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Floriana Football Club
Full name Floriana Football Club
Nickname(s) Tal-Irish
Founded 1894
Ground Ix-Xagħra,
(Capacity: n/a)
Chairman Malta John Camilleri
Coach Serbia Zoran Popovic
League Maltese Premier League
2008/09 Maltese Premier League, 6th
Home colours
Away colours

Floriana Football Club is a Maltese football club in the town of Floriana that currently plays in the Maltese Premier League. It has the largest fans following on the islands and remains the most successful club in Maltese history.



Floriana Football Club was founded in 1894, and together with St. George's FC, is one of the two oldest clubs in Malta. During that period, football in Malta was introduced by the British Servicemen who were stationed on the island which was then a colony of the British Empire.

The club is affiliated to the Malta Football Association which in turn is both a member of UEFA and FIFA.

The team, which plays in green and white, is nicknamed The Irish, after having adopted its colours following a friendly match against the Dublin Fusiliers who were stationed in Floriana Malta at the time.

Floriana Football Club has won the major Maltese League championship for 25 times.

In June 2008 Floriana signed a partnership agreement with a part-time Irish club Shamrock Rovers and in December 2008 signed a second partnership agreement with Russian professional side FC Volga Ulyanovsk, a powerhouse in regional football on the Volga.



Football was introduced in Malta at the end of the 19th Century by the British troops stationed on the island. At that time Malta formed part of the British Empire and, the Island was the base of British forces in the heart of the Mediterranean.

The British forces in Malta were mainly stationed in Cospicua, Mtarfa, Tigne', St Andrews and in Floriana. The forces' barracks, which were strategically located around the Island, enjoyed large areas that were used as parade grounds, training areas and for sporting activities. The sports practised by the soldiers were mainly cricket, hockey and football.

Obviously, the locals who were influenced by the soldiers stationed in the area were introduced to these sporting activities. The most popular sports amongst the residents of Floriana was football, however some also practised cricket and hockey. Floriana still has its hockey club, carrying the name Floriana Young Stars Hockey Club.

Formation of the first ever Floriana team

It is said that at the end of the 19th Century a group of youngsters from Floriana, assisted by soldiers based in the area, formed the first ever Floriana football team. It is understood that this team held football matches against another team formed in Cospicua, the St George's. There is also historical proof that both teams were the first football teams in Malta. However there is evidence that FFC was established in 1894.A St.Georges FC team photo dated 1894 and which is still at the clubs premises shows one of the players holding a placard with this quote 'WE ARE THE FIRST TEAM TO BEAT FLORIANA'.There are no more photos evidence,but this shows that Floriana existed even before 1894 and played against other teams without being beaten,until St.Georges were proud that they have beat Floriana for the first time as this commemorative photo shows.Although St.George's FC claim that they were established in 1890 there is no pure evidence.It is true that the first ever Maltese football club was organized in Cospicua by St.Andrews FC.This establish that Floriana FC and St.George's FC are both the oldest existing football clubs in Malta.

History of club colours and mascot

Between 1894 and 1905 the club's colours were green/red quartered shirts, black shorts with green and red socks. The official colours of the club as we know them today, green and white vertical striped shirts, white shorts and green/white horizontal striped socks, were introduced in 1905. At that time the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were stationed in Floriana. During that year, three friendly matches were held between this regiment and FFC, at the end of the final match both teams exchanged their shirts and, the officials of the Dublin Fusiliers expressed their wish that FFC changed their official colours to their green and white shirts. Incidentally, this regiment left the Island in that same year.

The ties between Floriana and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were so strong that the people hailing from Floriana were nicknamed after the Irish, "Tal-Irish".

