Prva HNL

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Prva HNL
PrvaLigaLogo.png
Country  Croatia
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1992
Number of teams 10
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Druga HNL
Domestic cup(s) Croatian Cup
Croatian Super Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Dinamo Zagreb
(2013–14)
Most championships Dinamo Zagreb (16)
TV partners Arenasport
Website http://www.prva-hnl.hr
2014–15 season

The Prva HNL (Croatian: Prva hrvatska nogometna liga, pronounced [pr̂ːvaː xř̩ʋaːtskaː nôɡomeːtnaː lǐːɡa]), also known as 1. HNL or for sponsorship reasons the MAXtv Prva Liga[needs IPA], is the top Croatian football league competition, established in 1992. The winners qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Dinamo Zagreb are the current champions, having won their ninth consecutive title in the 2013–14 season, and are the most successful club with 16 titles overall, followed by Hajduk Split with 6 titles.

Since 2003, Prva HNL has been named after its main sponsor, giving it the following names (Logos see below):

Overview[edit]

The Prva HNL was formed in 1991, following the dissolution of the Yugoslav First League, and is operated by the Croatian Football Federation. Since its formation, the league went through many changes in its system and number of participating clubs. In the first three seasons two points were awarded for a win, from 1994–95 season this was changed to three points. Each season of the Prva HNL starts in late July or early August and ends in May, with a two-month hiatus between December and February. Currently, there are 10 teams participating in the league.

The first season started in February 1992 and ended in June 1992. A total of twelve clubs contested the league and at the end of the season no teams were relegated as it was decided that the league would expand to 16 clubs for the following season. This was followed by another expansion to 18 teams in 1993–94 season, highest number of participating teams in Prva HNL history. The following season, number of teams was reduced again to 16. 1995–96 Prva HNL was the first season to feature separate A- and B- leagues, with a complicated two-stage format to the season. Twelve teams contested the A league, while the B league, formally the second level, consisted of ten teams. In March, the teams were split into three groups: Championship group (consisting of first five teams from A league and the first-placed team of the B league), A play-off group (remaining teams from A league and the second-placed team of the B league) and B play-off group (remaining teams from B league). The first two teams of the B play-off group were placed in the A league for the following season, which featured 16 teams in both A and B league. In the 1997–98 Prva HNL, the league consisted of 12 team and a new format was used. In March, teams were split into two groups of six, Championship and Relegation group, with 50% of their points taken to this phase of the competition. At the end of the season, the last team was directly relegated to the Druga HNL and the second-last team went in the relegation play-off, a two-legged tie against the second-placed team from the Druga HNL. This system was used for two seasons, followed by 1999–2000 Prva HNL where each club playing every other club three times for a total of 33 rounds. Next season featured a return of Championship and Relegation group system but without 50% points cutoff. This system was used until 2005–06 season, with a brief expansion to 16 teams in 2001–02 season. The 2006–07 season brought back a 33 rounds system previously used in 1999–2000 Prva HNL. In the 2009–10 season, the league was expanded to 16 teams. This lasted for three seasons, and in the 2012–13 Prva HNL season, the league was contested by 12 teams playing a total of 33 rounds. From the 2013–14 Prva HNL season, number of teams was reduced to ten.

The main sponsor of Prva HNL is T-Hrvatski Telekom, a part of German telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom. The president of Prva HNL association is Reno Sinovčić, also serving as vice-president of Zadar. At the end of 2013–14 season, Prva HNL was ranked 20th in Europe. The champions of the 2014–15 Prva HNL will qualify for the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, the runners-up as well as the winners of the 2014–15 Croatian Cup will qualify for the second qualifying round of UEFA Europa League, while the third-placed team will qualify for the first qualifying round of UEFA Europa League.

Members for 2014–15[edit]

The following 10 clubs will be competing in the 2014–15 Prva HNL season, the 24th season since the league's establishment in 1992.

The clubs in bold also had spells in the Yugoslav First League before Croatian clubs abandoned it in 1991 (as of the 2014–15 season 7 out of 9 Croatian clubs which had appeared in the Yugoslav top division compete in the Croatian championship, the remaining ones being Cibalia in second level and the fourth level side Trešnjevka).

Four of the twelve founding members of the league were never relegated - Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, Osijek and Rijeka.

