HNK Rijeka

The HNK Rijeka is a Croatian football club from the city of Rijeka and is currently playing in the first Croatian Football League ( 1 HNL). The name stands for HNK Hrvatski Nogometni club and means Croatian soccer club. Since February 2012, the club 's majority stake (70 %) of the Italian businessman and Pro Recco owner Gabriele Volpi.


NK Rijeka ( then known as " Kvarner " ) one evening in late July 1946, founded. The main participants of Rijeka Sport circle (there were 20) discussed three hours of the names and the future of football in Rijeka. Two proposals were mentioned: The best athletes to unite in an association with the name Lucki radnik (Master of Rijekaliga 1945/46 ) or a new club under the name " Kvarner " to establish what was also performed. " Kvarner " began in a big way. In a friendly match on August 1, scored a victory over Hajduk Split before 6000 spectators. The first goal in the club's history " Kvarner " scored Petronio. According to former soccer rules of the Sports Federation, it was customary for a place in the first division to deny a return match against then- competitor Unione sportiva operaia from Pula. " Kvarner " Rijeka lost 1:2, but in Pula we won 4-1 and reached for the first time in club history the first division.

In the first league ( season 1946/47 ). Played " Kvarner " 26 games in which one is highlighted, the match against Hajduk Split ( 1:1) before 9000 spectators, as Rijeka had just 42,000 inhabitants. In his first championship is ranked No. 9 with 21 points on the account. Then it came to a relegation match between Kvarner and Lokomotiva Zagreb. This was due to the reorganization of the first division by the Association. In Zagreb Lokomotiva won 3-2, also in Rijeka one was successful and beat the hosts 2-0.

The associated relegation to the second division ( season 1947/48 ) was without question a serious blow to the players. Never in the club's history as a miserable season performance was offered again. As a second last with just ten points from 20 games one rose again from the 3rd League ( Republička league (10 teams ) ). Also the squad gain during the season helped since no further.

In the following season (1948 /49) you played again underwhelming and only reached the sixth place with 17 points. After a further reorganization of the league you were then automatically transported back to the second division. Clearly, you increase then also played a successful season.

Beginning of 1952 to the second division was abolished, Kvarner thus fell into a regional league. Overpowering they reached there the first place and was allowed into the relegation to the first division.

In the first qualification game to beat Slavija from Karlovac away with 3-2 and 10-0 at home. Counter Metalac from Zagreb you won away 2:1, while at home defeated 0-2. In the last game against Proleter from Osijek they lost 0-3 away and 0-1 at home. The rise was missed.

After a few years in an intermediate zone league consisting of clubs from Slovenia and Istria, and the name change in 1954 in NK Rijeka, the club was back in size.

In the season 1957/58 Rijeka dominated proceedings in the " intermediate zone league" and again reached the play-offs for the first league. 14,000 spectators, they beat Spartak Subotica 3-0, it was followed by two away games in Kruševac Kruševac against Napredak and in Subotica against Spartak Subotica. Both games ended 0-0. Full football Rijeka gathered at the station, you stood so with one leg already in the first division. In front of a record crowd of 17,000 spectators to beat Napredak in the second leg 6-2 and drew thus in the first division.

To round final one then defeated even Roma (then leader of the Serie A ) in a friendly match in Rome 2-0.

We mostly stayed on in the middle of the loaded 14-team first division. Twice they reached even a fourth. Also, one was twice in the quarter-finals of the national cup. In 1968, however NK Rijeka only reached the last place, but did not get directly from. Since this year, the league was expanded to 18 teams, you had back in the play-offs. Against FK Sloboda Tuzla they lost 0:3 away, turned back home but the tables and won 4-0. The joy did not last long, because in the next year you got off final.

The second division is clearly dominated, reaching a relegation place. But after a 0-0 draw in the first leg against Crvenka and a 2-2 away, they lost on penalties 5:6. Over the next two years, was first in the league, but then failed to NK Osijek each and again Crvenka each in the relegation.

It was only in 1973/74 managed to rise again after a secure first place in the league and no additional relegation.

After successful seasons 1976-1978 NK Rijeka fetched now also his first title. In the Cup final to beat FK Trepča from Kosovska Mitrovica 1-0 after extra time. Also in the following year was one Cup Winners' Cup, this time against Partizan.

