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Nogometni klub Osijek is a professional football club from Osijek in Eastern Croatia. Founded in 1947, it was the club from Slavonia with the most seasons in the Yugoslav First League, and, after the independence of Croatia in 1992, it is one of the four clubs that have never been relegated from the Croatian First League, the others being Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split and Rijeka.

Osijek
Nk-osijek-hd-logo.png
Full nameNogometni klub Osijek
Nickname(s)Bijelo-plavi (The Blue-Whites)
Short nameOSI
Founded27 February 1947; 72 years ago (27 February 1947)
GroundStadion Gradski vrt
Capacity17,061
OwnerLőrinc Mészáros & Ivan Meštrović
ChairmanIvan Meštrović
ManagerIvica Kulešević
LeaguePrva HNL
2018–19Prva HNL, 3rd of 10
WebsiteClub website
Current season

HistoryEdit

1947–1976Edit

The precursor to NK Osijek was founded on 27 February 1947, after a merger between two physical training associations: Slavonija and Bratstvo. The new entity was named Proleter. The first match that was played under that name dates back to 16 March that same year, when Proleter beat city-rivals Mladost by five goals to nil. The first competition in which the club participated in was the Osječko Okružno Prvenstvo, along with four other teams. The club got into the second national league soon after. Proleter achieved placement into the Yugoslav First League in 1953, having won the so-called Croato-Slovenian League. The best players from that side were Andrija Vekić, Franjo Rupnik, Dionizije Dvornić, and Franjo Majer. Proleter played in the First League for three seasons, but were then relegated to the second division. .

Proleter moved to current stadium Stadion Gradski vrt in autumn 1958 and changed its name to Slavonija as part of the unifying process of the boxing, athletics and Olympic lifting club in a newly founded sports association in 1962, while still being in the second league. Five years later the association disbanded and the club took on the name NK Osijek. The then-colours red and blue were switched to current colours blue and white.

In 1970, Osijek wins the 2nd North League championship, however, FK Borac Banja Luka beat them in the promotion play-offs. A year later, Bijelo-plavi try for promotion again, winning in a penalty shoot-out against HNK Rijeka, but end up being stopped by FK Vardar.

The next time Osijek reached the promotion play-offs was in 1973. NK Osijek made it to the final round, beating FC Prishtina. Following their victory, NK Osijek was set to meet NK Zagreb at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb. A record-breaking 64,129 tickets were sold with approximately 20,000 of them going to Osijek supporters. NK Zagreb proved victorious on the day, winning via a penalty shoot-out following a 2–2 draw after 90 minutes, Osijek denied promotion for a third time in four years.

1977–1991Edit

In 1977, NK Osijek finally secured its return to the top flight by taking out the league championship.

NK Osijek managed to stay competitive in the Yugoslav League up until the Croatian War for Independence, except for the season of 1979/80, when Osijek fought back into the premier league after failing to stay in it. The club was present in the second part of the First League ladder in the 80's, except for 1984, when the team placed 6th, headed by Davidović, Lulić, Džeko, Lepinjica, Rakela, Karačić and the team captain Kalinić. In 1989, the team placed 8th with Davor Šuker leading the line for the side scoring 18 goals, taking out the league's best goalscorer award. Šuker is the only player in NK Osijek history to take out the award. During the last season of the YFL, NK Osijek finished ninth.

1992–1999Edit

After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Croatian First Football League was formed and the first season was played in 1992. Due to the war, it was a shortened season played from February to June. NK Osijek was unable to play in Osijek due to the war, so they had to play in the cities of Đakovo, Donji Miholjac and Kutjevo. Osijek finished the 1992 Croatian First Football League season in 3rd placed, six points behind NK Zagreb and nine behind league champions HNK Hajduk Split. Osijek's top goalscorer was Robert Špehar, who finished the season with nine goals.

NK Osijek quickly became one of the top 4 Croatian Football teams. One of Osijek's best ever seasons came in the 1994–95 Croatian First Football League. The Bijelo plavi finished in third place, only six points behind first-placed Hajduk. Špehar scored 23 goals to become the league's top goalscorer. The greats of NK Osijek during that time were Robert Spehar, Zitnjak, Lulic, Beljan, Ergovic, Rupnik, Besirevic, Bicanic, and Labak.