Club
Position
in 2013–14
First season in
top division
Number of seasons
in top division
Number of seasons
in Prva HNL
First season of
current spell in
top division
Top division
titles
Last top division title
Dinamo Zagreb a,b 0011st 1946–47 69 24 1946–47 20 c 2013–14
Hajduk Split a,b 0033rd 1923 87 24 1923 15 d 2004–05
Istra 1961 0066th 2004–05 9 9 2009–10 0 N/A
Lokomotiva b 0055th 1946–47 16 6 2009–10 0 N/A
Osijek a,b 0088th 1953–54 39 24 1981–82 0 N/A
Rijeka a,b 0022nd 1946–47 53 24 1974–75 0 N/A
Slaven Belupo b 0099th 1997–98 18 18 1997–98 0 N/A
RNK Split b 0044th 1957–58 7 5 2010–11 0 N/A
Zadar a 0077th 1992 19 19 2006–07 0 N/A
NK Zagreb a ZZZ1st in 2.HNL 1952 41 23 2013–14 1 2001–02

a: Founding member of the Prva HNL
b: Never been relegated from Prva HNL
c: Dinamo Zagreb tally includes 4 Yugoslav and 16 Croatian league titles
d: Hajduk Split tally includes 9 Yugoslav and 6 Croatian league titles

HNL teams in European competitions[edit]

The breakup of Yugoslavia saw top flight league split into several smaller ones. This meant separation of Croatian football association from the Football Association of Yugoslavia and launch of their own football league. Prva HNL saw its first edition in 1992. Hajduk Split and HAŠK Građanski took part in European competitions on account of qualification secured at the end of the 1990–91 Yugoslav football season: HAŠK Građanski were runners-up in the 1990–91 Yugoslav First League and qualified for 1991–92 UEFA Cup while Hajduk Split won the 1990–91 Yugoslav Cup and entered 1991–92 European Cup Winners' Cup. Due to war both clubs had to host their European games abroad, in Austria.

Affected by the ongoing war in Croatia, the first Prva HNL season was held over the course of a single calendar year, from February to June 1992. Neither Hajduk Split (1992 Croatian champions) nor Inker Zaprešić (1992 Croatian Cup winners) could enter European competitions the following 1992–93 season as the Croatian Football Federation, the league's governing body, wasn't yet recognized by UEFA and officially became its affiliate as late as June 1993.

Only five times in history have HNL teams entered the group stages of UEFA Champions League. In the 1994–95 season, Hajduk Split eliminated Legia Warsaw in the qualifying round and entered the group stage. They advanced to quarterfinals as group runners-up behind Benfica but were eliminated by eventual winners Ajax. In the 1998–99 season, Croatia Zagreb qualified over Celtic and finished in second place behind Olympiacos, but failed to advance as only first place teams and two best runners-up went through. The following season, Croatia also entered the group stage after eliminating MTK Budapest in the third qualifying round. Drawn in the group with Manchester United, Olympique Marseille and Sturm Graz, they finished last, winning only against Sturm and drawing away at Manchester and Marseille. In the 2011–12 season, Dinamo Zagreb advanced through three qualifying rounds and were drawn in the group with Real Madrid, Lyon and Ajax. They lost all six group stage matches, setting new records for worst goal difference (-19) and most goals conceded (22). The following season, Dinamo Zagreb also advanced to the group stages and was drawn in the group with Dynamo Kyiv, Paris Saint-Germain and Porto. They lost five group matches, drawing with Dynamo Kyiv in the last round.

UEFA rankings[edit]

Source: Bert Kassies' website (country rankings; team rankings); last updated 31 July 2014

Media coverage[edit]

In past, only one match in each round (derby match) was broadcast on television. In the 2008–09 season there were some changes. Croatian national TV Network (HRT) started the new TV show Volim Nogomet (I Love Football), made in association with league's main sponsor T-Com. In the show, five matches were broadcast combined on Sunday afternoons, while the derby match was on program at 20.15 CET, so viewers could watch all the matches. There were also experts in the studio, commenting on matches and other things non-related to football. Main initiator of the project was famous Croatian football player and then president of T-Com 1. HNL organisation Igor Štimac.[4] Most of the clubs weren't satisfied with the scheduling of fixtures and demanded a move from Sunday afternoon to Saturday evening. This was done at the start of the following season and the only match played on Sunday was the derby match.[5][6] However, during the mid-season project was cancelled and the old system with one broadcast per round was returned.[7]

In November 2010, broadcasting rights were sold to marketing agency Digitel Komunikacije for a period of five years, beginning with 2011–12 season. After the negotiations fell through with public broadcasting television HRT, which covered Prva HNL for the past twenty seasons, Digitel signed a deal with T-Hrvatski Telekom. The matches are currently broadcast on Arenasport, a cable television network with four channels, available to subscribers of MAXtv, IPTV solution from T-HT subsidiary T-Com. All matches are broadcast live every week. Derby game is broadcast in the basic programming, while other matches are available through purchasing additional sports package. All highlights are displayed on Sunday/Monday evening in the basic programming.[8][9]

