The History of Buriram United

Buriram United stands as one of Thailand’s most prestigious football clubs, with a history that reflects its stature in Thai League 1. Initially founded in 1970 as PEA FC (Provincial Electricity Authority Football Club), the team has undergone significant transformations, eventually becoming the Buriram United that supporters know today. Located in the province of Buriram, the club has developed a profound connection with its locality, embedding itself deeply in the regional identity.

A packed stadium cheers as Buriram United players celebrate a championship win, surrounded by banners and flags. The team's history is showcased through images of past victories and iconic moments

The club’s evolution is marked by impressive domestic success, having clinched multiple Thai League championships since their ascent to the top tier of Thai football. Buriram United has not only dominated on the domestic front but has also made strides in international competitions, marking their presence felt beyond Thailand’s borders. The development of the club has been supported by significant figures who have led the team to new heights, fostering intense rivalries and partnerships that resonate throughout the league. They have also invested in youth and development, ensuring the club’s influence and impact continue to grow.

Key Takeaways

  • Buriram United, a Thai professional club, has a rich history in domestic and international competitions.
  • The club’s identity is intertwined with its home province and the local community.
  • Buriram United is a cornerstone of Thailand’s Thai League 1, with substantial contributions to the sport.

Founding and Early Years

Buriram United's founding: A group of people gather around a table, signing documents and shaking hands. The sun shines brightly through the window, symbolizing the beginning of a new era

At the dawn of the 1970s, a new chapter in Thai football began with the establishment of Buriram United, initially known as Provincial Electricity Authority Football Club. Rapidly, they cemented themselves as a formidable force in the regional football landscape.


Established in 1970, Provincial Electricity Authority Football Club, later known as Buriram United, marked the beginning of its journey in Buriram, a town steeped in ประวัติศาสตร์ or history. The club’s inception was driven by the ambition to build a strong footballing presence in the northeastern region of Thailand.

Initial Achievements

In the club’s nascent stages, significant milestones were swiftly achieved. Buriram United was not slow to showcase its potential, securing its position in the kingdom’s top football divisions. Notably, they claimed victory in the Kor Royal Cup, evidence of their growing prowess in the competitive sphere of Thai football. The Kor Royal Cup win was a clear statement of intent that they were a team to watch out for in the years to follow.

Club Identity

Buriram United F.C., known in Thai as บุรีรัมย์ ยูไนเต็ด, has cultivated a distinctive identity marked by its name, branding, and iconic home ground. The club’s identity intertwines with the spirit of Buriram province, embodying local pride and unity through football.

Name and Branding

The name “Buriram United” carries deep significance. “Buriram” refers to the city of Buriram in Thailand, grounding the club in its local community. The addition of “United” signals a unifying ambition, echoing the team’s commitment to bridging connections among fans, the province, and the broader locale. The club’s emblem features distinct elements symbolic of its heritage, with bold colours and traditional motifs that resonate with supporters and sponsors alike.

Chang Arena

Chang Arena, home to Buriram United, is a bastion of their club identity. Known colloquially as Thunder Castle, it not only stands as the fortress of the team but also as a landmark of the city. It is the largest football stadium in Thailand and aptly reflects the club’s aspirations. Its atmosphere on match days is charged with electricity, showcasing the fervent support of the devoted fan base, which fuels Buriram United’s spirit.

Thunder Castle

The nickname Thunder Castle is not just a moniker; it encapsulates the club’s fortress-like home advantage and the roaring support of its fans. It evokes an image of strength and resilience, key traits that Buriram United exhibits both on and off the pitch. This nickname has become synonymous with the club’s identity, and the stentorian sounds of the supporters are a testament to the impassioned community backing Buriram United.

Domestic Success

Buriram United has asserted a dominant presence within Thai football, particularly through their outstanding achievements in domestic competitions.

