Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (Greek: Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος, widely known both as Panathinaikos or PAO, is a Greek multisport club based in Athens, Greece. Panathinaikos has been largely successful throughout its history, as its teams and individual athletes have won a total of 493 officially acknowledged titles (as of June 2007) in both national and international competitions. Furthermore, it is also one of the largest sport clubs in Greece and also on an international scale, as measured by the number of different sports departments it maintains . In English the club's name would be Pan-Athenian Athletic Club. According to the official history of the club, Panathinaikos was founded by George Kalafatis in 1908, when he and forty other athletes decided to break away from Panellinios Gymnastikos Syllogos following the club's refusal to form a football team.
Today, three professional teams use the Panathinaikos name — the football team, P.A.E. Panathinaikos; the basketball team, K.A.E. Panathinaikos; and the volleyball team, T.A.P. Panathinaikos. These three teams operate independently.
The club also features an amateur section whose chairman and board members are elected on a regular basis by members of the club. The current chairman is Thanasis Giannakopoulos. During its history the club has established teams in 24 different sports. In the past the club has also included teams in Field hockey, Handball, Waterskiing and Judo. Among the more recent additions has been a Synchronized swimming team, established in 1992.
In 2006, the club reached a final agreement with the Municipality of Athens and the Greek Government, to build a new comprehensive sports complex to house all of the clubs sports teams. This is intended as a replacement for the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium and it will be built in Votanikos area, about 3km west of Athens city centre. Even though detailed plans and timetables have not yet been unveiled, construction is expected to start by the end of 2007. While it was originally expected for the complex to be ready by the end of 2008, in time to host celebrations for the club's 100th birthday, Panathinaikos officials stated their intention to host the centennial celebration at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium, team's historical home venue.Panathinaikos has always been the most popular Greek team with a varying 40 - 45% among the fans which corresponds to around three millions of supporters in Greece.
The basketball department is called Panathinaikos Basketball Club (Greek name, transliterated into English: K.A.E. Panathinaikos A.O.), currently owned by two pharmaceutical magnates, the brothers Pavlos and Thanasis Giannakopoulos. It was founded They have won 28 national championships, 10 Greek Cups, 4 European Championships and 1 Inter-continental Cup.
Legends of world basketball have played with the club (Dominique Wilkins, Byron Scott, Dino Radja, Dejan Bodiroga, Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Stojan Vrankovic, Fanis Christodoulou, Antonio Davis, Zeljko Rebraca, Dimitris Diamantidis, Vasileios Spanoulis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius among others). Those players, along with the successful management of Pavlos and Thanassis Giannakopoulos, have made Panathinaikos one of the most successful and well-known teams in the continent, having won four Euroleague titles.
On April 1996 in Paris final-four (F4), Panathinaikos was the first Greek team to win the European Championships (now Euroleague), beating FC Barcelona in a unique final tournament, by 67-66. In September of the same year the team also won the Intercontinental cup, prevailing by 2-1 wins over Olympia of Argentina (83-89, 83-78, 101-76). In 2000 in Thessaloniki F4, Panathinaikos were the Champions of Europe for the second time, beating Maccabi 73-67 in the final. In 2002 in Bologna F4, Panathinaikos brought to Athens the most prestigious European trophy for the third time, beating hosts Kinder Bologna 89-83 in the final. In 2007 in Athens F4, Panathinaikos were crowned Champions of Europe for the fourth time, beating CSKA Moscow 93-91 in what was probably the best Euroleague final ever.
Panathinaikos participated in the F4 of the Euroleague another four times: Tel Aviv in 1994 (3rd), Zaragoza in 1995 (3rd), Paris in 2001 (2nd) and Moscow in 2005 (3rd). Other significant successes are: the two participations in the semifinals of the Cup Winners Cup (1969, 1998), the course up to the semi-finals of the Champions Cup for the season 1971-72 (eliminated by Ignis Varese (78-70, 55-69). In the season of 1981-82, Panathinaikos participated in the finals of the Cup Champions Cup of that time, eliminating consecutively CSKA Moscow and Levski Sofia teams.
Fragiskos Alvertis, Stratos Perperoglou, Kennedy Winston, Aris Tatarounis, Andrija Zizic, Nikola Prkacin, Dejan Tomasevic, Mike Batiste, Dimos Dikoudis, Costas Tsartsaris, Sani Becirovic, Nikos Chatzivrettas.