Winning clubs[edit]

Key
00 League champions also won the Croatian Football Cup, i.e. the domestic Double.
Season Champions (titles) Runners-up Third place Top scorer(s)
Player(s) (Club) Goals
1992 Hajduk Split (1) NK Zagreb Osijek Croatia Ardian Kozniku (Hajduk Split)
12
1992–93 Croatia Zagreb (1) Hajduk Split NK Zagreb Croatia Goran Vlaović (Croatia Zagreb)
23
1993–94 Hajduk Split (2) NK Zagreb Croatia Zagreb Croatia Goran Vlaović (Croatia Zagreb)
29
1994–95 Hajduk Split (3) Croatia Zagreb Osijek Croatia Robert Špehar (Osijek)
23
1995–96 Croatia Zagreb (2) Hajduk Split Varteks Croatia Igor Cvitanović (Croatia Zagreb)
19
1996–97 Croatia Zagreb (3) Hajduk Split Hrvatski Dragovoljac Croatia Igor Cvitanović (Croatia Zagreb)
20
1997–98 Croatia Zagreb (4) Hajduk Split Osijek Croatia Mate Baturina (NK Zagreb)
18
1998–99 Croatia Zagreb (5) Rijeka Hajduk Split Croatia Joško Popović (Šibenik)
21
1999–2000 Dinamo Zagreb (6) Hajduk Split Osijek Croatia Tomo Šokota (Dinamo Zagreb)
21
2000–01 Hajduk Split (4) Dinamo Zagreb Osijek Croatia Tomo Šokota (Dinamo Zagreb)
20
2001–02 NK Zagreb (1) Hajduk Split Dinamo Zagreb Croatia Ivica Olić (NK Zagreb)
21
2002–03 Dinamo Zagreb (7) Hajduk Split Varteks Croatia Ivica Olić (Dinamo Zagreb)
16
2003–04 Hajduk Split (5) Dinamo Zagreb Rijeka Croatia Robert Špehar (Osijek)
18
2004–05 Hajduk Split (6) Inter Zaprešić NK Zagreb Croatia Tomislav Erceg (Rijeka)
17
2005–06 Dinamo Zagreb (8) Rijeka Varteks Croatia Ivan Bošnjak (Dinamo Zagreb)
22
2006–07 Dinamo Zagreb (9) Hajduk Split NK Zagreb Croatia Eduardo da Silva (Dinamo Zagreb)
34
2007–08 Dinamo Zagreb (10) Slaven Belupo Osijek Bosnia and Herzegovina Želimir Terkeš (Zadar)
21
2008–09 Dinamo Zagreb (11) Hajduk Split Rijeka Croatia Mario Mandžukić (Dinamo Zagreb)
16
2009–10 Dinamo Zagreb (12) Hajduk Split Cibalia Croatia Davor Vugrinec (NK Zagreb)
18
2010–11 Dinamo Zagreb (13) Hajduk Split RNK Split Croatia Ivan Krstanović (NK Zagreb)
19
2011–12 Dinamo Zagreb (14) Hajduk Split Slaven Belupo Montenegro Fatos Bećiraj (Dinamo Zagreb)
15
2012–13 Dinamo Zagreb (15) Lokomotiva Rijeka Croatia Leon Benko (Rijeka)
19
2013–14 Dinamo Zagreb (16) Rijeka Hajduk Split Croatia Duje Čop (Dinamo Zagreb)
22

Notes on name changes:

  • Dinamo Zagreb changed their name to "HAŠK Građanski" in June 1991 and then again in February 1993 to "Croatia Zagreb". They won five league titles and participated in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League group stages carrying that name before reverting to "Dinamo Zagreb" in February 2000.
  • The present-day NK Varaždin were called "Varteks" from 1958 until June 2010.
  • Koprivnica-based Slaven Belupo were formerly known as "Slaven" until 1992. They were known as "Slaven Bilokalnik" from 1992 to 1994 before adopting their current name in 1994 for sponsorship reasons. Since UEFA does not recognize sponsored club names, the club is listed as "Slaven Koprivnica" in European competitions and on UEFA's official website.

