How we lived when AEK last won the Greek title
With AEK Athens having received the 2017/2018 Super League trophy in early May, AGONAsport takes a look at how the world lived when the Kitrinomavri last won the Greek title in 1994.
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The Enosis’ previous Greek triumph came 24 years ago in the 1993/1994 campaign when AEK topped the table with 79 points, seven ahead of second placed Panathinaikos. AEK only lost five out of 34 matches, winning 15 at home to confidently become champions of Greece for the 11th time in the club’s history.
AEK repeated the trick in 2018, claiming the Super League honours three rounds before the season’s completion after arch-rivals PAOK and Olympiacos got involved in unsavoury scandals. Taking into account a long 24 years have passed since AEK’s last won the league, let’s take a trip back in time and get a feel for what the world was like when the Enosis took the 1993/1994 Alpha Ethniki.
During the 1993/1994 campaign, Demis Nikolaidis transferred from Ethnikos Alexandroupolis to Apollon Smyrnis, where he would stay until 1996. Nikolaidis then became an AEK legend later in his career, scoring an impressive 125 league goals in seven seasons with the Kitrinomavri. The now 44-year old also scored 15 national team markers in his successful career.
‘HELLO GREECE’ AT THE WORLD CUP
The well-known “Γεια σου Ελλάδα” tune was the Greek national team’s official song for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, a tournament which took place in the USA. It didn’t help Greece though, as the team came last in Group D with no points or goals from matches against Nigeria, Bulgaria and Argentina.
BIRTH OF THE GREEK FREAK
Famous NBA basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, fondly known as the Greek Freak in America, was born in December 1994. Antetokounmpo has embarked on a promising career in the NBA, gradually making a name for himself with the Milwaukee Bucks and providing a fantastic advert for Greek basketball. Born in Athens to Nigerian immigrants.
While nowadays we have the opportunity to follow the news, play video games and watch football matches on iPhones, it was very different in the 90’s. In those years, only mobile phones resembling bricks were available as these models prove:
GOLDEN BOY BAGGIO
At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are battling it out to boast the title of the world’s best footballer, but in 1993, Roberto Baggio and Dennis Bergkamp led the way. Baggio claimed the Golden Ball, however a year later Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov was awarded the prize.
GERARDS’ NINTH SEASON WITH OFI
Eugene Gerards, the legendary OFI Crete coach who spent 15 years with the Heraklion club, entered his ninth season as OFI boss. At the same time, Sir Alex Ferguson managed Manchester United for the eighth consecutive campaign in the English Premier League.
SCHUMACHER BURSTS ONTO THE SCENE
In Formula 1, Frenchman Alain Prost earned his final championship in 1993, but record-breaker Michael Schumacher stormed onto the scene in 1994 and took the title with Benetton. Nevertheless, the 1994 season was remembered for all of the wrong reasons, with Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna tragically dying at the San Marino race.
ALMOST AN AEK DOUBLE
AEK came close to pulling off the double in the 1993/1994 season, qualifying for the Greek Cup final. The showpiece match against Panathinaikos went all the way to a penalty shootout after a 3:3 draw in 90 minutes, but AEK failed to claim the trophy, eventually losing to the Greens on spot kicks. Interestingly, future Euro 2004 winner Antonis Nikopolidis sat on the bench for Panathinaikos in the game and current Prasini boss Marinos Ouzounidis played the entire match.