NK Olimpija Ljubljana (defunct)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2013)|
|Full name||Nogometni klub Olimpija Ljubljana|
|Nickname(s)||Zmaji (The Dragons) Zeleno-beli (Green-Whites)|
|Founded||9 May 1911|
Nogometni Klub Olimpija Ljubljana (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 had traced its origin back to 1911 when it was originally founded. It had gone through a series of mergers in the first half of the 20th century before adopting the name Olimpija in 1962. Throughout its history Olimpija was regarded as one of the most successful clubs in Slovenian football until its dissolution in 2004, when 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 year. 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.
Since the early 1920s 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.
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. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Honours
- 3 Domestic record
- 4 European record
- 5 Notable players
- 6 References
- 7 External links
SK Ilirija (1911–1941)
In the beginning of the 20th century football came to Ljubljana from Vienna, and was played mostly by the students. Football club Ilirija, predecessor of Olimpija, was founded on 9 May 1911 in a pub called Roža on Židovska cesta in Ljubljana. Albin Kandare was elected as the first president of Ilirija, and their first ground was at Tivoli Park. Ilirija's first match was played on 1 January 1912, and ended in a 18–0 defeat against Hermes, the local students' club which had been founded in 1910. Soon after their first match Ilirija merged with Hermes in 1913. In the first few years Ilirija had no competition in Slovenia and they mainly played friendly matches against Zagreb-based Croatian clubs such as HAŠK, Građanski and Concordia. An important turning point was a friendly with the Czech side Slavia Prague in Ljubljana played on 5 August 1913 which Ilirija lost 10–0. However, Ilirija's players and staff were impressed by Slavia's display of professionally trained football so much that they convinced Slavia's player Jirkovský to stay in Ljubljana and work as Ilirija's first manager after the match. The best and most popular players of Ilirija of that time were Stanko Tavčar, Ernest Turk, Stanko Pelan and Oto Oman.
At the onset of World War I, Ilirija and Slovan (founded in 1913 and still active today) were the only two football clubs in Slovenia, and during the war all football activities were suspended. In 1919 Ilirija was re-activated, and was soon followed by Slovan. Football rapidly gained popularity and a number of other Slovenian clubs came into life around the same time such as Olimp in Celje, 1. SSK Maribor in Maribor and ASK Primorje in Ljubljana, with the latter becoming Ilirija's biggest rivals in the following decade.
Ilirija then became the first regional champions of Slovenia (which was at the time part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), winning the inaugural Slovenian championship in 1920, and proceeded to win a total of 12 Slovenian titles between 1920 and 1935. By the mid-1930s both Ilirija and Primorje encountered financial difficulties which led to their merger and the formation of SK Ljubljana football club in 1936. Between 1936 and 1941 SK Ljubljana was one of the top sides in Slovenia (winning the 1935–36 and 1940–41 Slovenian championships) and also competed in the Yugoslav First League, Kingdom of Yugoslavia's top national competition formed in 1923. In addition, Ilirija's Stanko Tavčar was the only Slovenian player who was capped for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia national football team in the period between the two world wars. He was member of their 1920 Olympics squad and appeared in matches against Czechoslovakia and Egypt, the first two games in the history of the team. SK Ljubljana operated until 1941 and the outbreak of World War II, when all sports activities in Ljubljana were suspended.
Yugoslav years (1945–1991)
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. 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.
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.
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.
Slovenian league and decline (1991–2004)
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 first 1991–92 season of the new league 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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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, 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2014)|
- SK Ilirija (1911–1936; merged with NK Hermes in 1912)
- SK Ljubljana (1936–1941; founded as a merger of Ilirija and their city rivals ASK Primorje in 1936 and operated until the outbreak of World War II)
- 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)
- NK Odred (1948–1961)
- NK Triglav (1961–1962)
- NK Olimpija (1962–2004)
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.
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, in addition to two appearances in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. 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.
|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|
|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|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2014)|
Yugoslav First League (1953–1991)
|Season||League||Cup||European competitions||Top league goalscorer|
|1966–67||Div 1||30||9||5||16||33||47||23||14th||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1|
|1968–69||Div 1||34||11||11||12||32||41||33||12th||R16||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1|
|1970–71||Div 1||34||13||10||11||47||35||36||7th||R16||Cup Winners' Cup||R1|
|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
|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
|1978–79||Div 1||34||11||7||16||34||53||29||16th||Mehmed Buza
|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
|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)
|Season||League||Cup||European competitions||Top league goalscorer|
|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
|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
|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|
- 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;
|Competition||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||Last season played|
|UEFA Champions League||6||3||0||3||6||8||1993–94|
|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|
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against
(Olimpija score always listed first.)
|1966–67||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1||Ferencváros||3–3||0–3||3–6|
|1968–69||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1||Hibernian||0–3||1–2||1–5|
|1970–71||Cup Winners' Cup||R1||Benfica||1–1||1–8||2–9|
|1992–93||Champions League||QR||Norma Tallinn||3–0||2–0||5–0|
|1993–94||Champions League||QR||Skonto||0–1||1–0||1–1 (p)|
|1994–95||UEFA Cup||QR||Levski Sofia||3–2||2–1||5–3|
|1995–96||UEFA Cup||QR||Apollon Smyrnis||3–1||0–1||3–2|
|1996–97||Cup Winners' Cup||QR||Levski Sofia||1–0||0–1||1–1 (p)|
|1998–99||Intertoto Cup||R1||Makedonija GP||1–1||2–4||3–5|
|1999–2000||UEFA Cup||QR||Kareda Šiauliai||1–1||2–2||3–3 (a)|
|2000–01||UEFA Cup||QR||Sheriff Tiraspol||3–0||0–0||3–0|
|2001–02||UEFA Cup||QR||Shafa Baku||4–0||3–0||7–0|
- Most appearances in the UEFA club competitions: 12 appearances – Nihad Pejković
- Top scorer in the UEFA club competitions: 7 goals – Kliton Bozgo
The following Olimpija players have been capped at full international level whilst with the club. Years in brackets indicate their spells at the club.
- "Competitions". Football Association of Slovenia. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
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- "Olimpija too strong for Shelbourne on UEFA.COM". UEFA. 28 August 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
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