FCI Levadia

FCI Levadia Tallinn, commonly known as FCI Levadia, or simply as Levadia, is a professional football club based in Tallinn, Estonia, that competes in the Meistriliiga, the top flight of Estonian football. The club's home ground is Lillekula Stadium.

Founded as Levadia in Maardu in 1998, the club moved to Tallinn in 2004. The club has played in the Meistriliiga since the 1999 season and have never been relegated from the Estonian top division. Levadia have won 9 Meistriliiga titles, a record 9 Estonian Cups and 7 Estonian Supercups. In 2017, Levadia's first team merged with FCI Tallinn, and became FCI Levadia.

History

Early history

Levadia was founded on 22 October 1998, when Viktor Levada's Levadia Group OU became the official sponsor of Maardu based Esiliiga club Olump, which subsequently changed its name to Levadia. The club won the 1998 Esiliiga and were promoted to the Meistriliiga. In January 1999, Sergei Ratnikov was appointed as manager. In 1999, Levadia became the first team to win the Meistriliiga, the Estonian Cup and the Estonian Supercup in the same year. Levadia managed to repeat their success by winning another treble in the following year. In the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League, Levadia defeated Total Network Solutions 2–6 on aggregate in the first qualifying round, but lost to Shakhtar Donetsk 2–9 on aggregate in the second qualifying round. Following the loss to Shakhtar Donetsk, Ratnikov was sacked.

In 2001, Valeri Bondarenko was appointed as a manager. Levadia failed to defend their title, finishing the 2001 season in third place and in November 2001, Bondarenko was replaced by Pasi Rautiainen. Under Rautiainen, Levadia finished the 2002 Meistriliiga as runners-up, only two points behind champions Flora. After the season, Rautiainen resigned and was replaced by Franco Pancheri in January 2003. Pancheri coached Levadia for just 9 Meistriliiga matches, before he was sacked in June 2003. He was replaced by Tarmo Ruutli and Levadia finished the 2003 season in third place.

Relocation to Tallinn

In 2004, Levadia moved to Tallinn, while the club's previously Tallinn-based reserve team changed its name to Levadia II. Under Ruutli, Levadia won the league in the 2004 season, but failed to defend the title in 2005, finishing as runners-up. In the 2006–07 UEFA Cup qualifying rounds, Levadia defeated Haka and Twente, but lost to Newcastle United 1–3 on aggregate in the first round. Still it was the first team an estonian club managed to reach the first round proper of an european club competition. Levadia won two more Meistriliiga titles in 2006 and 2007. In March 2008, Ruutli was hired by the Estonian Football Association to coach the Estonia national team and his assistant Igor Prins took over as manager. Under Prins, Levadia won two consecutive Meistriliiga titles in 2008 and 2009 and an Estonian Cup in 2010. In August 2010, Prins was sacked due to disagreements with the board and replaced by Levadia II manager Aleksandr Pustov. Levadia finished the 2010 season as runners-up. In July 2011, Pustov was sacked after disappointing results in the Meistriliiga and the Champions League and replaced by Sergei Hohlov-Simson. Levadia finished the 2011 season in fourth place, their lowest ever league placing since the club was promoted to the Meistriliiga.

In December 2011, Marko Kristal was appointed as manager. The club won the 2011–12 Estonian Cup and finished the 2012 season as runners-up. Levadia won the Meistriliiga title in the 2013 season. The team defended their title in 2014, but finished the 2015 season as runners-up. In November 2015, it was announced that Sergei Ratnikov will return to Levadia after 15 years and replace Kristal as manager. Ratnikov's second tenure as Levadia's manager lasted until July 2016, when he was sacked following a 0–1 loss to Parnu Linnameeskond. He was replaced by another returning manager, Igor Prins. Levadia finished the 2016 season as runners-up. Following another second-place finish in the 2017 season, Levadia and FCI Tallinn merged their first teams, becoming FCI Levadia, with FCI Tallinn's Aleksandar Rogic taking over as manager. On 15 September 2019, Rogic was sacked after disappointing results, with assistant coach Vladimir Vassiljev taking over as caretaker manager. In November 2019, former Estonia head coach and record cap holder Martin Reim was appointed as manager.

This page also has a version in other languages:  ФКИ Левадия (@@русский@@)

FCI Levadia