World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Croatian First League

Article Id: WHEBN0011194286
Reproduction Date:

Title: Croatian First League  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Vladimir Vasilj, Tomo Šokota, Alen Bokšić, Nick Dasovic, Ante Jazić, Dražen Ladić, Dragan Blatnjak, Nedim Halilović, Ivan Bošnjak, Mario Galinović
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Croatian First League

Prva HNL
Country  Croatia
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1992
Number of teams 10
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Druga HNL
Domestic cup(s) Croatian Cup
Croatian Super Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Dinamo Zagreb
Most championships Dinamo Zagreb (15)
TV partners Arenasport
2013–14 season

The Prva HNL (Croatian: Prva hrvatska nogometna liga, pronounced [pr̂ːvaː xř̩ʋaːtskaː nôɡomeːtnaː lǐːga]), also known as 1. HNL or for sponsorship reasons the MAXtv Prva Liga[needs IPA], is the top Croatian football league competition, established in 1992. The winners qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Dinamo Zagreb are the current champions, having won their eighth consecutive title in the 2012–13 season, and are the most successful club with 15 titles overall, followed by Hajduk Split with 6 titles.

Since 2003, Prva HNL has been named after its main sponsor, giving it the following names:


The Prva HNL was formed in 1991, following the dissolution of the Yugoslav First League, and is operated by the Croatian Football Federation. Since its formation, the league went through many changes in its system and number of participating clubs. In the first three seasons two points were awarded for a win, from 1994–95 season this was changed to three points. Each season of the Prva HNL starts in late July or early August and ends in May, with a two-month hiatus between December and February. Currently, there are 10 teams participating in the league.

The first season started in February 1992 and ended in June 1992. A total of twelve clubs contested the league and at the end of the season no teams were relegated as it was decided that the league would expand to 16 clubs for the following season. This was followed by another expansion to 18 teams in 1993–94 season, highest number of participating teams in Prva HNL history. The following season, number of teams was reduced again to 16. 1995–96 Prva HNL was the first season to feature separate A- and B- leagues, with a complicated two-stage format to the season. Twelve teams contested the A league, while the B league, formally the second level, consisted of ten teams. In March, the teams were split into three groups: Championship group (consisting of first five teams from A league and the first-placed team of the B league), A play-off group (remaining teams from A league and the second-placed team of the B league) and B play-off group (remaining teams from B league). The first two teams of the B play-off group were placed in the A league for the following season, which featured 16 teams in both A and B league. In the 1997–98 Prva HNL, the league consisted of 12 team and a new format was used. In March, teams were split into two groups of six, Championship and Relegation group, with 50% of their points taken to the this phase of the competition. At the end of the season, the last team was directly relegated to the Druga HNL and the second-last team went in the relegation play-off, a two-legged tie against the second-placed team from the Druga HNL. This system was used for two seasons, followed by 1999–2000 Prva HNL where each club playing every other club three times for a total of 33 rounds. Next season featured a return of Championship and Relegation group system but without 50% points cutoff. This system was used until 2005–06 season, with a brief expansion to 16 teams in 2001–02 season. The 2006–07 season brought back a 33 rounds system previously used in 1999–2000 Prva HNL. In the 2009–10 season, the league was expanded to 16 teams. This lasted for three seasons, and in the 2012–13 Prva HNL season, the league was contested by 12 teams playing a total of 33 rounds. In the current season, number of teams was reduced to ten.

The main sponsor of Prva HNL is T-Hrvatski Telekom, a part of German telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom. The president of Prva HNL association is Damir Mišković, also serving as president of HNK Rijeka. At the end of 2012–13 season, Prva HNL was ranked 22nd in Europe. The champions of the 2013–14 Prva HNL will qualify for the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, the runners-up as well as the winners of the 2013–14 Croatian Cup will qualify for the second qualifying round of UEFA Europa League, while the third-placed team will qualify for the first qualifying round of UEFA Europa League.

Members for 2013–14

The following 10 clubs will be competing in the 2013–14 Prva HNL season, the 23rd season since the league's establishment in 1992. The season will see a reduction from the 12-club format used in 2012–13 and the 16-club format used for three seasons from 2009 to 2012.

The clubs in bold also had spells in the Yugoslav First League before Croatian clubs abandoned it in 1991 (as of the 2013–14 season 6 out of 9 Croatian clubs which had appeared in the Yugoslav top division compete in the Croatian championship, the remaining ones being NK Zagreb and Cibalia in second level and the fourth level side Trešnjevka).

