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HNK Rijeka

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Title: HNK Rijeka  
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Subject: Stadion Kantrida, Croatian football clubs in European competitions, Rijeka–Pula Derby (Rijeka vs Istra 1961), Srećko Juričić, Spezia Calcio
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HNK Rijeka

Club crest
Full name Hrvatski Nogometni Klub Rijeka
Nickname(s) Riječki bijeli
(Rijeka's Whites)
Founded 29 July 1946 (1946-07-29) (as NK Kvarner)
Ground Stadion Rujevica
Ground Capacity 5,786
Owner Social Sport Foundation (70%), City of Rijeka (30%)
Chairman Damir Mišković
Manager Matjaž Kek
League Prva HNL
2014–15 Prva HNL, 2nd
Website Club home page

Hrvatski Nogometni Klub Rijeka (English: Croatian Football Club Rijeka), commonly referred to as HNK Rijeka or simply Rijeka, is a Croatian football club, from the coastal city of Rijeka.

During the reconstruction of Stadion Kantrida, their traditional home ground, Rijeka play their home matches at Stadion Rujevica. The club was founded on 29 July 1946 as NK Kvarner, and changed its name to NK Rijeka on 3 June 1954.[1] Since its foundation, the club has won two Yugoslav Cup titles, three Croatian Football Cups, one Croatian Football Super Cup and the 1978 Balkans Cup. The club currently competes in Croatia's top division, Prva HNL, of which it has been a member since its foundation in 1992.

The supporters of the club are known as Armada Rijeka. Rijeka's greatest rivalry is the Adriatic derby with Hajduk Split, while another rivalry exists with Dinamo Zagreb and, on a regional level, with Istra Pula.


  • History 1
    • Origins 1.1
    • 1946–1991 1.2
    • Rijeka in the HNL 1.3
    • European record 1.4
    • Private ownership 1.5
    • Record transfer 1.6
  • Support and rivalries 2
  • Stadium 3
  • Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors 4
  • First-team squad 5
    • Out on loan 5.1
  • Reserve squad (Rijeka II) 6
  • Club officials 7
  • Notable players 8
    • All Time Best 11 8.1
  • Managerial history 9
  • Presidents 10
  • Seasons, statistics and records 11
  • Honours 12
  • Rankings 13
    • UEFA club coefficient ranking 13.1
  • European record 14
    • By competition 14.1
    • By ground 14.2
    • By season 14.3
    • Player records 14.4
  • References 15
  • External links 16



The club was founded as NK Kvarner in 1946, after Rijeka (known by its Italian name Fiume up to 1945) passed from Italy to Yugoslavia following the end of World War II. Some dispute this and claim that the club's roots date back to 1926, the founding of U.S. Fiumana, which competed in various levels of the Italian Football Championship, including a season in the top tier competition (Divisione Nazionale) in 1928. Their claim is backed by the fact that there is a clear continuity between the two clubs. For example, besides using the same grounds (Stadion Kantrida), as many as eight U.S. Fiumana players later played for NK Kvarner.[2]


During its early period in Yugoslavia, the club had moderate success in various Yugoslav and local club championships. The club changed its name to NK Rijeka on 3 June 1954, and advanced to the Yugoslav First League in the 1957–58 season.[1] Rijeka remained in the top tier until the 1969–70 season, when it was relegated to the Second League.[1] Rijeka finished on top several times, but it only gain promotion to the top tier in 1974, where it remained until the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991.[1] Rijeka won the Yugoslav Cup in 1978 and 1979 and was a runner-up in 1987.[3] Rijeka was also the best placed Croatian club in the Yugoslav First League in 1965, 1984 and 1987.

Rijeka in the HNL

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Rijeka joined the Croatian First League in its inaugural season in 1992, and is one of only four clubs that have never been relegated. Rijeka won the Croatian Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2014, and was a runner-up in 1994.[4] In the Prva HNL, the club finished as runner-up in 1999, 2006, 2014 and 2015. Due to many format changes of the league, Rijeka has played more matches in the competition than any other team.