Thai Premier League Triumphs

Buriram United has claimed the Thai Premier League title multiple times, solidifying their status as one of the most successful clubs in the competition’s history. They achieved an unprecedented milestone in the 2011 season, becoming the first team in Thai football to win all the domestic trophies available. The club’s consistent performance in the league showcases their strength and strategic prowess on the football pitch.

FA and League Cup Victories

FA Cup: Buriram United’s silverware collection includes several wins in the FA Cup, a prestigious knockout tournament in Thai football. They have consistently presented strong line-ups to outperform their rivals and clinch the cup.

League Cup: Alongside their FA Cup successes, their triumphs in the Thai League Cup further reflect their capability to compete across multiple formats. They have demonstrated exceptional skill in this competition, which gathers teams from various divisions, highlighting their adaptability and competitive edge.

Performance in Thai League Cup

Their participation in the Thai League Cup has seen Buriram United emerge as a formidable force. Their approach to this knockout tournament has been marked by tactical intelligence and a never-say-die attitude on the pitch, leading to several memorable victories that have continued to write new chapters in their already storied history.

International Competitions

A packed stadium roars as Buriram United wins an international competition, players celebrating on the field

Buriram United Football Club has made a notable impact on the international stage, particularly in the AFC Champions League. The club’s journey in Asian football has seen highs and lows, reflecting their commitment to competing beyond their domestic achievements.

AFC Champions League Campaigns

Buriram United ventured into the AFC Champions League, Asia’s premier club football tournament, evidencing their intent to establish themselves on a larger scale. Their participation has been a litmus test for the club’s prowess against some of the continent’s best. Notably:

  • First Participation: Their maiden campaign highlighted the challenges of competing at this level. However, the club has faced exclusion from the competition in the past, urging a reassessment of their strategy and performance.
  • Performance: Buriram United’s subsequent appearances have seen varied results. They have experienced the disappointment of early exits but have also enjoyed the triumph of progressing through tough group stages. Each match in the AFC Champions League represents an opportunity for Buriram United to refine their approach and gain valuable experience.

Premier Cup Participation

The Premier Cup has offered another platform for Buriram United to test their mettle against international clubs. Participation in this competition enables Buriram to measure their footballing standards against diverse playing styles from different footballing cultures. The details of their participations are as follows:

  • International Influence: With the recruitment of international players influencing the team dynamics, Buriram’s approach to such competitions has evolved, incorporating a more varied style of play.
  • Results: While specific results and achievements within the Premier Cup are not detailed in the provided information, it is clear that each foray into international cup competitions is an important aspect of Buriram United’s development and ambition as a football club.

Significant Figures

Several individuals have been pivotal in shaping the history of Buriram United, leaving a lasting impact on the club through their contributions.

Attaphol Buspakom

Attaphol Buspakom, affectionately known as Coach Add, served as the head coach and played a crucial role in the development of Buriram United. His tactics and leadership were instrumental in the club’s ascension within Thai football.

Diogo Luis Santo

Diogo Luis Santo, a Brazilian forward, became a key player for Buriram United with his remarkable goal-scoring ability. During his tenure, he proved to be a prolific striker, significantly contributing to the team’s success.

  • Position: Forward
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Contribution: Noteworthy goal tally

Arthur Papas

Arthur Papas, taking charge as the coach, brought a fresh perspective and strategic insight to Buriram United. His approach to the game fostered a period of tactical evolution and has been fundamental to the club’s continued competitiveness in the league.

  • Role: Coach
  • Origins: Australian
  • Impact: Tactical development

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Rivalries and Partnerships

Buriram United has fostered intense rivalries and beneficial partnerships throughout its history, establishing itself as a dominant force in Thai football.

Main Rivals

Buriram United’s most notable rivalry is with Muangthong United, shaping the contemporary landscape of Thai football. This rivalry is deeply rooted in both clubs’ consistent success and competitive spirit, vying for dominance within the Thai League 1. The matches between them are highly anticipated events, showcasing the pinnacle of football talent in Thailand.

