Nogometni Klub Zadar, more commonly known as Zadar, was first established in 1945. After Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia, the club became a founding member of the country's new top division, the Prva HNL, in 1992. However, since that time, the team have struggled to fully establish themselves as a top tier side.
After three seasons in the bottom half of the table, Zadar suffered relegation as a result of a thirteenth place finish in 1994–95. They swiftly returned at the first opportunity, but suffered another relegation at the end of 1998–99. This time, they failed to return to the top flight straight away and had to wait until 2001–02 for their next taste of Prva HNL football. A third relegation occcurred in 2004–05 and the team's most recent promotion was gained at the conclusion of the 2006–07 campaign. Their current stay in the Prva HNL is their longest since the league's foundation.
To date, the club have failed to win major honours and have also struggled to compete for them. Zadar's best performances in Croatia's top flight were sixth place finishes, which were achieved in both the 1997–98 and 2003–04 seasons. The side's best performance in the Croatian Cup came in 1992–93, when they reached the semi final stage of the competition.
Over the years, several talented players have represented the team, with some of the most well-known examples including Yugoslavia international Josip Skoblar, Croatia international Dado Pršo and prolific goalscorer Želimir Terkeš. Croatian midfielder Luka Modrić is by far the most notable product of the club's youth academy.
Zadar play their home matches at the Stadion Stanovi, which opened in 1979. In 2008, a footballer, Hrvoje Ćustić, tragically died after colliding with a wall next to one of the sidelines. As a result of the death, the stadium underwent renovations to improve safety. It is able to hold a maximum of 5,860 supporters.