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A Guide to Croatian First Football League

Brief guide about HNL; the Croatian First Football League. Get familiar with the rules and regulations. Which team would make the best challenge on Football Manager 2019?

By on Sep 10, 2018   509 views   0 comments
Football Manager Guides - A Guide to Croatian First Football League

HNL : Croatian First Football League


HNL is the first Croatian league including 10 Croatian clubs that qualify to play for it. Every team plays 36 league matches and every team plays every team 4 times (2 away, 2 home matches).

The champions of the league play 2nd round qualifiers for Champions League, while second and third placed clubs play Euro League qualifiers.



Biggest Clubs and rivarlies


Croatian biggest club is Dinamo Zagreb. Having won the league 31 times they find themselves as the Croatian biggest football club,producing great players last two decades with the likes of Modric, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Kovacic, Eduardo da Silva and others. They have been Croatia's most dominant over the last decade.



Croatian second biggest club is Hajduk Split. Hajduk failed to win the league since 2004/2005 but have been champions 18 times.Their poor managment of club finances summed up with some stupid decisions have gradually decreased clubs reputation,and Hajduk are looking worse than ever at the moment. They used to be Dinamo's biggest competition but have been now overtaken by the likes of Rijeka and Osijek.



As you can guess, the biggest rivalry in Croatia is a match between Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split. Zagreb and Split are two biggest cities in Croatia, both clubs are really popular and have a big fan base mostly located in Croatia.

Top scorers


All time top scorer in Croatia is Davor Vugrinec having scored 144 times. He spent most of his career playing for NK Varteks, although he also played for Rijeka, Dinamo, Slaven Belupo etc.



Vugrinec is followed by Igor Cvitanović's 126 goals. Cvitanović spent most of his career at Dinamo,having played small amount of games for Osijek and NK Varteks as well.



League and squad registration rules


Rules in Croatian league are simple. Three points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss. You can name 7 substitutions, 3 can be made. You can't have more than 8 non-EU-players in the playing 11.

You can register 25 players for the league. There have to minimum of 2 goalkeepers, minimum of 4 players trained by your club for 3 years between 15th and 21st birthdays, minimum of 8 players trained in Croatia for 3 years between 15th and 21st birthdays. Under 21's who are at the club for 2 years don't have to be registered.

The FM19 Challenge


I think you can have a lot of fun with Croatian clubs in Football Manager 2019. I think the best challenge is to play with Hajduk Split and try to get them back to their glory days. Try winning European trophy with Hajduk,and try to make a Croatian league one of the Europe's top 5. Try it yourself!

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