Girish Mahajan (Editor)

HNK Rijeka

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Stadion Rujevica

Damir Mišković

Stadion Rujevica

Rijeka, Croatia


Ground Capacity

1. HNL, 2nd

Matjaž Kek

Gabriele Volpi

Full name
Hrvatski Nogometni Klub Rijeka

Riječki bijeli (Rijeka's Whites)

Croatian First Football League


Hnk rijeka 2 0 dinamo zagreb 13 05 2014 armada

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. Rijeka's traditional home colours are all white.


The club was founded on 29 July 1946 as Sportsko Društvo Kvarner (Croatian) / Società Sportiva Quarnero (Italian). The club's official name was changed to Nogometni Klub Rijeka on 2 July 1954. In the summer of 1995, the club management added the adjective hrvatski (English: Croatian) to the official name. HNK Rijeka are the third most successful Croatian football club, having won two Yugoslav Cups, three Croatian Football Cups, one Croatian Football Super Cup and the 1978 Balkans Cup. The club competes in Croatia's top division, 1. HNL, of which it has been a member since its foundation in 1992.

Nk go k hnk rijeka


The club was founded as SD Kvarner / SS Quarnero on 29 July 1946, after Rijeka (known by its Italian name Fiume until 1945) was ceded from Italy to Yugoslavia following the end of World War II. The club was named after the Bay of Kvarner and the broader Kvarner region, in which Rijeka is the administrative centre. The club's roots can be traced back to 1926, the founding of U.S. Fiumana, which competed at various levels of the Italian Football Championship, including a season in the top tier competition (Divisione Nazionale) in 1928. The two clubs used the same grounds (Stadion Kantrida) and eight U.S. Fiumana players later played for Kvarner.


During the early period in Yugoslavia, Kvarner had moderate success in various Yugoslav and local club championships. They were relegated at the end of their inaugural season in the Yugoslav First League in 1946–47. Kvarner changed their name to NK Rijeka on 2 July 1954 and returned to the Yugoslav First League in 1958. Rijeka remained in the top tier for eleven consecutive seasons, until 1969, when they were once again relegated to the Yugoslav Second League. Despite finishing on top in four (out of five) seasons in the second tier, due to three failed qualifying attempts, the club only gained promotion back to the top tier in 1974. With varying success, Rijeka remained in top tier until the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991. The club's greatest success during this period involved back-to-back Yugoslav Cup titles in 1978 and 1979. Rijeka were also a Cup runner-up in 1987, when they lost the final after a penalty shoot-out. In the Yugoslav First League, Rijeka never finished above the fourth place. In 1984, the club came closest to their first championship title, finishing only two points behind Red Star. Rijeka were also the best placed Croatian club in the Yugoslav First League in 1965, 1984 and 1987.

Rijeka in the 1. HNL

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, in 1992, Rijeka joined the Croatian First Football League in its inaugural season. Rijeka remain one of only four founding member clubs that have never been relegated. In terms of greatest successes in this period, the club won three Croatian Cups, including back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, and in 2014. Rijeka also finished as runner-up in 1994. In the 1. HNL, the club finished as runner-up on five occasions, in 1999, 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In the final round of the 1998–99 season, a refereeing error denied Rijeka their first championship title. With one match to go, Rijeka were one point ahead of Croatia Zagreb, needing a home win against Osijek to secure the title. With the match tied at 1–1, in the 89th minute, Rijeka forward Admir Hasančić converted a cross by Barnabás Sztipánovics. The packed Kantrida erupted in celebration. However, to their dismay, moments later, assistant referee Krečak raised his flag and referee Šupraha disallowed Rijeka's winning goal for alleged offside. Following an investigation, 3D analysis revealed that Hasančić was not in an offside position (clear by 12 centimeters) and that Rijeka were wrongfully denied their first championship title. An investigation by Nacional revealed that Franjo Tuđman, the President of the Republic of Croatia and an ardent Croatia Zagreb supporter, earlier in 1999 ordered the country's intelligence agencies to spy on football referees, officials and journalists, with the aim of ensuring that the Zagreb club wins the league title.


