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Slovakia football national team profile

 

Appearing for the first time in a major international competition, Slovakia have been striving to relive the glory years enjoyed by the former Czechoslovakia since going it alone in 1993.

While their team is hardly filled with household names, Slovakia can nonetheless rely on a well-organised collective with plenty of admirable qualities. Likewise, their continuing progress gives them good reason to be optimistic about their voyage to South Africa.

Slovakia national football team

Fourth in their section in qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ France, third on the road to Korea/Japan 2002 and runners-up ahead of Germany 2006, Slovakia continued their rise by sealing top spot in Group 3. Vladimir Weiss’s side booked their historic place on 14 October 2009, upsetting a number of predictions that they would struggle to cope with a difficult pool.

Their passage was far from smooth, but slowly and surely Slovakia mounted their bid, losing only to closest challengers Slovenia. Their nearest rivals proved a real thorn in their side, downing them 2-1 in their second outing and, above all, prevailing 2-0 in Bratislva in the penultimate round of matches, yet Slovakia’s desire to experience a FIFA World Cup finals shone through in the end. Needing to prevail in Poland in their final outing, they duly triumphed 1-0.

Star players of Slovakia
Solid at the back for Premier League heavyweights Liverpool, Martin Skrtel is a central figure for his country, while midfielder Marek Hamsik has both a knack of scoring goals for Napoli and the welcome habit of shining for the national side. The latter is unlikely to go unnoticed in South Africa and the same applies to Stanislav Sestak, who finished top scorer for Slovakia with six strikes in qualifying and is eager to continue in similar fashion.

The coach of Slovakia
Born in 1964, former Slovakian international Vladimir Weiss was appointed in June 2008, taking over from Jan Kocian after his predecessor failed to take the side through to UEFA EURO 2008.

Blessed with a strong personality, Weiss learnt the coaching ropes at Artmedia Bratislava, leading the unfancied Slovakian outfit into the UEFA Champions League group phase in 2005/06. The following season, he opted to boost his credentials with Saturn Moscow Oblast in Russia, before celebrating a triumphant return to Artmedia with the Slovakian league title a year after. All that remained was a tilt at leading the national team and, given his previous successes, who knows how far they can progress together?

Vladimir Weiss is also the son of… Vladimir Weiss, a former Czechoslovakian international. In fact, he is the father of Vladimir Weiss too, with his son plying his trade at Manchester City and often called up to demonstrate his worth in a national team shirt.

Previous FIFA World Cups of Slovakia
While this may be Slovakia’s first appearance on the global stage, the country’s footballing past is naturally tied up with that of the former Czechoslovakia, who participated in eight finals overall. Czechoslovakia even reached the final in 1934, losing 2-1 after extra time to Italy, and 1962, when they succumbed 3-1 to Brazil. They also advanced as far as the last eight in 1990.

Honours (as Czechoslovakia)

– 1 UEFA European Championship (1976)
– 1 Olympic Football Tournament (1980)

Slovakia National football team Squad list

Nr. Name Date of Birth Position Clubs Height
1 Jan MUCHA 05/12/1982 GK Legia Warsaw (POL) 189
2 Peter PEKARIK 30/10/1986 DF Wolfsburg (GER) 176
3 Martin SKRTEL 15/12/1984 DF Liverpool (ENG) 188
4 Marek CECH 26/01/1983 DF West Bromwich Albion (ENG) 181
5 Radoslav ZABAVNIK 16/09/1980 DF Mainz 05 (GER) 180
6 Zdenko STRBA 09/06/1976 MF Xanthi (GRE) 187
7 Vladimir WEISS 30/11/1989 MF Manchester City (ENG) 176
8 Jan KOZAK 22/04/1980 MF Timisoara (ROU) 192
9 Stanislav SESTAK 16/12/1982 FW Bochum (GER) 178
10 Marek SAPARA 31/07/1982 MF Ankaragucu (TUR) 176
11 Robert VITTEK 01/04/1982 FW Ankaragucu (TUR) 188
12 Dusan PERNIS 28/11/1984 GK Dundee Utd. (SCO) 190
13 Filip HOLOSKO 17/01/1984 FW Besiktas (TUR) 186
14 Martin JAKUBKO 26/02/1980 FW FC Moscow (RUS) 193
15 Miroslav STOCH 19/10/1989 MF Twente Enschede (NED) 168
16 Jan DURICA 10/12/1981 DF Hannover 96 (GER) 187
17 Marek HAMSIK 27/07/1987 MF Napoli (ITA) 184
18 Erik JENDRISEK 26/10/1986 FW Kaiserslautern (GER) 176
19 Juraj KUCKA 26/02/1987 MF Sparta Prague (CZE) 186
20 Kamil KOPUNEK 18/05/1984 MF Spartak Trnava (SVK) 180
21 Kornel SALATA 24/01/1985 DF Slovan Bratislava (SVK) 190
22 Martin PETRAS 02/11/1979 DF Cesena (ITA) 187
23 Dusan KUCIAK 21/05/1985 GK Vaslui (ROU) 195

Coach: Vladimir WEISS (SVK)

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