NK Olimpija Ljubljana (defunct)

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This article is about the dissolved association football club. For the currently active club, see NK Olimpija Ljubljana (2005); for other uses, see Olimpija Ljubljana (disambiguation).
Olimpija
Club crest
Full name Nogometni Klub Olimpija Ljubljana
Nickname(s) Zmaji (The Dragons)
Zeleno-beli (The Green-Whites)
Founded 1945; 69 years ago (1945)[1]
Dissolved 2004; 10 years ago (2004)[2][3][4]
Ground Bežigrad Stadium,
Ljubljana
Ground Capacity 8,211

Nogometni Klub Olimpija Ljubljana ([nɔgɔméːtni klúːp olìːmpija ljubljàːna]; English: Olimpija Ljubljana Football Club), commonly referred to as NK Olimpija Ljubljana or simply Olimpija, was a Slovenian association football club based in Ljubljana. The club was founded in 1945 under the name NK Enotnost[1] and adopted the name Olimpija in 1962. Amid political turmoil in the 1990s, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, Olimpija began claiming direct lineage to Ilirija, an association football club established in 1911,[5] and added the year 1911 on the club crest for the first time in their history.[1] Ilirija, a member of the Slovenian Second League at the time and the only Ljubljana based club the Football Association of Slovenia officially refers to as founded in 1911,[5] have always criticized Olimpija actions and accused them of unilaterally appropriating their history.[6] Throughout its history Olimpija was regarded as one of the most successful clubs in Slovenian football until its dissolution in 2004,[2][3][4] when the club, with a debt consisting of over 700 million Slovenian tolars (around three million euros in 2004 exchange rate),[7] filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved by the end of year.[3][7] However, the Football Association of Slovenia had exceptionally allowed the club to finish the 2004–05 season and, after finishing sixth in the national championship, Olimpija effectively ceased all operations.[8]

Since the mid 1940s Olimpija had competed in the Yugoslav football system and between the late 1960s and late 1980s Olimpija was a regular member of the Yugoslav First League. Following Slovenia's independence in 1991 they won 4 Slovenian Championships and 4 Slovenian Cup titles, and they had also appeared in European competitions such as the UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup.[9]

A successor club which claims rights to Olimpija's honours and records was established in 2005 (originally called NK Bežigrad) and they currently compete in the Slovenian top flight bearing the name Olimpija Ljubljana.[10][5] However, in spite of inheriting old Olimpija's supporters and colours, they are not legally considered to be successors to the original Olimpija and the two clubs' track records and honours are kept separate by the Football Association of Slovenia and the Association of 1. SNL.[2][5][11][12][13] However, some sources show that the current Olimpija club has a foundation date of 1911.[14]

History[edit]

Yugoslav years (1945–1991)[edit]

In 1945, players of the former SK Ljubljana joined the newly founded ŠD Tabor and ŠD Udarnik sports clubs, and formed a club called NK Enotnost.[1] Three years later, the club was renamed as NK Odred and in 1953, Odred was promoted to the Yugoslav First League, but were relegated at the end of their first top flight season. In 1961 the club was briefly renamed NK Triglav, and in half-season they changed it again to ANK Olimpija (Academic Football Club Olimpija). Club colors in those times were black and white. Olimpija spent most of the 1950s and early 1960s playing in the Yugoslav Second League and it was in this period that a local rivalry had developed with NK Maribor. In the 1964–65 season Olimpija won promotion to the Yugoslav First League. This time their top flight spell was much more successful as Olimpija managed to stay there for 19 consecutive seasons.[citation needed]

Olimpija lost the 1970 Yugoslav Cup final to Red Star Belgrade 3–2, through Dragan Džajić's late winner in the dying moments of the match. However, this meant that Olimpija qualified for the 1970–71 European Cup Winners' Cup, in which they were beaten by Benfica 9–2 on aggregate. They had also qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice in the late 1960s, and were knocked out in the first round on both occasions, at the hands of Ferencváros in 1966–67 and Hibernian in 1968–69. Their top level spell lasted intil the 1983–84 season, when a string of bad performances brought Olimpija back to the Yugoslav Second League.[citation needed]

Upon relegation, the club continued to struggle and were relegated down to Third League in the following season. Down in third level, Olimpija opened the 1985–86 season poorly, but the club finally stabilised during the season and managed to end the season in third place. In the 1986–87 season Olimpija bounced back and won promotion back to the Second League. Olimpija's string of good performances continued and in the 1988–89 season they won the league and returned to top flight for the 1989–90 season, after a six-year absence.[citation needed]

Claimed connection to Ilirija and the year 1911[edit]

Amid political turmoil in early 1990s, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, Olimpija began claiming direct lineage to Ilirija, an association football club established in 1911.[1][5] It was during this time that Olimpija added the year 1911 on the official club crest for the first time in their history.[1] Ilirija, a member of the Slovenian Second League at the time and the only Ljubljana based club the Football Association of Slovenia officially refers to as founded in 1911,[5] have always criticized Olimpija actions and accused them of unilaterally appropriating their history.[6] Olimpija and Ilirija have played in the same league twice during their history; in the 1961–62 and 1985–86 seasons.

