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The Croatian First Football League, (also known as Prva HNL or 1. HNL) or for sponsorship reasons the Hrvatski Telekom Prva Liga, is the top Croatian professional football league competition, established in 1992. The winners enter the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League. Dinamo Zagreb are the most successful club with 20 titles overall. They are followed by Hajduk Split with six titles. Rijeka and NK Zagreb each have won one title.


The league was formed in 1991, following the dissolution of the Yugoslav First League, and is operated by the Croatian Football Federation. Since its formation, the league went through many changes in its system and number of participating clubs. In the first three seasons two points were awarded for a win, from 1994–95 season this was changed to three points. Each season starts in late July or early August and ends in May, with a two-month hiatus between December and February. Currently, there are ten teams participating in the league.



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Dinamo Zagreb is a professional Croatian football club based in Zagreb. The club was founded in 1911 as 1. HŠK Građanski or fully Prvi hrvatski građanski športski klub (English: First Croatian Citizens' Sports Club), 1945 changed name to Dinamo Zagreb after order from Communist Party. They play their home matches at Stadion Maksimir. They are the most successful club in Croatian football, having won 20 Croatian Football League titles, 15 Croatian Football Cups and five Croatian Football Super Cups. The club has spent its entire existence in top flight, having been members of the Yugoslav First League from 1946 to 1991, and then the Croatian First League since its foundation in 1992.

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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.

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Inter Zaprešić is a professional Croatian football club based in Zaprešić, a town northwest of the capital Zagreb. They play in the Prva HNL after they were promoted from the Druga HNL at the end of the 2013–14 season. The team are nicknamed Keramičari ('The ceramics makers', because they were sponsored by a ceramics factory through much of their history) or Div iz predgrađa ('The giant from the suburb'). The team's colours are yellow and blue. Home games at Stadion ŠRC Zaprešić.

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NK Lokomotiva Zagreb is a professional Croatian football club based in Zagreb. It competes in the Prva HNL, the country's top division. Founded in 1914, the club's only period of success came in the late 1940s and early 1950s before spending most of the following five decades as lower-level minnows. Between 2007 and 2009 they won three consecutive promotions to rise from fourth level to first level in the Croatian football league system. They hosted their home matches at Dinamo's Stadion Maksimir for a couple of years before moving to NK Zagreb Stadion Kranjčevićeva, as their own ground in the Novi Zagreb's Kajzerica neighbourhood is unsuitable for top level football.

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Hajduk Split is a professional Croatian football club founded in 1911, and based in the city of Split. Since 1979, the club's home ground has been the 35,000-seat Stadion Poljud. The team's traditional home colours are white shirts with blue shorts and socks. Hajduk was founded by a group of Split students in a famous tavern known as U Fleků in Prague. Between the early 1920s and 1940, Hajduk regularly participated in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia national championship. Following World War II and the formation of the Yugoslav league system in 1946, Hajduk went on to spend the entire SFR Yugoslavia period at the top level. The club's run continued following the breakup of Yugoslavia, as the club joined the Croatian First League in its inaugural season in 1992, never having been relegated from its top tier. They are one of the most successful teams in Croatia and ex-Yugoslavia, having won nine Yugoslav and six Croatian league championships, in addition to nine Yugoslav and five Croatian cup titles and five Croatian supercup titles, without ever being relegated from its countries top football league.

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Istra 1961 is a football club from Pula, Istria, Croatia, currently playing in the Croatian First Division. he football club NK Uljanik from which the club originates was founded in 1948. In 1961, it merged with another local club, NK Pula, to form NK Istra. For this reason, 1961 is occasionally considered as the club's founding year. The greatest club success was in the 2002–03 season when they finished runners-up in the Croatian Cup, losing to Hajduk Split 4–1 on aggregate. In the 2004–05 season, the club changed its name into NK Pula 1856, because 1856 was the year that the Austro-Hungarian Empire made Pula the port of its arsenal and the shipyard Uljanik was opened.

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Rijeka is a Croatian football club from the city of Rijeka. The club was founded on 29 July 1946 as Sportsko Društvo Kvarner (Croatian) / Società Sportiva Quarnero (Italian). The club's official name was changed to Nogometni Klub Rijeka on 2 July 1954. In the summer of 1995, the club management added the adjective hrvatski (English: Croatian) to the official name. Rijeka are the third-most successful Croatian football club, having won one Croatian First Football League title, two Yugoslav Cups, four Croatian Football Cups, one Croatian Football Super Cup and the 1977–78 Balkans Cup.

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Gorica is a Croatian football club based in the town of Velika Gorica, located just south of the Croatian capital Zagreb. They play their home matches at the Gradski stadion Velika Gorica, which has a capacity of 8,000. They won the 2010–11 Croatian Second Football League title and were initially promoted to Croatian First Football League, but their top license was revoked. The club regard themselves as the spiritual continuation of the former Prva HNL members NK Radnik, who went bankrupt and were dissolved in 2009. However, legally HNK Gorica is a distinct and separate club, and is not entitled to claim the history of the old NK Radnik.

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NK Slaven Koprivnica is a Croatian football club based in the city of Koprivnica in the north of the country. They play their home matches at Gradski stadion in Koprivnica. The first football club in Koprivnica was founded in June 1907, when a student team was formed and named Đački nogometni klub, which is Croatian for Students' Football Club. The name Slaven first appeared when a sports club named HŠK Slaven was founded by the members of the Friedrich family on 20 August 1912 and this is considered to be the foundation date of the present-day club. The club won the Croatian regional championship in 1920. Slaven was subsequently renamed HŠK Victorija, but disbanded six years later due to financial difficulties. Subsequently, the city of Koprivnica was without a football club for four years, between 1926 and 1930.

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Rudeš is a Croatian football club founded in 1957 in Zagreb's neighbourhood of Rudeš. The club competes in Croatia's top division, HT Prva liga, of which they have been members since 2017. Being a lower league club through most of its history, Rudeš achieved promotion to the Croatian Second Football League in 2009, where it quickly established itself as one of the most stable clubs and a regular top table finisher. In the 2016–17 season, Rudeš clinched the title, earning promotion to the Croatian First Football League for the 2017–18 season.

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Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatian_First_Football_League

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