HNK Rijeka

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Club crest
Full name Hrvatski Nogometni Klub Rijeka
Nickname(s) Riječki bijeli
(Rijeka's Whites)
Founded 29 July 1946 (as NK Kvarner)
Ground Stadion Kantrida, Rijeka
Ground Capacity 10,261 (seating)
Owner Social Sport Foundation (70%), City of Rijeka (30%)
Chairman Damir Mišković
Manager Matjaž Kek
League 1. HNL
2014–15 1. HNL, 2nd
Website Club home page
Current season
HNK Rijeka headquarters

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.

They play their home matches at Stadion Kantrida. 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.


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. It 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] It finished on top several times but it only returned to the top tier in 1974, where it would remain until the breakup of Yugoslavia.[1]

Rijeka won the Yugoslav Cup in 1978 and 1979, was a runner-up in 1987,[3] won the Croatian Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2014, and was a runner-up in 1994.[4] Rijeka was also the best placed Croatian club in the Yugoslav First League in 1965, 1984, and 1987.

Rijeka participated in various UEFA competitions on 14 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 Sevilla.[9][10][11]

Rijeka is one of only four clubs to have participated in each season of Croatia's Prva HNL since 1992. Notably, 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. In the 2004–05 season, its player Tomislav Erceg was the top scorer of Prva HNL with 17 goals. Leon Benko was the league's top scorer during the 2012–13 season of Prva HNL with 18 goals.

In February 2012, Gabriele Volpi, an Italian businessman and oil magnate, 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]

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

Support and rivalries[edit]

The fans are known as Armada Rijeka.

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 Split'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.


Main article: Stadion Kantrida

NK Rijeka play their home matches at Stadion Kantrida, which has a seating capacity of 10,261. The stadium will be demolished in late 2015 and replaced by a new state of the art stadium, which is scheduled to be completed by late 2016. The capacity of the new stadium will be approximately 14,600.[14] During the construction phase, Rijeka will play its home games at Stadion Rujevica, which is currently under construction and due for completion in July 2015.

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors[edit]

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[edit]

As of 14 May 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
5 Croatia DF Dario Knežević (captain)
6 Croatia DF Fausto Budicin
7 Croatia MF Marin Tomasov
8 Spain MF Álex Fernández (on loan from Espanyol)
9 Albania FW Bekim Balaj
10 Croatia MF Anas Sharbini (vice-captain)
11 Croatia DF Ivan Tomečak
13 Croatia DF Marko Lešković
14 Slovenia MF Goran Cvijanović
15 Croatia DF Matej Mitrović
16 Croatia MF Ivan Močinić
17 Nigeria FW Goodness Ajayi
18 Croatia MF Filip Bradarić
19 Slovenia DF Miral Samardžić
No. Position Player
20 Bulgaria FW Ventsislav Hristov
22 Croatia DF Marin Leovac
24 Croatia DF Mateo Bertoša
25 Croatia GK Ivan Vargić
26 Croatia MF Mate Maleš
27 Croatia MF Josip Mišić
28 Croatia FW Josip Ivančić
29 Montenegro MF Marko Vešović (on loan from Torino)
32 Croatia GK Andrej Prskalo
33 Croatia MF Josip Radošević (on loan from Napoli)
88 Brazil MF Moisés
89 Croatia MF Vedran Jugović
TBD Slovenia FW Roman Bezjak

Out on loan[edit]

As of 13 February 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
Croatia GK Simon Sluga (at Croatia NK Lokomotiva)
Nigeria GK Ayotunde Ikuepamitan (at Croatia NK Varaždin)
Croatia DF Niko Datković (at Italy Spezia Calcio)
Croatia DF Mato Miloš (at Italy Spezia Calcio)
Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Jozo Špikić (at Croatia NK Osijek)
Croatia MF Josip Brezovec (at Italy Spezia Calcio)
Croatia MF Dario Čanađija (at Italy Spezia Calcio)
Croatia MF Antonini Čulina (at Italy A.S. Varese 1910)
Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Zoran Kvržić (at Italy Spezia Calcio)
No. Position Player
Croatia MF Domagoj Pušić (at Croatia NK Zadar)
Nigeria MF Aliyu Okechukwu (at Croatia NK Zadar)
Croatia MF Drago Gabrić (at Croatia NK Zadar)
Croatia MF Mislav Oršić (at South Korea Jeonnam Dragons)
Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Damir Zlomislić (at Romania FC Brașov)
Croatia MF Marko Marciuš (at Croatia NK Međimurje)
Croatia FW Andrija Filipović (at Italy Juventus Primavera)
Nigeria FW Solomon Theophilus (at Croatia NK Zadar)

