Profile of FC Dinamo Tbilisi
Top side of the Soviet Top League, European trophy holder and almost permanent champion of Georgia. FC Dinamo Tbilisi is PAOK’s next opponent in the UEFA Europa League and paokfc.gr introduces them to you:
Founded in 1925, FC Dinamo Tbilisi joined the Soviet Top League and boast being one of just three teams never to be relegated. Along with FC Dynamo Kyiv, they are the only Soviet sides to have won a European title.
PAOK’s upcoming rival celebrated the 1980-81 Cup Winners’ Cup, prevailing over FC Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany 2-1 in the final. It’s the highlight of the club’s history. FC Dinamo Tbilisi also won the Soviet Top League twice and two Soviet Cups.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Georgian sides refused to participate in the Soviet Union championship and instead formed their own Georgian National championship. FC Dinamo Tbilisi won the first league title and went on to celebrate 15 more, adding 13 Georgian Cup in their trophy cabinet.
Previous trips to Greece
FC Dinamo Tbilisi have been drawn against Greek opposition four times in the past. They played against Kastoria in the first round of Cup Winners’ Cup of 1980-81, on their way to the trophy. In 2004, they qualified for UEFA Cup group stage for the first time. They finished last with zero points in a group featuring Alexandros Tziolis’s Panionios who defeated them 5-2.
In 2008 they were eliminated in the UEFA Champions League 2nd qualifying round by Panathinaikos. Three years later, AEK Athens deprived them of participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They haven’t met PAOK before, as FC Lokomotive Tbilisi is the only Georgian side the “Double-Headed Eagle” have faced so far.
Juraj Jarábek returns to Toumba Stadium. The Slovakian coach faced the PAOK last season when he was at the helm of FC Spartak Trnava, a few weeks before parting company with the club. He joined FC Dinamo Tbilisi midway through the last season and led them to the domestic double.
The 54-year old tactician started coaching in 2008 at the ranks of ŠK Blava Jaslovské Bohunice for a season. He then moved to FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce – Vráble and stayed there for four seasons. He returned to his home town to take the reins of FC Spartak Trnava in 2013.
The team rely on Georgian players and some foreigners, who add quality to the local dynamism. They have been moving under the radar in the current transfer window and everything suggests that they are slightly weaker than last season.
They lost their top scorer Giorgi Kvilitaia, who conjured up 29 goals in 39 encounters last season, before moving to SK Rapid Wien.
FC Dinamo Tbilisi however covered their goalkeeping needs by signing Giorgi Lomaia from Inter Baku PIK and Anthony Scribe from AC Ajaccio. To deal with the void left by Kvilitaia’s move, they acquired Vladimer Dvalishvili.
Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena is the home ground of FC Dinamo Tbilisi. The biggest stadium of Georgia was inaugurated in 1976 and was renovated in 2006. It can host 54.549 spectators providing them with state-of-the-art comforts. Highest attendance was recorded in 1979, as 110.000 people watched FC Dinamo Tbilisi taking on Liverpool FC, as well as in 1995 with the international tie between Georgia and Germany. On that same year, the stadium was named Boris Paichadze in memoriam of the best Georgian footballer of the 20th century.
Apart from FC Dinamo Tbilisi and the Georgian national team, the stadium also hosts the national team of rugby, a very popular sport in the country. Last August, Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena was the venue of the European Super Cup, with FC Barcelona prevailing 5-4 after extra time over Sevilla FC in a thrilling encounter.
Results and fixtures
FC Dinamo Tbilisi started their European adventure early this summer in the 2nd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. They eliminated Armenian champions Alashkent winning 2-0 at home and edging out a 1-1 draw away. In the 3rd qualifying round, GNK Dinamo Zagreb proved an insurmountable obstacle and the Georgians were eliminated after two defeats, thus getting relegated to the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
The Georgian Umaglesi Liga kicks off on 7 August and FC Dinamo Tbilisi have been drawn to start their season against FC Chikhura Sachkhere. On 13 August, a few days before their first leg against PAOK, they will play host to FC Guria Lanchkhuti.