2001–02 Croatian First Football League
1st Croatian title
|Champions League||NK Zagreb|
|UEFA Cup||Hajduk Split|
|Goals scored||680 (2.83 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Ivica Olić (21)|
|Biggest home win||Zagreb 8–0 TŠK|
Šibenik 8–0 TŠK
|Biggest away win||Osijek 1–6 Dinamo Z.|
|Highest scoring||Zagreb 8–0 TŠK|
Šibenik 8–0 TŠK
The 2001–02 Croatian First Football League was the eleventh season of the Croatian First Football League since its establishment in 1992. NK Zagreb became champions for the first time, and were the first and until 2017 only league winners from outside the Eternal Derby rivalry. The campaign began on 28 July 2001 and ended on 4 May 2002. The league expanded to 16 teams (from 12 in the previous season), and was contested by all the 12 teams who competed in the previous season plus four newly promoted ones from Croatian Second Football League.
The first goal of the season was scored by Dinamo Zagreb's Dario Zahora against newly promoted TŠK Topolovac in the 13th minute of the game on the opening day of the season on 28 July. Miljenko Mumlek of Varteks scored the first hat-trick of the season against Hajduk Split, two of them from penalty kicks, at Poljud on 17 August 2001.
NK Zagreb clinched their first ever title after they drew 0–0 against Čakovec and their last competitor for the title Hajduk Split lost 1–0 to Hrvatski Dragovoljac in the penultimate 29th round of the season which took place on 27 April 2002. It was the third Croatian First Football League title for NK Zagreb manager Zlatko Kranjčar, who thus became the first manager to have won the Prva HNL in charge of two different clubs (in 1996 and 1998 he clinched two championship titles with Croatia Zagreb, renamed Dinamo Zagreb in 2000). The top goalscorer of the season was Ivica Olić with 21 goals scored in 29 appearances for NK Zagreb.
Promotion and relegation
Since it had been decided that the league would expand to 16 teams for the 2001–02 season, only Marsonia were in danger of relegation, having finished last the previous season. Marsonia then played second level side Solin in a two-legged promotion/relegation playoff on 3 and 10 June 2001. The aggregate score was 5–5, but Marsonia won the tie on away goals rule, so no team were relegated.
Teams promoted from 2000–01 Croatian Second Football League:
- Winners: Kamen Ingrad
- Second place: Pomorac
- Fourth place: Zadar
- Fifth place: TŠK Topolovac (Agreed to host home matches at Gradski stadion in the nearby town of Sisak as their own ground was deemed unfit for first-league football.)
The following is an overview of teams which competed in the 2001–02 Prva HNL. The list of managers is correct as of 27 July 2001, the first day of the season.
|Cibalia||Davor Čop||Vinkovci||Stadion HNK Cibalia||9,920|
|Čakovec||Rajko Magić||Čakovec||Stadion SRC Mladost||8,000|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Ilija Lončarević||Zagreb||Stadion Maksimir||37,168|
|Hajduk Split||Nenad Gračan||Split||Stadion Poljud||35,000|
|Hrvatski Dragovoljac||Luka Bonačić||Zagreb||Stadion NŠC Stjepan Spajić||5,000|
|Kamen Ingrad||Tomislav Radić||Velika||Stadion Kamen Ingrad||8,000|
|Marsonia||Milo Nižetić||Slavonski Brod||Gradski stadion uz Savu||10,000|
|Osijek||Vlado Bilić||Osijek||Stadion Gradski vrt||19,500|
|Pomorac||Predrag Stilinović||Kostrena||Stadion Žuknica||3,000|
|Rijeka||Ivan Katalinić||Rijeka||Stadion Kantrida||10,275|
|Slaven Belupo||Dražen Besek||Koprivnica||Gradski stadion||4,000|
|Šibenik||Vjekoslav Lokica||Šibenik||Stadion Šubićevac||8,000|
|TŠK Topolovac||Ivica Vidović||Topolovac||Gradski stadion||8,000|
|Varteks||Branko Janžek||Varaždin||Stadion NK Varteks||10,800|
|Zadar||Stanko Mršić||Zadar||Stadion Stanovi||5,860|
|NK Zagreb||Zlatko Kranjčar||Zagreb||Stadion Kranjčevićeva||8,850|
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Replaced by||Date of appointment||Position in table|
|Čakovec||Rajko Magić||13 October 2001||Miljenko Dovečer||13 October 2001|
|Kamen Ingrad||Tomislav Radić||Removed from position||23 December 2001||Rajko Magić||23 December 2001|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Ilija Lončarević||Sacked||14 April 2002||Marijan Vlak (c)||14 April 2002|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||NK Zagreb (C)||30||20||7||3||71||24||+47||67||2002–03 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round|
|2||Hajduk Split||30||20||5||5||61||28||+33||65||2002–03 UEFA Cup Qualifying round|
|3||Dinamo Zagreb||30||18||5||7||58||30||+28||59||2002–03 UEFA Cup First round|
|4||Varteks||30||17||6||7||58||40||+18||57||2002–03 UEFA Cup Qualifying round|
|5||Rijeka||30||15||6||9||46||37||+9||51||2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup First round|
|11||Šibenik (O)||30||10||6||14||33||36||−3||36||Relegation play-offs|
|12||Kamen Ingrad (O)||30||9||8||13||28||46||−18||35|
|13||Hrvatski Dragovoljac (R)||30||9||7||14||34||45||−11||34||Relegation to 2002–03 Druga HNL|
|16||TŠK Topolovac (R)||30||4||2||24||31||95||−64||14|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (R) Relegated.
First legs were held on 15 May and second legs on 19 May, 2002.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Istra Pula||1–3||Kamen Ingrad||0–1||1–2|
|Home \ Away||CIB||ČAK||DIN||HAJ||HRD||KAM||MAR||OSI||POM||RIJ||SLA||ŠIB||TŠK||VAR||ZAD||ZAG|
|1||Ivica Olić||NK Zagreb||21|
|3||Admir Hasančić||NK Zagreb||14|
|Dario Zahora||Dinamo Zagreb||14|
|5||Tomislav Erceg||Hajduk Split||13|
|Marin Lalić||Hrvatski Dragovoljac||13|
|10||Zvonimir Deranja||Hajduk Split||11|
|Petar Krpan||NK Zagreb||11|
- Čop, Goran (30 July 2001). "Ilijini mladi lavovi" (in Croatian). Slobodna Dalmacija. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- Cibilić, Ante (18 August 2001). "Petarda uzdrmala Poljud prije Mallorce" (in Croatian). Vjesnik. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- Šantl, Dejan (16 October 2001). "Čakovec: Dovečer "do daljnjeg"!" (in Croatian). Sportnet.hr. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Pilon, Bruno (23 December 2001). "Rajko Magić novi trener Kamen Ingrada" (in Croatian). Sportnet.hr. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Trenerska kronologija od Mamićevog povratka u Dinamo" (in Croatian). Nogometni magazin. Retrieved 2 May 2010.