RK Vardar

RK Vardar 1961 (Macedonian: РК Вардар 1961) is a professional handball club from Skopje, North Macedonia. Vardar is the most successful handball team in the country, having won fourteen national League and Cup titles. Also, Vardar is the most successful team in the regional SEHA League having won five titles. The team has also won two EHF Champions League titles.

РК Вардар 1961
HC Vardar 1961
Rk-vardar-logo.png
Founded1961; 60 years ago (1961)
ArenaJane Sandanski Arena
Capacity6.500
PresidentMihajlo Mihajlovski
Head coachVeselin Vujović
LeagueVIP Super Liga
2019/20201st
Club colours   
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Team colours
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Team colours
Kit right arm vardar1718h.png
Team colours
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Team colours
Home
Team colours
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Team colours
Team colours
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Team colours
Away
Website
Official site
Active departments of Sports Club Vardar
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Handball pictogram.svg
Football Handball Basketball

HistoryEdit

RK Vardar was founded in 1961, as part of the Vardar Sports Club in Skopje, which had been founded in 1947.

The RK Grafichar Skopje club was established in 1948, which in terms of rank and quality was right behind Rabotnichki. In 1961 Grafichar renamed itself to Vardar and almost the entire team of the club RK Partizan Skopje joined the team. Skopje's club Rabotnichki began to experience a crisis and was no longer the strong first league team from the past, and a more ambitious club Vardar entered the scene. A solid team was created, the mainstays were goalkeeper Jovanovski, as well as Atanasovski, Zdravkovski, Savevski and Bozinovski.

This talent promised a good future and with coach Boskos, who was armed with great knowledge gained in at the time handball superpower Romania, where he lived until moving to Macedonia. Everything was done ambitiously and after all the obstacles were overcome and the fiercest opponents were defeated in 1976, Vardar joined the first division. They played there for 2 seasons, while in the 80s they spent most of the time in the second division.

The handball team rose to power again in the late 1990s becoming one of the two clubs, alongside RK Pelister, to dominate the Macedonian handball scene after the independence of the country.

Vardar have participated in the EHF Champions League eleven times and made it to the semifinals of the Cup Winner's Cup three times. Except for 2005, when they came in 4th place, the club has achieved either championship or runner-up in the Macedonian Super League since 1999. They achieved a record win of the Macedonian handball championship by winning their twelfth title in 2018 and are the record cup winner with thirteen victories. On 15 April 2012, Vardar defeated Metalurg at the Zagreb Arena to become the first SEHA League champion.[1][2] The team has won five titles in the SEHA League. The club started the new 2013–14 season with a new management structure, Sergey Samsonenko as the new proprietor and sport director of the club, while Mihajlo Mihajlovski has become the honorary club chairman.

 
The welcoming ceremony after winning 2016–17 EHF Champions League

The season of 2016–17 was the most successful for the team because they managed to win the EHF Champions League and the regional SEHA League including the two main domestic championships, the national Handball Super League and the national Handball Cup. Two days after winning the EHF Champions League the team celebrated the victory with approximately 150,000 people in a ceremony on the Macedonia Square in Skopje. Because of the huge success, Gjorgje Ivanov, at the time President of the Republic of Macedonia, awarded the members of the handball club Vardar a Medal of Merit for the results they achieved, especially for winning the Champions League title. The club was awarded the national charter of the country.

In the 2018–19 season, the team once again managed to win the EHF Champions League, the regional SEHA League and the main domestic championship, the Handball Super League of North Macedonia. One day after winning the EHF Champions League the team arrived in the country with a private jet and celebrated the victory with approximately 250,000 people in a central ceremony at the Macedonia Square in Skopje.

AccomplishmentsEdit

Domestic competitionsEdit

  Winner (14): 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–2021
  Winner (14): 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021
  Winner (3): 2017, 2018, 2019

European competitionsEdit

  Winner (2): 2016–17, 2018–19
  Third placed: 1998–99, 2004–2005, 2010–2011

Other competitionsEdit

  Winner (5): 2011–12, 2013–14, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19
  Runner-up: 2012–13, 2015–16, 2019–20
  Third placed: 2017, 2019

ArenaEdit

RK Vardar is the owner of the Jane Sandanski Arena where they play all their home matches in the EHF Champions League, the regional SEHA League and in domestic competitions. It's a modern complex with a sports hall of 6,500 seats. It has its own hotel, spa center, hospital and swimming pool.

