HNK Rijeka

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Club crest
Full name Hrvatski Nogometni Klub Rijeka
Nickname(s) Riječki bijeli
(The Rijeka's Whites)
Founded 1926 (as U.S. Fiumana)
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
2013–14 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 Rijeka on the Croatian coast. They play their home matches at Stadion Kantrida. The club was founded in 1946 as NK Kvarner, and changed its name to NK Rijeka on 3 June 1954. 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 the Croatia's MAXtv Prva Liga, and has spent most of its existence in top flight, having been members of the Croatian First League since its foundation in 1992. The supporters of the club are known as Armada Rijeka. Rijeka's greatest rivalry is with Hajduk Split, while other rivalries exist with Dinamo Zagreb, Istra Pula on regional level and a city rivalry with NK Orijent.


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.[1]

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. It remained in the top tier until the 1969–70 season, when it got relegated to the Second League. It topped that league many times but it wasn't until 1973–74 when it returned to the First League, where it would remain until the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Rijeka won the Yugoslav Cup in 1978 and 1979, was a runner-up in 1987, won the Croatian Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2014, and was a runner-up in 1994. Rijeka was also the best placed Croatian club in the Yugoslav First League in 1965, 1984, and 1987. On numerous occasions, Rijeka participated in various UEFA competitions. Although it never advanced to the final stages of the competition, Rijeka played against some of the biggest clubs in European football. The most notable results in Europe have been home wins against Real Madrid in 1984 and Stuttgart in 2013, a home draw against Juventus in 1980, and an away draw against Stuttgart, which secured Rijeka participation in the group stage of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League.

Rijeka has been playing in the Prva HNL since the independence of Croatia in 1991, generally finishing near the top. Notably, it finished second in 1999, 2006 and 2014, and third in 2004, 2009 and 2013. Due to many format changes of the league, Rijeka has played more games in the competition than any other team. In the 2004–05 season, its player Tomislav Erceg was the top scorer of the Prva HNL with 17 goals. Leon Benko was the league's top scorer during the 2012–13 season of the 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.[2]


Further information: Adriatic derby

Rijeka's greatest rivalry is with Hajduk Split. Adriatic derby is contested between the two most popular Croatian football clubs coming from 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.

Further information: Dinamo–Rijeka derby

Other rivalries exist with Dinamo Zagreb, and on regional level with Istra Pula. The origins of Rijeka-Pula rivalry date back to the clashes between U.S. Fiumana and G.S.F. Grion Pola since the late 1920s.

Further information: Rijeka city derby

There is also a city rivalry with NK Orijent. The rivalry dates back to the time when the western part of the city, Fiume, was part of Italy and the eastern part of the city, Sušak, part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Between 1932 and 1940 U.S. Fiumana and NK Orijent played 10 games, with Fiumana winning 9 and Orijent 1 game.[3] Numerous Rijeka city derbies were contested after World War II, and particularly when both clubs were competing in the Yugoslav Second League between 1969 and 1973. Out of 14 league games, Rijeka won 11, Orijent won 1, with 2 games ending in a draw. The last city derby took place during the 1996–97 season of Prva HNL, the only season in which Orijent played in the same tier as Rijeka since 1972–73.


NK Rijeka play their home matches at Stadion Kantrida, which has a seating capacity of 10,261. The stadium will be demolished in December 2014 and replaced by a new state of the art stadium, which is scheduled to be completed by June 2016. The capacity of the new stadium will be approximately 14,600.[4]


The fans are known as Armada Rijeka.

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
2004–2006 Legea INA
2006–2008 Kappa Croatia Osiguranje
2008–2012 Jako Croatia Osiguranje
2012–2014 Lotto
2014– Jako

First-team squad[edit]

As of 19 August 2014.[5]

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

No. Position Player
1 Croatia GK Simon Sluga
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Jozo Špikić
5 Croatia DF Dario Knežević (captain)
6 Croatia DF Fausto Budicin
7 Croatia MF Dario Čanađija
8 Croatia MF Mato Jajalo
9 Republic of Macedonia FW Adis Jahović
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 Ohiremen Ajayi
19 Slovenia DF Miral Samardžić
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Zoran Kvržić
No. Position Player
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Damir Zlomislić
22 Austria DF Marin Leovac
24 Croatia DF Mateo Bertoša
25 Croatia GK Ivan Vargić
26 Croatia MF Mate Maleš
30 Croatia MF Josip Brezovec (3rd captain)
32 Croatia GK Andrej Prskalo
33 Croatia MF Mislav Oršić
88 Brazil MF Moisés
89 Croatia MF Vedran Jugović
91 Croatia FW Andrej Kramarić
99 Croatia FW Ivan Krstanović
Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Mehmed Alispahić
Croatia MF Drago Gabrić
Argentina MF Lucas Scaglia