European record

Rijeka participated in various UEFA competitions on 15 occasions. The greatest success was the quarterfinal against Juventus in the 1979–80 European Cup Winners' Cup.[5] The most notable result in Europe was the home win against the eventual winners Real Madrid in the 1984–85 UEFA Cup.[6] By winning against Stuttgart in 2013, Rijeka secured participation in the Group Stage of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League.[7][8] Rijeka also participated in the Group Stage of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League, where it defeated Feyenoord and Standard Liège, and drew with title-holders and eventual winners Sevilla.[9][10][11]

Private ownership

In February 2012, Gabriele Volpi, an Italian businessman, the founder of Orlean Invest, and also the owner of Spezia Calcio and Pro Recco, injected much needed capital into the club. With the privatization process complete by September 2013, Volpi, through Social Sport Foundation, became the owner of 70 percent of the club, with the City of Rijeka in control of the remaining 30 percent.[12]

Record transfer

In January 2015, Rijeka sold its star striker Andrej Kramarić to Leicester City for a club-record £9.7 million.[13]

Support and rivalries

Rijeka's ultras supporters are known as Armada Rijeka, with the group active since 1987.

Rijeka's greatest rivalry is with Hajduk Split. The Adriatic derby is contested between the two most popular Croatian football clubs coming from the Adriatic coast, Rijeka and Hajduk. Each new match between these two great rivals means a great match on the field, but also in the stands between Rijeka's Armada and Hajduk's Torcida. Other rivalries exist with Dinamo Zagreb, and on regional level with Istra Pula. The origins of the Rijeka-Pula rivalry date back to the clashes between U.S. Fiumana and G.S.F. Grion Pola since the late 1920s.


From August 2015, HNK Rijeka play their home matches at Stadion Rujevica, which has a seating capacity of approximately 5,800. Stadion Rujevica is part of the club's new training camp and is their temporary home stadium.

Until July 2015, Rijeka played their home games at Stadion Kantrida, which will be demolished in late 2015. It is set to be replaced by a new state of the art stadium, scheduled for completion in 2017. The capacity of the new Kantrida will be approximately 14,600.[14]

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
1998–1999 Adidas INA
1999–2002 Kronos INA
2002–2003 Torpedo INA
2003–2004 Torpedo Lero
2004–2005 Legea Lero
2005–2006 Legea INA
2006–2008 Kappa Croatia Osiguranje
2008–2012 Jako Croatia Osiguranje
2012–2014 Lotto
2014– Jako

First-team squad

As of 21 September 2015.[15]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
25 GK Ivan Vargić
31 GK Ivan Nevistić
32 GK Andrej Prskalo
4 DF Frane Ikić
6 DF Stefan Ristovski (on loan from Spezia)
8 DF Leonard Zuta
13 DF Marko Lešković
15 DF Matej Mitrović
19 DF Miral Samardžić
24 DF Mateo Bertoša
29 DF Marko Vešović (on loan from Spezia)
7 MF Marin Tomasov
No. Position Player
10 MF Anas Sharbini (captain)
16 MF Ivan Močinić (vice captain)
18 MF Filip Bradarić
23 MF Odise Roshi
26 MF Mate Maleš
33 MF Josip Radošević (on loan from Napoli)
88 MF Moisés
89 MF Vedran Jugović
9 FW Bekim Balaj
11 FW Roman Bezjak
12 FW Juri Cisotti (on loan from Spezia)

