legia Warszawa is a football (soccer) club from Poland.

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About Legia Warszawa

Legia Warszawa is a professional Football (soccer) club based in Warsaw, Poland. It was founded in March 1916 (during the military operations of the World War I on the eastern front) in the area of Maniewicze in Volhynia as the football club of the Polish Legions in World War I. After World War I it became the main official football club of the Polish Army – Wojskowy Klub Sportowy Legia Warszawa (Military Sports Club Legia Warsaw). In the years 1949–1957 Legia was known by the name CWKS Warszawa (Central Military Sports Club Warsaw). Today, it is one of two Warsaw-based football club participating in the Ekstraklasa (alongside Polonia Warsaw). The club's home venue is the Polish Army Stadium. Legia is one of the most successful Polish football clubs in history winning a total of 9 Ekstraklasa Champions titles and 14 Polish Cup trophies. Currently the club is owned by media holding ITI.

History

Before World War II

Legia was formed between the 5th and 15 March 1916 during the military operations of World War I on the Eastern Front (World War I) in the neighborhood of Maniewicze in Volhynia as the main football club of the Polish Legions in World War I. However, team started its first trainings earlier in the spring of 1915, in the city of Piotrków Trybunalski. In July 1916, due to the Brusilov Offensive, Legia permanently moved to the capital city of Warsaw. First game in Warsaw, Legia played on April 29, 1917 against the local rivalry - Polonia Warsaw. The score was a Tie (draw) - 1:1. Up to the end of World War I, Legia played nine games in Warsaw; six was won and three were a draw. First away game of Legia was against KS Cracovia (football), which ended with the result of 2:1 for Legia. With the win over Cracovia, current Polish first league champion at that time, Legia was baptized as unofficial champion of the country.

Legia played its first match in Ekstraklasa in Łódź on May 8, 1927 against ŁKS Łódź, winning 6:1. Marian Łańko scored the first league goal for the club (in the same game he scored hat-trick). Since 1930 Legia had been playing at the Polish Army Stadium, the construction of which was a gift to the club from Józef Piłsudski. In 1936 Legia was relegated to the second division, where it remained until the end of World War II .

After World War II

After World War II, Legia boosted its squad with many new players and at the end of 1949 the club changed its name again, this time to Centralny Wojskowy Klub Sportowy (Central Army Sports Club). Eventually Kazimierz Górski joined the club and became a player for both the team and the Poland national football team.

The 1970s

The 1970s were known as Poland's golden age of football (soccer). From the 1960s to the 1970s, Legia's roster included powerful football players such as Jan Tomaszewski, Kazimierz Deyna, and Robert Gadocha. In the European Cup 1969-70 Legia achieved a successful campaign by reaching the semi finals alongside Feyenoord, Leeds United, and Celtic F.C.. The following European Cup 1970-71, Legia reached the quarter finals where they lost to Atlético Madrid.

The 1980s

Though the club had many Poland National Football Team players including Jacek Kazimierski, Mirosław Okoński, Dariusz Dziekanowski, Paweł Janas, Stefan Majewski, Andrzej Buncol, Dariusz Kubicki, Dariusz Wdowczyk and others, the club had problems winning any league titles. However, thanks to winning four Polish Cup the team was able to compete in European competitions.

One of the more memorable European runs was the near upset against F.C. Internazionale Milano during the UEFA Cup 1985-86, after two 0–0 games Legia lost in extra time. The next 1986–87 UEFA Cup Legia were yet again drawn against Inter, this time winning at home 3–2 but losing away 1–0 thus losing on away goals.

Legia also won its first Polish SuperCup defeating Ruch Chorzów 3–0 in 1989.

Stadium


Supporters

As one of the most successful clubs in the history of Poland, Legia Warsaw remains also one of the most popular clubs in Poland. Over the past decades Legia gained devotion of generations of fans from Warsaw and all over the country. Legia supporters are generally considered very spontaneous, dedicated or even sometimes fanatical. Accordingly, in terms of quality of football support they are also often described as the best supporters in Poland. Groups of fans follow Legia on practically all away matches, both domestic and international. Supporters of Legia occasionally attract also some negative attention, in particular after events such as riots in Lithuania during the match against Vetra Vilnius on July 10, 2007.

Traditionally, the most devoted and spontaneous fans occupy the Żyleta stand, i.e. the northern stand of the stadium. Before the stadium renovation (2008–2011), the "old" Żyleta referred only to the center section within the eastern stand of the stadium (occasionally, it would also refer to eastern stand as a whole). There is a special exhibition dedicated to the "old" Żyleta in Legia club museum. Today, after the stadium renovation, the "new" Żyleta means the whole northern stand of stadium (located behind the goal).

As regards the political sentiments, the supporters of Legia tend more to the Right-wing politics. During the times of communism, in particular in the 1980s's, Legia fans manifested their patriotic and strongly Anticommunism views. Today, the fans actively participate in annual commemorations of the Warsaw Uprising and Polish Independence Day. Legia fans also manifest their views on domestic issues, e.g. their conflict with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, as well as on international politics, e.g. by way of displaying banners reading "Kosovo je Srbija" at the stadium as well as a huge 'Jihad' banner during the home leg of the UEFA Europa League 2011-12 group stage against Hapoel Tel Aviv, for which the club was fined €10,000.

Legia Warsaw supporters maintain friendly relations with fans of Pogoń Szczecin, Zagłębie Sosnowiec and Olimpia Elbląg. Internationally, Legia supporters maintain friendly relations with fans of ADO Den Haag and Juventus F.C Among main rivals of Legia are Polonia Warsaw, Lech Poznań, Wisła Kraków and Widzew Łódź.

Warsaw derby

The Warsaw Local derby is a match between Legia and Polonia Warszawa.

Achievements

Domestic

- Ekstraklasa:
- - Winner (9): 1955, 1956, 1969, 1970, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2006
- - 2nd place (11): 1960, 1968, 1971, 1985, 1986, 1993 1996, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2009
- - 3rd place (12): 1928, 1930, 1931, 1961, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2011
- Polish Cup:
- - Winner (14-record): 1955, 1956, 1964, 1966, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2008, 2011
- - Finalist (6): 1952, 1969, 1972, 1988, 1991, 2004
- Polish SuperCup:
- - Winner (4-record): 1989, 1994, 1997, 2008
- - Finalist (3): 1990, 1995, 2006
- Ekstraklasa Cup:
- - Winner (1): 2002
- - Finalist (2): 2000, 2008

Europe

- UEFA Champions League:
- - Semi-final (1): 1970
- - Quarter-final (2): 1971, 1996
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup:
- - Semi-final (1): 1991
- - Quarter-final (2): 1965, 1982

Legia in Europe


Retired numbers

- 10 Kazimierz Deyna (1966–78) (Posthumous)

The numbers are established according to the official website:



Out on loan



Reserve team

- Legia Warszawa Reserve Team

Notable former players

This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

Coaches and managers





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