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nedjelja, 28. svibnja 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 Rijeka 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. (the championship title was already clinched last week). And the fan's welcome didn't dissapoint again. Over 20,000 people of all ages lined the streets and the downtown city 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. (it's true, how so? because it will mean more fans and so more beers and adult beverages sold, which will mean more pubs, bars and cafes and so a more enjoyable ambiance and content society, hence a safer content society and civilization). I don't know why some of the players colored their hair white for the night, perhaps just celebratory or personal bets or something, whatever. Anyway, that's pretty well the whole story 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.

(photo credit: @miseleccionmx / Twitter)

(*I should also quickly note that another historic event also coincidentally happened on the exact same day, as the Croatian National Football team played for the very first time ever in North America. Over 60,000 spectators watched a mostly first time representing Croatia squad play against Mexico in an entertaining international friendly match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for another simultaneous historic first. Highlights complete with those "Gooooool!" commentator guys HERE)


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

A few bonus highlight videos, views of the jubilant atmosphere downtown Rijeka during the countdown of the last away match on the big screen, with of course members of the hardcore ultras group supporters Armada Rijeka in the cheering lead, or simply known as Armada, and then later that night after the team's and championship trophy arrival. (the title was already clinched the week previous, see previous post link for those pics)

 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)

Here's an amusing side note after-post update, the little girl seen in the above and a few other photos is 6 year old Nika Struja, many readers in Rijeka asked who the jubilant cheerer was so they decided to put her on the front page of Rijeka's Novi List newspaper and do an article, video and full story at

I should add this other interesting related story, I did a quick post previously HERE one day just for the hell of it about the interesting viewpoints of a die-hard HNK Rijeka fan who's been attending home games for over 60 years, (at the time 78 years old and almost 83 now), personal views about attending the games, fan support, league rivalies etc. More than 6 decades of regularly attending home Rijeka football games instead of baking cookies, knitting socks or canning tomatoes to me is a hardcore fan. Anyway the local newspaper also decided to do an updated story about her, you can read that article HERE.

Another interestng brief article mention tidbit I came across, it's not Croatia or Croatian football/HNK Rijeka related at all or of particular interest to me but still good to know for the average reader. On the same day that HNK Rijeka officially won the HNL league championship, over in Serbia they also held their national championship. (lots of leagues across Europe officially ended their seasons today and this week). However in this case, Belgrade fans were were unfurling banners of the Croatian city of Vukovar written in Serbian along with images of former Serbian war criminals and ultra-nationalists again, You know, that centuries old Croatian city of Vukovar that was bombed to rubble by Serbs in the 90's spreading while Serbian culture and progress. Well, it's already well known that over the decades and the last while especially in Serbia they've been rehabilitating and officially making heroes again of all kinds of former Serb ultra-nationalists and war criminals from the 90's, as well as even former Serb Nazi collaborators and Communist political leaders and criminals from the last century and before, and with Serb church approval and blessings of course, so that's nothing new. (as I've shown before their Serb church is actually much more like a self-glorifying religious cult with their own strange beliefs and traditions, a complex that Serbs can do no wrong therefore they're all heroes or saints and similar absurd bullshit like what this bullshitter bullshits about). However again, in this case they were also getting into good fights and attacking their very own police also. Like I said, it's not Croatia, Croatian football/HNK Rijeka related but actually looks more like those common fans and police voilence scenes at Brazil soccer matches. There's nothing like spreading Serb culture, civilizational ideals and progress at Serb soccer championships for the world to see I guess, but at least they correctly spelled the Croatian city of Vukovar correctly in the Serbian alphabet, so that's a good thing. (btw, check out the recently opened Swimming Complex in Vukovar, pretty cool and nifty). Just some supplementary information for the benefit of the reader. (It's also a good thing they weren't playing a Ukranian team during some UEFA league match in Ukraine, that would've been weird and strange too). Images:

*And as a final last after-post update to this historic world exclusive pics topic, 4 days later HNK Rijeka played GNK Dinamo in the historic and baroque city of Varaždin (that's right, the home of the popular annual Špancirfestfor the annual Croatian Football Cup (Croatian: "Hrvatski nogometni kup", which is an annually held football tournament for Croatian football clubs and the second most important competition after the Croatian First Football League championship) and they eventually ended their already championship season with a 3-1 victory, thus completing what is known in association football circles as a Domestic Double. A truly historic icing on the kremšnita cake season finish. Full match highlights and report HERE.

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