Nogometno društvo Ilirija 1911 is a Slovenian football club based in Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, that competes in the Slovenian Second League, the second tier of football in the country. The club was founded in June 1911 and is the oldest still active football club in the country.[2]

Ilirija 1911
Full nameNogometno društvo Ilirija 1911
Founded9 June 1911; 113 years ago (1911-06-09)[1]
GroundIlirija Sports Park
PresidentAljaž Bedene
Head coachRobert Kopčič
LeagueSlovenian Second League
2023–24Slovenian Second League, 14th of 16
WebsiteClub website



SK Ilirija (1911–1941)


At the beginning of the 20th century, football came to Ljubljana from Vienna and was played mostly by the students. Football club Ilirija was founded on 9 June 1911[3] in a pub called Roža on Židovska cesta in Ljubljana. Albin Kandare was elected as the first president of Ilirija, and their first ground was at Tivoli Park.[4] Ilirija's first match was played on 30 July 1911, and ended in an 18–0 defeat against Hermes, the local students' club which had been founded in 1910.[4] Soon after their first match Ilirija merged with Hermes in 1913. In the first few years Ilirija had no competition in Slovenia and they mainly played friendly matches against Zagreb-based Croatian clubs such as HAŠK, Građanski and Concordia.[4] An important turning point was a friendly with the Czech side Slavia Prague in Ljubljana played on 5 August 1913, which Ilirija lost 10–0. However, Ilirija's players and staff were impressed by Slavia's display of professionally trained football so much that they convinced Slavia's player Jirkovský to stay in Ljubljana and work as Ilirija's first manager after the match.[4] The best and most popular players of Ilirija of that time were Stanko Tavčar, Ernest Turk, Stanko Pelan and Oto Oman.[4]

SK Ilirija squad, which won the first Slovenian regional championship in 1920.

At the onset of World War I, Ilirija and Slovan (founded in 1913 and still active today) were the only two football clubs in Slovenia, and during the war all football activities were suspended. In 1919 Ilirija was re-activated, and was soon followed by Slovan.[4] Football rapidly gained popularity and a number of other Slovenian clubs came into life around the same time such as Olimp in Celje, I. SSK Maribor in Maribor and AŠK Primorje in Ljubljana, with the latter becoming Ilirija's biggest rivals in the following decade.[4]

Ilirija then became the first regional champions of Slovenia (which was at the time part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), winning the inaugural Slovenian championship in 1920, and proceeded to win a total of 12 Slovenian titles between 1920 and 1935.[4] By the mid-1930s both Ilirija and Primorje encountered financial difficulties which led to their merger and the formation of SK Ljubljana football club in 1936.[4] Between 1936 and 1941 SK Ljubljana was one of the top sides in Slovenia (winning the 1935–36 and 1940–41 Slovenian championships) and also competed in the Yugoslav First League, Kingdom of Yugoslavia's top national competition formed in 1923. In addition, Ilirija's Stanko Tavčar was the first Slovenian player who was capped for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia national football team in the period between the two world wars.[5] He was member of their 1920 Olympics squad and appeared in matches against Czechoslovakia and Egypt, the first two games in the history of the team.[5] SK Ljubljana operated until 1941 and the outbreak of World War II, when all sports activities in Ljubljana were suspended.[4]

NK Ilirija (1950–1991)


After the World War II, with the help of some pre-war former players, the club was refounded in 1950. They were now located in the outskirts of Ljubljana in Zgornja Šiška, where they built their own modern stadium in 1963. They played mostly in Slovenian Republic League, an amateur third-level league in SFR Yugoslavia. Their biggest success was becoming vice-champions in 1972. The team, composed of Jerebic, Rojina, Šmon, Erjavec, Kolenc, Dermastija, Godler, Ahlin, Filip, Jalšavec, Jesenšek, Daneu and Prelovšek, therefore contested for amateur championship of Yugoslavia that year, but lost against Vrbas in the final. In 1986 Ilirija was relegated from republic league and continued playing in local regional leagues until the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

Since 1991


After Slovenia's independence in 1991, Ilirija played a couple of seasons in the newly established Slovenian Second League. In the 1992–93 season, they finished 15th and were subsequently relegated to the Slovenian Third League. Since then, Ilirja competed in leagues outside of the top two divisions until 2017, when they returned to the Slovenian Second League.