Rijeka Reserves[edit]

As of 16 February 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 Nigeria GK David Nwolokor
2 Croatia DF Fausto Budicin
3 Croatia DF Luka Cvetković
4 Nigeria MF Gerald Chibueze Diyoke
6 Croatia FW Mate Bajić
7 Croatia DF Matija Vidas
8 Croatia FW Duje Mrdeša
9 Croatia FW Filip Dangubić
10 Croatia MF Mihovil Jerolim Klapan
11 Croatia MF Roko Nakić
12 Croatia GK Borna Magaš
13 Croatia FW Matko Budan
No. Position Player
14 Croatia MF Mateo Furijan
15 Nigeria DF Yusuf Musa
16 Croatia DF Ivan Lucić
17 Croatia MF Mihael Rebernik
18 Croatia MF Ed Kevin Kokorović
19 Croatia MF Florian Fumić
20 Croatia FW Miroslav Iličić
21 Nigeria DF Jamilu Collins
22 Croatia GK Carlo Berkovic
23 Croatia MF Matej Mršić
24 Croatia DF Mario Batinić

Club officials[edit]

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 Davor Sever
Director of football Srećko Juričić
Director of football (assistant) Ivan Mance
Team manager Radoslav Ljepojević
Manager Matjaž Kek
Assistant manager Matjaž Florjančič
Vjekoslav Miletić
Rijeka II manager Ivica Kulešević
Fitness coach Ugo Maranza
Goalkeeping coach Siniša Ćaleta
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: 19 December 2014

Notable players[edit]

For a list of many former and current HNK Rijeka players, see Category:HNK Rijeka players.
To appear in this section a player must have:
  • Played at least 100 league games for the club;
  • Scored at least 20 league 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 August 2014.

All Time Best 11[edit]

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[edit]

For a list of many former and current HNK Rijeka managers, see Category:HNK Rijeka managers.


Seasons and Records[edit]


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 August 2014.


UEFA club coefficient ranking[edit]

(As of 20 March 2015), Source: Bert Kassies website

Rank Team Points
129 Greece Aris F.C. (Thessaloniki) 14.380
130 Denmark Esbjerg fB 13.960
131 Croatia HNK Rijeka 13.700
132 Netherlands FC Utrecht 13.695
133 France Stade Rennais F.C. 13.450

European record[edit]

By competition[edit]

Competition Pld W D L GF GA Last season played
UEFA Champions League 2 0 0 2 1 6 1999–2000
UEFA Europa League
44 19 10 15 67 50 2014–15
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 10 3 3 4 8 9 1979–80
UEFA Intertoto Cup 4 1 1 2 3 5 2008
Total 60 23 14 23 79 70

Source:, Last updated on 11 December 2014
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[edit]

Ground Pld W D L GF GA GD
Home 30 18 8 4 55 25 +30
Away 30 5 6 19 24 45 −21
Total 60 23 14 23 79 70 +9

Source:, Last updated on 11 December 2014
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against.

By season[edit]

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

Last updated on 11 December 2014.
Note: List includes matches played in competitions not endorsed by UEFA.
Matches played at neutral ground in Ascoli and Pisa, Italy.

Player records[edit]


  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". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Stokkermans (26 September 2014). "Croatia - Cup Finals". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Stokkermans (9 January 2008). "Cup Winners' Cup 1979-80". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  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). 30 September 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Andrej Kramaric set to complete £9.7m move to Leicester from Rijeka". ESPN. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Official Project Website
  15. ^ "Player stats season 2014/2015". HNK Rijeka official website. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Players on Loan". HNK Rijeka official website. 
  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". Novi List (in Croatian). Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Stokkermans; Ionescu (29 July 2010). "Balkan Cup". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "Rijeka profile". Retrieved 10 September 2010. 

External links[edit]