Everton Fans: 10 Things to Know About Hajduk and Split

By 4 August 2017

The nerves have just about settled in Split after Hajduk drew Everton for the next round of Europa League on August 4, 2017. The two clubs will face each other in the playoffs of the competition which begins on August 17, 2017, in Liverpool.

“Wayne Rooney is coming to Poljud” the headlines read across Split today. Many of us called everyone we possibly could, others posted to social media as fast as we could, and the rest of us searched for the cheapest flights to Liverpool in two week’s time. Even though Wayne Rooney was coming to Split, this match would be too good not to see twice. 

The people of Split have just three short weeks to prepare for the Scouser invasion, and to make things easy for everyone involved, we thought we’d help the Evertonians prepare for Split with the ten most crucial things they should know about our city.

1. Manchester United's biggest ever defeat was at the hands of Hajduk in Split (1980).

While it was just a friendly match, Hajduk Split defeated Manchester United 6:0 at Poljud Stadium to a crowd of 30,000. And no, United was not playing with a team of reserves, but with a squad including some familiar faces. Bailey, Nicholl, Houston, Mcllroy, McQueen, Buchan, Coppell, Wilkins, Jordan, Macari, Thomas, anyone?

2. Hajduk has a rich European history, although it has been a while...

Hajduk Split was founded in 1911 by a group of students from Split in a pub in Prague. After attending a match between AC Sparta and SK Slavia, the students felt it was their duty to bring a football club to their hometown, and thus Hajduk was born. The name “Hajduk,” which comes from the name given to romanticized bandits that fought Ottoman Turks, was chosen as it symbolized "that which is best in our people: bravery, humanity, friendship, love of freedom, defiance to powers, and protection of the weak. Be worthy of that great name.” 

Since then, Hajduk has won two Kingdom of Yugoslavia championships, seven Yugoslav championships, six Croatian championships, nine Yugoslav cup titles, four Croatian cups, and five Croatian Super Cups. In Europe, the club has reached five European quarter-finals, have been in the European Cup (now known as Champions League) three times, they were in the UEFA Cup once, and once in the Cup Winner’s Cup. They’ve also reached two European semi finals which include the Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Cup in 1984.

3. Some things will be familiar to back home, like ordering an Uber, but did you know this is the only place you can get an UberBOAT?

Yes, yes, you heard that right, Croatia has UberBOAT. Just another perk to the most beautiful city in the world, Split, you can arrive at our coastal paradise in style with an UberBOAT from the airport. Tempted? We figured. You can find out more here

4. Yes, Split women ARE the most beautiful in the world.

This is without question. You won’t find women like ours anywhere else in the world, and we promise you that. They’re tall, they’re tan, they’re stylish, they more often than not look like Victoria’s Secret Angels, and no, they are not easy to get. Think you have a chance? Read this first

5. It is peak season and VERY hot. We already have enough pink Brits, so please, don't forget your sunscreen.

It’s hot as hell, and we mean that. Temperatures this week are pushing 40 degrees Celsius, and we are confident that drowning yourselves in pints will not numb the pain. Sunscreen, or “sun cream,” is the least you can do. And don’t skimp on the SPF, you know you’ll need the most you can get. 

6. What is the price of beer, I hear you cry? 

Say goodbye to £5 pints and hello to 2 quid half liters of cold domestic beer. Yes, drinking beer in Split is cheap. Hell, sometimes it’s even cheaper than water. And if you feel like venturing out of the box a bit, you can even try some of our best Croatian crafts for around £3. For reference, 16 HRK-22 HRK is a good price for a half liter of domestic beer, and Croatian craft will usually start around 25 HRK. But don’t forget the market, they’re even cheaper there (less than a quid).

7. Need help getting to Split?

We know, Split in the peak season on such short notice is not the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but trust us when we say there are other options. If you’re having trouble finding flights to Split Airport (although there are direct flights from London to Split, as well as Jet2 and Monarch from Manchester, from where Thomas Cook and Thompson charters also depart) you can always check for flights going to Dubrovnik Airport (4-hour drive to Split), Zagreb Airport (3.5 hour drive/5 hour bus ride), or Zadar Airport (2 hours from Split). We even have a ferry from Ancona to Split (9 hours) if that makes it easier for you, somehow. 

8. 5 non-football things to see in Split before you leave (not including those beautiful women)

Welcome to Split, a city that boasts the 1700-year-old remains of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. While you could easily spend a week exploring everything the city of Split has to offer, we thought we would try to narrow it down to five musts.

Explore as much of the Old Town as you can, from Diocletian’s Palace to Peristyle and the Cathedral of St. Domnius, and every ancient alleyway you’ll find yourselves getting lost in more than once. Catch an acapella performance in our Vestibule and rub Gregory of Nin’s toe for good luck - er, or maybe not. Have a day of sightseeing; we promise it won't be as boring here as other European cities. 

Walk to the top of Marjan Hill for some of the best views of Split. From the very top, you can see Poljud Stadium, one of Split’s pride and joys and where thousands of screaming Hajduk supporters will greet you before you know it. You can even stop for a pint halfway to the top, making this a bit more tempting to accomplish, we imagine. 

Don’t miss out on our beaches. While it’s easy to head to our city beach, Bačvice, we’re going to advise you against that this time. If you do make the trek up to Marjan, you’ll be happy to find some wonderful beaches not too far away, from Bene to Kašjuni and Obojena. If you have the time, you can even take the ferry or catamaran to the nearby islands of Brač, Hvar, and Šolta for a swim. It’s going to be hot, so please, visit our beaches. 

Check out our museums. We have a lot of them, and this may be a good way to ensure you don’t get any more pink from the sun. From the gallery of our famed Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović Gallery (a must) to learning about the rich history of our city at the Museum of Split, we’re pretty sure that you’ll be pleased with what you'll find out. We even have a live museum where you can see how the Romans lived their everyday lives, with actors in ancient costume and all, if you're into that sort of thing. 

Try to live like a local. How the people of Split live their day-to-day lives is the true way to get a taste of our city. Sit on our Riva and people watch. Have a 4-hour coffee meeting that leads into beers. Go to our Green Market to gawk at the freshly picked produce from our family farms and visit our Fish Market to find the best that our sea had to offer from the morning. But most importantly, and this is THE most critical, relax.

9. 3 Dalmatian specialities to try before you leave.

While we know you’ll already fall in love with Split, we’re even more confident that you’ll fall in love with our food. If you’re going to do Split, do it right, and by that, we mean that you must try some of our classic Dalmatian specialities.

For starters, and a no-brainer - our cheese and prosciutto. It’s never a bad idea to start your meal with a platter, and our markets have plenty of varieties for you to choose from if you’re looking for the ultimate snack at your accommodation.

For the fish lovers out there, you have to try our seafood. Everything from octopus salad to black risotto, gregada and grilled fish, please indulge. 

For you carnivores, try our meat prepared “under the bell,” or as we call it here, “ispod peke.” What this means, quite literally, is heaven on Earth. Typically made with lamb or veal (or a fun mixture of the two), this dish is cooked for hours under a bell-shaped dome with potatoes, olive oil, and herbs. Baked to perfection, we’re sure that meat will never taste the same for you again. 

But if, for some reason, you can’t find peka, try our Dalmatian pašticada or a favorite midnight munchie “čevapčići” instead. 

10. We know you are very passionate Evertonians, but now, meet Torcida!

Torcida Split, Hajduk’s diehard supporters, was founded in 1950 - making it the oldest organized fan group in Europe. 

Without saying too much, we’ll let fellow Englishman Danny Dyer tell you a bit about us.

Welcome to Split! We hope you enjoy your stay.