FK Željezničar Sarajevo

Zeljeznicar's emblem
Full name Fudbalski Klub Željezničar
Nickname(s) Željo
Plavi (Blues)
Founded September 19, 1921; 90 years ago (September 19, 1921)
Ground Grbavica, Sarajevo
(Capacity: 20,841)
Chairman Sabahudin Žujo
Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina Amar Osim
League Premijer Liga BiH
2010–11 2nd
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours

FK Željezničar is a professional football club from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo.

The initial acronym stands for Fudbalski sportski klub (meaning "Football Sports Club"), and the name Željezničar means "railway worker," given because it was established by a group of railway workers.

Željezničar, alias "Željo," is the most prominent and successful football team in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the time of the former Yugoslavia, FK Željezničar was a member of the Yugoslav First League. Today, Željezničar is one of the most famous members of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its success includes winning one Championship in former Yugoslavia and four titles in Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The biggest European success was the UEFA Cup semi-final in 1984–1985 season.



Željezničar was formed by group of railway workers. During the early 20th century, there were several football clubs in Sarajevo. They were rich and usually backed by various organizations. The most of them on ethnic principles (Bosniaks, Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Jews). But Željezničar was a club for common people, people interested in football and fun. Since it was a financially poor club, they used to organize dance nights and all the profit made was later used to buy shoes and ball(s).

Financial problems were not the only ones. Multiethnicity of the club was seen as a threat by many, so Željezničar was suppressed in various ways. Despite that, club managed to survive, and even beat stronger and wealthier clubs.

In 1941, World War II came to Sarajevo, and every football activity was stopped. Many footballers were members of the resistance troops, and some of them were killed. After the war, Željo was formed again, and in 1946. it won the Bosnian championship. That secured them a place in the final tournament with champions of other Yugoslav republics. Soon after, Sarajevo citizens formed a new club FK Sarajevo, club that become an eyesore to željezničar fans The Maniacs all to this days. That had a devastating influence on the club, so it needed several years to come back to first division. For most of the time, Željezničar played in the top level. It was relegated four times (last time in 1976/77 season), but every time (except the first one in 1947) it would return quickly.

Biggest success came in 1971/1972 season when it won a championship title, the only title in Yugoslav period. In 1980/1981 season, Željezničar has reached Yugoslav cup final, but lost to another Bosnian side Velež Mostar. Biggest international result was recorded in 1984/1985 season. FK Željezničar, with Ivica Osim as a coach, reached semifinals of the UEFA Cup where they were playing against Hungarian team Videoton. Two minutes from time, Željezničar had a result that would give them a place in final and two matches with big Real Madrid. Then the moment of disaster came and Hungarians scored a killer goal. Entire Yugoslavia was crying that night. Just one of things that proves special place Željezničar has in people's hearts. Not only in those who are supporting it, but everyone.

After the collapse of Yugoslavia, another war. Grbavica stadium was occupied and football was off again. Players like Mario Stanić, Rade Bogdanović, Gordan Vidović, Suvad Katana and many others went abroad to escape the horror of war. Somehow, club managed to rise again. At first, young players were practicing indoors in school gyms. Stadium was at the first / front lines, destroyed, and yet they played in the Bosnian war championship held in 1994. Fourth place is not so important as much as the presence.

War ended in 1995. and regular championship was formed. Since then, Željezničar won three titles, every sweet in some way. One, though, more than the others. In 1998. championship, play-off was held and final match saw two big rivals at the opposite sides, playing for the trophy. FK Sarajevo was a better rival, their shots were cleared from the goal-line twice. In 89th minute, one ball was intercepted on the left side, and after a couple of passes it came to Željezničar forward Hadis Zubanović who scored a dramatic winner.

After the two more titles in 2001 and 2002, Željezničar was runner-up three consecutive times. As the best Bosnian club, they played in European cups every year. Biggest result (for the Bosnian club football as well since the independence) came in 2002. when Željezničar reached the third qualifying round of UEFA Champions League. Newcastle United was too strong, so the group stage will have to wait for some other time.