Out on loan

As of 18 August 2015.[16]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
GK Simon Sluga (at Spezia Calcio)
GK David Nwolokor (at HNK Šibenik)
DF Niko Datković (at FC Lugano)
DF Mato Miloš (at Spezia Calcio)
DF Jozo Špikić (at NK Široki Brijeg)
DF Jamilu Collins (at NK Krka)
MF Josip Mišić (at Spezia Calcio)
MF Zoran Kvržić (at Spezia Calcio)
MF Damir Zlomislić (at NK Istra 1961)
MF Josip Brezovec (at Spezia Calcio)
No. Position Player
MF Dario Čanađija (at Spezia Calcio)
MF Aliyu Okechukwu (at HNK Šibenik)
MF Mislav Oršić (at Jeonnam Dragons)
FW Goodness Ajayi (at NK Široki Brijeg)
FW Andrija Filipović (at Spezia Calcio)
FW Josip Ivančić (at FC Koper)
FW Filip Dangubić (at NK Krka)
FW Solomon Theophilus (at HNK Šibenik)
FW Ventsislav Hristov (at KF Skënderbeu Korçë)
FW Tomislav Turčin (at HNK Cibalia)

Reserve squad (Rijeka II)

As of 29 July 2015.[17]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
1 GK Ivan Nevistić
12 GK Ayotunde Ikuepamitan
22 GK Giuliano Popović
GK Borna Magaš
2 DF Fausto Budicin
3 DF Luka Cvetković
5 DF Denis Conte
6 DF Luka Čanković
14 DF Dino Šarković
15 DF Yusuf Musa
16 DF Ivan Lucić
21 DF Muhammed Kabiru
25 DF Antonio Petrović
No. Position Player
4 MF Gerald Chibueze Diyoke
7 MF Filip Frančišković
8 MF Roko Nakić
9 MF Juri Cisotti
10 MF Edin Fatić
17 MF Mihael Rebernik
18 MF Marko Šarić
23 MF Mateo Furijan
11 FW Mate Bajić
13 FW Matko Budan
14 FW Miroslav Iličić
19 FW Dario Vizinger
20 FW Duje Mrdeša

Club officials

Position Staff
Honorary chairman Gabriele Volpi
Chairman Damir Mišković
Vice-chairman Dean Šćulac
Board chairman Francesco Cuzzocrea
Managing director Vlado Čohar
Club secretary Marina Vela
Spokesperson Sandra Nešić
Director of football Srećko Juričić
Director of football (assistant) Ivan Mance
Team manager Radoslav Ljepojević
Manager Matjaž Kek
Assistant manager Danko Matrljan
Vjekoslav Miletić
Rijeka II manager Ranko Buketa
Fitness coach Ugo Maranza
Goalkeeping coach Mladen Žganjer
Chief scout Ranko Buketa
Team doctor Nataša Bakarčić
Boban Dangubić
Physiotherapist Igor Pavačić
Alen Ilić
Kit manager Rustem Gashi
Academy director Predrag Stilinović

Last updated: 29 September 2015
Source: Club officials

Notable players

To appear in this section a player must have satisfied all of the following three criteria:
  • Played at least 100 first division games for the club;
  • Scored at least 20 first division goals for the club if forward, 10 if midfielder and no goal requirement if defender or goalkeeper; and
  • Played at least one international match for their national team while playing for Rijeka.
  • Otherwise, also included are twenty of the club's top scorers and most capped players in the first division.

Source: Appearances and Goals. Last updated June 2015.

All Time Best 11

According to a 2005–07 survey of former players (older than 40 years of age) and respected journalists, Marinko Lazzarich found that the best all time team of Rijeka is as follows:

1. Jantoljak, 2. Milevoj, 3. Hrstić, 4. Radaković, 5. Radin, 6. Juričić, 7. Lukarić, 8. Gračan, 9. Osojnak, 10. Naumović, 11. Desnica.[18]

Rijeka's daily, Novi list, in 2011 declared the following 11 players as Rijeka's best all time team:

1. Jantoljak, 2. Šarić, 3. Radin, 4. Juričić, 5. Hrstić, 6. Loik, 7. Radaković, 8. Mladenović, 9. Naumović, 10. Skoblar, 11. Desnica.[19]

Managerial history

Source: Presidents and managers


Source: Presidents and managers

Seasons, statistics and records


Rijeka won two Yugoslav Cup titles and three Croatian Cups. In European competitions, the club has reached the quarter-final of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1979–80, and UEFA Europa League Group Stage in 2013–14 and 2014–15. The club has also won the 1978 Balkans Cup.[20] In the following table, defunct competitions are listed in italics.

