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Rijeka players raise the Croatian championship trophy in Maksimir
“Do not fear for me, I do not want to die until Rijeka wins the title!” Sergio Nini Legan, one of the oldest athletes of Rijeka and Croatia – a man even older than organized football in Rijeka, the antecedent of everything being Unione Sportiva Fiumana, founded on 2 September 1926 – celebrated his 90th birthday on August 11. He is a legendary football player of Kvarner, a club that marked its seven decades of existence on July 29, the football collective from which today’s HNK Rijeka emerged.
– Those times were poor, but beautiful. We played football with a lot of love. Money? No one ever mentioned it back then. We played for our club, and its success was our greatest reward – said Legan.
– Yes, I was the first captain of Rijeka – in Syria. How? Because Kvarner ceased to exist on 3 June 1954 and Rijeka came into existence. I was its first captain and I wore that honourable armband. Since the tour around Syria had already been agreed upon, Rijeka played its first matches there – said Legan.