Last three seasons are not successful and fans would probably like to forget them as soon as possible. Financial problems, frequent coach changes, and weak club management above all, resulted with bad results and supporters' disappointment. Upcoming privatization and stadium ownership issue are the main cause of problems. Supporters were boycotting the club and the attendance is lowest in years. However, everyone is hoping better times will come. In 2010 the team had a lot of changes including the chair man and the coach. With Amar Osim coming in back as a head coach the team started to play much better than previous years. In the mid season the team was on the middle of the table. However the second half of the season was much better the players started to come together. They started to win on the road only losing one game in Tuzla vs FK Sloboda Tuzla. As the season went along the supporters stopped boycotting and returned back where they belong. FK Zeljeznicar averaged the most fan base in the league. FK Zeljeznicar became the champions for the fifth time in their existence, giving them the most championships than any team in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The team also reached the finals of Bosnian Cup where they lost to FK Borac Banja Luka on the away goal rules.

In season 2010/2011 F.K. Zeljeznicar have won their fourth cup of Bosnia And Herzegovina. They have advanced to the final beating NK Siroki Brijeg on 3:0 aggregate. In the final they clash with rival from former Yugoslav League NK Celik Zenica. First game was played at Grbavica which finished 1:0 in favor of the home team. Second game was played at Bilino Polje which F.K. Zeljeznciar won 3:0, and totally dominated in all of the expects of the game. Final result was 4:0 on aggregate. That concluded F.K. Zeljeznicar's season in they automatically gives them to compete in Europa League. F.K. Zeljeznicar celebrated their 90th birthday with a trophy.


When the club was founded, it had no stadium. There were several football grounds in Sarajevo, but other clubs didn't want to allow Željezničar to use it. So they used military training pitch called Egzercir. It wasn't actually a football ground. However, it was the closest thing they could get and it will be remembered as a club's first pitch. It was placed in part of the city known as Čengić Vila. In 1932. new ground was prepared in Pofalići (yet another part of Sarajevo), close to railway station. It wasn't much better than the last one, but it was built by the club and because of that it had a special meaning.

After the World War II, Željezničar played on Stadion "6. april" on Marijin Dvor (there is a building now behind Secondary school of technical sciences) until June 18, 1950. Authorities planned to build a street, so the club made another move to military stadium in Skenderija. Club staff was tired of all that moving and they decided to build its own stadium in Grbavica (also part of the city). Friends, supporters, members of the club and even military, all helped in construction. Stadium was officially opened on September 13, 1951. with the second league match between Željezničar and Šibenik. Željezničar won 4–1.

Ever since, Grbavica is the place of joy and sorrow for the club and its supporters. Symbolically, old railway was passing over the hill behind the stadium, and every time it would sound its whistle to salute the present masses. Stadium had a small stands on the East and South side, while the wooden stands with the roof were on the West side. Because of the reconstruction, Željezničar moved again in 1968 to city Koševo Stadium. They played there until April 25, 1976 and even won its only Yugoslav title in 1972 playing there.

Grbavica was opened again that year, and in the '80s modern northern stands were built. Unfortunately, war began in 1992 and Željezničar yet again needed to play on Koševo Stadium until May 2, 1996 when it came back to Grbavica. Wooden stands burned up during the war, but project for new modern stadium is prepared and waiting for financial back-up.

Before the war, stadium capacity was more than 20,000, but now it has 12,700 seated places, but some 8,000 more can fill the unseated parts of the stadium.

Name of the club

Željezničar was formed as RŠD Željezničar (Radničko športsko društvo, eng. Workers' sports society). Željezničar means railwayman or railway worker. Later it was known as FK Željezničar (Fudbalski klub, eng. football club), and was a part of SD Željezničar (Sportsko društvo, eng. sports society) which includes the clubs in other sports (basketball, handball, volleyball, chess, bowling, etc) with the same name. In 1993, initial acronym was changed to NK (Nogometni klub, eng. football club). In Bosnian, both fudbal and nogomet are equally used as a word for football. The word fudbal is dominant in eastern and nogomet in western parts of the country. Since 2000, club's name is officially with initial FK again.