Slovenian league and decline (1991–2004)[edit]

Olimpija crest during the 1990s.

Soon after the end of the 1990–91 season Slovenian clubs had decided to abandon Yugoslav competitions due to Slovenian independence and the breakup of Yugoslavia and Olimpija agreed to join the newly formed Slovenian First League. The 1991–92 season was the first season of the new league and involved 21 Slovenian clubs which had mostly competed in lower tiers of the Yugoslav football league system until 1991. Due to the lower quality of football and the exhausting 40-round season, average attendance at Olimpija's matches had dropped from 7,380 in 1989–90 to just 1,075 in 1991–92.[15] After finishing the first half of the season in second place with 3 points behind NK Maribor, Olimpija had a string of good results after the winter break and ended the season with 11 consecutive wins which brought them their first Slovenian First League title.[15] The squad which won Olimpija's first Slovenian silverware that year included a number of Slovenia internationals (such as Robert Englaro, Aleš Čeh, Dejan Djuranovič and Sandi Valentinčič) and was coached by Lučjo Pertič.[15]

Through their first Slovenian title Olimpija qualified for the 1992–93 UEFA Champions League where they were knocked out in the first round by Italian giants Milan. Olimpija went on to win the next three championships. In the 1995–96 season Olimpija failed to clinch the title for the first time and finished runners-up behind Gorica. However, they won the Slovenian Football Cup that season, which secured them a spot in the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In it, Olimpija managed to beat Bulgaria's Levski Sofia and Denmark's AGF before getting knocked out by the Greek side AEK Athens in the round of 16. Nevertheless, this proved to be the best European result in the history of the club.[citation needed]

In the late 1990s Olimpija fared poorly in the national championship, always finishing the season in mid-table, before winning the 1999–2000 Slovenian Cup (their first silverware in four years) and finishing league runners-up in the 2000–01 season. The following season Olimpija only managed to finish 3rd in the championship, but won the 2002–03 Slovenian Cup, which earned them a spot in the 2003–04 UEFA Cup.[citation needed]

In preparation for their 2003–04 European fixtures, the club signed Sebastjan Cimirotič, another experienced Slovenian international. Coached by Suad Beširević, Olimpija managed to beat Irish side Shelbourne in the qualifying round 4–2 on aggregate,[16] and was then paired with England's Liverpool in the first round of the tournament. Although Olimpija took the lead through captain Anton Žlogar's goal, the first leg at Bežigrad ended in a 1–1 draw as Michael Owen scored an eqaliser 12 minutes from time.[17] Olimpija's last European season was then cut short as they were soundly beaten 3–0 through goals by Anthony Le Tallec, Emile Heskey and Harry Kewell in the away leg at Anfield.[18]

Olimpija had a string of mixed results for the remainder of the season, getting knocked out in the round of 16 of the 2003–04 Slovenian Cup and finishing runners-up in the 2003–04 Slovenian PrvaLiga. However, most sponsors (including Schollmayer) decided to abandon the club at the end of the season which led to serious financial difficulties for the club. Following Schollmayer's exit, Olimpija were forced to sell almost all of their players. Although the club had started competing in the 2004–05 championship, the club had struggled on the pitch and failed to obtain competition licences issued by the Football Association of Slovenia, which led to its dissolution.[2][3][4] Eventually the club, with a debt consisting of over 700 million Slovenian tolars (around three million euros in 2004 exchange rate) filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved by the end of 2004.[3][7] However, the Football association of Slovenia had exceptionally allowed the club to finish the season and, after finishing 6th in the national championship, Olimpija effectively ceased all operations.[8]

Name changes[edit]

  • NK Enotnost (1945–1948; founded as a merger of the newly established ŠD Tabor and ŠD Udarnik sports clubs and joined by former SK Ljubljana players)[1]
  • NK Odred (1948–1961)
  • NK Triglav (1961–1962)
  • NK Olimpija (1962–2004)

Honours[edit]

Olimpija Ljubljana had won four Slovenian Championships, four Slovenian Cups and one Slovenian Supercup in the period between the country's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 until the club's dissolution in 2004. Although the club had spent 22 seasons in top flight during the SFR Yugoslavia period (1945–1991), the club never won any silverware and the closest they came to winning a major domestic trophy was reaching the 1970 Yugoslav Cup final.[citation needed]

