Allsvenskan: AIK | Team Preview

AIK will host BK Häcken at Friends Arena in the Swedish capital Stockholm for their opening match of the 2017 Allsvenskan season.


In 2016 Allsvenskan, the Stockholm-based iconic and big club AIK managed to finish on a second place after a very disappointing first part of that season, leading to the sacking for their previous head coach Andreas Alm.

AIK managed to grab 17 victories and nine draws, collecting altogether 60 points. They suffered four defeats. AIK managed to produce 52 goals and conceded 26 goals.

The best goalscorer of AIK in 2016, was the youngster Alexander Isak with 10 goals. The Swedish youngster Alexander Isak signed for the German giants, Borussia Dortmund, during the 2017 January Transfer Window. AIK’s assist king was Stefan Ishizaki with his eight assists.

GENERAL INFORMATION
– Founded: 1891
– Ground: Friends Arena (Capacity: 50,000)
– Chairman: Jonny Jergander
– Coach: Rikard Nordling

CLUB HISTORY
AIK, which is an abbrivation for Allmänna Idrottsklubben (Eng: “The General Sports Club”), were founded in 1891. The name was chosen to reflect that the club was open for everyone, and also that athletics.

Putting football into practice in 1896, AIK were runners-up in the championship only two years later, in 1898. AIK won its first Swedish championship title in 1900, beating Örgryte IS in the final. AIK have managed to win eleven Swedish Championship titles.

In 1996, the former head coach of the Sweden men’s national football team, Erik Hamrén, took charge of the club. AIK finished on a fourth place in the league table at end of that season and won Swedish Cup title, qualifying for the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. AIK reached the third round where they faced the Spanish and Catalan giants FC Barcelona, just before the start of the 1997 Allsvenskan season. For the first time ever, Råsunda (the former AIK home ground) was sold out in advance, one month prior to the game. The first leg, at Camp Nou, started in the best possible way for AIK with new signing Nebojsa Novakovic forcing the opposing team’s full back to make a weak home pass which Pascal Simpson converted into a goal. The opponents equalized in the very next attack and the match ended with a three-one win to FC Barcelona. In the return game at Råsunda, Ronaldo scored an early goal for FC Barcelona, but even though AIK managed to score an equalizer, Barcelona won on aggregate.

AIK appointed the Scottish football manager Stuart Baxter as their new head coach. Stuart Baxter led AIK to their tenth league title after winning the last match of the season at Råsunda with one-nil. AIK managed to qualify for the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League group stage, which was AIK’s first and only time since that a Stockholm side had gone this far in the tournament. The last obstacle was Greek side AEK Athens. After a draw in Athens, AIK defeated AEK Athens with one-nile at Råsunda, with Novakovic scoring his most important goal to that point but more important goals were to come from the Serbian striker in the following group matches.

AIK got the worst possible draw for the group stage. They were included in the same group as Arsenal, FC Barcelona and Fiorentina. In the first game, AIK took the lead against Barcelona after an astonishing goal by Novakovic. Howevere, the referee allowed a FC Barcelona corner-kick to be taken during a dual substitution for AIK, which resulted in a goal for Barcelona. The controversial decision led AIK’s manager Stuart Baxter to utter the following words in desperation to the fourth referee: “This isn’t the amateur league, this is the fucking Champions League. Please take responsibility.” Barcelona scored 2–1 in added time and won the game. The name of the principal referee, Alain Sars, is forever emblazoned in the memory of all AIK fans present or watching the game on TV.

Another promising show was when AIK played Arsenal away, the first time a Swedish club side had ever played at Wembley. It was one-one until the additional time, when Arsenal scored two goals, winning the match with three-one. AIK managed to get a goalless draw at home against Fiorentina, but lost the last three games in the tournament. Although AIK in total only won one point in the tournament, the team could hold their heads high after all giving three opposing teams in the group a run for their money in the first half of the group stage.

ACHIEVEMENT
Allsvenskan
– Champions (11): 1900, 1901, 1911, 1914, 1916, 1923, 1932, 1937, 1992, 1998, 2009.
– Runners-up (13): 1930/1931, 1934/1935, 1935/1936, 1938/1939, 1946/1947, 1972, 1974, 1984, 1999, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2016.

Svenska Cupen
– Champions (8): 1949, 1950, 1975/1976, 1984/1985, 1995/1996, 1996/1997, 1998/1999, 2009.
– Runners-up (8): 1943, 1947, 1968/1969, 1991, 1994/1995, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2002.

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