Croatian Football Cup
|Number of teams||48|
|Most successful club(s)||Dinamo Zagreb
|2017–18 Croatian Football Cup|
The Croatian Football Cup (Croatian: Hrvatski nogometni kup) is an annually held football tournament for Croatian football clubs and is the second most important competition in Croatian football after the Croatian First Football League championship. It is governed by the Croatian Football Federation (CFF) and usually runs from late August to late May. Cup winners automatically qualify for next season's UEFA Europa League, except when cup winners are also First League champions, in which case cup finalists take their berth in the Europa League.
The cup was established in 1992, after Croatian clubs had abandoned the Yugoslav First League and Yugoslav Cup competitions following the breakup of Yugoslavia. As of the most recent 2015–16 season a total of 25 cup seasons were held. The competition has historically been dominated by Eternal Derby sides - the most successful club is Dinamo Zagreb (formerly known in the 1990s as "HAŠK Građanski" and "Croatia Zagreb") who appeared in 19 finals and won 14 titles, followed by Hajduk Split who won 6 titles out of 10 finals they appeared in.
Either Dinamo or Hajduk appeared in all but two cup finals (1999 and 2006) and only three other clubs have managed to win the cup - Rijeka (4 wins) and Inter Zaprešić and Osijek (1 win each). Although clubs can qualify for the cup via regional county cups, which are usually contested by second, third or fourth level sides, Istra 1961 (formerly known as Uljanik Pula) is the only team to have reached the cup final from outside the top level in 2003.
Although in theory any club can take part in the cup, 48 teams enter the competition proper, based on three criteria:
- Top sixteen best-ranked teams according to club coefficients calculated by the Croatian Football Federation which take into account their cup records in the previous five seasons
- Twenty-one club winners of regional cups organised in each of 21 counties of Croatia
- Eleven regional cup finalists, from the top 11 counties with the greatest number of active football clubs registered
Clubs which qualify via regional cups always enter in the preliminary round, which consists of 16 single-legged fixtures. In case of a draw at the end of normal time, thirty minutes of extra time is played, and if scores are still level, a penalty shootout is held to determine the winner of the tie.
Sixteen winners of the preliminary ties go on to the first round proper (round of 32), where they are joined by the sixteen best-ranked clubs according to cup coefficient (this usually means all First League clubs and a handful of best-ranked lower level teams). Round of 32 (R1) and round of 16 (R2) are also played as single-legged fixtures. Until the 2014–15 season, from the quarter-finals onward, the competition employed a two-legged tie format, with winners progressing through on aggregate score. Since 2015–16, quarter-finals are also played as single-legged fixtures and, since 2017–18, the same applies for semi-finals.
In case the score is still level at the end of regular time, extra time is played. If the score remains level after extra time, a penalty shootout takes place to determine tie winners. With the exception of 1997 and 1999 finals, all finals were also played as two-legged fixtures until the rules were most recently changed for the 2014–15 season and a single-match final was made permanent.
List of winners
|Match went to extra time|
|†||Match decided by a penalty shootout
(from 2015 after extra time)
|Bold||Winning team won The Double|
|Italics||Team from outside the Prva HNL|
List of winners
Results by team
|Club||Winners||Last final won||Runners-up||Last final lost|
- A. ^ Originally called Dinamo Zagreb, the club was renamed "HAŠK Građanski" in 1992, and then again "Croatia Zagreb" in the winter break of the 1992–93 season. The club reverted to its original name in February 2000.
- B. ^ Inter Zaprešić was known by its sponsored name "Inker Zaprešić" (sometimes spelled "INKER") from 1991 to 2003.
- C. ^ Varaždin were known as "Varteks" from 1958 to 2010.
- D. ^ Istra 1961 was formerly known as "Uljanik Pula" (before 2003), "Pula 1856" (2003–05), "Pula Staro Češko" (2005–06), and "NK Pula" (2006–07) before adopting their current name in 2007. They are not to be confused with their cross-city rivals NK Istra.
- E. ^ Slaven Belupo based in Koprivnica were formerly known as "Slaven" until 1992. From 1992 to 1994 they were called "Slaven Bilokalnik" before adopting their current name for sponsorship reasons. Since UEFA does not approve sponsored club names, the club is listed as "Slaven Koprivnica" in European competitions and on UEFA's website.
- "Propozicije završnog dijela natjecanja za hrvatski nogometni kup" (PDF). Glasnik HNS-a (in Croatian). Croatian Football Federation. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Varteks target cup triumph". UEFA. 1 May 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- Stokkermans, Karel (7 May 2010). "Croatia - Cup Finals". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- Puric, Bojan (7 February 2000). "Croatian Cup 1992–1999 - All Finals". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 26 August 2010.