The club was founded on 4 October 1930, with Stavros Pittas serving as the club's first president. The football section of the club competed in its first game on 6 January 1931 against PSC, winning 6–1 in Limassol. The club won its national championship in 1934 though this is not credited as it is an unofficial title. Later that year, AEL became one of the eight founding members of the Cypriot First Division for the 1934–35 season, the first official league of the country.
AEL Limassol celebrated its first official title success in 1941, defeating APOEL 4–3 in a two-legged championship play-off. AEL fans had to wait 12 years until tasting title success again, as the club finally became champions of Cyprus again in 1953. AEL would twice repeat this success, winning back-to-back league championships in 1955 and 1956.
AEL Limassol is the bigest team in Limassol.The club won its last major trophy in 1989 – before the title success of 2012 – when it defeated city rivals Aris Limassol 3–2 after extra time in final of the Cypriot Cup.
In 2011, after disappointingly finishing in seventh-place in the previous campaign, AEL hired Pambos Christodoulou, who had a reputation of steering "modest sides away from relegation", to start the club's rebuilding process. AEL Limassol secured the Cypriot league title for the first time since 1968 on 5 May 2012, ending a 44-year drought without a Cypriot first division title.
Christodoulou had a dream-like first season at the helm AEL, as his side was unbeaten and had not conceded any goals through the first five games. At the end of the second round, AEL finished top of the table, three points clear of the second placed team and had only conceded seven goals, the best defensive record of all the league teams. In the play-off round, AEL battled with the top four teams for the championship, winning it with one game to spare and conceding only nine goals. As Christodoulou has managed to bring AEL the championship crown, he was nicknamed by fans "Pambourinho", a combination of his name and of esteemed manager José Mourinho.
AEL received the championship trophy during a spectacular "fiesta" evening at the Tsirion Stadium on the evening of Saturday 12 May 2012. They followed this with an open-top bus parade through Limassol. Up to 12,000 AEL fans packed the stadium to watch the fiesta and trophy presentation. The club then turned their attention to the Cup Final of 16 May against Omonia and the chance to be crowned double winners for the first time in club history; the club, however, lost 1–0 in the final. The following year, AEL made it to the group stage of a UEFA tournament for the first time, finishing last and picking up four points in their UEFA Europa League group.
On 22 October 2013, Angolan manager Lito Vidigal was sacked after just over three months in charge. Bulgarian Ivaylo Petev was appointed as AEL's manager on 25 October, having previously guided Ludogorets Razgrad to promotion to the A Group as well as two A Group titles, a Bulgarian Cup win as well as a triumph in the Bulgarian Super Cup. Petev signed an initial deal to stay at AEL until the end of the 2014–15 season.
At the end of the 2013–14 season, AEL finished in first place in the initial phase of the competition. Going into the championship match against APOEL on 17 May 2014, AEL needed only a draw to secure their second league title in three years. The match, however, was abandoned (at 0–0) after 52 minutes when firecrackers thrown by AEL fans struck APOEL player Kaká. The match was replayed behind closed doors at a neutral stadium on 31 May 2014, and APOEL achieved to win their second consecutive league title after beating AEL 1–0, courtesy of a Cillian Sheridan goal. On 6 June 2014, the Cyprus Football Association's (CFA) disciplinary committee – acting as an appeals board – unanimously cancelled on the CFA council’s decision to repeat the May 17 championship final, awarding the match to APOEL with a 0–3 score. AEL winger Jorge Monteiro finished the season as joint-top scorer in the league with 18 goals, and the former Porto academy product was voted player of the year by the CFA.
AEL plays its home matches at the 14,000-seat Tsirion Stadium, also known as the Olympia Stadium (G.S.O). Tsirion Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Limassol. It is mostly used for football matches and is also the home ground of Apollon Limassol and Aris Limassol. The stadium was built in 1975.