As a result of the third-placed finish, NK Osijek qualified for the 1995–96 UEFA Cup. Osijek faced ŠK Slovan Bratislava in the preliminary round, going down 6–0.

Osijek finished third in the 1997–98 Croatian First Football League, qualifying for the 1998–99 UEFA Cup. NK Osijek came up against R.S.C. Anderlecht. After a famous 3–1 victory at home in front of 15,000 supporters, Osijek lost 2–0 in Belgium and were knocked-out on away goals. In 1998–99, Osijek attained its first trophy, the Croatian Football Cup, following a victory over HNK Cibalia 2–0. A year later, West Ham United was playing away in Gradski Vrt, headed by Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Trevor Sinclair, Paolo Di Canio, Paulo Wanchope and Igor Štimac.

2000–2015Edit

In the 2000–01 UEFA Cup, NK Osijek beat Brøndby 2–1 (2–1, 0–0) and Rapid Wien 4–1 (2–1, 2–0). In the 3rd round, Osijek beat Slavia Prague 2–0 at home, but lost 5–1 in Prague. Osijek finished third in the league once more. In the 2001–02 UEFA Cup, Osijek progressed past Dinaburg on away goals, beat Gorica in the first round, but then lost 3–5 to AEK Athens. In the 2003–04 HNL, Osijek had the first and second highest goalscorers in the division with Špehar scoring 18 and Goran Ljubojević scoring 16. The club then went through a long phase of mid-table finishes and mediocre results.

NK Osijek was almost relegated during the 2013–14 season. On the final match day, Josip Barišić managed to score and keep NK Osijek afloat against NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac. Osijek changed coaches on four occasions throughout the season. The following season, Osijek once again finished one position above the relegation play-off spot, finishing one point ahead of Istra 1961.

2015–presentEdit

In September 2015, Zoran Zekić was appointed as the first team head coach.

With the club facing bankruptcy, Osijek went into private ownership for the first time in its history in February 2016 with Hungarian oligarch Lőrinc Mészáros and Croatian entrepreneur Ivan Meštrović buying a majority of shares in the club. The duo went about stabilizing the club, improving the squad and bringing back ambition to the city and supporters. Much of the debt was restructured and paid off, securing the short-term and long-term future of Osijek.[1]

On 27 February 2017, the club celebrated its 70th anniversary in the Osijek theater.[2] In the 2016–17 season, Osijek finished 4th, which was their highest league finish in nearly 10 years.[3] The 4th place finish led to Osijek participating in the qualifying phase of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League; with the club staging an extremely successful run to the play-off round, beating Santa Coloma, Luzern and PSV, the former champions of Europe, who won the 1987–1988 edition.[4][5][6][7][8][9] The club's run was ended following a 1–2 home loss to Austria Wien, and despite the club winning the second leg 1–0, Osijek were eliminated on the away goals rule. Despite being eliminated, Osijek were praised and congratulated by Croatian press, fans and media for their historic run.[10][11]

In the 2017–18 season, Osijek finished 4th again, securing a place in the UEFA competition. Osijek beat Petrocub Hîncești 2–1 at home after drawing the first leg in Moldova 1–1, and faced Rangers in the second qualifying round of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League. Osijek lost the home leg 1–0.[12]

StadiumEdit

NK Osijek plays its home games at Gradski Vrt, where it played its first game on the 7th of September, 1958, against Sloboda. It was officially opened in 1980.

The current design was made in the year 1979. The upper western tribune is unfinished to this day. The current capacity lies at 18 856 spectator seats, with 980 of them being for standing audiences. Before the club had transferred to Gradski Vrt, Osijek played on a pitch next to the river Drava.