Four of the twelve founding members of the league were never relegated - Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, Osijek and Rijeka. RNK Split had their Prva HNL debut in the 2010–11 season, marking their return to top flight after 49 years, having been relegated from the 1960–61 Yugoslav First League.[4]

Due to the reduction of clubs only Hrvatski Dragovoljac were promoted at the end of the previous season as winners of 2012–13 Druga HNL.

in 2012–13
First season in
top division
Number of seasons
in top division
Number of seasons
in Prva HNL
First season of
current spell in
top division
Top division
Last top division title
Dinamo Zagreb a,b 0011st 1946–47 68 23 1946–47 19 c 2012–13
Hajduk Split a,b 0044th 1923 86 23 1923 15 d 2004–05
Hrvatski Dragovoljac ZZZ1st in 2.HNL 1995–96 9 9 2013–14 0 N/A
Istra 1961 0066th 2004–05 8 8 2009–10 0 N/A
Lokomotiva b 0022nd 1946–47 15 5 2009–10 0 N/A
Osijek a,b 0077th 1953–54 38 23 1981–82 0 N/A
Rijeka a,b 0033rd 1946–47 52 23 1974–75 0 N/A
Slaven Belupo b 0088th 1997–98 17 17 1997–98 0 N/A
RNK Split b 0055th 1957–58 6 4 2010–11 0 N/A
Zadar a 0099th 1992 18 18 2006–07 0 N/A

a: Founding member of the Prva HNL
b: Never been relegated from Prva HNL
c: Dinamo Zagreb tally includes 4 Yugoslav and 15 Croatian league titles
d: Hajduk Split tally includes 9 Yugoslav and 6 Croatian league titles


League matches

Total attendance
Number of
Average attendance
per match
1998–99 745,728 192 3,884 [5]
1999–2000 515,790 198 2,605 [5]
2000–01 546,624 192 2,847 [5]
2001–02 573,840 240 2,391 [5]
2002–03 635,520 192 3,310 [5]
2003–04 570,816 192 2,973 [5]
2004–05 541,440 192 2,820 [5]
2005–06 633,792 192 3,301 [5]
2006–07 622,908 198 3,146 [5]
2007–08 616,572 198 3,114 [5]
2008–09 617,050 198 3,116 [6]
2009–10 500,002 240 2,083 [6]
2010–11 458,746 240 1,911 [7]

HNL teams in European competitions

The breakup of Yugoslavia saw top flight league split into several smaller ones. This meant separation of Croatian football association from the Football Association of Yugoslavia and launch of their own football league. Prva HNL saw its first edition in 1992. Hajduk Split and HAŠK Građanski took part in European competitions on account of qualification secured at the end of the 1990–91 Yugoslav football season: HAŠK Građanski were runners-up in the 1990–91 Yugoslav First League and qualified for 1991–92 UEFA Cup while Hajduk Split won the 1990–91 Yugoslav Cup and entered 1991–92 European Cup Winners' Cup. Due to war both clubs had to host their European games abroad, in Austria.

Affected by the ongoing war in Croatia, the first Prva HNL season was held over the course of a single calendar year, from February to June 1992. Neither Hajduk Split (1992 Croatian champions) nor Inker Zaprešić (1992 Croatian Cup winners) could enter European competitions the following 1992–93 season as the Croatian Football Federation, the league's governing body, wasn't yet recognized by UEFA and officially became its affiliate as late as June 1993.

Only five times in history have HNL teams entered the group stages of UEFA Champions League. In the 1994–95 season, Hajduk Split eliminated Legia Warsaw in the qualifying round and entered the group stage. They advanced to quarterfinals as group runners-up behind Benfica but were eliminated by eventual winners Ajax. In the 1998–99 season, Croatia Zagreb qualified over Celtic and finished in second place behind Olympiacos, but failed to advance as only first place teams and two best runners-up went through. The following season, Croatia also entered the group stage after eliminating MTK Budapest in the third qualifying round. Drawn in the group with Manchester United, Olympique Marseille and Sturm Graz, they finished last, winning only against Sturm and drawing away at Manchester and Marseille. In the 2011–12 season, Dinamo Zagreb advanced through three qualifying rounds and were drawn in the group with Real Madrid, Lyon and Ajax. They lost all six group stage matches, setting new records for worst goal difference (-19) and most goals conceded (22). The following season, Dinamo Zagreb also advanced to the group stages and was drawn in the group with Dynamo Kyiv, Paris Saint-Germain and Porto. They lost five group matches, drawing with Dynamo Kyiv in the last round.