UEFA Team Ranking 2016
Last update: 15 December 2016
|style="width: 33.33%;text-align:left;vertical-align:top;" |As of 19 January 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers winter 2016-17
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Loizos Mavroudis (1977-1990)
Pavlos Savva (1986-1993)
Panicos Orphanides (1977-1993)
Costas Malekkos (2000-2001)
Vladan Tomić (2000-2002)
József Sebők (2000-2004, 2005-2006)
Nemanja Čorović (2005-2007, 2008-2009)
Dušan Kerkez (2007-2011)
Freddy (Angolan footballer) (2009-2011)
Michalis Konstantinou (2012-2013)
Orlando Sá (2012-2014)
Edmar Lacerda da Silva (2011-2015)
Luciano Bebê (2011-2015)
Bernard Mendy (2015)
Matías Omar Degra (2011-2013, 2015-2016)
Valentinos Sielis (2014-2017)
Cypriot First Division
1940–41, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1967–68, 2011–12
Cypriot Second Division
1938–39, 1939–40, 1947–48, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1988–89
1937–38, 1940–41, 1958–59, 1978–79, 1987–88, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
Cypriot Super Cup
1953, 1968, 1985, 2015
Cyprus K.A. Severi Cup
1953, 1955, 1956
1R = First round, PR = Preliminary round, Q = Qualifying round, PO = play-off round.Cypriot U21 Championships: 14
Cyprus U21 Cup: 1
Cypriot U17 Championships: 5
A founding member of the Cyprus Volleyball Federation in 1976, AEL's women team has dominated in the Cypriot volleyball. The team's achievements are phenomenal; Out of the 32 seasons played so far in Cyprus since the commencement of the women's volleyball league, the team won the Championship 27 times. Out of the 31 cups they won it 27 times, 24 consecutive times, from 1980 until 2003. Also they have won the Championship 15 consecutive times, from 1977 until 1991. They have also the amazing records of winning the Double 12 times from 1980 until 1991 and 9 times from 1993 until 2001. In the past the club had also a men's team for 10 years which participated in the Cypriot Championship.
The bowling club was founded in 1999 and the same year became a member of the Limassol District Federation. In 2001, the team participated in the Cypriot Championship as one of the two representatives of the Limassol District Federation. In the team won its first trophy by winning the Limassol District Federation Cup and in 2006 its first Championship by winning the Limassol District Federation Championship. The home of the team is the Galaktika Bowling Center.
The cycling team was founded in 2001 and the same year became a member of the Limassol District Federation. The first men's cycling team consisted of the following : Ομηρος Χριστοφόρου, Παντελής Τίμινης, Μιχάλης Τσουλόφτας, Ηρόδοτος Κυριάκου, Σωτήρης Σκουταρίδης, Δημήτρης Αραούζος
Apart from the currently active sports departments, AEL had in the past some other sports departments, which today are defunct. Despite this, these currently not active departments had all won titles for AEL when they were active.
In the past AEL Limassol had a field hockey team which is currently not active. The team had plenty of victories led by its star player Renos Antoniadis. In 1931, AEL won the Cup in a match which was played in Larnaca. One year later, the team became Cypriot Champions. The team consisted of the following players: Antoniadis, Pareas, Frangos, Christophides, Michaelides, Kalogirou, Victor Mousteris, Anastasiadis and Williamson. However, there were no further hockey competitions in Cyprus afterwards, as the other teams hockey teams of the era closed down their hockey departments because of financial problems.
Another AEL sport department that currently does not exist is the handball. The team was active for a small period of time but that did not stop the team from adding another trophy to the hundreds that AEL won in various other sports. On 11 June 1989, a day after the football team of the club won the Cypriot Cup, the handball team won the Cypriot Cup in handball by beating Youth Centre Larnaca 23–19 in the final which was played in Lefkotheo Indoor Hal, Nicosia.
AEL maintains 3 teams for women's volleyball but does not currently have a men's Volleyball team.
AEL was also active in maritime sports, especially those that needed team participation. AEL pioneered in Regattas in 1932, 1933 and 1934 in the Cyprus Regatta Games. The members of the team were Nearchos Pieris, Christakis Dixon, Andreas Araouzos, Sotiris Antoniades and Maximos Morides. The club had also a waterpolo team which was unbeaten Cypriot Champions. The team achieved a noted victory against a selected team of the Royal Navy which were then Mediterranean Champions. Apart from the Cypriot Championships, AEL won the Mediterranean Naval Cup.