Blue is traditionally colour of railway workers in this part of Europe. Since the club was founded by the railway workers, blue was a logical choice. Standard navy blue colour was always on the club's crest, but it is a different story with kits. Sometimes they were light blue, sometimes regular blue, and sometimes navy blue as it is on the crest. Sometimes kits were blue and white vertical striped. For some games in 1999–2000 season, kits were striped horizontally, and in 2002–2003 season they were even dark grey, without any traces of blue. Away kit was always white.

On the left side of the kit, by the heart, stands a crest. Since the foundation of the club, standard elements of the crest were ball and wings, also a traditional railway symbol. These standard elements were changed in design several times in the past. Some other elements were added or excluded in some periods of history. For example, circle around the original crest was added in 1990s. From 1945. to 1992. red five-pointed star stood in place of the ball, and words "The Maniacs", "Sarajevo", "1987" and others were moved form one part of the crest to another many times. Current design dates back to 2000.

Sarajevo derby

Many Željezničar supporters say that "Željo is a matter of philosophy, and Sarajevo a matter of geography". This saying explains the feelings of Željezničar fans about the history and existence itself of their local rivals FK Sarajevo. Famous Sarajevo derby, known across the SE Europe, is generally considered as one of few with the best atmosphere. But there is one thing that separates it from similar ones in the region and rest of the world – fans of these clubs are enemies only for the time needed for game to be played. It is not rare that father and son, two brothers, or husband and wife, are on the opposite sides. They don't speak to each other that day. But when the game ends, provocations are something of a tradition, strangest bets are needed to be fulfilled... And everybody is waiting for the next one. Although, incidents between younger fans can be seen in recent years.

So far (as of October 24, 2010), 96 league matches were played. Željezničar won 29 times, FK Sarajevo also won 29 times, while 38 matches ended with a draw. Goal-difference 117:114 in FK Sarajevo's favor. Since the independence, as a part of Bosnian championship, there were 33 games played. Sarajevo won 10 times, Željezničar won 8 times, with 15 draws. Goal-difference 39:34 for FK Sarajevo.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina GK Adnan Gušo
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Elvir Čolić
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Josip Kvesić
4 Montenegro DF Goran Marković
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Srđan Savić
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Jadranko Bogičević
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Nermin Zolotić
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Eldin Adilović
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Zajko Zeba (vice-captain)
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Srđan Stanić
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina GK Elvis Karić
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Mirsad Ramić
15 Liberia DF Nyema Gerhardt
No. Position Player
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Vernes Selimović
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Benjamin Čolić
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Amar Prutina
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Velibor Vasilić
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Mirsad Bešlija (captain)
21 Switzerland FW Omar Baljić
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina GK Semir Bukvić
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Muamer Svraka (3rd captain)
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Nermin Jamak
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Emir Alić
27 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Sulejman Smajić
28 Republic of Macedonia MF Perica Stančeski
30 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Dejan Drakul

Players with Dual Nationality

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
26 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Aleksandar Nikolić (at Drina Zvornik)
No. Position Player
29 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Šaban Pehilj (at Krajišnik Velika Kladuša)

Notable players & managerial history

Notable players

Managerial history


  • Biggest ever league victory: Željezničar – Barkohba 18:0 (March 23, 1925, Second Sarajevo division)
  • Biggest ever league defeat: 1:9 on several occasions
  • Biggest Yugoslav first division victory: Željezničar – Maribor 8:0 (August 29, 1971)
  • Biggest Yugoslav first division defeat: Dinamo Zagreb – Željezničar 9:1 (September 29, 1946)
  • Biggest Bosnian league victory: Željezničar – Krajina Cazin 8:0 (March 31, 2001)
  • Biggest Bosnian league victory: Željezničar – FK Leotar Trebinje 8:0 (August 28, 2010)
  • Biggest Bosnian league defeat: Zmaj od Bosne – Željezničar 9:1 (November 4, 1995)
  • Most overall official appearances: Blagoje Bratić (343)
  • Most league appearances: Hajrudin Saračević (313)
  • Most overall official goals: Josip Bukal, Dželaludin Muharemović (127)
  • Most league goals: Dželaludin Muharemović (112)
  • Most league goals in a season by team: 113 (2000/2001)
  • Most league goals in a season by player: 31 (Dželaludin Muharemović in 2000/2001 season)
  • Most capped player: Mehmed Baždarević (54 caps for Yugoslavia, 2 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina)