Honours No. Years
Prva HNL Runners-up 4 1998–99, 2005–06, 2013–14, 2014–15
Yugoslav First League Best placed Croatian club 3 1964–65, 1983–84, 1986–87
Yugoslav Second League Winners 6 1952, 1957–58, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1973–74
Domestic cups
Croatian Cup Winners 3 2004–05, 2005–06, 2013–14
Croatian Cup Runners-up 1 1993–94
Croatian Supercup Winners 1 2014
Croatian Supercup Runners-up 2 2005, 2006
Yugoslav Cup Winners 2 1977–78, 1978–79
Yugoslav Cup Runners-up 1 1986–87
Best European results
UEFA Europa League Group Stage 2 2013–14, 2014–15
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Quarter-final 1 1979–80
Balkans Cup Winners 1 1978
Balkans Cup Runners-up 1 1979

Source: Soccerway, Last updated May 2015.


UEFA club coefficient ranking

(As of 22 October 2015), Source: Bert Kassies website

Rank Team Points
118 West Ham United F.C. 14.456
119 FC Kuban Krasnodar 14.336
120 HNK Rijeka 14.275
121 U.C. Sampdoria 13.787
121 U.S. Città di Palermo 13.787

European record

By competition

Competition Pld W D L GF GA Last season played
UEFA Champions League 2 0 0 2 1 6 1999–2000
UEFA Europa League
46 19 11 16 69 55 2015–16
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 10 3 3 4 8 9 1979–80
UEFA Intertoto Cup 4 1 1 2 3 5 2008
Total 62 23 15 24 81 75

Source:, Last updated on 23 July 2015.
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against. Defunct competitions indicated in italics.

By ground

Ground Pld W D L GF GA GD
Home 31 18 8 5 55 28 +27
Away 31 5 7 19 26 47 −21
Total 62 23 15 24 81 75 +6

Source:, Last updated on 23 July 2015.
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against.

By season

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1962–63 Intertoto Cup Group
Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 2–1 3–4 1st out of 4
Basel 5–1 2–2
PSV Eindhoven 3–1 3–2
QF Dozsa Pecs 2–2 1–2 3–4
1965–66 Intertoto Cup Group
Motor Jena 0–3 1–3 4th out of 4
Tatran Prešov 0–0 1–3
Szombierki Bytom 0–3 1–0
1974–75 Mitropa Cup Group
Tatabánya 3–1 1–3 2nd out of 3
Wacker Innsbruck 1–3 0–0
1977 Intertoto Cup Group
Frem Kobenhavn 2–2 0–2 3rd out of 4
Ruch Chorzów 0–1 4–2
Grazer AK 1–1 3–0
1978 Balkans Cup Group
Skënderbeu Korçë 6–0 0–1 1st out of 3
Aris Thessaloniki 2–0 2–1
F Jiul Petroşani 4–1 0–1 4–2
1978–79 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup R1 Wrexham 3–0 0–2 3–2
R2 Beveren 0–0 0–2 0–2
1979–80 Balkans Cup Group
PAS Giannina 2–1 3–1 1st out of 3
Partizani Tirana 3–0 1–4
F Sportul Studențesc București 1–1 0–2 1–3
1979–80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup R1 Germinal Beerschot 2–1 0–0 2–1
R2 Lokomotiva Košice 3–0 0–2 3–2
QF Juventus 0–0 0–2 0–2
1984–85 UEFA Cup R1 Valladolid 4–1 0–1 4–2
R2 Real Madrid 3–1 0–3 3–4
1985–86 Mitropa Cup SF Debreceni 0–1
3rd Place Sigma Olomouc 3–2
1986–87 UEFA Cup R1 Standard Liège 0–1 1–1 1–2
1999–2000 UEFA Champions League QR2 Partizan 0–3 1–3 1–6
2000–01 UEFA Cup QR Valletta 3–2 5–4 (aet) 8–6
R1 Celta Vigo 0–1 (aet) 0–0 0–1
2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup R1 St Patrick's Athletic 3–2 0–1 3–3 (a)
2004–05 UEFA Cup QR2 Gençlerbirliği 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a)
2005–06 UEFA Cup QR2 Litex Lovech 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a)
2006–07 UEFA Cup QR1 Omonia 2–2 1–2 3–4
2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup R1 Renova 0–0 0–2 0–2
2009–10 UEFA Europa League QR2 Differdange 3–0 0–1 3–1
QR3 Metalist Kharkiv 1–2 0–2 1–4
2013–14 UEFA Europa League QR2 Prestatyn Town 5–0 3–0 8–0
QR3 Žilina 2–1 1–1 3–2
Playoff Stuttgart 2–1 2–2 4–3
Group I Vitória de Guimarães 0–0 0–4 4th out of 4
Real Betis 1–1 0–0
Lyon 1–1 0–1
2014–15 UEFA Europa League QR2 Ferencváros 1–0 2–1 3–1
QR3 Víkingur 4–0 5–1 9–1
Playoff Sheriff Tiraspol 1–0 3–0 4–0
Group G Standard Liège 2–0 0–2 3rd out of 4
Sevilla 2–2 0–1
Feyenoord 3–1 0–2
2015–16 UEFA Europa League QR2 Aberdeen 0–3 2–2 2–5