'THE LION' The club's mascot is the lion, which features prominently on the club's badge since 1936 together with the Latin motto "Ex Ludis Virtus", meaning "virtue out of the game. In this regard the club's badge represents the fierceness of the lion together with the virtues of sportsmanship. The lion was chosen as the clubs mascot for two general reasons attributed to Floriana civilation. First attribution is to the code of arms of Grandmaster of St.John Manuel De Vilhena who have the lion on it.Grandmaster Manuel De Vilhena was the mastermind to build a fortification suburg of Floriana (originally known as Borgo Vilhena)to defend from land attacks the capital city of Valletta.He even ordered to build a lion statue fountain with his Grandmaster code of arms being hold by the lions hand,in the center of Floriana main square St.Anne which is still there today. Second attribution to the lion is the statue of St.Publius who is the patron saint of Floriana and whom all Floriana people loves very much.St.Publius statue have the lion on it which shows how Publius was killed for his Christian preachings.

Domestic successes

Since the foundation of the Malta Football Association (1900) and local competitions the club won a total of 103 honours, which include 25 league titles and 25 Cup knock out competitions. The club has also achieved a number of impressive feats, such as four consecutive league championships, ten doubles (League plus Cup) and a League title with maximum points.

1936 Algiers invitational tournament

In something of a pioneering trip in 1936 Floriana competed in a four team invitational tournament in Algiers. With Algeria then under French colonial rule the official programme[1] listed the venue as "Stade-Velodrome Municipal d'Alger" and the participants as:-

Le Queen of the South - La Belle Equipe Ecossaise de Première Division

Racing-Club de Santander - Favori des Championnats d'Espagne

Floriana F. C. de Malte - Champion Officiel et Vainqueur de la Coupe

R.U.A. - Champion de l'Afrique du Nord 1935

The match days were Thursday May 21 and Sunday May 24.

Home side Racing Universitaire d'Alger (R.U.A. for whom Nobel Prize winning author/philosopher Albert Camus had played in goals for their junior team) had already won both the North African Champions Cup and the North African Cup in the 30s (R.U.A. would win each twice by the decade's end). Goals by Willie Thomson and Joe Tulip saw Queens book a place in the invitational tournament final with a 2 - 1 victory against them.

In the final Queens faced a Racing de Santander side who had just finished 4th in Spain's La Liga notching home and away double victories against both Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona. Racing had seen off Floriana in their semi final. Norrie Haywood's goal and a 1 - 0 scoreline saw victory for La Belle Equipe Ecossaise. The trophy can still be seen in Queens' club museum today.[2]

UEFA competitions

Over the years FFC participated in the various competitions organised by the European football body, UEFA, such as the:

  • UEFA Champions Cup
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  • Fairs Cities' Cup
  • UEFA Cup
  • Intertoto Cup

In 1962, the club was the first to represent Malta in UEFA competitions in its Cup Winners' Cup against the Hungarian side Upjest Dozsa. Over the years, FFC had the opportunity to meet some renowned European football clubs with the likes of:

  • Ipswich Town (UK)
  • FC Internazionale (Italy)
  • Sparta Rotterdam (Holland)
  • Panathinaikos (Greece)
  • Ferencvaros (Hungry)
  • Dundee Utd (Scotland)
  • FC Porto (Portugal)viva labour
  • Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

On two occasions FFC made it to the next round, 1993/4 Champions Cup and Intertoto Cup 1999/2000.

Youth sector

In 1987 the club founded its youth sector, Floriana FC Nursery (FFCN), which is affiliated to the Malta Youth Football Association. The club's youth sector may also be considered as one of the most successful organisations of its type on the Island, not only has it produced a number of some of the finest footballers, but it has also managed to win a good number of league titles organised by the Association. The following are some of the major honours won by FFCN.

06 / 07 UNDER 14 Knock out competition

  • U/14 League Champions - twice
  • U/16 League Champions - six times, four of which in a row, 1993 to 1997
  • U/18 League Champions - six times, four of which in a row, 1996 to 2000

Today all the major six Premiership clubs in Malta have at least two players forming part of their squad, which have been raised by FFCN.



During their history Floriana FC had two main rivals Sliema Wanderers and neighbors Valletta. The rivalry against Sliema is very old but today has lost many of its legacy. The rivalry was at its peak during the 1920s and till the late 1970s when the two sides dominated the Maltese football scene. Fighting between supporters during the direct conflicts were something usual. Today the rivalry declined due to Floriana's lack of good performances in the domestic scene were in the last 30 years they won only two league titles, in 1977 and in 1993.

