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Sunday, 28 May 2017

World Exclusive Photos Of The Day Pt II: HNK Rijeka Fans Celebrate Historic 1st Croatian League Championship Title

Over 20,000 people lined the streets and downtown city core for the team's return and official presentation of the Croatian First Football League trophy to the city and HNK Rijeka for the very first time in history.

This is basically the continuation of a post from last week, some more various historic and world exclusive photos I came across. (Like I said there, it's the first official Rijeka football championship ever so they really are rare, historic and "world exclusive" pics, good luck trying to find these images at the sports and soccer websites).

As a brief refresher and reminder for those who aren't familiar, the football club HNK Rijeka from the coastal city of Rijeka just last week clinched the Croatian First Division (HNL) title for the very first time in the club’s and city's history, and the first time since the modern era Croatian indpendence and formation of the Croatian First Football League (Prva Hrvatska Nogometna Liga) in 1992, so it's a truly historic occasion. (Actually so historic and dating from before the time HŠK Victoria (Croatian Sports Club Victoria) played their first football match against HŠK Građanski Zagreb at their newly opened home field Kantrida stadium in 1913, (brand new at the time but it will soon be demolished, more about that below), with HŠK Victoria eventually becoming today's HNK Rijeka and HŠK Građanski Zagreb becoming the later GNK Dinamo Zagreb, this at a time when the Croatian crown lands were still in political union with the Habsburg Monarchy Austria-Hungary). The HŠK Victoria opening home field match at Kantrida stadium in 1913 was also the very first football match played at Kantrida stadium according to official association football rules. *Interestingly, even the very first organized football match to ever be played on Croatian soil took place in Rijeka in 1873, it was a friendly match between a team composed of Hungarian railroad workers and a team from members of the then Technical Institute of Rijeka, played on the occasion of the opening of the new Karlovac-Rijeka railway line.

History lesson aside, these photos are from last night after the meaningless last match of the season in Zagreb, and the team's arrival back in Rijeka with the HNL Championship trophy later that night. And the fan's welcome didn't dissapoint again. Over 20,000 people of all ages lined the streets and the downtown core to enthusiastically cheer the official return of the team and the presentation of the Croatian First Football League trophy for the very first time in history. The club Chairman Damir Mišković, Slovenian Manager Matjaž Kek, other coaches and the players delivered the goods to the fans, including of course HNK Rijeka's most ardent fans and hardcore ultras group supporters Armada Rijeka, or simply known as Armada, and then the celebrations really started, as this was the moment they had all been waiting and cheering for over the many years. One way or another during the summer off-season there will probably also be other related celebratory events and goings on.

So it's official now, they've been runners-up 5 times previously but this is the very first Croatian Football Championship title brought to the football club and city of Rijeka...ever. This is good news for parity in the league, for the sport in general, and so for the country as well as civilization and progress in the world. (I don't know why some of the players colored their hair white for the night, perhaps personal bets or something, whatever). That's pretty well it as the photos do most of the explaining. The first part of this post with more background information and media can be read at the attached link.


Related: photos-of-day-hnk-rijeka-fans-celebrate-first-title

A couple bonus highlight video views of the jubilant atmosphere downtown Rijeka during the countdown of the last away match on the big screen, and then later that night after the team's and championship trophy arrival. (the title was already clinched the week previous, see previous post)

 Like I said, world exclusive historic pics because the last time a similar scene like this happened in downtown Rijeka was...well...never. Images are in no particular order. (for those unfamiliar there's more background information about the city of Rijeka HERE)

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