Top scorers[edit]

All-time top scorers in the Prva HNL
Rank Player Goals
1 Croatia Davor Vugrinec 144
2 Croatia Igor Cvitanović 126
3 Croatia Joško Popović 111
4 Croatia Miljenko Mumlek 107
5 Croatia Tomislav Erceg 97
6 Croatia Nino Bule 88
7 Croatia Renato Jurčec 87
8 Croatia Robert Špehar 86
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina Marijo Dodik 84
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Bartolović 78
(Bold denotes players still playing in the Prva HNL,
italics denotes players still playing professional football).[10]

Players in the Prva HNL compete for the Prva HNL Top scorer trophy, awarded to the top scorer at the end of each season. Former Dinamo Zagreb striker Igor Cvitanović held the record for most Prva HNL goals with 126 until April 2012. Cvitanović finished among the top ten goal scorers in 7 out of his 11 seasons in the Prva HNL and won the top scorer title two times. During the 1997–98 season he became the first player to score 100 Prva HNL goals. On 14 April 2012, Davor Vugrinec scored his 127th goal and surpassed Cvitanović's record.[11] Only two other players have reached the 100-goal mark, Joško Popović and Miljenko Mumlek.

Since the first Prva HNL season in 1992, eighteen different players have won the top scorers title. Goran Vlaović, Robert Špehar, Igor Cvitanović, Tomislav Šokota and Ivica Olić have won two titles each. Dinamo Zagreb provided most top scorers in Prva HNL, their strikers topped the table twelve times. Eduardo da Silva holds the record for most goals in a season (34) – scored for Dinamo Zagreb in the 2006–07 season.[12] Six goals is the record individual scoring total for a player in a single Prva HNL game held by Marijo Dodik.[13]

Dinamo Zagreb became the first team to have scored 1,000 goals in the league after Etto scored in a 4–0 victory over NK Zagreb in the 2005–06 season.[14] Hajduk Split is the only other team to have reached the 1,000-goal mark.[15] The highest-scoring match to date in the Prva HNL occurred on 12 December 1993 when Dinamo Zagreb beat Pazinka 10–1.[16]

Managers[edit]

Name Club Appointed
Croatia Pamić, IgorIgor Pamić Istra 1961 29 March 2011
Croatia Ivković, TomislavTomislav Ivković Lokomotiva 24 December 2011
Croatia Milin, FerdoFerdo Milin Zadar 24 September 2012
Slovenia Kek, MatjažMatjaž Kek Rijeka 27 March 2013
Croatia Tudor, IgorIgor Tudor Hajduk Split 29 April 2013
Croatia Mamić, ZoranZoran Mamić Dinamo Zagreb 22 October 2013
Croatia Matić, IvanIvan Matić RNK Split 24 February 2014
Croatia Scoria, ElvisElvis Scoria Slaven Belupo 24 February 2014
Croatia Rukavina, TomislavTomislav Rukavina Osijek 27 February 2014
Croatia Kopić, ŽeljkoŽeljko Kopić NK Zagreb 9 June 2014

Awards[edit]

There are two awards for best players in the Croatian First League:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prva HNL Ožujsko" (in Croatian). Vjesnik. 19 September 2003. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Prva HNL promijenila ime u T-Com Prva hrvatska nogometna liga" (in Croatian). T-Hrvatski Telekom. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "MAXtv PRVA LIGA službeni naziv lige" (in Croatian). Prva-HNL.hr. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "HTV i HNL spremni za nogometnu nedjelju". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). 16 September 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Klubovi ne dobivaju dovoljno za Volim nogomet". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). 17 June 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Vuković, Marin (3 July 2009). "HNL opet u subotnjem terminu". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Strahija, Ivana (22 January 2010). "Jukić: Gotovo je s Volim nogomet". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "HRT ove sezone bez HNL-a". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). 6 July 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Štrbinić, Lovro (19 July 2011). "Laljak: Klubovi su zadovoljni". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Lista strijelaca 1. HNL (zbirno)". Prva HNL. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Zovko, Ante (15 April 2012). "Vugrinec: Ne razmišljam o umirovljenju". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Eduardo osvojio Trofej T-Com najbolji strijelac". Prva-HNL.hr (in Croatian). 26 April 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  13. ^ So., D. (26 October 2000). "Dodik: Jurčec i ja najbolji smo dvojac Lige!". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  14. ^ Pacak, Tomislav (18 September 2005). "Zagreb - Dinamo: Et(t)o tisućitog pogotka". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Hajduk postigao 1 000-ti gol u HNL-u". Prva-HNL.hr (in Croatian). 26 April 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Bariša, Mladen (24 September 2001). "Bez kormilara". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 10 April 2011. 

External links[edit]