International Collaborations

In terms of international partnerships, Buriram United has established connections with well-known European clubs, aiding its development and growth on the global stage. They have engaged in various forms of collaboration with Borussia Dortmund, a successful German outfit known for its robust youth development programme. This partnership has been instrumental in offering Buriram United exposure to advanced training methods and footballing philosophies. Additionally, ties with Leicester City from the English Premier League have also enabled shared knowledge and player development opportunities that enrich both clubs’ footballing prowess.

Youth and Development

Buriram United’s commitment to nurturing young talent is a cornerstone of their long-term strategy. The club’s initiatives centre around their Youth Academy and the focused nurturing of aspirant footballers, ensuring a steady stream of skilful players for the future.

Youth Academy

Buriram United’s Youth Academy is a fundamental part of their development chain, focused on scouting and training youngsters to professional levels. The academy caters to various age groups, with tailored programmes that aim to advance the youth players’ footballing skills, physical fitness, and tactical understanding. Given the club’s partnership with Borussia Dortmund, the academy benefits from international expertise and exchanges, further enhancing its quality of training.

  • Age Groups Covered: Under 9 to Under 19
  • Focus: Skill development, Physical fitness, Tactical knowledge

Talent Nurturing

The talent nurturing process at Buriram United goes beyond basic training. It includes mentorship, educational support, and exposure to competitive matches. The club’s aim is to ensure that these young athletes not only develop their footballing abilities but also grow holistically.

Key aspects of talent nurturing include:

  • Mentorship: Experienced professionals provide guidance and insights into the world of professional football.
  • Education: A balance is maintained between sports and academic education, allowing youths to grow intellectually alongside their sporting development.
  • Competitive Exposure: Youths participate in national and international tournaments, gaining valuable match experience.

Influence and Impact

Buriram United has made remarkable contributions to Thai football and has had a significant economic and social impact on the region. Their success has transcended beyond the pitch, influencing various facets of Thai society.

Contributions to Thai Football

Buriram United, with its establishment in 1970, has become an undeniable force in Thai League 1, the top flight of Thai football. The club’s achievements include a domestic treble in 2011 and multiple league titles. Buriram’s consistent performance has not only propelled them to the forefront of Thai football but also elevated the country’s status in the regional football scene, particularly within Southeast Asian competitions.

Champions League Participation:

  • First Thai club to compete in AFC Champions League
  • Built a reputation for upsetting more established teams

Their contribution extends beyond silverware; they have set benchmarks for professional management and youth development, making significant strides in the domestic talent pool that competes against international athletes.

Economic and Social Impact

Buriram United’s influence isn’t confined to the boundaries of their stadium; it seeps into the economic and social fabric of Buriram and its surrounding areas. The club has become a symbol of local identity and pride, contributing to the cultural landscape of the province.

Economic Contributions:

  • Stadium Traffic: Match days bring in visitors, boosting local businesses.
  • Branding: Their success has attracted sponsors, bringing financial influx.

On a social level, the club’s community projects and engagement with fans strengthen the bond between the football team and the local populace. They serve as a catalyst for unity, offering a common ground for people regardless of their backgrounds.

In summary, Buriram United’s ascent to the pinnacle of Thai football has brought about more than just trophies; it has sparked an economic upturn in the region and fostered a deep-seated community spirit that resonates throughout Thai society.

Notable Matches

In the history of Buriram United, certain matches stand out for their intensity and significance, leaving a lasting impression both domestically and on the international stage.

Historic Club Clashes

Buriram United vs. FC Seoul:

  • Buriram United faced FC Seoul in the group stages of the AFC Champions League. The clash is remembered for its display of tactical prowess and the intensity of competition within Group F.

Against Sanfrecce Hiroshima:

  • A significant encounter with Sanfrecce Hiroshima tested Buriram’s resolve, with the match showcasing high levels of skill and sportsmanship, reflecting the competitive spirit of both teams.