Internationally Olimpija had appeared in the UEFA Cup six times, in the UEFA Champions League twice, in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup twice and in the UEFA Intertoto Cup once,[9] in addition to two appearances in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.[19] Their best result in European football was reaching the round of 16 in the 1996–97 Cup Winners' Cup. In the following table defunct competitions are indicated in italics.[citation needed]

Honours No. Years
League
Slovenian First League Champions 4 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95
Slovenian First League Runners-up 3 1995–96, 2000–01, 2003–04
Slovenian Regional Championship Winners 4 1946–47, 1951–52, 1961–62, 1986–87
Domestic cups
Slovenian Cup Winners 4 1993, 1996, 2000, 2003
Slovenian Cup Runners-up 3 1992, 1999, 2001
Slovenian Supercup Winners 1 1995
Slovenian Supercup Runners-up 1 1996
Yugoslav Cup Runners-up 1 1970
Best European results
UEFA Champions League Round of 32 1 1992–93
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Round of 16 1 1996–97

Domestic record[edit]

Yugoslav First League (1953–1991)[edit]

00Season00 League Cup European competitions Top league goalscorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Player Goals
1953–54 Div 1 26 4 4 18 39 71 12 13th QF
1965–66 Div 1 30 11 7 12 43 47 29 8th
1966–67 Div 1 30 9 5 16 33 47 23 14th Inter-Cities Fairs Cup R1
1967–68 Div 1 30 9 9 12 33 46 27 11th
1968–69 Div 1 34 11 11 12 32 41 33 12th R16 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup R1
1969–70 Div 1 34 13 4 17 43 52 27 16th RU
1970–71 Div 1 34 13 10 11 47 35 36 7th R16 Cup Winners' Cup R1
1971–72 Div 1 34 13 5 16 46 51 31 9th SF
1972–73 Div 1 34 9 8 17 35 43 26 16th
1973–74 Div 1 34 11 10 13 36 42 32 10th Danilo Popivoda 17
1974–75 Div 1 34 7 17 10 37 48 31 12th Danilo Popivoda 10
1975–76 Div 1 34 10 10 14 37 44 30 14th Vili Ameršek
Goran Jurišić
10
1976–77 Div 1 34 10 12 12 36 42 32 12th Tone Rožič 9
1977–78 Div 1 34 13 6 15 44 44 32 10th Milan Ćalasan
Tone Rožič
8
1978–79 Div 1 34 11 7 16 34 53 29 16th Mehmed Buza
Milan Ćalasan
8
1979–80 Div 1 34 11 8 15 30 45 30 15th Vili Ameršek 7
1980–81 Div 1 34 8 16 10 29 33 32 12th Vili Ameršek
Tone Rožič
6
1981–82 Div 1 34 9 15 10 39 38 33 9th Vili Ameršek 12
1982–83 Div 1 34 11 13 10 33 31 35 7th R2 Vili Ameršek 6
1983–84 Div 1 34 10 8 16 29 40 28 17th R1 Srečko Katanec 6

Slovenian First League (1991–2005)[edit]

00Season00 League Cup European competitions Top league goalscorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Player Goals
1991–92 1. SNL 40 30 6 4 102 18 66 1st RU Zoran Ubavič 29
1992–93 1. SNL 34 22 8 4 94 20 52 1st W Champions League R1 Zoran Ubavič
Samir Zulič
23
1993–94 1. SNL 30 23 5 2 95 20 51 1st SF Champions League QR Nedeljko Topić 17
1994–95 1. SNL 30 20 4 6 78 30 44 1st QF UEFA Cup R1
1995–96 1. SNL 36 19 7 10 79 39 64 2nd W UEFA Cup R1 Ermin Šiljak 28
1996–97 1. SNL 36 11 12 13 53 51 45 4th SF Cup Winners' Cup R2
1997–98 1. SNL 36 13 12 11 59 55 51 5th QF Ismet Ekmečić 21
1998–99 1. SNL 33 12 8 13 54 50 44 6th RU Intertoto Cup R1
1999–2000 1. SNL 33 14 4 15 64 58 46 7th W UEFA Cup R1 Marko Kmetec 16
2000–01 1. SNL 33 18 6 9 73 46 60 2nd RU UEFA Cup R1 Sebastjan Cimirotič 19
2001–02 1. SNL 33 15 6 12 39 42 51 4th R1 UEFA Cup R1 Senad Tiganj
Anton Žlogar
12
2002–03 1. SNL 31 14 12 5 54 32 54 3rd W Marko Kmetec 23
2003–04 1. SNL 32 16 7 9 59 39 55 2nd R2 UEFA Cup R1 Marko Kmetec 16
2004–05 1. SNL 32 10 7 15 34 52 37 6th QF
Key
League: P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; Pts = Points won; Pos = Final position;
Cup / Europe: PR = Preliminary round; QR = Qualifying round; R1 = First round; R2 = Second round; Group = Group stage; QF = Quarter-final; SF = Semi-final; RU = Runner-up; W = Competition won;

European record[edit]

Summary[edit]

(This summary includes matches played in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was not endorsed by UEFA and is not counted in UEFA's official European statistics.)

