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Image by Timothy Tan


The Acropolis Cup kicked off in 1982 in the coastal town of Agropoli. From its humble beginnings with a handful of competing teams, to date more than 30 countries have been represented at the tournament which now counts with ~100 teams every year among the many age groups available. In early years, the tournament was played only in Agropoli, but now, matches are played on many fields in neighbouring Cilento towns.


In its 40 year history, many professional clubs have participated in the Acropolis Cup including FC Spartak Moscow (Russia), FC Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine), FC Spartak Varna (Bulgaria) and FK Lokomotiva Trnava (Slovakia). Some of the most notable players that have competed in the tournament include Andrei Shevchenko from Ukraine, Salomón Rondón from Venezuela and Kamil Kopúnek from Slovakia - and they would later go on to become famous international footballers.

1982 The first edition of the Acropolis Cup takes place with eight teams. The local team, Jugend Agropoli, would go on to win the tournament. Among their competitors included SG Dietzenbach, who initially hosted the Agropoli team outside of Frankfurt the previous year. This set the stage for international teams to enter the tournament, and in following years, teams from France, Switzerland, Belgium, Malta and Austria would come to Agropoli to compete.

1989 FC Dynamo Kyiv - representing the former Soviet Union - participated in the tournament and brought along a young yet special player, Andrei Shevchenko, future ballon d'or winner and A.C. Milan player. Not a surprise that FC Dynamo Kyiv won that year!

1990 Teams from the United States entered the tournament and for the first time, an American team, Rochester, came head to head with a Russian team, Spartak Moscow, who would eventually go on to win the tournament.

1991 The Acropolis Cup saw the coming together of Vatican City team, the Pontifical Oratory of St. Peter and St. Paul, against a Russian team - another unprecedented event.

1999 The number of participating teams and countries increase with every new edition, allowing teams to compete with the likes of Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden, England, Canada, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. And in 1999, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) recognizes the Acropolis Cup for having the most foreign participants in an Italian youth soccer tournament.

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