On the other hand the rivalry against Valletta City is still alive. Despite the fact that it has been a long time since Floriana were in their hey days, the fact that the two cities are near each others the rivalry continued to persist and it is one of the most classic derbies in the Maltese football. The 2007–08 season also started with a bang as Floriana hosted Valletta FC at the Ta' Qali Stadium. Both sides played their role but at the end Floriana overcame their rivals with a 3–2 win.


Floriana ' s official colors at the beginning of the century were green and red quartered shirts with black shorts. Later on these were replaced with Green and white striped shirts and white shorts. Tradition has it that these colors were adopted after a game played at the Floriana Parade Ground against the Royal Irish Fusiliers. This regiment of the British army was stationed at Floriana. The two sides played four times against each other in 1904–05. The Fusiliers won the first two games while the third one ended all square. A fourth game was organized between the two sides and this time Floriana won 2–1. As a symbol of friendship, the players swapped their shirts. From that moment onwards, Floriana Football Club adopted the colors of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, which are the green and white stripes and white shorts.

It must be noted that the Florianites are still called 'Ta' l-Irish' meaning 'The Irish'. In the early 1920s which went something like this:

Tal-Irish minn dejjem hadid,
Jagħmel li jrid, deni jew gid.

In plain English, this translates as 'The Irish are always as strong as metal; they decide if to inflict harm or not'.

For 2009-10 Floriana's Senior team will be supplied with top class Azzurri kit. Azzurri sports are one of Ireland's leading sportswear manufacturers. Following an online vote by Floriana fans to select the new strip Azzurri and Floriana will launch the new range just before the season start.


From 1900 to date, Floriana FC won 103 honours. 29 of them were won before the second war, that is, between 1900 and 1940. The other 74 honours were won from 1940 to date.

Floriana FC holds the following records:

  • Won four consecutive championships - 1949-1950, 1950–1951, 1951–1952 and 1952-1953.
  • In 1961-1962, Floriana FC won the league without losing a single point. Played and won 14 games, scored 43 goals and conceded 10 goals.
  • Made the League and Cup double for a record 10 times in seasons 1912-1913, 1921–1922, 1927–1928, 1928–1929, 1930–1931, 1949–1950, 1952–1953, 1954–1955, 1957–1958 and 1992-1993.
  • Between 15 February 1976 and 22 May 1977, Floriana played 37 consecutive games without losing a game. During this period, the Greens scored 99 goals and won seven major honours, which are the League, Trophy, Independence Cup, twice the Sons of Malta Cup and twice the Testaferrata Cup.

Maltese Football League: 25 1909-10, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1920–21, 1921–22, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1936–37, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1957–58, 1961–62, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1992–93

League Runners-up 1922/23, 1925/26, 1935/36, 1937/38, 1953/54, 1955/56, 1965/66, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1975/76, 1993/94

First Division Champions 1985/86

MFA Knock-Out Competitions (25 times):

National Ground Cup (MFA Cup) 1910-11

Gaelic Whisky Cup (MFA Cup) 1912-13

Cousis Shield 1921-22, 1922–23, 1930–31

Empire Sports Ground Cup (MFA Cup) 1927-28, 1928–29

FA Trophy (18 times) 1937-38, 1944–45, 1946–47, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1960–61, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1971–72, 1980–81, 1992-92, 1993–94

FA Trophy Finalists 1934/35, 1935/36, 1955/56, 1959/60, 1964/65, 1973/74, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1987/88, 1988/89, 2005/06

Super Cup (Once) 1992-93

Cassar Cup (10 times) 1920-21, 1922–23, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1949–50, 1951–62, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1960, 61

Independence Cup (7 times) 1966-67, 1968–69, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79

Sons of Malta Cup (6 times) 1967-68, 1968–69, 1973–74, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78

Super 5 Cup (4 times) 1993-94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98