Out on loan[edit]

As of 20 August 2014.[6]

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

No. Position Player
Croatia DF Niko Datković (at Spezia Calcio)
Croatia DF Mato Miloš (at Spezia Calcio)
Croatia MF Antonini Čulina (at Spezia Calcio)
Croatia MF Domagoj Pušić (at NK Zadar)
Nigeria MF Solomon Theophilus (at NK Zadar)

Rijeka Reserves[edit]

As of 19 August 2014.[7]

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 Dino Raspor
Croatia GK Ante Bilandžić
Nigeria GK David Nwokolor
Nigeria DF Jamilu Collins
Croatia DF Luka Sošić
Croatia DF Franjo Bulić
Croatia DF Matija Vidas
Croatia DF Ricardo Bagadur
Croatia DF Eric Biasiol
Croatia MF Marko Marciuš
Nigeria MF Gerald Chibueze Diyoke
Nigeria MF Sani Faisal
No. Position Player
Croatia MF Filip Fumić
Croatia MF Florian Fumić
Croatia MF Duje Mrdeša
Croatia MF Matej Mršić
Croatia MF Mihovil Klapan
Croatia MF Ed Kevin Kokorović
Nigeria MF Aliyu Okechukwu
Croatia FW Ivan Lucić
Croatia FW Andrija Filipović
Croatia FW Matko Budan
Croatia FW Filip Dangubić

Club officials[edit]

Position Staff
Honorary Chairman Gabriele Volpi
Chairman Damir Mišković
Vice-Chairman Dean Šćulac
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 Renato Pilipović
Fitness coach Ugo Maranza
Goalkeeping coach Siniša Ćaleta
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 March 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.[8]

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.[9]

Managerial history[edit]

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


Seasons and Records[edit]

Further information: List of HNK Rijeka seasons
Further information: List of HNK Rijeka records


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 the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League Group Stage. The club has also won the 1978 Balkans Cup. In the following table, defunct competitions are listed in italics.

Honours No. Years
Prva HNL Runners-up 3 1998–99, 2005–06, 2013–14
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 1 2013–14
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Quarter-final 1 1979–80
Balkans Cup Winners 1 1978
Balkans Cup Runners-up 1 1979

Source: Soccerway, Last updated May 2014.


UEFA club coefficient ranking[edit]

(As of 21 August 2014), Source: Bert Kassies website

Rank Team Points
151 Switzerland St. Gallen 9.875
152 Bulgaria Levski Sofia 9.700
153 Croatia HNK Rijeka 9.625
154 Cyprus Apollon Limassol 9.600
154 Denmark OB Odense 9.600

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
37 16 9 12 57 42 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 53 20 13 20 69 62

Source:, Last updated on 21 August 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 27 16 7 4 48 22 +26
Away 26 4 6 16 21 40 −19
Total 53 20 13 20 69 62 +7

Source:, Last updated on 21 August 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
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
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
Austria Wacker Innsbruck 1–3 0–0
1977–78 Intertoto Cup Group
Denmark Frem Kobenhavn 2–2 0–2
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
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
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 Liege 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

Last updated on 21 August 2014.
Note: List includes matches played in competitions not endorsed by UEFA.
Match played at neutral ground in Pisa, Italy.

Player records[edit]


  1. ^ RijekaDanas (2011) (in Croatian), "Split slavi, Zagreb izmišlja, Opatija ne zna, a Rijeka se srami" (, 26 April. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  2. ^ (2013) (in Croatian), "Rijeka postala sportsko dioničko društvo: Volpi dao 54 milijuna kuna za 70 posto" (, 30 September. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  3. ^ Lazzarich, Marinko (2008) (in Croatian). Kantrida bijelih snova. Rijeka: Adamić. ISBN 978-953-219-393-0, p. 250.
  4. ^ Official Project Website
  5. ^ HNK Rijeka "2012–13 season". HNK Rijeka. 
  6. ^ "Players on Loan". HNK Rijeka. 
  7. ^ "Rijeka 2". HNK Rijeka. 
  8. ^ Lazzarich, Marinko (2008) (in Croatian). Kantrida bijelih snova. Rijeka: Adamić. ISBN 978-953-219-393-0, p. 467.
  9. ^ Cvijanović, Marko (2011) (in Croatian), "Asevi s Kantride: Idealna momčad Rijeke" (, Novi List, 29 August. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Rijeka profile". Retrieved 10 September 2010. 

External links[edit]