Maribor (pronounced [ˈmaːɾibɔɾ] German: Marburg an der Drau) is the second-largest city in Slovenia with about 114,487 inhabitants in 2013. Maribor is also the largest city of the traditional region of Lower Styria and the seat of the City Municipality of Maribor. In 2000, Maribor was given the Alpine Town of the Year award. Association football club NK Maribor is based in the city.
In addition to its Slovene and German names, the city is also known as Latin: Marburgum and Italian: Marburgo.
NK Maribor or simply Maribor, is a professional football club based in Maribor, Slovenia. Founded on 12 December 1960, Maribor is one of only three football clubs in the country who have never been relegated from Slovenian top flight SNL since its establishment in 1991. They are regarded as a symbol of Slovenian football, particularly in their home region of Styria (Slovene: Štajerska) in the northeastern Slovenia.
The club’s home ground is the Ljudski vrt stadium, which has a capacity of 12,994. It was originally built in 1952 and later underwent a series of major reconstructions in the 1990s and 2000s. The club’s Academy, which is hailed as the best in the country, is responsible for youth development at the club and has enjoyed a fair amount of success in producing promising young players. Maribor’s nicknames are The Purples (Vijoličasti) andThe Violets (Vijolice), both referring to their primary colour purple. The club’s motto is One club, one honour (En klub, ena čast)
Kit and colours
Throughout the entire history of Maribor the club’s main colour was purple. At the beginning of the club some officials were favouring the red and white colours, while the traditional colours of Branik were black and white. Because of the fact that many football teams in SFR Yugoslavia wore red-white or black-white jerseys, most notablyCrvena Zvezda and Partizan, Maribor officials decided for a new and fresh combination. They decided to follow the example of Fiorentina, which at the time was one of the most successful clubs in Europe, and their purple and white combination. Oto Blaznik, the first captain in history of the club, was the one who proposed the combination after seeing the Italian side play. Eventually they changed the secondary colour to yellow. Today Maribor play their home matches in purple and away matches in yellow kits. The team is nicknamed The Purples (Vijoličasti); another common nickname is The Violets (Vijolice), both referring to their primary colour purple, present on players’ jerseys and in the club crest. The club is also continuously referred to as the Pride of Styria (Štajerski ponos). Maribors’ current kit manufacturer is Adidas.
Maribor’s crest evolution
The badge of the club is one of the most recognizable sport symbols in Slovenia. It is based on the official emblem of the city of Maribor, which is turn based on a 14th-century seal with minor differences. The badge is formed in a shape of a shield, and shows the former Piramida Castle with open doors that used to stand on top of the Pyramid Hill before it was demolished at the end of the 18th century. A violet blossom forms the backdrop. Unlike the coat of arms of the city of Maribor, the current badge of the club does not represent a white dove facing downwards to the castle but an athlete. At the top of the shield the name of the club and the year of its foundation is inscribed. The entire badge uses only two colours, purple and yellow. Previous versions of the crest included the colour white, a traditional third colour of the club, in the form of a white castle in the centre and a white ball that was on top of the shield. Since May 2012, the official badge includes a yellow star above the crest, which indicates the first 10 Slovenian League titles won by the club.
(Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Chelsea FC’s bid to complete a clean sweep of major UEFA club titles remains on course, but they have reason to
be cautious in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals as FC Rubin Kazan make a second trip to London.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.
• Chelsea have won all four of their previous games against Russian sides (W2 D0 L0 at home – W2 D0 L0 away),
conceding just once in the process. They won 2-0 against FC Spartak Moskva at the Luzhniki Stadium – the venue
for the return leg – in their last visit to Russia in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Making their debut in the quarter-finals of a major UEFA tournament, Rubin are visiting London for a second time,
having lost 1-0 at Tottenham in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage. They won the return fixture in Kazan
• Chelsea are unbeaten in 11 European games at Stamford Bridge (W9 D2) since a 1-0 loss to Manchester United
FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. They have yet to lose in six UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa
League home games (W4 D2 L0).
• Rubin have not lost in five European away games this season (W2 D3) and if their pattern of following up away
draws with away wins continues, they are set for a victory at Stamford Bridge.
• Food for thought ahead of the second leg: Rubin have lost three times in their last 22 European home games (W10
D9 L3), with all three of those defeats coming in Moscow, where they had not scored in three games until they struck
twice in extra time to eliminate Levante UD in the round of 16. They are 18 European games unbeaten in Kazan,
including wins in the most recent five, during which they conceded only once.
• Three English teams – Chelsea, Newcastle United FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC – have reached the last eight. In
each of the previous two seasons in which a country has taken three clubs to the quarter-finals, one of that number
has gone on to win the trophy – FC Porto (Portugal) in 2010/11 and Club Atlético de Madrid (Spain) in 2011/12 –
beating opponents from their own country in the final.
• SL Benfica and Chelsea are the only sides left in the competition who transferred from the UEFA Champions League
group stage. They will be hoping to emulate the feat of inaugural winners Atlético, who won the 2009/10 UEFA Europa
League after entering in the knockout phase
• Chelsea have played fewer UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League games than any other side left in the competition –
• Chelsea could become the first side to win UEFA’s two top club competitions in reverse order in successive seasons.
• They could also become only the fourth side to win all three of UEFA’s major club competitions, joining Juventus,
AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München. Chelsea won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970/71 and 1997/98, and the
UEFA Champions League last season.
• Striker José Rondón is the second highest scorer left in the competition with five goals since the start of the group
stage. S.S. Lazio’s Libor Kozák tops the leaderboard with eight.
• Rondón and midfielders Pablo Orbaiz and Gökdeniz Karadeniz are the only players who have featured in all ten of
Rubin’s games since the start of the group stage, although none have been on the pitch for every minute. Gökdeniz
is the only player to have started all ten games.
• Chelsea defender David Luiz is in line to make his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition.
• Rubin winger Gökhan Töre was at Chelsea (2009–11). He helped the club’s reserve team to win the English title,
but never made a senior competitive appearance.
• Chelsea defender John Terry has made 98 appearances in UEFA club competition, and will make it to three figures
if he appears in both legs of this tie. Team-mate Frank Lampard (112) has played in more UEFA club competition
games than any player left in this season’s UEFA Europa League, with Petr Čech and Ashley Cole (both 102) his
• Rafael Benítez moved into coaching at a young age after injury ended his career as a midfielder, taking charge of
youth and reserve teams at Real Madrid CF. He led Valencia CF to two league titles and the 2003/04 UEFA Cup, and then won the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League with Liverpool FC. He coached FC Internazionale Milano briefly
in 2010/11 and replaced Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea manager in November 2012.
• Benítez’s most recent UEFA Europa League experience came in 2009/10, when he led Liverpool to the semi-finals
before defeat by eventual winners Atlético.
• Benítez has been in charge of 134 UEFA club competition games – more than any other coach in this season’s
• Benítez (Valencia CF 2003/04) and Tottenham Hotspur FC’s André Villas-Boas (FC Porto 2010/11) are the only
coaches left in the competition who have won the trophy previously.
• Kurban Berdyev has been coach of Rubin since 2001, leading the club to successive Russian titles in 2008 and
2009 and a Russian Cup in 2012. Previously a defender and midfielder in the top Soviet league with SKA
Rostov-na-Donu and FC Kairat Almaty, he coached teams in Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan before
leading Rubin into Russia’s top division.