This was followed by the first European competitions for the club. It failed mostly in the first or second round of clubs such as SK Beveren or Lokomotiv Kosice.

Twice they had the time to do it with proper sizes. You failed both times, as expected, first at Juventus, then to Real Madrid, with the return leg against Real Madrid was stamped by the contemporary press as a disaster ( the researchers assumed that real after 1:3 absolutely had to get stuck in Rijeka, as were also three red cards for Rijeka and is a "mythical " Penalty for Real is the main reason for the 3-0 in the second leg ). There were no consequences for either the referee or for Real Madrid.

It remained constant in the league until 1990, when the last season of then Yugoslav League was played. Since no football could take the form of a league during the civil war in Croatia, only a mini - tournament was organized with four teams. These were Hajduk Split, Hask Građanski (formerly Dinamo Zagreb), NK Rijeka and NK Osijek. Tournament winner was Hajduk Split.

In the newly formed Croatian League ( 1 HNL ) was a fate not easy at first. Residues from the old Yugoslav system were often highly visible. Thus, the composition of the league changed annually by ten participants about twelve to 16, then fell to 12 decisions often right in the competition and were then revised again, so that a plan for the next season was not possible.

After a few years, stabilized the league, which now has twelve teams. After the first round-trip games shared the league, the first six will play for the championship, the last six years for the descent. Here Rijeka is always represented with a constant solid performance.

Rijeka was runner-up, Vice Cup Winners' Cup and 2005 for the first time in club history Croatian Cup winners. A year later, they finished in the championship second place, and defended the trophy.

In the Eternal table Rijeka is in fifth place. This table is led by the Croatian top clubs Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split.


The HNK Rijeka carries its home games in the region lying west of Rijeka Stadium Kantrida. It was built in 1925 and offers 10,600 spectators. It is striking that the stadium is located directly under a 50m high cliff. Visitors will be protected by a steel net against stone impact.


THe Ultra - grouping of the association is called Armada Rijeka, whose biggest rival are the followers of Hajduk Split are known as Torcida Split, gleichtzeitig also the biggest rivals of the club. Likewise, there is a rivalry with the supporters of Dinamo Zagreb, Bad Blue Boys, the fans of NK Osijek, the Kohorta, as well as with those of NK Istra Pula, the Demoni. Statdrivale is the NK Orijent. There are often conflicts between the Ultrta groupings. Already often someone that the fans damaged the club and he had to pay penalties Fan misbehavior, partly because of use of explosives, violence and racism. HNK Rijeka was condemned by UEFA to pay 8000 euro and to a partial closure of the home stadium in the next match, because his followers against Betis Sevilla were noticed on October 3, 2013, among others with racist abuse.

In the home match against Hajduk Split on 28 September 2013, the meeting of serious excesses of the fans has been flagged. After the fans of HNK Rijeka torches lit, the other side of the tribune answered well and began to throw the lighted torches into the audience and onto the field. Finally, hundreds of fans rushed to the stands where the fans of Hajduk were sitting. Some items and chairs were thrown at the Torcida who responded the same way. The game was interrupted and a variety na policemen surrounded the football field and the stands. When the police arrived, tried to storm the Torcida also on the playing field, which could be prevented, however.

The main grandstand with the HNK Rijeka - Logo

The West Stand with the lettering of the fanclub " Armada "


  • 2 x Yugoslav Cup winner: 1978, 1979
  • 1 x Yugoslavian Cup finalist: 1987
  • 2 x Croatian Cup Winners: 2005, 2006
  • 1 x Croatian Cup finalist: 1994
  • 3 x Best-placed Croatian club in the first Yugoslav League (1965, 1984, 1987)
  • 7 x second best Croatian club in the first Yugoslav League

Best-known players

  • Bosko Balaban Croatian
  • Croatian Andre Mijatovic
  • Croatian Igor Budan
  • German Fredi Bobic
  • Croatian Damir Desnica
  • Slovenian Adriano Fegic
  • Slovenia Matjaž Florjančič
  • Croat Nenad Gračan
  • Croat Janko Janković
  • Pole Lukasz Mierzejewski
  • Croatian Mladen Mladenovic
  • Croat Saša Peršon
  • Yugoslav Petar Radaković ( scorer at the 1962 World Cup against Germany )
  • Croat Mauro Ravnić
  • Ungar Barnabas Stipanovics


The fan club is known as the Armada Rijeka.