Testaferrata Cup (3 times) 1975-76, 1976–77, 1977–78

Schembri Shield (3 times) 1952-53, 1953–54, 1954–55

Scicluna Cup (3 times) 1958-59, 1961–62, 1962–63

Poppy Day Fund Cup (3 times) 1952-53, 1.953-54, 1954–55

Christmas Cup (2 times) 1968-69, 1969–70

Malta Playing Field Association Shield - MPFA (2 times) 1951-52, 1953–54

Partisans Cup (once) 1909

Amateurs Cup (once) 1911

Mtarfa Cup (once) 1912

Prince of Wales Cup (once) 1921

Malaya Congress Cup (once) 1924

Marian Congress Cup (Once) 1949

Infantile Paralysis Cup (once) 1953

Lowenbrau Cup (Once) 1993-94

MFA Centenary Commemorative Cup (once) 2000

MFA Centenary Cup Finalists (once) 2000


Current Squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Malta GK Bernard Paris (on loan from Birkirkara)
2 Malta DF Brian Said (vice-captain)
3 Malta DF Clifton Ciantar
4 Malta DF Julian Briffa
5 Nigeria DF Sunday Eboh
6 Malta DF Jermain Brincat
7 Malta MF Marlon Briffa (on loan from Mqabba)
8 Malta MF Christian Cassar (on loan from Marsaxlokk)
9 Ethiopia FW Michael Ghebru
10 Malta MF Christian Caruana
12 Malta GK Jurgen Micallef
13 Malta MF Orosco Anonam (captain)
No. Position Player
14 Malta DF Owen Bugeja
15 Malta DF Clyde Borg
17 Malta MF Joseph Borg
18 Malta FW Ryan Darmanin
19 Malta MF Luke Agius
20 Malta FW Roberto Brincat
21 Serbia MF Stefan Lijeskić
22 Argentina MF Pablo Doffo
23 Malta MF Mark Spiteri
Malta DF Stefano Grima
Malta MF Sacha Borg

For recent transfers, see List of Maltese football transfers winter 2009-10.

Out on Loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Malta GK Simon Agius (on loan to Sliema Wanderers)
Malta DF Duncan Pisani (on loan to Qormi)
Malta MF Mauro Brincat (on loan to Vittoriosa Stars)
Malta MF Kurt Formosa (on loan to Dingli Swallows)
Malta MF Mark Gauci (on loan to Mqabba)

Current staff

Position Name
Head Coach Serbia Zoran Popovic
Assistant Coach Malta Orosco Anonam
Assistant Coach Malta Darren Abdilla
Physiotherapist Malta Karl Farrugia
Kit Manager' Malta Neville Spiteri


Position Name
President John Camilleri
Vice President Paul Agius
Secretary Dione Borg
Finance Officer Alex Cassar
Assistant Finance Officer Peter Agius
Media Officer Matthew J Paris
Member Tony Stellini
Member George Sciberras
Member Joe Cauchi
Member John Borg
Member Daniel Cordina
Member Mark Mizzi

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1961-62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Preliminary Round Hungary Újpest FC 2-5 2-10 4-15
1965-66 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round West Germany Borussia Dortmund 1-5 0-8 1-13
1966-67 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Netherlands Sparta Rotterdam 1-1 0-6 1-7
1967-68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Netherlands NAC Breda 1-2 0-1 1-3
1972-73 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Hungary Ferencvárosi TC 1-0 0-6 1-6
1976-77 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Poland Śląsk Wrocław 1-4 0-2 1-6
1978-79 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Italy Internazionale FC 1-3 0-5 1-8
1981-82 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Belgium Standard Liège 1-3 0-9 1-12
1988-89 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Scotland Dundee United 0-0 0-1 0-1
1994-95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying Round Republic of Ireland Sligo Rovers FC 2-2 0-1 2-3

UEFA Intertoto Cup

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 11, game 1st Austria FC Tirol Innsbruck 0-4
Group 11, game 2nd Israel Hapoel Petah Tikva FC 1-1
Group 11, game 3rd France RC Strasbourg 0-4
Group 11, game 4th Turkey Genclerbirligi 0-3
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 12, game 1st Austria SV Ried 1-2
Group 12, game 2nd Georgia (country) FC Tbilisi 0-5
Group 12, game 3rd Russia FC Torpedo Moscow 0-1
Group 12, game 4th Greece Iraklis FC 0-1
1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1. Round Wales Aberystwyth Town FC 2-1 2-2 4-3
2. Round Finland FC Jokerit 1-1 1-2 2-3
2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1. Round Norway Stabæk FC 1-1 0-2 1-3


Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1969-70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1. Round Romania Dinamo Bacau 0-1 0-6 0-7
1991-92 UEFA Cup 1. Round Switzerland Neuchâtel Xamax 0-0 0-2 0-2
1992-93 UEFA Cup 1. Round Germany Borussia Dortmund 0-1 2-7 2-8
1996-97 UEFA Cup Preliminary Round Israel Beitar Jerusalem FC 1-5 1-3 2-8

UEFA Champions League

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1962-63 European Cup Preliminary Round England Ipswich Town 1-4 0-10 1-14
1968-69 European Cup 1. Round Finland FC Lahti 1-1 0-2 1-3
1970-71 European Cup 1. Round Portugal Sporting CP 0-4 0-5 0-9
1973-74 European Cup 1. Round Belgium Club Brugge 0-2 0-8 0-10
1975-76 European Cup 1. Round Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia HNK Hajduk Split 0-5 0-3 0-8
1977-78 European Cup 1. Round Greece Panathinaikos FC 1-1 0-4 1-5
1993-94 UEFA Champions League Preliminary Round Lithuania FK Ekranas 1-0 1-0 2-0
1. Round Portugal FC Porto 0-0 0-2 0-2

Notable Maltese former players


  • Malta Guzeppi Alamango
  • Malta Emmanuel Azzopardi
  • Malta Fredu Chetcuti
  • Malta Fredu Friggieri
  • Malta Ruggieru Friggieri
  • Malta Salvu Grima
  • Malta Charlie Hedley
  • Malta Jack Herbert
  • Malta Jack Holland
  • Malta Gejtu Psaila
  • Malta Guzi Samuele
  • Malta Harry Samuele
  • Malta Salvu Samuele
  • Malta Alex Semini
  • Malta Salvu Tabone
  • Malta George West


  • Malta Andrew Bartolo
  • Malta John Bennetti
  • Malta Effie Borg
  • Malta Emmanuel Cauchi
  • Malta Kaneni Cauchi
  • Malta Censu Friggieri
  • Malta Pawlu Friggieri
  • Malta R. Pisani
  • Malta Alfred Preca


  • Malta Guzi Alamango
  • Malta Zaren Alamango
  • Malta Charles Azzopardi
  • Malta Lolly Borg
  • Malta Frankie Busuttil
  • Malta Benny Camilleri
  • Malta Tony Cauchi
  • Malta Lolly Debattista
  • Malta Tony Dalli
  • Malta Pullu Demanuele
  • Malta Charles Galea
  • Malta Joseph Grech
  • Malta Horace Herbert
  • Malta Tony Vella
  • Malta Alfred Vella James
  • Malta Frans Xuereb
  • Malta Leli Zammit


  • Malta Louis Arpa
  • Malta Anton Camilleri
  • Malta Hugh Caruana
  • Malta George Ciantar
  • Malta Alfred Debono
  • Malta Silvio Demanuele
  • Malta Charles Farrugia
  • Malta Edwin Farrugia
  • Malta Ray Farrugia
  • Malta Charles Grech
  • Malta Dorian Holland
  • Malta John Holland
  • Malta Frankie Micallef
  • Malta Poey Micallef
  • Malta Alfred Mizzi
  • Malta Willie Vassallo
  • Malta George Xuereb
  • Malta Raymond Xuereb


Notable Foreign players (Since 1909)


  1. ^ Back cover, 'Through the lens glimpses of Old Queen of the South', published by Dumfries and Galloway Libraries, Information and Archives with Queen of the South Museum, 1998
  2. ^ Profile of the Queen of the South 1936 overseas tour including the Algiers invitational tournament

External links

Official Website

Unofficial Websites

Media Website

Simple English

Floriana F.C. is an association football team from Malta.


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