Građanski Zagreb, sometimes spelled Gradjanski or Gradanski, full name Prvi hrvatski građanski športski klub (English: First Croatian Citizens' Sports Club) was a Croatian football club established in Zagreb in 1911 and dissolved in 1945. The club was a huge influence on the development of football in Croatia and Kingdom of Yugoslavia and achieved greatest success in the period between the two World Wars.
The club lost their first game to city rivals HAŠK (5-1) but it soon became very popular and widely supported by the Zagreb's working class (in contrast to HAŠK, which was an academic sports club and was seen as an upper class club affiliated with the University of Zagreb and its students). In following years, a healthy rivalry developed between the two city clubs, and after the Kingdom of Yugoslavia First League was launched on a national level in 1923, Građanski's greatest rivals outside Zagreb soon became BSK Belgrade and Hajduk Split. During the 1920s and 1930's Građanski became the most popular club in Zagreb as they won 5 Yugoslav First League titles (1923, 1926, 1928, 1937, 1940).
Internationally, the club went on several successful tours - on one of these, in 1923 in Spain, Građanski beat Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. The club often toured to Austria and Hungary and played friendly matches with top local sides. In 1936 they went on tour to England where they adopted the WM formation which helped them win the 1936-1937 Yugoslav championship. Márton Bukovi, who started using the formation as Građanski manager in 1936, introduced it to Hungary in the late 1940s and later modified it into the now famous WW system which brought the Hungary national football team to the final game of the 1954 World Cup and which was later exported on to Brazil as the 4-2-4 formation.
Građanski were also hosts to friendlies with prominent European teams. In June 1934, Građanski hosted a 0-0 draw with the Brazil national football team (with football legends such as Leônidas and Waldemar in their lineup), and in May 1936 Liverpool FC suffered their first continental defeat in Zagreb, a 5-1 thrashing in front of an audience of 10,000 with August Lešnik scoring a hat-trick and Berry Nieuwenhuys claiming a consolation goal for the Reds.
The club competed in the Mitropa Cup, the first European international club competition, on three occasions - in 1928, 1937 and 1940. In 1928 Građanski were knocked out in the two-legged quarterfinal by Viktoria Žižkov of Czechoslovakia with 4:8 on aggregate. Nine years later, Građanski exited early again after suffering a 1:6 aggregate loss to Genova 1893 FBC . In 1940 they beat the Hungarian side Újpest FC (5:0 on aggregate) in the quarterfinal, only to be defeated by Rapid Bucharest in the semifinal. Both legs ended without goals, so a playoff game in Subotica was held, which ended 1:1 . Rapid progressed to the final on a coin toss, but the final game (against Ferencváros) was never played because of the outbreak of World War II.
Having been invaded by the Axis Powers in 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was dissolved and sports competitions in the nation were suspended. One exception was the fascist puppet state Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which enjoyed peace as an Axis member, so the NDH continued to hold national competitions featuring prominent Croatian clubs. Four of these seasons were started (1941, 1941-42, 1942-43 and 1943-44) but only the second and third editions were finished, with Građanski winning the 1942-43 season .
When war ended in 1945 the club was disbanded by the new communist government (along with HAŠK and Concordia Zagreb) and its archives were burned in retribution for competing in the fascist football league. Their last game was a 2-2 draw on against HAŠK on 10 April 1945, just before both clubs were disbanded.
In June 1945 Dinamo Zagreb was established to take its place as Zagreb's football powerhouse. Dinamo then took over Građanski's colours, nickname, and adopted a very similar badge in 1969. Many Građanski's players continued their career at Dinamo (Ivan Jazbinšek, August Lešnik, Zvonimir Cimermančić, Milan Antolković) as well as their coach Márton Bukovi. Others had to move to Partizan Belgrade, which was established after the war as the official Yugoslav Army club (Florijan Matekalo, Stjepan Bobek). Because of all this, Dinamo is seen today as the successor of Građanski in all but its name.