|Full name||Nogometni klub Zagreb|
|Nickname(s)||Pjesnici (The Poets) |
Bijeli (The Whites)
Pogorelci (The Smolders)
|Founded||1908 as |
|Ground||Nogometni centar ZAGREBello, Veslačka, Zagreb|
|Head coach||Dražen Madunović|
|League||Četvrta HNL Center|
|2018–19||Treća HNL West, 18th of 18 |
Nogometni klub Zagreb (English: Zagreb Football Club), commonly known as NK Zagreb or simply Zagreb (pronounced [zâːɡreb]), is an amateur Croatian football club based in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb, currently playing in the Četvrta HNL Center, which is a fourth tier league competition in the Croatian football league system. The club was founded in 1908 as HŠK Zagreb, meaning Hrvatski Športski Klub Zagreb (English: Croatian Athletic Club Zagreb). From 1992 to 2014 club played in top division of Croatian football Prva HNL. After that period club was ruined by bad decisions of club board. In 2018 after managing Stadion Kranjčevićeva as their home ground since 1946 for 72 years, NK Zagreb was denied of new managing contract by the city's officials which in the end led to eviction from the venue in October 2018. So, as of 2018–19 season NK Zagreb is using their training camp ZAGREBello venue as a home ground for its official fixtures which is located in Veslačka street. The team's traditional home colours are white shirts, shorts and socks which is the reason why they are referred to as Bijeli in Croatian, meaning "The Whites". Another popular nickname of the club is "The Poets", Pjesnici in Croatian, due to their former location of home ground at Kranjčevićeva street which is named after Croatian poet Silvije Strahimir Kranjčević.
So far, NK Zagreb has won the Croatian Football Championship only once, in the 2001–02 season under the guidance of Zlatko Kranjčar which had been the first time since its establishment in 1992 that the Croatian champion was not Dinamo Zagreb or Hajduk Split, an achievement that was repeated only once 15 years later by HNK Rijeka in 2016–17 season. Another rarity that NK Zagreb achieved in the Croatian football happened in 2013–14 season when they won Croatian Second Football League, thus becoming the only football club in Croatia to ever hold titles in both first and second division. For long period of time, in particular from 1950s till 2010s NK Zagreb was the second strongest and most famous football club in city of Zagreb and by far the most famous football club in Trešnjevka neighbourhood. Although NK Zagreb is currently competing in the fourth tier of Croatian Football League, it competed in the top-level First Croatian Football League for 24 seasons from its beginning in 1992 as a league founder until 2016, when the club was relegated. Also, NK Zagreb participated several times in the European competitions like UEFA Champions League (2), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (4), UEFA Intertoto Cup (10) and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (10).
The club was founded in 1903 as PNIŠK (Prvi nogometni i športski klub, translated First Football and Sports Club), being one of the first to be formed in Croatia. First secretary was Dragutin Baki, the president was Vilhelm Witte, and the captain of the team and instructor was Czech Jan Todl.
Since there weren't any clubs to play with, the first official match was played between the club's players divided into two groups in 1904. Ticket income from the match was 3 krone and 3 filers.
The first international match was played in 1905. against Magyar champions Ferencváros on Magyar Athleticai Club's pitch. Home team won with a high 11–1 score. The players who played for Zagreb were: Filipčić, Schwarz, Todl, Mutefelija, Slavnič, Ugrinić, Polivka, Uhrl, Višinger, Koruna, and Torbić.
However, after World War II, NK Zagreb has been overshadowed by several larger, more successful clubs, especially their local rival Dinamo Zagreb.
One of the most notable matches Zagreb played was on 19 July 1973 when "Great drama in Maksimir" took place – a match between NK Zagreb and NK Osijek on Maksimir stadium. It was a second of two qualifying matches for entering the first league; the first one in Osijek ended 0–0 with attendance of 25,000. The second match was played in Maksimir because of great demand for tickets – the attendance was 64,138 which broke the stadium record and stands to this day. Zagreb won the match after penalty kicks (4–3).
Lineup for this team was: Horvat, Gašparini, Tucak, Antolić, Ivanišević, Lipovac, Markulin, Čopor (Hušidić), Močibob, Rukljač, Smolek (Bakota).
