Rijeka

Rijeka

About Rijeka

Hrvatski Nogometni Klub Rijeka, usually known as Rijeka, was first established in 1946, after the city of Rijeka changed hands from Italy to Yugoslavia. However, its roots can potentially be traced back further, to the foundation of Italian side US Fiumana in 1926. Some historians consider the club a direct continuation of that side. Initially operating as NK Kvarner, the team adopted its current name in 1954. 

Historically, the club's biggest rivals have been Hajduk Split, with whom they contest the Adriatic Derby. The rivalry is based on the two teams being the most popular sides located along the Adriatic coast. A secondary rivalry exists with NK Orijent, known as the Rijeka City Derby. This rivalry dates back to the 1930s, at which point it was contested by US Fiumana and Orijent, and the first match contested between Rijeka and Orijent occurred in 1952.

Over the years, the team have enjoyed success in both the Yugoslav and Croatian football leagues. Their first taste of major silverware came in the 1977–78 season, as Rijeka lifted the Yugoslav Cup. The following year, they successfully defended the trophy. Similar back-to-back success was achieved in the Croatian Cup in 2004–05 and 2005–06, while the 2005–06 season also saw the club finish as league runners up. The side have competed in several continental competitions, with their best performance coming in the 1979-80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, where they reached the quarter final stage.

Amongst the most notable players to represent the club are Damir Desnica, Velimir Naumović, Petar Radaković, Zvjezdan Radin and Srećko Juričić. All five players were included in the Rijeka all-time greatest XI compiled by local newspaper, Novi List.

The team play their home matches at Stadion Kantrida. The stadium has served as their home since the club's foundation and is also occasionally used by the national team for friendly matches. It is able to hold a capacity crowd of 12,600.