  • Yugoslav Championship:
Champions (1): 1971/1972
Runners-Up (1): 1980/1981
Champions (4): 1997/1998, 2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2009/2010
  • Football Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Winners (4): 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2002/2003, 2010/2011
Runners-Up (2): 2001/2002, 2009/2010
Winners (3): 1998, 2000, 2001
Semi Final (1) & Quarter Finals (1):
Club's biggest European success was accomplished in 1984/1985 UEFA Cup when they have played in the semi-finals of this competition; FK Željezničar also played in quarterfinals of the same competition in 1971/1972 season.

UEFA Team Ranking 2011

Rank Team Points
257 Belarus Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino 3.766
Belarus Partizan Minsk 3.766
Belarus Naftan Novopolotsk 3.766
260 Bosnia and Herzegovina Željezničar 3.683
Bosnia and Herzegovina Zrinjski Mostar 3.683
262 Sweden Örebro SK 3.600
Sweden Gefle IF 3.600

As of July 27th 2011. Source

European record

UEFA Champions League
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1972–73 UEFA Champions League 1R England Derby County 1–2 0–2 1–4
2001–02 UEFA Champions League 1Q Bulgaria Levski Sofia 0–0 0–4 0–4
2002–03 UEFA Champions League 1Q Iceland Akranes 3–0 1–0 4–0
2Q Norway Lillestrøm 1–0 1–0 2–0
3Q England Newcastle United 0–1 0–4 0–5
2010–11 UEFA Champions League 2Q Israel Hapoel Tel Aviv 0–1 0–5 0–6
UEFA Europa League
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
2011–12 UEFA Europa League 2Q Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol 1–0 0–0 1–0
3Q Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 0–2 0–6 0–8
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1971–72 UEFA Cup 1R Belgium Club Brugge 3–0 1–3 4–3
2R Italy Bologna 1–1 2–2 3–3
3R Scotland St. Johnstone 5–1 0–1 5–2
QF Hungary Ferencváros 1–2 2–1 3–3
1984–85 UEFA Cup 1R Bulgaria Sliven 5–1 0–1 5–2
2R Switzerland Sion 2–1 1–1 3–2
3R Romania Universitatea Craiova 4–0 0–2 4–2
QF Soviet Union Dinamo Minsk 2–0 1–1 3–1
SF Hungary Videoton 2–1 1–3 3–4
1998–99 UEFA Cup 1Q Scotland Kilmarnock 1–1 0–1 1–2
2000–01 UEFA Cup QR Poland Wisła Kraków 0–0 1–3 1–3
2002–03 UEFA Cup 1R Spain Málaga 0–0 0–1 0–1
2003–04 UEFA Cup QR Cyprus Anorthosis Famagusta 1–0 3–1 4–1
1R Scotland Heart of Midlothian 0–0 0–2 0–2
2004–05 UEFA Cup 1Q San Marino Pennarossa 4–0 5–1 9–1
2Q Bulgaria Litex Lovech 1–2 0–7 1–9
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1970–71 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R Belgium Anderlecht 3–4 4–5 7–9
International Football Cup
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1965–66 International Football Cup GS Poland Gwardia Warszawa 2–1 1–2 3–3
GS Czechoslovakia Baník Ostrava 3–1 1–1 4–2
GS East Germany Lokomotive Leipzig 2–2 0–0 2–2
Mitropa Cup
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1963–64 Mitropa Cup QF Austria Austria Wien 4–1 2–0 6–1
SF Hungary Budapest 1–1 0–1 1–2
1964–65 Mitropa Cup QF Czechoslovakia Slovan Bratislava 2–1 1–3 3–4
1967–68 Mitropa Cup 1R Czechoslovakia Jednota Trenčín 1–0 0–0 1–0
QF Czechoslovakia Spartak Trnava 2–2 1–2 3–4
1968–69 Mitropa Cup 1R Hungary Budapest Honvéd 1–0 1–0 2–0
QF Czechoslovakia Baník Ostrava 4–0 1–1 5–1
SF Czechoslovakia Sklo Union Teplice 1–1 1–2 2–3

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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