Among NK Zagreb's more notable players was Ivica Olić who led the club to its first championship of the Prva HNL in 2002 with 21 goals scored in 29 appearances for NK Zagreb. Also worth mentioning here is Joško Popović (who played in the 1990s), 2nd top-goalscorer ever in Prva HNL.
In the championship of 2002, NK Zagreb broke the duopoly of NK Dinamo and NK Hajduk for the first time. Standard lineup for the champion team was: Vasilj, Stavrevski, Pirić, Ješe, Bulat, Poldrugač, Duro, Hasančić, Franja, Lovrek, Olić.
There are two other football competitions being played in Croatia – Cup and Supercup. NK Zagreb were finalist of Cup in 1997 and finalist of Supercup in 2002.
On August 2015 Zagreb players declared strike and refused training practice in preparation for the 5th round and away game against RNK Split bringing in question the game itself and so on the regularity of Prva HNL which was already seriously shattered. The club was in debt, players not receiving wages for six months. Zagreb president Dražen Medić had several offers for players that would at least somewhat stabilized the situation in the first division club from Kranjčevićeva, but refused them all. Strike was ongoing for a week ahead of matchday with players demanding to be paid at least partially.
The club were relegated to the third division in 2017 and finished in 9th place in their first season in the league. The club suffered a disastrous start to the 2018 season in which they missed a game against NK Jadran Porec for not having a licensed doctor at the match.
Main article: Stadion u Kranjčevićevoj
Stadion u Kranjčevićevoj ulici (English: Kranjčevićeva Street Stadium), known as Stadion Concordije between 1921 and 1945, is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Trešnjevka neighbourhood in Zagreb, Croatia. The stadium at what was then called Tratinska cesta (English: Tratinska road) began construction in the 1910s and was completed in 1921. At the time of its completion it was the biggest stadium in Zagreb and was owned by Concordia. In 1931 the first floodlit match held in Zagreb was played at the stadium, in which Zagreb XI beat Real Madrid 2–1. After World War II, Concordia was disbanded for political reasons and the stadium was handed over to the newly formed Fiskulturno društvo Zagreb (English: Zagreb Sports Society), whose football section later evolved into today's NK Zagreb football club. NK Zagreb's third jersey is green in honour of Concordia, whose old stadium is now their own.
In November 1977 a large fire destroyed the west stand and in the following years the stadium went through several reconstructions and modifications. The most significant of these was an extensive overhaul and the construction of the adjoining facilities in preparation for the 1987 Summer Universiade. Later that year a lightning strike destroyed the floodlights during a match between NK Zagreb and NK Osijek and the stadium was without any floodlight capabilities for almost 20 years until 2008, when new ones were installed by the City of Zagreb.
After the season 2006–07 and prior to the game against Vllaznia in the Intertoto Cup stadium's capacity was reduced due to UEFA standards from 12,000 to 8,850 people by placing numbered plastic chairs in the west stand and reducing the space for visiting supporters at the eastern stand. The stadium consists of two stands. The west stand is fully seated and can hold 3,850 spectators. It houses the press box and the VIP area. The east stand has 5,000 standing places and is mainly used for travelling fans. The stadium also has a cycling track around the pitch which is used for track cycling events. In June 2008 UEFA inspection had visited the stadium and gave it a 3-star rating, but criticised the lack of floodlights (which have been installed two months later) and press box provisions. The stadium can hold 8,850 people, which makes it the second biggest stadium in Zagreb, behind Stadion Maksimir. Currently within the stadium, there are two restaurants and a driving school. Today, the stadium is in function only on the day when the official match occur while friendlies and training sessions are conducted in a training camp "Zagrebello", where the headquarters and offices of NK Zagreb are also located.