Rijeka participated in UEFA competitions on 16 occasions, including four consecutive appearances since 2013. The greatest success was the quarter-final of the 1979–80 European Cup Winners' Cup, where they lost to Italian giants Juventus 2–0 on aggregate. The most memorable result in Europe was the home win (3–1) against the eventual winners Real Madrid in the 1984–85 UEFA Cup. Controversially, in the return leg at Santiago Bernabéu, which Rijeka lost 3–0, three of their players were sent off and the Belgian referee Roger Schoeters ensured that the eventual competition winner progressed to the next round. Madrid scored their first goal from a doubtful penalty in the 67th minute with Rijeka already down to ten men. Over the next ten minutes, two additional Rijeka players were sent off, most notably Damir Desnica. While Desnica received the first yellow card because he did not stop play after Schoeters blew his whistle; the second ensued because he, allegedly, insulted the referee. However, unbeknown to the referee, Desnica had been a deaf-mute since birth. With Rijeka reduced to eight players, Madrid scored two additional goals, progressed to the next round and eventually won the trophy. In 2013, by winning 4–3 on aggregate against Stuttgart from Germany, Rijeka qualified for the Group Stage of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Rijeka also participated in the Group Stage of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League, where they defeated Feyenoord and Standard Liège, and drew with title-holders and eventual winners Sevilla.

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 Dutch-based Stichting Social Sport Foundation, became the owner of 70 percent of the club, with the City of Rijeka in control of the remaining 30 percent.

Record transfer

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


Until July 2015, Rijeka were based at Stadion Kantrida, their traditional home ground for over 60 years. With Kantrida awaiting demolition and reconstruction, since August 2015, Rijeka have been based at the newly-built Stadion Rujevica, an all-seater with the capacity of 6,134. Rujevica is part of Rijeka's new training centre and serves as the club's temporary home ground. Following the demolition of old Kantrida, a new, state of the art, stadium will be built at the same location. In addition to the stadium, the investors are planning to build a commercial complex that will include a shopping mall and a hotel. The commencement of construction of the 14,600 all-seater is scheduled for 2017.


During most home matches the majority of the seats are occupied by season ticket holders. During the 2015–16 season, there were 3,304 season ticket holders. As of March 2017, the club has approximately 4,900 members.

Rijeka's hardcore supporters are the so-called Armada Rijeka, or simply Armada. The ultras group has been active since 1987.


Rijeka's greatest rivalry is with Hajduk Split. Since 1946, the Adriatic derby is contested between the two most popular Croatian football clubs from the Adriatic coast, Rijeka and Hajduk. 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.

First-team squad

As of 19 February 2017

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Other players under contract

As of 17 February 2017

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Out on loan

As of 15 February 2017

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Notable players

To appear in this section a player must have satisfied all of the following three criteria:
  • Has at least 100 appearances in official matches, including first division (Yugoslav First League and Croatian First Football League), domestic cup (Yugoslav Cup, Croatian Cup and Croatian Supercup) and UEFA club competitions;
  • Has scored at least 20 goals in official matches if forward, 5 if midfielder and no goal requirement if defender or goalkeeper in first division (Yugoslav First League and Croatian First Football League), domestic cup (Yugoslav Cup, Croatian Cup and Croatian Supercup) and UEFA club competitions; and
  • Has played at least one international match for their national team while under contract with Rijeka.
  • Otherwise, also included are 30 of the club's top scorers and most capped players in the first division.
  • Source: Appearances and Goals. Last updated 29 November 2016.

    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.

    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.


    Source: Presidents and managers


    Source: Presidents and managers


    Rijeka won two Yugoslav Cups and three Croatian Cups. In European competitions, the club has reached the quarter-final of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1979–80, UEFA Cup Round of 32 in 1984–85, and group stages of the UEFA Europa League in 2013–14 and 2014–15. The club has also won the 1978 Balkans Cup.


  • Croatian First League
  • Runners-up (5): 1998–99, 2005–06, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
  • Croatian Cup
  • Winner (3): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2013-14
  • Runners-up (1): 1993–94
  • Croatian Super Cup
  • Winner (1): 2014
  • Runners-up (2): 2005, 2006
  • Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslav First League
  • Best placed Croatian club (3): 1964–65, 1983–84, 1986–87
  • Yugoslav Second League
  • Winner (6): 1952, 1957–58, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1973–74
  • Yugoslav Cup
  • Winner (2): 1977–78, 1978–79
  • Runners-up (1): 1986–87
  • International

  • Balkans Cup
  • Winner (1): 1978
  • Runners-up (1): 1979
  • The Atlantic Cup
  • Winner (1): 2017

  • Source: Soccerway, Last updated May 2016.

    UEFA club coefficient ranking

    (As of 23 February 2017), Source: Bert Kassies website

    By competition

    Source:, Last updated on 4 August 2016.
    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

    Source:, Last updated on 4 August 2016.
    Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against.

    By season

    Non-UEFA competitions are listed in italics.

    Last updated on 4 August 2016.
    Note: List includes matches played in competitions not endorsed by UEFA.
    Matches played at neutral ground in Ascoli and Pisa, Italy.

    Player records

  • Most appearances in UEFA club competitions: 24 appearances
  • Zoran Kvržić
  • Top scorer in UEFA club competitions: 8 goals
  • Andrej Kramarić
  • References

    HNK Rijeka Wikipedia

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