Rakow Czestochowa is a Polish professional football club, based in Czestochowa, Silesian Voivodeship, which plays in the Ekstraklasa, the top tier of the national football league system.
Sports club "Racovia" was established in 1921 in the village of Rakow. The club dissolved in 1925 due to lack of registration. In 1927, the club was reactivated under the name of the Robotniczy Klub Sportowy (Workers Sports Club) Rakow. A year later, the village became a district of Czestochowa. The club operated under the patronage of the Polish Socialist Party and was financially supported by the Czestochowa steelworks. In 1937 the club was promoted to class A. During the German occupation, the club did not function. In the years 1951-1955 a football stadium with an athletics track was built. In the years 1962-1966 the football team played in the second league. On July 9, 1967, Rakow lost 0-2 with Wisla Krakow in the Polish Cup final. In 1972, Rakow's players reached the semi-finals of the Polish Cup, which they lost to Legia Warszawa. In the years 1978-1980, 1981-1984 and 1990-1994 the club played in the second league. In 1993, the junior team took 2nd place in the Football Junior Championships of Poland. In 1994, for the first time in club history, Rakow were promoted to the first league. It played in the top-flight for four seasons until being relegated in 1997–98. The club suffered back-to-back relegations in 1999–2000 and 2000–01, dropping down to the IV liga. The club finally made it to back to the Polish second division, I liga, in 2016.
Promotion and European football
The club won the I liga in 2018–19, earning promotion to the Ekstraklasa in advance of the 2019–20 season for the first time in 21 years. In the same season, they impressed in the 2018-19 Polish Cup, reaching the semi finals of the competition by beating the likes of Lech Poznan in the round of 32 and Legia Warszawa in the quarter finals. They finished in 10th place in the 2019-20 season, their first season in the Ekstraklasa in 21 years.
In the 2020-21 season, Rakow Czestochowa finished in second place in the league. This was their highest ever league position in their history, and it secured their place in the newly formed UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers for the 2021–22 season, their maiden appearance in European football. Further success followed when Rakow won its first major trophy on 2 May 2021, defeating I liga side Arka Gdynia in the final of the Polish Cup by a score of 2–1. On 17 July 2021, Rakow Czestochowa defeated reigning Ekstraklasa title holders Legia Warszawa in penalties in the Polish SuperCup.
Their first ever appearance in European football was in the second qualifying round of the 2021-22 UEFA Europa Conference League, facing Lithuanian team Suduva, with the game finishing 0-0 (3-4 pens) after both legs. They faced Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan in the third qualifying round, beating them 1-0 on aggregate score. In the final qualifying round, they faced Belgian side Gent, which they beat 1-0 in the first leg, but lost 0-3 in the second leg, losing 1-3 on aggregate, eliminating them from the competition.
Players and pupils
The club's pupils are Jakub Blaszczykowski, Jerzy Brzeczek and Jacek Magiera. The players were, among others, Jacek Krzynowek and Tomasz Kielbowicz.
This page also has a version in other languages: Ракув (@@русский@@)