Factfile: Don’s Europa League opponents RoPs Rovaniemi

Dublin , Ireland - 30 June 2016; Stephen McPhail of Shamrock Rovers in action against Robert Taylor of RoPS Rovaniemi during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round 1st Leg game between Shamrock Rovers and RoPS Rovaniemi at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Co Dublin. (Photo By David Maher/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Dublin , Ireland - 30 June 2016; Stephen McPhail of Shamrock Rovers in action against Robert Taylor of RoPS Rovaniemi during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round 1st Leg game between Shamrock Rovers and RoPS Rovaniemi at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Co Dublin. (Photo By David Maher/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Sitting by the Arctic Circle, Aberdeen’s Europa League opponents this evening couldn’t be more remote.

Coming from the capital of Lapland here’s some facts about RoPs or Santa’s local football team.

RoPs

Rovaniemen Palloseura also known as RoPS Rovaniemi were founded in 1950 and the play in the Finnish Premier Division known as the Veikkausliiga.

Success has been sparse for the northern club, who have won the Finnish Cup just twice in 1986 and 2013 and are still waiting for their first Veikkausliiga title.

2018 Season

Last season RoPS Rovaniemi finished second after an impressive year under new manager Toni Koskela, who left to join rivals and league champions HJK Helsinki.

Current manager Pasi Tuutti replaced him.

On-loan Finnish winger, Lassi Lappalainen was RoPs’s top scorer in 2018 with 11 goals.

He scored his first league goal for RoPS just five minutes into his debut after coming on as a substitute.

He returned to his parent-club HJK Helsinki, leaving RoPs without their most dangerous playmaker.

Current Season

RoPs are well into the 2019 season but have been unable to recreate the success of last year.

They currently sit third from bottom with just three wins.

Despite this they still have some talented players, including Brazilian midfielder Agnaldo and former Marseille left back Taye Taiwo.

They also have knowledge of Scottish football through Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Reguero, who has played for Inverness CT, Kilmarnock and Ross County.

Earlier this month Reguero said he hoped Aberdeen’s lack of competitive action would give his side a chance.

History in Europe

RoPs also have experience in Europe League; this will be their fourth outing in the competition.

In 2016-17 they knocked out Irish side Shamrock Rovers, beating them 3-1 on aggregate over the two legs.

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