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Nogometni Klub Istra 1961 (English: Istra 1961 Football Club), commonly referred to as NK Istra 1961 or simply Istra 1961, is a football club from Pula, Istria, Croatia, currently playing in the Croatian First Division.

Istra 1961
NK Istra 1961.svg
Full nameNogometni Klub Istra 1961
Nickname(s)Verudeži
Zeleno-žuti (The Green-Yellows)
Short nameIST
Founded1948; 71 years ago (1948)
GroundStadion Aldo Drosina
Capacity9,800[1]
OwnerBaskonia - Alavés Group
ManagerIvan Prelec
LeaguePrva HNL
2018–19Prva HNL, 9th of 10
WebsiteClub website

It's a common opinion amongst many people that Istra 1961 is founded in 1961 by merging two clubs from Pula, NK Uljanik and NK Pula, forming NK Istra. However, NK Istra is not the same club as NK Istra 1961. NK Istra was the best club from Pula for decades. NK Istra 1961, then named NK Uljanik, was founded in 1964. NK Istra were competing in Prva HNL since the first season, but were relegated in the 1996-97 season to Druga HNL. They were promoted back to Prva HNL in the 1998-99 season, but they were relegated again in the next season, never coming back to Prva HNL. Meanwhile, NK Uljanik was in the shadow of NK Istra, but they were promoted to Prva HNL in the 2003-04 season and are the best club in Pula since then. NK Istra, now under the name NK Istra Pula, is competing in Prva ŽNL, the 5th football level in Croatia. The greatest club success was in the 2002–03 season when they finished runners-up in the Croatian Cup, losing to Hajduk Split 5-0 on aggregate. In the 2004–05 season, the club changed its name into NK Pula 1856, because 1856 was the year that the Austro-Hungarian Empire made Pula the port of its arsenal and the shipyard Uljanik was opened. Also in the same year, it competed in the Prva Liga for the first time. In 2005, it was renamed again to NK Pula Staro Češko due to a sponsorship contract with the brewery Daruvarska pivovara (Staro Češko is a beer brand). Just one year later, the name was once again changed, this time to NK Pula. Again, just a year later in the middle of 2007, the name was changed for the fifth time in as many years, to NK Istra 1961. The change of name came after an ultimatum from the local fans Demons who said the club would have their support only if the club changed its name and club colours to the traditional city colours (yellow and green). After renaming club was sold in 2011 to a Russian who achieved promotion for the club and sold it in 2015. Nk Istra 1961[2] was bought by an American Investment group in 2015. The NK Istra academy system is very strong and consistently competes for top spots in the rankings. Nk Istra 1961 has a rich fan history. The group of die hard fans are referred to as the Demoni, and are known for their explosive chants and celebrations as well as their extreme pride for the club. In Summer 2018, club's ownership changed once again, this time to Basque consortium Baskonia - Alavés Group which acquired the majority share package and became sole owner of NK Istra 1961.

Its crest features the city's Roman Arena in Pula, as well as the old team crest. Istra 1961 play their home matches at the recently renovated Stadion Aldo Drosina, which has a capacity of approximately 10,000 spectators.