In April 2018, NK Osijek President Ivan Meštrović released a detailed structure design for the new stadium.[13] A new state of art stadium will be built at the Pampas neighbourhood in Osijek as a part of the new NK Osijek training centre. The capacity of the new stadium will be 12,000, with all of the seats covered. The stadium will be UEFA category four and is supposed to be finished in 2020. During the stadium construction, NK Osijek will play their home games at the current Gradski vrt stadium, which is in the future going to be used as the main stadium for the NK Osijek B squad.

SupportersEdit

The fan club of NK Osijek is called Kohorta (cohort, named after the Roman army unit composed of 360 soldiers). It was founded in 1972 under the name Sokci, and carries the name Kohorta since 1988. Kohorta is usually situated on the eastern tribune of Gradski Vrt. Its seat is in the street of the University in Tvrdja, Osijek.

RivalriesEdit

The Slavonian derby match is between the two largest Croatian football clubs from eastern Croatia, Osijek and Cibalia. Each new match between these two great rivals, means a great match on the field, but also in the stands.

Kit manufacturers and sponsorsEdit

Period Provider Sponsor
1996–1998 Diadora Gradska banka
1998 Umbro
1999 Panturist
1999–2000 Veritas osiguranje
2000–2001 Puma Osijek Koteks
2001–2002 Diadora Osječko pivo
2002–2004 S9 T Mobile
2004–2005 Legea
2005–2006 Macron T-com
2006–2008 Kappa Croatia osiguranje
2008–2010 Legea
2010–2011 Kappa
2011–2015 Jako
2016–2017 Nike Osječko 1664
2017– Nike Dobro, Mészáros és Mészáros Kft.

HonoursEdit

In the following table, defunct competitions are listed in italics.

Honours No. Years
League
Yugoslav Second League Winners 5 1952–53, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1980–81
Domestic cups
Croatian Cup Winners 1 1998–99
Croatian Cup Runners-up 1 2011–12
Best European results
UEFA Cup Third round 1 2000–01
UEFA Intertoto Cup Second round 1 2006
Mitropa Cup Third place 1 1981–82
UEFA Europa League Play-off round 1 2017–18

Recent seasonsEdit

Season League Cup European competitions Top goalscorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Player Goals
1992 1. HNL 22 12 3 7 33 28 27 3rd QF Robert Špehar 9
1992–93 1. HNL 30 11 7 12 40 42 29 6th QF Alen Petrović 10
1993–94 1. HNL 34 12 11 11 56 58 35 8th R2 Antun Labak 16
1994–95 1. HNL 30 16 11 3 65 30 59 3rd SF Robert Špehar 23
1995–96 1. A HNL 32 16 4 12 51 32 52 4th QF UEFA Cup QR Igor Pamić 17
1996–97 1. A HNL 30 12 5 13 40 38 41 8th SF Dumitru Mitu 10
1997–98 1. HNL 32 14 6 12 42 38 48 3rd R1 Petar Krpan 10
1998–99 1. HNL 32 14 6 12 51 39 48 4th W UEFA Cup QR2 Stanko Bubalo 10
1999–00 1. HNL 33 15 8 10 55 49 53 3rd QF UEFA Cup R1 Stanko Bubalo 13
2000–01 1. HNL 32 17 6 9 61 47 57 3rd SF UEFA Cup R3 Nenad Bjelica, Marijan Vuka 9
2001–02 1. HNL 30 11 4 15 45 48 37 8th SF UEFA Cup R2 Milan Pavličić 9
2002–03 1. HNL 32 10 9 13 32 51 39 8th QF Milan Pavličić 11
2003–04 1. HNL 32 11 6 15 50 57 39 4th QF Robert Špehar 18
2004–05 1. HNL 32 9 14 9 41 45 41 8th SF Karlo Primorac 11
2005–06 1. HNL 32 13 5 14 31 48 44 4th QF Josip Balatinac 6
2006–07 1. HNL 33 11 10 12 42 45 43 6th R2 Intertoto Cup R2 Stjepan Jukić 9
2007–08 1. HNL 33 16 6 11 43 34 54 3rd R2 Vedran Nikšić 8
2008–09 1. HNL 33 10 11 12 40 41 41 7th R1 Josip Barišić 8
2009–10 1. HNL 30 13 8 9 49 36 47 5th QF Josip Barišić, Ivan Miličević, Vedran Nikšić 8
2010–11 1. HNL 30 9 12 9 31 29 39 8th QF Ivan Miličević 5
2011–12 1. HNL 30 11 10 9 45 38 43 8th RU Antonio Perošević 7
2012–13 1. HNL 33 9 12 12 25 33 39 7th QF Europa League QR2 Antonio Perošević, Zoran Kvržić 4
2013–14 1. HNL 36 8 9 19 38 64 33 8th QF Josip Barišić 6
2014–15 1. HNL 36 10 6 20 42 59 36 8th R2 Antonio Perošević, Aljoša Vojnović 6
2015–16 1. HNL 36 7 13 16 27 49 34 8th QF Antonio Perošević 6
2016–17 1. HNL 36 20 6 10 52 37 66 4th SF Muzafer Ejupi 14
2017–18 1. HNL 36 14 14 8 53 38 56 4th QF Europa League PO Haris Hajradinović 9
2018–19 1. HNL 36 18 8 10 61 36 62 3rd SF Europa League QR2 Mirko Marić 18