UEFA rankings

Source: team rankings); last updated 24 October 2013

Media coverage

In past, only one match in each round (derby match) was broadcast on television. In the 2008–09 season there were some changes. Croatian national TV Network (HRT) started the new TV show Volim Nogomet (I Love Football), made in association with league's main sponsor T-Com. In the show, five matches were broadcast combined on Sunday afternoons, while the derby match was on program at 20.15 CET, so viewers could watch all the matches. There were also experts in the studio, commenting on matches and other things non-related to football. Main initiator of the project was famous Croatian football player and then president of T-Com 1. HNL organisation Igor Štimac.[8] Most of the clubs weren't satisfied with the scheduling of fixtures and demanded a move from Sunday afternoon to Saturday evening. This was done at the start of the following season and the only match played on Sunday was the derby match.[9][10] However, during the mid-season project was cancelled and the old system with one broadcast per round was returned.[11]

In November 2010, broadcasting rights were sold to marketing agency Digitel Komunikacije for a period of five years, beginning with 2011–12 season. After the negotiations fell through with public broadcasting television HRT, which covered Prva HNL for the past twenty seasons, Digitel signed a deal with T-Hrvatski Telekom. The matches are currently broadcast on Arenasport, a cable television network with four channels, available to subscribers of MAXtv, IPTV solution from T-HT subsidiary T-Com. All matches are broadcast live every week. Derby game is broadcast in the basic programming, while other matches are available through purchasing additional sports package. All highlights are displayed on Sunday/Monday evening in the basic programming.[12][13]

Winning clubs

00 League champions also won the Croatian Cup, i.e. the domestic Double.
Season Champions (titles) Runners-up Third place Top scorer(s)
Player(s) (Club) Goals
1992 Hajduk Split (1) NK Zagreb Osijek Croatia Ardian Kozniku (Hajduk Split)
1992–93 Croatia Zagreb (1) Hajduk Split NK Zagreb Croatia Goran Vlaović (Croatia Zagreb)
1993–94 Hajduk Split (2) NK Zagreb Croatia Zagreb Croatia Goran Vlaović (Croatia Zagreb)
1994–95 Hajduk Split (3) Croatia Zagreb Osijek Croatia Robert Špehar (Osijek)
1995–96 Croatia Zagreb (2) Hajduk Split Varteks Croatia Igor Cvitanović (Croatia Zagreb)
1996–97 Croatia Zagreb (3) Hajduk Split Hrvatski Dragovoljac Croatia Igor Cvitanović (Croatia Zagreb)
1997–98 Croatia Zagreb (4) Hajduk Split Osijek Croatia Mate Baturina (NK Zagreb)
1998–99 Croatia Zagreb (5) Rijeka Hajduk Split Croatia Joško Popović (Šibenik)
1999–2000 Dinamo Zagreb (6) Hajduk Split Osijek Croatia Tomo Šokota (Dinamo Zagreb)
2000–01 Hajduk Split (4) Dinamo Zagreb Osijek Croatia Tomo Šokota (Dinamo Zagreb)
2001–02 NK Zagreb (1) Hajduk Split Dinamo Zagreb Croatia Ivica Olić (NK Zagreb)
2002–03 Dinamo Zagreb (7) Hajduk Split Varteks Croatia Ivica Olić (Dinamo Zagreb)
2003–04 Hajduk Split (5) Dinamo Zagreb Rijeka Croatia Robert Špehar (Osijek)
2004–05 Hajduk Split (6) Inter Zaprešić NK Zagreb Croatia Tomislav Erceg (Rijeka)
2005–06 Dinamo Zagreb (8) Rijeka Varteks Croatia Ivan Bošnjak (Dinamo Zagreb)
2006–07 Dinamo Zagreb (9) Hajduk Split NK Zagreb Croatia Eduardo da Silva (Dinamo Zagreb)
2007–08 Dinamo Zagreb (10) Slaven Belupo Osijek Bosnia and Herzegovina Želimir Terkeš (Zadar)
2008–09 Dinamo Zagreb (11) Hajduk Split Rijeka Croatia Mario Mandžukić (Dinamo Zagreb)
2009–10 Dinamo Zagreb (12) Hajduk Split Cibalia Croatia Davor Vugrinec (NK Zagreb)
2010–11 Dinamo Zagreb (13) Hajduk Split RNK Split Croatia Ivan Krstanović (NK Zagreb)
2011–12 Dinamo Zagreb (14) Hajduk Split Slaven Belupo Montenegro Fatos Bećiraj (Dinamo Zagreb)
2012–13 Dinamo Zagreb (15) Lokomotiva Rijeka Croatia Leon Benko (Rijeka)