Recent seasonsEdit

 
Former crest
Season League Cup Top goalscorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Player Goals
1992 3. HNL West B 14 4 8 2 21 9 16 3rd
1992–93 3. HNL West 30 16 7 7 56 32 39 1st R1
1993–94 2. HNL South 30 7 7 16 21 43 21 14th
1994–95 2. HNL West 36 12 8 16 40 48 44 13th
1995–96 2. HNL West 34 18 8 8 58 36 62 5th
1996–97 2. HNL West 30 19 6 5 65 21 63 3rd
1997–98 2. HNL West 30 12 7 11 42 31 43 6th
1998–99 3. HNL West 30 13 7 10 33 35 46 3rd
1999–00 3. HNL West 30 17 6 7 56 30 57 3rd R1
2000–01 3. HNL West 30 17 11 2 73 26 62 1st ↑
2001–02 2. HNL South 30 17 8 5 57 26 59 2nd PR
2002–03 2. HNL South 32 20 7 5 63 31 67 2nd RU
2003–04 2. HNL South 32 18 8 6 59 33 62 1st ↑ QF
2004–05 1. HNL 32 7 14 11 28 31 35 10th QF Josip Jerneić, Vedran Stošić 6
2005–06 1. HNL 32 13 6 13 44 36 45 7th R1 Stiven Rivić 12
2006–07 1. HNL 33 6 11 16 28 40 29 11th ↓ R1 Marko Radas, Almir Halilović 5
2007–08 2. HNL 30 17 7 6 42 14 58 3rd R1 Saša Šest 8
2008–09 2. HNL 30 18 6 6 46 20 60 1st ↑ R1 Mohamed Kalilou Traoré 9
2009–10 1. HNL 30 9 8 13 31 40 35 11th R2 Asim Šehić 15
2010–11 1. HNL 30 9 4 17 24 44 31 15th QF Siniša Linić 5
2011–12 1. HNL 30 11 9 10 35 33 42 9th QF Sandi Križman 7
2012–13 1. HNL 33 11 11 11 35 32 44 6th R2 Goran Roce 11
2013–14 1. HNL 36 12 8 16 45 56 44 6th SF Dejan Radonjić 9
2014–15 1. HNL 36 7 14 15 36 59 35 9th QF Dejan Radonjić 16
2015–16 1. HNL 36 4 12 20 23 58 24 9th R2 Stefan Nikolić 5
2016–17 1. HNL 36 10 9 17 33 49 39 6th R2 Goran Roce 8
2017–18 1. HNL 36 6 9 21 28 60 27 9th QF Five players 3
2018–19 1. HNL 36 6 7 23 31 73 25 9th R2 Ramón Mierez 9

KeyEdit

1st 2nd
Champions Runners-up Promoted Relegated

Top scorer shown in bold when he was also top scorer for the division.

First-team squadEdit

As of 27 July 2019[3]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Tony Macan
2   FW Mario Munivrana
3   DF Petar Rubić
5   DF Agron Rufati
6   DF Petar Bosančić
7   FW Šime Gržan
8   MF Einar Galilea (on loan from Deportivo Alavés)
9   FW Adrián Fuentes (on loan from Deportivo Alavés)
10   FW Karolis Laukžemis
12   GK Josip Čondrić
14   MF Denis Bušnja (on loan from Rijeka)
15   DF Martin Franić
16   MF Ivan Močinić
17   MF Arona Sané
18   FW Robert Perić-Komšić
No. Position Player
20   MF Antonio Ivančić
21   GK Lovro Majkić
22   DF Marin Grujević
23   MF Stefan Lončar (on loan from Deportivo Alavés)
24   DF Markus Pavic
25   FW Mario Ćuže (on loan from Dinamo Zagreb)
26   MF Obeng Regan
27   DF Josip Tomašević
28   MF Octavio Páez
29   DF Sergio González (on loan from Deportivo Alavés)
30   MF Donato Bernobić
  DF Rafael Páez (on loan from Deportivo Alavés)
  MF Matija Fintić (on loan from Dinamo Zagreb)
  FW Josip Maganjić (on loan from Fiorentina)

Players loaned during 2018-19 seasonEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  DF Tomás Oneto at Deportivo Alavés B
  FW Vice Miljanić at NK Brda
No. Position Player
  MF Kiu at CD El Ejido
  FW Mohamed Traoré at UD Melilla

RecordsEdit

The following are lists of top players in terms of number of appearances and goals for Istra 1961 in 1. HNL, as of 19 May 2018.[4]

Bold denotes players still playing for Istra 1961.

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
2007–2010 Legea Puljanka
2011–2012 Jako Croatia Osiguranje
2012 Puma Croatia Osiguranje
2013–2016 Errea Croatia Osiguranje
2016–2018 Nike Croatia Osiguranje
2018 Kelme Croatia Osiguranje

HonoursEdit

Winners (2): 2003–04, 2008–09
Winners (1): 2000–01
Runners up: 2002–03
Semi-finals: 2013–14

ManagersEdit

ReferencesEdit

Nk Istra Fanpage: http://nkistrafan.weebly.com/about.html

  1. ^ "Stadion Aldo Drosina - NK Istra 1961". www.nkistra1961.hr. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ "About". bryant spaces. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Team". www.nkistra.com. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Igrači". hrnogomet.com. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Coach Marijo Tot's contract terminated, temporary coach Darko Raić-Sudar". nkistra1961.hr. NK Istra 1961 (published 19 May 2017). 1 June 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Darko Raić-Sudar novi trener prve momčadi Istre 1961, pomoćni Nenad Basta" (in Croatian). 1 June 2017.

External linksEdit