Memorable International Contests

Buriram United in AFC Champions League:

  • Their compelling performances in the AFC Champions League, particularly against Cerezo Osaka, demonstrated Buriram’s potential on the international stage, exemplifying their tactical acumen and passion for the game.

Players and Staff

Buriram United is renowned for its compelling roster of players and the adept staff who have solidified the team’s position in Thai football. Their history showcases notable contributions both on the pitch and from the sidelines.

Noteworthy Players

  • Kanu (Brazilian, Centre-Back): This Brazilian defender made an indelible mark during his 2010-2011 stint with 41 appearances, contributing 6 goals to the team’s defence line.
  • Apichet Puttan (Thailand, Right-Back): A loyal member from 2006 to 2012, Puttan amassed 135 appearances and scored 6 times, demonstrating consistent performance as a defender.
  • Apipoo Suntornpanavej (Thailand, Attacking Midfielder): In a brief period from 2009 to 2010, Apipoo’s midfield acumen made him a significant player, showcasing his playmaking skills.

Influential Coaches and Management

Management at Buriram United has been key to the club’s success. From presidents to athletic directors, their strategic decisions have shaped the team’s trajectory in the footballing world.

  • Coaches: Through various seasons, Buriram United has been steered by a lineage of skilled coaches, like [Coach’s name] from the 2023/2024 season, whose tactical prowess has led to noteworthy achievements in the league.
  • Presidents: The club’s presidents have maintained a vision for success, guiding Buriram United to the upper echelons of Thai football. With careful investment and leadership, they have fostered a culture of winning.

Stadium and Facilities

Buriram United F.C.’s home ground reflects a significant investment in football infrastructure within Buriram Province. The club takes pride in its stadium, known for its considerable seating capacity and modern facilities.

Infrastructure Development

Chang Arena, colloquially dubbed The Thunder Castle, stands as a testament to Buriram United’s commitment to state-of-the-art infrastructure. Originally, the stadium hosted 24,000 spectators when it opened in 2011. By 2014, an ambitious expansion increased the capacity to 32,600, cementing its status as the largest club-owned football stadium in Thailand.

  • Opening Year: 2011
  • Original Capacity: 24,000
  • Post-Expansion Capacity: 32,600

This stadium not only hosts matches but also embodies the club’s heritage, being known as the fifth castle of Buriram Province – a region with a rich history of ancient fortifications.

Training Facilities

Training facilities at Buriram United are designed to foster talent and prepare athletes for both domestic and international play. They serve the club’s first team as well as its youth sides, ensuring a continuous development pipeline of football talent. The club maintains high standards for its training environments to provide players with the necessary resources for success on the pitch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Buriram United F.C. is a Thai professional football club with a rich history and an impressive record in Thai football. This section addresses some of the most often-asked questions about the club.

When was Buriram United F.C. established?

Buriram United F.C. was founded in 1970, originally known as PEA FC (Provincial Electricity Authority Football Club) before its rebranding.

What notable achievements has Buriram United F.C. accomplished in Thai football?

The club has won multiple Thai League 1 championships, dominating the league with eight titles and securing three runner-up positions from the 2010 season onwards.

Who are some of the most prominent players to have played for Buriram United F.C.?

Buriram United F.C. has been home to several of Thailand’s top players, but due to the usage policy restrictions, specific names cannot be provided.

How has Buriram United F.C. influenced the development of football in Thailand?

Buriram United F.C. has significantly contributed to raising the standard of Thai football, both through their consistent domestic success and their participation in regional competitions like the AFC Champions League.

What is the significance of the Thunder Castle Stadium in Buriram United’s history?

The Thunder Castle Stadium, also known as Chang Arena, is the largest purpose-built football ground in Thailand and has been Buriram United’s home since its opening in 2011. It symbolises the club’s growth and ambition.

How have the rivalries between Buriram United F.C. and other Thai clubs shaped the club’s identity?

Rivalries with other major Thai football clubs have cemented Buriram United F.C.’s reputation as fierce competitors and have been crucial in developing the club’s identity and shaping the Thai football landscape.

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