Results

Croatia HNL 05/26 13:00 36 [2] HNK Rijeka v Slaven Belupo [9] W 4-0
Croatia Cup 05/22 16:00 1 HNK Rijeka v Dinamo Zagreb L 1-3
Croatia HNL 05/19 17:30 35 [4] NK Osijek v HNK Rijeka [2] L 2-0
Croatia Cup 05/15 17:00 1 Dinamo Zagreb v HNK Rijeka D 0-0
Croatia HNL 05/11 15:00 34 [6] NK Varazdin v HNK Rijeka [2] L 3-1
Croatia HNL 05/05 17:30 33 [2] HNK Rijeka v Dinamo Zagreb [1] L 1-2
Croatia HNL 04/28 17:30 32 [5] NK Lokomotiva Zagreb v HNK Rijeka [2] L 3-1
Croatia HNL 04/21 17:30 31 [2] HNK Rijeka v HNK Gorica [6] W 3-0
Croatia HNL 04/14 17:00 30 [9] Istra 1961 v HNK Rijeka [1] W 0-2
Croatia HNL 04/07 17:30 29 [1] HNK Rijeka v Hajduk Split [3] W 1-0
Croatia Cup 04/03 14:00 2 NK Lokomotiva Zagreb v HNK Rijeka W 0-1
Croatia HNL 03/30 16:00 28 [10] NK Rudes v HNK Rijeka [1] W 0-3

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 61 32 29
Wins 38 21 17
Draws 11 6 5
Losses 12 5 7
Goals for 119 71 48
Goals against 46 24 22
Clean sheets 32 17 15
Failed to score 8 2 6

Wikipedia - HNK Rijeka

Hrvatski nogometni klub Rijeka (English: Croatian Football Club Rijeka), commonly referred to as NK Rijeka or simply Rijeka, is a Croatian professional football club from the city of Rijeka.

HNK Rijeka competes in Croatia's top division, Supersport HNL, of which they have been members since its foundation in 1992. During the reconstruction of Stadion Kantrida, their traditional home ground, they have been based at Stadion Rujevica. Rijeka's traditional home colours are all white.

The club was founded in 1904, with the football team being active at last since 1906, and following the tumultuous political changes that swept the border city of Rijeka in the following decades, it changed its name to U.S. Fiumana in 1926, to S.C.F. Quarnero in 1946, to NK Rijeka in 1954, and finally HNK Rijeka in 1995. Rijeka is the third-most successful Croatian football club, having won one Croatian First League title, two Yugoslav Cups, six Croatian Cups, one Croatian Super Cup, Serie C 1940–41, the Italian Federal Cup 1927–28 and the 1977–78 Balkans Cup.

History

1906–1926

The club was founded in mid-April 1904 as Club Sportivo Olimpia by Antonio Marchich, Aristodemo Susmel, Agesilao Satti, Carlo Colussi, Romeo and Alessandro Mitrovich when the city of Rijeka was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a Corpus Separatum of the Hungarian Crown. The club was founded as a tennis-lawn, football, swimming, cycling and athletics club. The first activities of the club's football section recorded by the cronicles happened the 25th November 1906, with historians still investigating the football activities in the earlier years. This date is, therefore,currently considered the official beginning of HNK Rijeka as a football club. This also makes Rijeka the oldest still active association football club on the territory of today's Republic of Croatia.

While many clubs in town and the region often had specific ethnic leanings, Olimpia intentionally had a very international soul, with Italian, Croatian, Hungarian, and German players all playing and working with each other in unison. The oldest line-up known from Rijeka's pioneer years was: Duimovic, Smoivar, Penka, Brosnich, R. Mittrovich, Lenardon, Satti, Novodnik, A. Mittrovich, Paulovatz, Cittovich (captain). Initially, the club played its matches on the main Scoglietto square, in front of the local Honved HQ, but moved to Kantrida stadium during the following decade (and the stadium changed its name to Campo Sportivo Olympia). Initially, Olimpia played in black and white garments, but in the 1910s, the club also used a fully white kit.

One of the first historic derbies between Olimpia and Doria at the Kantrida stadium, during the 1910s.
One of the last Olympia-Gloria matches before their merger, on 30 November 1924.