Key

League: P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; Pts = Points won; Pos = Final position;
Cup / Europe: PR = Preliminary round; QR = Qualifying round; R1 = First round; R2 = Second round; QF = Quarter-final; SF = Semi-final; RU = Runner-up; W = Competition won;

European competitionsEdit

SummaryEdit

Competition Pld W D L GF GA Last season played
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 36 18 3 15 44 46 2019–20
UEFA Intertoto Cup 2 0 2 0 2 2 2006
Total 38 18 5 15 46 48

Source: [14], Last updated on 1 August 2019.
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against. Defunct competitions indicated in italics.

By seasonEdit

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1995–96 UEFA Cup QR   Slovan Bratislava 0–2 0–4 0–6
1998–99 UEFA Cup QR2   Anderlecht 3–1 0–2 3–3 (a)
1999–00 UEFA Cup R1   West Ham United 1–3 0–3 1–6
2000–01 UEFA Cup R1   Brøndby 0–0 2–1 2–1
R2   Rapid Wien 2–1 2–0 4–1
R3   Slavia Prague 2–0 1–5 3–5
2001–02 UEFA Cup QR   Dinaburg 1–0 1–2 2–2 (a)
R1   Gorica 1–0 2–1 3–1
R2   AEK Athens 1–2 2–3 3–5
2006–07 UEFA Intertoto Cup R2   Ethnikos Achna 2–2 0–0 2–2 (a)
2012–13 UEFA Europa League QR1   FC Santa Coloma 3–1 1–0 4–1
QR2   Kalmar FF 1–3 0–3 1–6
2017–18 UEFA Europa League QR1   UE Santa Coloma 4–0 2–0 6–0
QR2   Luzern 2–0 1–2 3–2
QR3   PSV Eindhoven 1–0 1–0 2–0
PO   Austria Wien 1–2 1–0 2–2 (a)
2018–19 UEFA Europa League QR1   Petrocub Hîncești 2–1 1–1 3–2
QR2   Rangers 0–1 1–1 1–2
2019–20 UEFA Europa League QR2   CSKA Sofia 1–0 0–1 1–1 (3–4 p)

Last updated on 1 August 2019.

Player recordsEdit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 2 September 2019[16]

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 Ivica Ivušić
2   DF Igor Silva (on loan from Olympiacos)
4   DF Gutieri Tomelin
5   MF László Kleinheisler
6   DF Ante Majstorović
7   MF Vedran Jugović
8   MF Karlo Kamenar
9   FW Antonio Mance
10   MF Dmytro Lyopa
11   FW Marko Dugandžić
12   MF Petar Bočkaj
13   GK Marko Malenica
14   FW Josip Špoljarić
15   GK Marko Barešić
17   DF Tomislav Šorša
No. Position Player
18   DF Talys Oliveira
19   MF Mihael Žaper
20   MF Benedik Mioč
21   DF Mile Škorić (captain)
22   DF Danijel Lončar
23   DF Alen Grgić
24   FW Mirko Marić
25   MF Marin Pilj
27   FW Jerry Mbakogu
30   MF Mile Todorov
31   DF Boško Šutalo
32   DF Luka Marin
  DF Todor Todoroski
  FW Merveil Ndockyt (on loan from Getafe)