Last updated on 23 July 2015.
Note: List includes matches played in competitions not endorsed by UEFA.
Matches played at neutral ground in Ascoli and Pisa, Italy.

Player records


  1. ^ a b c d HNK Rijeka. "Povijest" (in Croatian). HNK Rijeka official website. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Split slavi, Zagreb izmišlja, Opatija ne zna, a Rijeka se srami" (in Croatian). RijekaDanas. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Puric; Schöggl; Stokkermans (8 May 2014). "Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro – Cup Finals".  
  4. ^ Stokkermans (26 September 2014). "Croatia – Cup Finals".  
  5. ^ Stokkermans (9 January 2008). "Cup Winners' Cup 1979–80".  
  6. ^ "24.10.1984: Rijeka – Real Madrid 3:1" (in Croatian). Armada Rijeka. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Velika noć na Kantridi: Benko, Kvržić i Vargić za povijest" (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Stuttgart – Rijeka 2:2, bijeli u Europskoj ligi" (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hat trick za povijesnu pobjedu u Europskoj ligi: Kramarić – Feyenoord 3:1" (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Blago nama, Moises i Krama: Bijeli u pola sata pomeli Standard" (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Peh u sudačkoj nadoknadi: Sevilla u posljednjim sekundama iščupala bod na Kantridi" (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Rijeka postala sportsko dioničko društvo: Volpi dao 54 milijuna kuna za 70 posto vlasništva" (in Croatian).  
  13. ^ "Andrej Kramaric set to complete £9.7m move to Leicester from Rijeka".  
  14. ^ Official Project Website
  15. ^ "First team squad". HNK Rijeka official website. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Players on Loan". HNK Rijeka. 
  17. ^ "Rijeka II". HNK Rijeka. 
  18. ^ Lazzarich, Marinko (2008) (in Croatian). Kantrida bijelih snova. Rijeka: Adamić. ISBN 978–953–219–393–0, p. 467.
  19. ^ Cvijanović, Marko (29 August 2011). "Asevi s Kantride: Idealna momčad Rijeke".  
  20. ^ Stokkermans; Ionescu (29 July 2010). "Balkan Cup".  
  21. ^ a b "Rijeka profile".  

External links

  • Official website (English) (Croatian)


  • Hoću Ri (Croatian)
  • Forza Fiume (Croatian)


  • Armada Rijeka official website (Croatian)
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