 
Jane Sandanski Arena

The arena is named after the Macedonian revolutionary Jane Sandanski.

TeamEdit

Current squadEdit

Squad for the 2021–22 season

TransfersEdit

Transfers for the 2022–23 season

StaffEdit

Former club membersEdit

Notable former playersEdit

Notable former coachesEdit

Notable former presidentsEdit

Kit manufacturersEdit

European competitions recordEdit

EHF Champions LeagueEdit

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate:
1999–00 1/16   TV Suhr Handball 33–37 26–30 59–67
2001–02 R 2   ASKI Ankara 37–31 27–28 64–59
GM
(Group D)
  Fotex KC Veszprém 24–27 22–27 3rd
  Sportclub Magdeburg 27–27 19–33
  S. O. Chambery 32–30 28–31
2002–03 QR 1   HC Eynatten G.o.E. 32–24 31–28 63–52
QR 2   Sandefjord TIF 29–23 26–26 55–49
GM
(Group D)
  RK Zagreb 25–28 25–30 4th
  THW Kiel 27–26 23–34
  "Fibrexnylon" Savinesti 26–25 26–38
2003–04
GM
(Group B)
  Sportclub Magdeburg 28–30 24–38 4th
  FC Barcelona 27–35 19–41
  Haukar Hafnarfjördur 26–32 33–34
2004–05
GM
(Group A)
  FC Barcelona 12–26 22–31 3rd
  SC Pick Szeged 24–24 18–25
  HCM Constanta 22–22 26–25
2007–08 QR 1   Pölva Serviti 37–22 30–30 67–52
GM
(Group C)
  Kadetten Schaffhausen GCZ 27–26 30–36 4th
  HC Croatia Osiguranje-Zagreb 26–34 28–28
  C.BM. Ademar Leon 29–28 21–28
2009–10 Q
(Group 1)
  Besiktas JK 33–30 1st
  HC Buducnost Podgorica 35–28
  HC Dinamo-Minsk 34–24
GP
(Group D)
  KIF Kolding 25–32 21–28 5th
  Reale Ademar 24–31 28–37
  THW Kiel 23–33 23–39
  GC Amicitia Zürich 22–22 31–24
  F.C. Barcelona Borges 28–35 28–35
2013–14 GP
(Group C)
  FC Barcelona 29–29 23–30 4th
  HC Dinamo Minsk 30–22 24–26
  PSG Handball 24–24 25–35
  Wacker Thun 32–25 37–24
  HC Metalurg 18–26 27–22
L16   HSV Hamburg 28–28 30–29 58–57
QF   SG Flensburg-Handewitt 27–25 22–24 49–49
2014–15 GP
(Group C)
  RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko 34–32 27–26 2nd
  Chekhovskie Medvedi 39–28 39–34
  Rhein-Neckar Löwen 28–25 35–28
  Montpellier Agglomération Handball 30–26 34–34
  MKB-MVM Veszprém 23–24 24–32
L16   Orlen Wisla Plock 31–20 26–32 57–52
QF   KS Vive Tauron Kielce 20–22 31–33 51–55
2015–16 GP
(Group B)
  Montpellier HB 34–26 30–25 3rd
  MOL-Pick Szeged 27–23 31–29
  IFK Kristianstad 38–36 30–25
  Rhein-Neckar Löwen 25–19 27–28
  KIF Kolding Kobenhavn 34–24 31–33
  KS Vive Tauron Kielce 34–24 20–23
  FC Barcelona Lassa 25–27 30–31
L16   Orlen Wisla Plock 25–24 30–30 55–54
QF   MVM Veszprém 26–29 30–30 56–59
2016–17 GP
(Group B)
  IFK Kristianstad 32–29 28–23 1st
  HC Meshkov Brest 31–27 26–30
  RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko 35–30 32–26
  MOL-Pick Szeged 30–27 23–21
  PPD Zagreb 25–20 27–28
  KS Vive Tauron Kielce 40–34 24–27
  Rhein-Neckar Löwen 26–29 33–27
QF   SG Flensburg-Handewitt 35–27 26–24 61–51
SF (F4)   FC Barcelona Handbol 26–25
F (F4)   PSG Handball 24–23
2017–18 GP
(Group A)
  Orlen Wisla Plock 31–31 26–22 1st
  HBC Nantes 27–23 26–27
  PPD Zagreb 28–21 29–23
  MOL-Pick Szeged 34–30 26–26
  FC Barcelona Handbol 27–24 28–29
  IFK Kristianstad 31–15 26–23
  Rhein-Neckar Löwen 30–26 21–21
QF   THW Kiel 27–28 29–28 56–56
SF (F4)   Montpellier HB 27–28
3rd (F4)   PSG Handball 28–29
2018–19 GP
(Group A)
  Montpellier HB 33–27 27–24 3rd
  IFK Kristianstad 33–25 32–30
  Telekom Veszprém 27–29 27–25
  Rhein-Neckar Löwen 29–27 30–27
  PGE Vive Kielce 28–27 27–31
  HC Meshkov Brest 30–23 31–31
  Barça Lassa 26–30 26–34
L16   PPD Zagreb 32–30 27–18 59–48
QF   MOL-Pick Szeged 31–23 25–29 56–52
SF (F4)   Barça Lassa 29–27
F (F4)   Telekom Veszprém 27–24
2019–20 GP
(Group B)
  Montpellier HB 27–31 33–31 6th
  FC Porto Sofarma 32–27 22–30
  HC Motor Zaporizhzhia 38–28 31–30
  THW Kiel 20–31 23–34
  Telekom Veszprém 29–38 30–39
  HC Meshkov Brest 36–31 22–31
  PGE Vive Kielce 28–28 25–35
2020–21 GP
(Group A)
  HC Meshkov Brest 32–36 22–24 7th
  Elverum Håndball 34–34 35–32
  MOL-Pick Szeged 26–28 33–34
  SG Flensburg-Handewitt 31–26 /
  FC Porto 25–25 24–27
  PSG Handball / /
  Łomża Vive Kielce 29–33 29–36
Playoffs   Veszprém KC 27–41 30–39 57–80