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Position Player
  FW Mirlind Daku (at Kukësi until 30 June 2020)

PersonnelEdit

Position Staff
Manager   Ivica Kulešević (caretaker)
Assistant coach   Karlo Primorac
Assistant coach   Zoran Marčetić
Assistant coach   Ivo Smoje
Goalkeeping coach   Domagoj Malovan
Fitness coach   Marin Vučko
Fitness coach   Dino Krolo
Chief scout   Marin Skender
Sporting director   Alen Petrović
Director of football   Hrvoje Barišić
Chief of medical staff   Nikica Tole
Physiotherapist   Ivan Lovrić
Physiotherapist   Neven Raguž
Physiotherapist   Milan Marković
Physiotherapist   Marko Ovničević
Physiotherapist   Frano Dušić
Kit manager   Željko Vincek
Kit manager   Ivica Vincek
Kit manager assistant   Zoran Stranjak

Last updated: 20 May 2019
Source: NK Osijek official website

Football SchoolEdit

The Football School of NK Osijek was founded in 1982 as the Youth School. It was set in motion by Andrija Vekic, with the wish to recruit and create great players and coaches alike by creating a good and competitive atmosphere. Many players considered to be high-level were in that school.

Notable playersEdit

To appear in this section a player must have:

  • Played at least 150 league games for the club;
  • Scored at least 50 league goals for the club; or
  • Played at least one international match for their national or olympic team while playing for NK Osijek.

Years in brackets indicate their spells at the club.

 

ManagersEdit

incomplete list

   

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Klub je kupljen, ali za sve građane Osijeka". Glas Slavonije. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ "NK Osijek proslavio 70. rođendan – Hrvatski nogometni savez". hns-cff.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Arhiva sezone 2016/17 – Hrvatski Telekom Prva liga". prvahnl.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  4. ^ UEFA.com. "UEFA Europa League – PSV-Osijek". UEFA.com. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Zekić je oduševljen, a evo što o šokantnom trijumfu Osijeka kaže trener PSV-a". tportal.hr. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Poker golova pred 4500 ljudi: Osijek rastavio Santa Colomu" (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Jedva i teškom mukom: Osijek uspio pobijediti Santa Colomu!" (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Osijek – Luzern 2:0 (0:0)". hrnogomet.com. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Luzern – Osijek 2:1 (1:0)". hrnogomet.com. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Osijek propustio veliku priliku: Austria slavila na Gradskom vrtu". Gol.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Osijek slavio, ali ostao na korak od iznenađenja i plasmana u Europsku ligu!". Gol.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  12. ^ UEFA.com. "UEFA Europa League". UEFA.com. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  13. ^ ""PRESTALI SMO SANJATI, POČELI SMO ŽIVJETI!"". NK Osijek official website.
  14. ^ uefa.com
  15. ^ a b "Osijek profile". UEFA.com. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  16. ^ "Igrači – Prva momčad" [Players – First Team] (in Croatian). NK Osijek.
  17. ^ "Robert Špehar CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Miroslav Bičanić CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Bakir Beširević CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Davor Rupnik CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Damir Vuica CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Petar Krpan CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Mario Galinović CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  24. ^ "Ivo Ergović CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Ronald Grnja CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Ivica Beljan CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Igor Pamić CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  28. ^ "Dumitru Mitu CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Jurica Vranješ CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  30. ^ "Josip Balatinac CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Stanko Bubalo CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  32. ^ "Mato Neretljak CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  33. ^ "Marin Skender CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Valentin Babić CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  35. ^ "Ivo Smoje CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  36. ^ "Josip Barišić CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  37. ^ "Tomislav Šorša CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Domagoj Vida CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  39. ^ "Hrvoje Kurtović CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  40. ^ "Mile Škorić CFS Profile". Croatian Football Statistics. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

External linksEdit