Colours and crest

Ilirija's original kit

The traditional colours of Ilirija are green and white, the colours strongly associated with the city of Ljubljana. Although green and white were club colours from the very beginning,[3] Ilirija usually wore red-white kits with a star in the early years, a hommage to Slavia Prague.

The club crest depicts a name, foundation year and a column in doric order. The name itself is a reference to the historical region of Illyria.



In the interwar period, Ilirija played its home matches on the field by Celovška Road, which was built in 1919 and was located between the State Station and the Union Brewery.[6] After World War II, Ilirija moved to Ilirija Sports Park, where the club's current home ground was built in 1963. It has a capacity of 1,000[7] and is the third largest stadium in Ljubljana.[8] Apart from football, it also hosted speedway events between 1963 and 2020.[9]






  • Slovenian Third League
  • Slovenian Fourth Division
    • Winners: 1995–96
  • Slovenian Fifth Division
    • Winners: 2003–04, 2012–13[10]
  • MNZ Ljubljana Cup
    • Winners: 2016–17

League history since 1991

Season League Position Notes
1991–92 2. SNL – West 3rd
1992–93 2. SNL 15th Relegated to Slovenian Third League
1993–94 3. SNL – West 13th Relegated to Ljubljana League
1994–95 Ljubljana League (level 4) 2nd
1995–96 Ljubljana League (level 4) 1st Promoted to Slovenian Third League
1996–97 3. SNL – West 14th Relegated
1997–2002 Did not enter any competition
2002–03 MNZ Ljubljana (level 5) 2nd
2003–04 MNZ Ljubljana (level 5) 1st Promoted to Ljubljana Regional League
2004–05 Ljubljana Regional League (level 4) 10th
2005–06 Ljubljana Regional League (level 4) 9th
2006–07 Ljubljana Regional League (level 4) 11th
2007–08 Ljubljana Regional League (level 4) 14th Relegated
2008–2011 Did not enter any competition
2011–12 MNZ Ljubljana (level 5) 4th
2012–13 MNZ Ljubljana (level 5) 1st Promoted to Ljubljana Regional League
2013–14 Ljubljana Regional League (level 4) 2nd Promoted to Slovenian Third League
2014–15 3. SNL – Centre 2nd
2015–16 3. SNL – Centre 1st Lost promotion play-offs for 2. SNL
2016–17 3. SNL – Centre 2nd Promoted to Slovenian Second League
2017–18 2. SNL 8th
2018–19 2. SNL 15th Relegated to Slovenian Third League
2019–20 3. SNL – West 9th
2020–21 3. SNL – West 1st Promoted to Slovenian Second League
2021–22 2. SNL 10th
2022–23 2. SNL 3rd
2023–24 2. SNL 14th


Manager Period
  Vlado Miloševič 2011–2012
  Goran Markovič 2012–2015
  Žiga Starič 2015–2017
  Stanko Božičevič 2017–2018
  Željko Mitraković 2018
  Zoran Zeljković 2018–2019
  Krištof Kastelec 2019
  Borut Jermol 2019–2020
  Rok Golob 2020–2021
  Žiga Starič 2021
  Marko Babić 2022
  Goran Stanković 2022
  Robert Kopčič 2023–present


  1. ^ "Klubi" [Clubs] (in Slovenian). Football Association of Slovenia. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Slovenia – List of Foundation Dates". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Slovenski Narod, št. 133 (page 8)" (in Slovenian). Slovenski Narod. 10 June 1911. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Zgodovina" [History] (in Slovenian). ND Ilirija 1911. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Tavčar Stanko". (in Serbian). Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Zgodovina: Predvojni stadioni in igrišča na Slovenskem". Slovenski nogometni portal (in Slovenian). 1 November 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Osebna izkaznica" (in Slovenian). ND Ilirija 1911. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Športni park Ilirija". (in Slovenian). Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Ljubljana ostala brez dirkališča za speedway". AMZS (in Slovenian). 27 May 2020. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  10. ^ "MNZ liga 2012/13" (in Slovenian). MNZ Ljubljana. Retrieved 18 April 2016.