February 13, 2019 – On this day 108 years ago, the beloved football club of Dalmatia, Hajduk Split, was found.
Hajduk was born in a Prague pub by four Split students, Fabian Kaliterna, Lucijan Stella, Ivan Šakić and Vjekoslav Ivanišević. Delighted by the football played in the world’s top clubs, like Sparta and Slavia, they came to the idea of establishing a football club in Split. Despite the Split people’s initial lack of understanding, the idea quickly captivated the city.
Only the name of the club had yet to be chosen. Professor Josip Barač suggested “the club should be called Hajduk”, which was accepted with enthusiasm. Hajduk was officially registered on February 13, 1911.
The first president of the club was Dr. Kruno Kolombatović, and the first coach Čeh Oldrich Just. In their first official match, Hajduk lost 0:9 to Calcio Spalato.
Hajduk has made it to the Champions League quarter-final three times
Through its rich history, Hajduk has won 18 Championships in five countries, 15 National Cups and 5 Super Cups, and its biggest European achievements are the three Champions League quarter-finals and one semi-final of the UEFA Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup.
Hajduk boasts the oldest fan group in Europe
As soon as the World Cup in Brazil ended, marked by fantastic and fanatical Brazilians, a group of Split students in Zagreb decided to form a fan group based on the Brazilian Torcida. Hajduk’s Torcida was thus founded on October 28, 1950, by engineering student Vjenceslav Žuvela. Thanks to their loud chants and cheering, Torcida became the twelfth player of Hajduk and helped them win their first post-war title. On October 29, 1950, Hajduk played against Red Star to become the champion of Yugoslavia.
According to the 2005 GfK survey, 24% of the total Croatian population supports Hajduk. Hajduk has fans all over Croatia and even in the world, and there are fans clubs in Australia, America, and across Europe.
Hajduk is one of the few clubs that has never been relegated from the First League
The Poljud club has never dropped out of the First League, which is rare even in the world. Hajduk’s last title, however, was won in 2005, when Niko Kranjčar, Nenad Pralija, Vladimir Balić, Dragan Blatnjak, Hrvoje Vejić, and others were part of the club.
Who has played for Hajduk?
Many famous Croatian footballers have gone through the Poljud dressing room, and some left an incredibly deep mark in the history of the club like Vladimir Beara, Frane and Jozo Matošić, and Bajdo Vukas.
In addition to them, the Hajduk jersey has been worn by Ivica Šurjak, Stipe Pletikosa, Darijo Srna, Aljoša Asanović, Niko Kranjčar, Milan Rapaić, Slaven Bilić, Ivan Strinić, Danijel Subašić, Blaž Slišković, Zlatko Vujović, Alen Bokšić, Vlade Kragić, Ante Žanetić and many others.
In its 108 years, Hajduk has been led by numerous coaches, and the most significant achievements were achieved by Luka Kaliterna (two championships), Ljubo Benčić (three championships), Tomislav Ivić (three cups and three championships), Stanko Poklepović (championship and super cup) and Ivan Katalinić (two championships, two cups and two super cups).
To the club that lives forever, Happy 108th Birthday, Hajduk!
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