During the following years, Olimpia will be joined by several other local football clubs from the city of Rijeka and will continue the legacy of Fiumei Atletikai Club as the main city club, when Atletico discontinued its football section in the course of the 1910s. Among the many clubs being founded in town during these years, a side, in particular, will soon rise as fierce arch-rival to Olimpia: (later renamed into CS Gloria) arose from the proletarian classes and the humble old town dwellers of the industry-rich port town on the Adriatic. While Olimpia was associated with the wealthier classes, mostly players from working-class families performed for Gloria; therefore, the club found most of its sympathisers among the poorer part of the population. Olimpia was renamed into Olympia on 9 January 1918 during a meeting of its board and the new president became the Fiuman writer Antonio de Schlemmer, possibly as an anti-irredentist move. During these years, it achieved its first major local and international successes: it became the champion of the Free State of Fiume championship in 1921, and it won several Julian March and North-Eastern Italian championships in the following years, soon becoming the strongest side in the Alpe-Adria region.

1926–1943

On 2 September 1926, following Mussolini's reforms of the FIGC and the 1924 Fiume putsch led by Italian fascists, which brought to the annexation of the independent Free State of Fiume to Italy, Olympia was forced to merge with its arch-rival Gloria into the . Pietro Pasquali was picked as the new president of the club. Two years later, Fiumana won its first national trophy when it reached first place in the Italian Federal Cup.

Players and management celebrating the 1927-28 Federal Cup victory.

The following season saw the club playing in the Italian Serie A, with some of the biggest Italian clubs such as Ambrosiano (today's Inter, also forced into a brand image change by the new regime), Juventus and Napoli played at the Kantrida stadium (renamed to Stadio Borgomarina in those years). Despite a decent performance in Serie A, the city, now impoverished by the annexation and cut off from its natural economic hinterland, was not in the financial position to compete with the biggest cities in Italy and following these successes, the club had to see many of its stars signed by major Italian sides. During most of the 1930s and 1940s, the club competed in the second and third tier of the Italian competitions. At the reopening of a refurbished Kantrida (then renamed Stadio del Littorio) in 1935, Fiumana hosted AS Roma. In June 1941, it became champion of the newly created Italian Serie C.

Serie C's last season before the fall of fascist Italy in 1943 saw Fiumana end in third place. Mostly from workers' families, the players leaned heavily toward the partisan movement, often joining it outright. They didn't participate in the Italian Social Republic championships and the Adriatic Littoral championship set up by the German occupational force. Nonetheless, the players kept playing several matches with other local clubs and against sides organised or brought in by the German occupational authorities. Worth mentioning are the excessive celebrations for some victories against the German sides that brought several players to be imprisoned and sent to various concentration camps in Germany, and a last ceremonial game between the old legends of Olympia and Gloria that was held on 15 June 1944 while allied planes were bombing the city's surroundings. Most Fiumana players joined the partisan movement and helped the Yugoslav liberation movement, with many ending up in imprisonment and being sent to concentration camps.

1943–1954

Following the liberation of the city from the Nazi occupation and the subsequent occupation by Yugoslav troops, and due to the uncertain future status of the city during the long Paris peace conference, the club resumed its activities in the post-war period under the slightly rebranded name of Rappresentativa Sindacale Fiumana. It went on playing several games against the most notable teams of the newly constituted Yugoslav state, beating Dinamo Zagreb 4–2, Akademičar Zagreb 7–2 and Metalac Beograd 2–0. During the interim post-war year, and before the first edition of the Yugoslav First League, R.S. Fiumana played against some of its future Balkan rivals. The authorities also set up an unofficial city tournament among factories named after Fiumana's late captain Giovanni Maras, who died heroically in partisan combat on the nearby Mount Risnjak. Despite Maras and most of his colleagues' partisan allegiance and the many hardships endured by them in Nazi concentration camps, the name Fiumana came soon to be considered too Italian for a city that the Yugoslav occupational authorities were trying to annex by force before the official peace treaty could be signed.

