Neftci Pesəkar Futbol Klubu (English: Neftchi Professional Football Club), simply known as Neftci (pronounced [neft͡ʃi]) or Neftchi Baku in English media, is an Azerbaijani football club based in the capital, Baku, that currently plays in the Azerbaijan Premier League.
The club was founded in 1906, changing their name to their current name on 18 March 1937. The club has won nine Azerbaijan Premier League titles, seven Azerbaijan Cups and two Azerbaijan Supercup titles. The club is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Qarabag, which has participated in all Azerbaijan Premier League championships so far.
In 2012, Neftci became the first Azerbaijani club to advance to the group stage of a European competition after defeating APOEL 4–2 on aggregate in the play-off round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. Neftci plays its matches at the Bakcell Arena.
Soviet era (1937–1991)
Neftchi was founded in 1906, changing their name to their current name on 18 March 1937. The name means "petroleum worker" in Azerbaijani.
World-famous referee Tofiq Bahramov originally played for Neftchi but a serious leg injury prevented him from continuing his playing career and he became a referee.
Domestic hegemony (1991–2012)
They won the first independent Azeri championship in 1992, and then won further titles in 1995–96 and 1996–97.
In 2006, Neftchi managed to win the CIS Cup after defeating FBK Kaunas of Lithuania in the final. In European competitions, the club also have advanced to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League twice, having defeated Bosnian champions – Siroki Brijeg – and Icelandic champions – FH Hafnarfjarðar – in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
A long period of decline followed the success of the 2005 to the end of the decade. Despite the appointment of famous names such as Gurban Gurbanov, Vlastimil Petrzela, Anatoliy Demyanenko and Hans-Jurgen Gede, the club did not achieve any success and squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings.
This page also has a version in other languages: Нефтчи (russian)