EHF CupEdit

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1994–95 1/16   BM Granollers 35–31 23–34 58–65
1995–96 ER   HC Shoumen 29–24 30–26 59–50
1/16   Zadar Gortan 31–31 24–33 55–64
2011–12 R2   HC Izvidac 27–25 26–29 53–54
2012–13 R2   Lovosice 36–19 24–25 60–44
R3   SC Magdeburg 28–26 27–30 55–56

EHF Cup Winners' CupEdit

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1997–98 1/16   IF Guif Eskilstuna 29–28 25–28 54–56
1998–99 1/16   IFK Skövde HK 10–0 22–23 32–23
1/8   Gorenje Velenje 29–23 24–28 53–51
1/4   Sporting Toulouse 31 26–19 24–27 50–46
1/2   Prosesa Ademar León 27–29 20–35 47–64
2004–05 1/8   FCK Handbold Kopenhagen 27–23 29–28 56–51
1/4   Medvescak Infosistem Zagreb 36–20 31–26 67–46
1/2   RK Zagreb 23–21 26–34 49–55

StatisticsEdit

Individual awards in the EHF Champions LeagueEdit

Season Player Award
2013–14   Timur Dibirov All–Star Team (Best Left Wing)
2014–15   Alex Dujshebaev Best Young Player
2016–17   Alex Dujshebaev All–Star Team (Best Right Back)
  Raúl González Best Coach
  Arpad Šterbik Final Four MVP
2017–18   Arpad Šterbik All–Star Team (Best Goalkeeper)
2018–19   Dejan Milosavljev All–Star Team (Best Goalkeeper)
  Ivan Čupić All–Star Team (Best Right Wing)
  Dainis Krištopāns All–Star Team (Best Right Back)
  Timur Dibirov All–Star Team (Best Left Wing)
  Roberto García Parrondo Best Coach
  Igor Karačić Final Four MVP

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Vardar is the SEHA League champion!". Borjan Zafirovski. Archived from the original on 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  2. ^ "Вардар ПРО победник СЕХА лигата". МИА. Retrieved 2012-04-16.

External linksEdit