As in most other cities in Yugoslavia, in 1946 the communist authorities established a new identity for the city's most representative club in order for it to take part in the upcoming Yugoslav championship and rebranded and restructured the club into Società Cultura Fisica Quarnero (S.C.F. Quarnero), which later added also the bilingual title Sportsko Društvo Kvarner. The new name followed the geographic neutral naming conventions requested to local councils by the central authorities in Belgrade in order to approve the reestablishment of the local sport club activities and to participate in competitions. The initiative came from Ettore Mazzieri, the city's sports commissioner for the Yugoslav military administration and a previous Fiumana manager. The first match with the Quarnero identify was played on 7 August 1946, bringing revenge against Hajduk Split for the loss from the previous year. The club began the new course with a resounding 2–0 against the best Yugoslav side of the time. Quarnero initially continued to play in the Fiumana amaranto colours, but started switching colours after the first few championships games, and continued appearing with new kits every few matches until season 1957–58. Luigi Sošić and, in particular, Giovanni Cucera took over the role of the first post-war president, shaping the new communist direction of the club. At the same time, all former Fiumana players and staff carried on playing in the renamed club for the next few years before the Italian exodus slowly forced many of them to leave the city after the season 1947–48. As all clubs in Yugoslavia had to transform general sports clubs following the Stalinist model imposed by Belgrade in 1945, S.C.F. Quarnero incorporated 11 other sections in addition to football, including boxing, fencing, basketball and tennis. The international tennis champion Orlando Sirola started his career at the club before his exile.

The authorities in Belgrade soon decided that Rijeka's club should be invited to participate in the first Yugoslav First League in 1946-47 as an external guest, representing the occupied Zone B of the Julian March region, but only after a play-off with the Pula-based club Unione Sportiva Operaia. When the city of Rijeka was assigned to Yugoslavia in February 1947, and Tito broke all ties with Stalin in 1948, most Yugoslav clubs underwent a further re-organisation. Thus, in 1948, Quarnero became once again an all-football club, and the name was also modified into Società Calcio Quarnero – Nogometni Klub Kvarner. During the early period playing in Yugoslavia's competitions, Kvarner reached moderate success in various national and local leagues. Still, the club was relegated at the end of their inaugural season in the Yugoslav First League in 1946–47 due to a purely political decision to favour Ponziana, after Quarnero had already secured its stay in the first league during the season. Upon securing Rijeka for Yugoslavia, the Belgrade authorities were now trying to pander to Trieste's residents through sport in the hope of annexing also that city to Yugoslavia.

The club continued to play with mixed results in Yugoslav football's second and third divisions. The club achieved mediocre results over the next ten years, concurrently with Rijeka's autochthonous population slowly leaving hometown over the years. Consequently, the club lost many of its best players because many opted to leave Yugoslavia and move overseas.

In 1954, following rising ethnic tensions around the Trieste Crisis and the subsequent elimination of all forms of bilingualism in the city, paired with a desire to have a brand more recognizable and associated the club was further renamed into NK Rijeka.

1954–1991

Given the political interferences in the club's life and the continuous mistreatment of ethnic Italians, many of Quarnero's best players were forced to join the Fiuman exodus, and the club lingered between the second and third tier of the Yugoslav competition for the next several years. Following new Italian-Yugoslav tensions that arose during the Trieste Crisis, and the subsequent de facto abolition of the city's full bilingual rights by the communist authorities in Belgrade, the club changed its name once again, into the now completely monolingual NK Rijeka (Rijeka Football Club) on 2 July 1954, giving up onto the Italian language in its brand image for the first time in the club's history. Rijeka started to use a white kit for the second time in its history in a match in Šibenik in the 1957–58 second league season. During the previous seasons, the kit colours were constantly changing, depending on what was available to the management at any given time and what the sponsors could offer. The main kit remained white since. Rijeka returned to the First League in 1958 and remained in the top tier for 11 consecutive seasons until 1969, when it got relegated once again to the Yugoslav Second League. Despite finishing at the top in four (out of five) seasons of the second league, due to three failed promotion play-off attempts, the club only gained promotion back to the top tier in 1974. Rijeka remained in the top tier until the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, with varying but improving results.

The club's greatest successes during this period are two Yugoslav Cup titles in 1978 and 1979 and a runner-up finish in 1987, when Rijeka lost the final in the penalty shoot-out. The club never managed to finish the season higher than fourth place in the Yugoslav First League. In 1984, the club came closest to a Yugoslav championship title, finishing only two points behind Red Star Belgrade. Rijeka were also the best placed Croatian club in the Yugoslav First League in 1965, 1984 and 1987.

