Hajduk and Torcida

One of the must see spectacles in Dalmatia is often not offered or suggested to travelers to this part of the country. It is a Hajduk football game. Of course, not all games are the same and especially great are the games when a world class football team comes to visit. Last year it was Barcelona for 100 years of Hajduk and this year, as part of a qualifying series, it was Inter Milan.

For days, the entire city was excited about this game. It was the talk of the town and tickets disappeared quickly. And, on the day of the game, rivers of supporters in white – traditional color of Hajduk supporters – were flowing towards the beautiful Poljud stadium.

The stadium is getting filled up...
The stadium is getting filled up…

Always impressive atmosphere gets even more memorable on days like these as Torcida – Hajduk’s most devoted supporters – arranges special choreography and does not stop cheering and singing for the entire game. One has probably seen all the graffiti and artwork in Split and entire Dalmatia dedicated to Hajduk and Torcida. Once you go to the game, you will know the reason why…

The choreography for beggining of the game
The choreography for beginning of the game

Torcida was founded in 1950 after Hajduk and it’s Yugoslavian arch-rival, Crvena Zvezda, game and ever since it continues it’s loud support on Poljud’s North or when Hajduk is playing the game away. The show Torcida puts up in Split is one of the most interesting cheering spectacle in all of Europe and, most of the teams that play here, say that they never encountered such a passionate display of support anywhere else in the world!

And this is just a part of that atmosphere before the game started:

Not exactly HD video but nothing compares to the real thing anyway.

And then there is a “traditional” torch show that used to be even more vivid but UEFA wants to make stadiums as safe as possible so the controls when entering the stadium are riggid.

The torch show
The torch show

In the mind of all of us in Dalmatia, Hajduk is the greatest football club ever. Period. Well, the results don’t really support that theory but when you see how Split and entire Dalmatia live with Hajduk, then you know that the results don’t really matter. Hajduk is the symbol of Dalmatia just as much as the Adriatic Sea is. And Torcida is definitely the greatest football cheering group ever. Proven at each game.

The result?

Inter in orange and Hajduk in white jerseys
Inter in orange and Hajduk in white jerseys

No one really believed that the young and inexperienced Hajduk’s players can do anything serious against Zanetti, Sneijder… We all went there for the spectacle and the spectacle it was! The final score was 3:0 for Inter and we all wish our team scored at least one goal as then the show would be unbelievable with entire stadium literally shaking.

Next time!

So, when in Dalmatia and interested in football or soccer or calcio… make sure you visit this temple of “World’s greatest football team” and to hear Torcida singing. This atmosphere is unique!

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8 thoughts on “Hajduk and Torcida

  • Cheering for Hajduk at our home in Cavtat, we never miss a game.

  • It’s hard not to be swept up by the enthusiasm of football’s oldest supporter group. But I do find it disturbing when I see Torcida members with Ustaša tattoos. There’s a difference between enjoying your favorite team from your beloved city and behaving like ultra-nationalist hooligans. So years ago, going to a match Poljud was something I frequently recommended to visitors – but I stopped. Maybe visitors wouldn’t be familiar with the symbolism, but the atmosphere began to feel less fun to me.

  • A few people are not relevant for global picture.. Strange thing is that you see only tattos but not the fantastic moments of fans in Poljud..

  • I did not say I only see tattoos, but those I do see, I find disturbing. I don’t think the fans at Poljud are so fantastic.

  • And as for “global picture”, well, hooligans are hooligans. I’ve been to 3 World Cups and 3 Euro competitions. I”m glad I wasn’t in Poland this summer.

  • Looks exciting!
    On a sports note, I had the opportunity to see Croatia compete in the handball final during the ’96 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Morgan, do you think that hooligans are only croatia fans? What about poland, russia, england, germany and all others..? I am thinking that you are missing the big pucture.. sorry 😦

  • I dont know were are you from, but I am sure that in your country you have hooligans same as we have, maby more of them..

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