Notes on name changes:

  • Dinamo Zagreb changed their name to "HAŠK Građanski" in June 1991 and then again in February 1993 to "Croatia Zagreb". They won five league titles and participated in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League group stages carrying that name before reverting to "Dinamo Zagreb" in February 2000.
  • The present-day NK Varaždin were called "Varteks" from 1958 until June 2010.
  • Koprivnica-based Slaven Belupo were formerly known as "Slaven" until 1992. They were known as "Slaven Bilokalnik" from 1992 to 1994 before adopting their current name in 1994 for sponsorship reasons. Since UEFA does not recognize sponsored club names, the club is listed as "Slaven Koprivnica" in European competitions and on UEFA's official website.

Top scorers

All-time top scorers in the Prva HNL
Rank Player Goals
1 Croatia Davor Vugrinec 138
2 Croatia Igor Cvitanović 126
3 Croatia Joško Popović 111
4 Croatia Miljenko Mumlek 107
5 Croatia Tomislav Erceg 97
6 Croatia Nino Bule 88
7 Croatia Renato Jurčec 87
8 Croatia Robert Špehar 86
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina Marijo Dodik 84
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Bartolović 78
(Bold denotes players still playing in the Prva HNL,
italics denotes players still playing professional football).[14]

Players in the Prva HNL compete for the Prva HNL Top scorer trophy, awarded to the top scorer at the end of each season. Former Dinamo Zagreb striker Igor Cvitanović held the record for most Prva HNL goals with 126 until April 2012. Cvitanović finished among the top ten goal scorers in 7 out of his 11 seasons in the Prva HNL and won the top scorer title two times. During the 1997–98 season he became the first player to score 100 Prva HNL goals. On 14 April 2012, Davor Vugrinec scored his 127th goal and surpassed Cvitanović's record.[15] Only two other players have reached the 100-goal mark, Joško Popović and Miljenko Mumlek.

Since the first Prva HNL season in 1992, seventeen different players have won the top scorers title. Goran Vlaović, Robert Špehar, Igor Cvitanović, Tomislav Šokota and Ivica Olić have won two titles each. Dinamo Zagreb provided most top scorers in Prva HNL, their strikers topped the table eleven times. Eduardo da Silva holds the record for most goals in a season (34) – scored for Dinamo Zagreb in the 2006–07 season.[16] Six goals is the record individual scoring total for a player in a single Prva HNL game held by Marijo Dodik.[17]

Dinamo Zagreb became the first team to have scored 1,000 goals in the league after Etto scored in a 4–0 victory over NK Zagreb in the 2005–06 season.[18] Hajduk Split is the only other team to have reached the 1,000-goal mark.[19] The highest-scoring match to date in the Prva HNL occurred on 12 December 1993 when Dinamo Zagreb beat Pazinka 10–1.[20]

List of winning managers

Rank Nation Manager Won Years won
1. Croatia Zlatko Kranjčar 3 1995–96, 1997–98 (Croatia Zagreb), 2001–02 (Zagreb)
Croatia Krunoslav Jurčić 3 2008–09, 2009–10, 2012–13 (Dinamo Zagreb)
3. Croatia Ivan Katalinić 2 1993–94, 1994–95 (Hajduk Split)
Croatia Miroslav Blažević 2 1992–93, 2002–03 (Dinamo Zagreb)
5. Croatia Stanko Poklepović 1 1992 (Hajduk Split)
Croatia Otto Barić 1 1996–97 (Croatia Zagreb)
Croatia Ilija Lončarević 1 1998–99 (Croatia Zagreb)
Croatia Marijan Vlak 1 1999–2000 (Dinamo Zagreb)
Croatia Zoran Vulić 1 2000–01 (Hajduk Split)
Croatia Petar Nadoveza 1 2003–04 (Hajduk Split)
Croatia Igor Štimac 1 2004–05 (Hajduk Split)
Croatia Josip Kuže 1 2005–06 (Dinamo Zagreb)
Croatia Branko Ivanković 1 2006–07 (Dinamo Zagreb)
Croatia Zvonimir Soldo 1 2007–08 (Dinamo Zagreb)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vahid Halilhodžić 1 2010–11 (Dinamo Zagreb)
Croatia Ante Čačić 1 2011–12 (Dinamo Zagreb)
  • Active managers are in bold



External links

  • Official website (Croatian)
  • Division 1 - Prva HNL - Presentation — All time table for 10 most successful clubs and all results since 1991 with links to entire results and winners, second and third.
  • - Croatian football league tables, records & statistics database. (English)
it:Campionato croato di calcio
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.