1991–present

Players and staff celebrating their 2006 Croatian Cup win

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, Rijeka joined the Croatian First Football League in its inaugural season. In 1995, the club changed its name to HNK Rijeka, adding the prefix "Croatian" to its name, following the example of many other clubs during the Croatian War for Independence. Today, Rijeka remains one of only four founding member clubs of the HNL to have never been relegated and is regarded as one of the country's top three clubs. Since the Croatian independence, the club won its first-ever league title in 2017, ending Dinamo Zagreb's run of 11 consecutive titles, and was a runner-up in seven different seasons. Rijeka has also won six Croatian Cups, including back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 and most recently in 2019 and 2020. The club also won the cup in 2014 and in 2017, which helped them secure a historic Double in that year.

A refereeing error denied Rijeka their first championship title in the final round of the 1998–99 season. With one match to play, Rijeka was one point ahead of Croatia Zagreb, needing a home win against Osijek to secure the title. With the match tied at 1–1, in the 89th minute, Rijeka forward Admir Hasančić converted a cross by Barnabás Sztipánovics. However, moments later, assistant referee Krečak raised his flag, and referee Šupraha disallowed Rijeka's winning goal for an alleged offside. Following an investigation, 3D analysis revealed Hasančić was not, in fact, in an offside position, and that Rijeka was wrongfully denied their first championship title. An investigation by Nacional revealed Franjo Tuđman, the president of the Republic of Croatia and an ardent Croatia Zagreb supporter, earlier in 1999 ordered the country's intelligence agencies to spy on football referees, officials and journalists, to ensure the Zagreb club wins the league title.

HNK Rijeka in the European competitions

Rijeka participated in UEFA competitions on 23 occasions, including 11 consecutive appearances since 2013–14. The greatest success was the quarter-final of the 1979–80 European Cup Winners' Cup, where they lost to Italian giants Juventus 2–0 on aggregate. The most memorable result in Europe was the home win (3–1) against eventual winners Real Madrid in the 1984–85 UEFA Cup. Controversially, in the return leg at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, which Rijeka lost 3–0, three of their players were sent off. Madrid scored their first goal from a dubious penalty in the 67th minute with Rijeka already down to ten men. Over the next ten minutes, two additional Rijeka players were sent off, most notably Damir Desnica. While Desnica received the first yellow card because he did not stop play after Schoeters blew his whistle, the second yellow was issued because he allegedly insulted the referee. However, unbeknownst to the referee, Desnica had been a deaf-mute since birth. With Rijeka reduced to eight players, Madrid scored two additional goals, progressed to the next round and eventually won the trophy.

In 2013, after winning 4–3 on aggregate against VfB Stuttgart, Rijeka qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League group stage. Rijeka also participated in the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League group stage, where they defeated Feyenoord and Standard Liège and drew with title-holders and eventual winners Sevilla. In 2017, Rijeka reached the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League play-off, where they lost 3–1 on aggregate to Greek champions Olympiacos, and automatically qualified for the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League group stage. In the group stage, they recorded a famous home win (2–0) against AC Milan. In 2020–21 Rijeka reached the group stages of the Europa League for the fourth time in eight years but once again failed to progress to the knockout stages.

Private ownership

In February 2012, Gabriele Volpi – an Italian businessman and the founder of Orlean Invest, as well as the owner of football club Spezia and water polo club Pro Recco – injected much-needed capital into the club. With the privatization process complete by September 2013, Volpi, through Dutch-based Stichting Social Sport Foundation, owned 70% of the club, with the City of Rijeka in control of the remaining 30%. On 29 December 2017 it was announced that chairman Damir Mišković, through London-based Teanna Limited, acquired the majority stake in the club from Stichting Social Sport Foundation.

Record transfers

In January 2015, Rijeka sold their star striker Andrej Kramarić to Leicester City for a club-record £9.7 million transfer fee.

HNK Rijeka is a professional soccer team based in Rijeka, Croatia. Founded in 1946, the club has a rich history and is one of the oldest and most successful teams in Croatian football. HNK Rijeka competes in the Croatian First Football League, the top tier of Croatian football, and has a strong fan base known for their passionate support.

The team plays their home matches at the iconic Stadion Rujevica, which has a seating capacity of over 8,000 spectators. The club's colors are white and blue, and their mascot is a seagull, symbolizing the team's connection to the Adriatic Sea.

Over the years, HNK Rijeka has won several domestic titles, including the Croatian First Football League and the Croatian Football Cup. The team has also competed in European competitions, showcasing their talent on the international stage.

Known for their attacking style of play and talented roster of players, HNK Rijeka continues to be a formidable force in Croatian football. With a dedicated fan base and a strong tradition of success, the club remains a prominent figure in the country's soccer landscape.