The club ultras group are called "White Angels" (Bijeli Anđeli). The fans are strongly left-wing and are part of the anti-fascist movement.
|Season||League||Cup||European competitions||Top goalscorer|
|1992||1. HNL||22||14||5||3||34||9||33||2nd||DNQ||Renato Jurčec||8|
|1992–93||1. HNL||30||15||10||5||50||27||40||3rd||R2||Joško Popović
|1993–94||1. HNL||34||20||9||5||58||30||49||2nd||SF||Robert Špehar||19|
|1994–95||1. HNL||30||14||11||5||41||26||53||4th||QF||Joško Popović||9|
|1995–96||1. HNL||32||8||9||15||31||50||33||6th||SF||Intertoto Cup||GS||Joško Popović||10|
|1996–97||1. HNL||30||13||6||11||43||39||45||5th||RU||Vjekoslav Škrinjar||5|
|1997–98||1. HNL||32||14||8||10||51||39||50||5th||SF||Cup Winners' Cup||R1||Mate Baturina||18|
|1998–99||1. HNL||32||9||9||14||47||53||36||10th||R1||Nino Bule||13|
|1999–00||1. HNL||33||9||12||12||42||49||39||8th||SF||Nino Bule||9|
|2000–01||1. HNL||32||11||5||16||51||58||38||6th||SF||Krunoslav Lovrek||11|
|2001–02||1. HNL||30||20||7||3||71||24||67||1st||QF||Intertoto Cup||R1||Ivica Olić||21|
|2002–03||1. HNL||32||9||9||14||40||52||36||6th||QF||Champions League||QR2||Radomir Đalović||8|
|2003–04||1. HNL||32||8||12||12||33||41||36||10th||R2||Intertoto Cup||R1||Radomir Đalović||9|
|2004–05||1. HNL||32||15||5||12||50||42||50||3rd||QF||Mladen Bartolović||9|
|2005–06||1. HNL||32||11||4||17||26||43||37||10th||R1||Mladen Pelaić||5|
|2006–07||1. HNL||33||18||4||11||57||40||58||3rd||QF||Krunoslav Lovrek||18|
|2007–08||1. HNL||33||11||11||11||51||40||44||6th||SF||Intertoto Cup||R1||Krunoslav Lovrek||14|
|2008–09||1. HNL||33||13||8||12||38||39||47||5th||SF||Davor Vugrinec||11|
|2009–10||1. HNL||30||9||6||15||43||49||33||14th||QF||Davor Vugrinec||18|
|2010–11||1. HNL||30||9||8||13||32||39||35||13th||QF||Ivan Krstanović||19|
|2011–12||1. HNL||30||13||6||11||36||42||45||6th||SF||Damir Šovšić||5|
|2012–13||1. HNL||33||7||6||20||28||60||27||12th ↓||R2||Besart Abdurahimi||12|
|2013–14||2. HNL||33||20||7||6||59||26||67||1st ↑||R2||Gabrijel Boban||18|
|2014–15||1. HNL||36||13||7||16||45||54||46||5th||R1||Gabrijel Boban||13|
|2015–16||1. HNL||36||3||8||25||27||64||17||10th ↓||QF||Gabrijel Boban||10|
|2016–17||2. HNL||33||6||11||16||34||50||29||12th ↓||R1||Edin Šehić||10|
|2017–18||3. HNL||34||13||5||16||46||51||44||9th||R2||Filip Matijašević||17|
|2018–19||3. HNL||34||4||3||27||26||96||15||18th ↓||R1||Marko Bubnjić||10|
|Competition||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||Last season played|
|UEFA Champions League||2||1||0||1||2||2||2002–03|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||4||3||0||1||9||7||1997–98|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup||10||2||4||4||8||10||2007|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||10||3||2||5||16||13||1969–70|
Source: uefa.com, Last updated on 9 January 2010
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against. Defunct competitions indicated in italics.
Note: This summary includes matches played in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was not endorsed by UEFA and is not counted in UEFA's official European statistics.
|1964–65||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1||GAK||3–2||6–0||9–2|
|1965–66||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1||RFC Liège||2–0||0–1||2–1|
|R2||Steagul Roșu Brașov||2–2||0–1||2–3|
|1969–70||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||R1||Charleroi||1–3||1–2||2–5|
|1997–98||Cup Winners' Cup||QR||Sloga Jugomagnat||2–0||2–1||4–1|
|2002–03||Champions League||QR2||Zalaegerszeg||2–1||0–1||2–2 (a)|
|2007–08||Intertoto Cup||R1||Vllaznia Shkodër||2–1||0–1||2–2 (a)|
Pld – Matches played; W – Matches won; D – Matches drawn; L – Matches lost; GF – Goals for; GA – Goals against
Source: nkzagreb.hr, Last updated unknown
Source: nkzagreb.hr, Last updated unknown