Competition Pld W D L GF GA Last season played
UEFA Champions League 6 3 0 3 6 8 1993–94
UEFA Cup 24 10 6 8 34 34 2003–04
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 8 1 3 4 4 17 1996–97
UEFA Intertoto Cup 2 0 1 1 3 5 1998
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 4 0 1 3 4 11 1968–69
Total 44 14 11 19 51 75

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against

By season[edit]

(Olimpija score always listed first.)

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1966–67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup R1 Hungary Ferencváros 3–3 0–3 3–6
1968–69 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup R1 Scotland Hibernian 0–3 1–2 1–5
1970–71 Cup Winners' Cup R1 Portugal Benfica 1–1 1–8 2–9
1992–93 Champions League QR Estonia Norma Tallinn 3–0 2–0 5–0
R1 Italy Milan 0–3 0–4 0–7
1993–94 Champions League QR Latvia Skonto 0–1 1–0 1–1 (p)
1994–95 UEFA Cup QR Bulgaria Levski Sofia 3–2 2–1 5–3
R1 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 1–1 0–2 1–3
1995–96 UEFA Cup QR Greece Apollon Smyrnis 3–1 0–1 3–2
R1 Netherlands Roda 2–0 0–5 2–5
1996–97 Cup Winners' Cup QR Bulgaria Levski Sofia 1–0 0–1 1–1 (p)
R1 Denmark AGF 0–0 1–1 1–1 (a)
R2 Greece AEK Athens 0–2 0–4 0–6
1998–99 Intertoto Cup R1 Republic of Macedonia Makedonija GP 1–1 2–4 3–5
1999–2000 UEFA Cup QR Lithuania Kareda Šiauliai 1–1 2–2 3–3 (a)
R1 Belgium Anderlecht 0–3 1–3 1–6
2000–01 UEFA Cup QR Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol 3–0 0–0 3–0
R1 Spain Espanyol 2–1 0–2 2–3
2001–02 UEFA Cup QR Azerbaijan Shafa Baku 4–0 3–0 7–0
R1 Denmark Brøndby 2–4 0–0 2–4
2003–04 UEFA Cup QR Republic of Ireland Shelbourne 1–0 3–2 4–2
R1 England Liverpool 1–1 0–3 1–4

Player records[edit]

Notable players[edit]

The following Olimpija players have been capped at full international level whilst with the club. Years in brackets indicate their spells at the club.

   

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Tim Dobovšek (17 December 2013). "Kdaj je bila ustanovljena Olimpija?" [When was Olimpija founded?] (in Slovene). snportal.si. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Competitions". Football Association of Slovenia. Retrieved 23 June 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e Aaron Rogan (13 July 2011). "Bohemians v Olimpija Ljubjana Preview". SportsNewsIreland.com. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Simič: "Stefanović pošilja grožnje!"" (in Slovene). zurnal24.si. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Klubi -> Ljubljana". Football Association of Slovenia (in Slovene). Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Dušan Gajič (5 March 2010). "NK Ilirija še obstaja" (in Slovene). Dnevnik. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Marjan Horvat (7 June 2011). "Kukavičjih sto let". Večer (in Slovene). Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "V naslednji sezoni liga 10". Football Association of Slovenia (in Slovene). 15 July 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d "UEFA.com - Olimpija Ljubljana". UEFA. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "NK Olimpija Ljubljana - Zgodovina" (in Slovene). nkolimpija.si. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "SNL Statistika: Vse sezone" (in Slovene). prvaliga.si. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "PrvaLiga: NK Olimpija" (in Slovene). prvaliga.si. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  13. ^ M.R. (21 March 2012). "Video: Zadetki z vseh 12 tekem med Olimpijo in Mariborom" (in Slovene). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "NK Olimpija Ljubljana". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c "Zgodovina kluba". NK Olimpija Ljubljana (in Slovene). Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "Olimpija too strong for Shelbourne on UEFA.COM". UEFA. 28 August 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Owen strike rescues Liverpool on UEFA.COM". UEFA. 24 September 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Liverpool stroll through on UEFA.COM". UEFA. 15 October 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  19. ^ Miladinovich, Misha (16 December 1999). "Yugoslav teams in Eurocups". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 

External links[edit]