The capital city of Czechia, Prague, was one of the Austro-Hungarian centers where college students from Split would go to study, up until World War I. And it was actually in Prague that the idea of founding Split’s soccer club Hajduk came to be. The students from Split would meet in the U Fleku (Kod Fleka) pub, located in 11 Kremencova Street. Thrilled with the play of Prague’s own Slavia, they came about the idea of teaching people to play soccer back in Split. The four of them that returned to Split after their studies founded Hajduk on February 13th, 1911. They were Fabjan Kaliterna, Vjekoslav Ivanišević, Lucijan Stella, and Ivan Šakić, as well as Vladimir Šore.

This long, rich, and unique history has left Hajduk with great number of achievements; their first goal, back in 1911, was made by Šime Raunig, with his knee; in 1924, the entire team, save the goalkeeper who was a foreign citizen, played as the country’s national team; Hajduk is one of the few clubs to have an operetta dedicated to it, namely Tijardović’s Kraljica lopte (Queen of the ball) from 1926; there were fifty thousand spectators at Hajduk’s game in Bari; in 1945, Hajduk was proclaimed the Honorary team of Free France; in 1950, they won a championship without a single lost game; in 1979, it had the most beautiful stadium in Europe constructed for its use; over 200 members of this club played in the best national squads; its players own 16 Olympic medals between them; and throughout its entire history, fans have cheered it on with the characteristic shout Hajduk živi vječno (Hajduk lives forever). Hajduk enjoys the love of Split, Dalmatia and Croatian immigrants everywhere.[1]

In 2001, the soccer club Hajduk Split and the Croatian Embassy in Prague erected a memorial plaque in the U Fleku pub, which states that Split’s club was founded there in 1911. The pub has become a must-see destination for any Croatian tourists passing through.


Vicko i Mirko Kod Fleka

Vicko and Mirko Bezić at the U Fleku pub, in front of the memorial plaque dedicated to the founding of Hajduk (photo courtesy of Vesna Bezić)

[1] Gizdić, Jurica. 2006. Hajduk na službenim natjecanjima. HNK Hajduk. Split. Page 7.