Slovenia might be one of the most youthful international football teams on the planet, but they boast an admirable pedigree and plethora of high-profile players nonetheless. The team officially formed in 1992, following the split of Yugoslavia. Since then, Slovenia proceeded to qualify for the FIFA World Cup on two separate occasions, making their debut in the European Championships in 2000. Unlike most national teams, they play their home matches at a variety of different grounds around the country, with Bezigrad Stadium, Ljudski vrt, Arena Petrol, and Stožice Stadium all utilised in the past. In the modern era, Slovenia are regarded as an intriguing and strong-spirited side who are always capable of springing a surprise on their day. You can grab Slovenia tickets right here at StubHub.
Progression since the early years
It did not take long for Slovenia to make their mark on international football. They advanced to Euro 2000 following a strong performance in the qualifying groups, and also managed to gain a place in two separate World Cup campaigns in 2002 and 2010. In fact, during the 2002 qualification group, they failed to lose a single match. Slovenia also caused a stir at South Africa 2010, almost managing to progress from the World Cup group stage after a well-fought draw with England. Only a 92nd minute goal by the USA (in their match with Algeria) resulted in Slovenia’s heart-breaking elimination.
Making a mark
Slovenia are a tough team to beat, managing to claim victories against many of the bigger, highly respected international football sides in recent years, including Czech Republic, Serbia, Russia, and Turkey. Among this catalogue of wins is a famous 1-0 triumph over Italy during qualification to the FIFA 2006 World Cup. This victory is particularly impressive given how Slovenia were only team to actually defeat Italy (the eventual World Cup winners) on their home turf throughout the qualifying rounds. Slovenia’s performances in the mid-noughties resulted in a sudden surge up the FIFA World Rankings table, climbing to their highest ever position of 15th in October 2010. Typically, they tend to remain within the top 50 or 60 places.
Experienced defender Boštjan Cesar (a former Marseille, West Brom, and Chievo player) is the current cap record holder for Slovenia, although talented winger Valter Birsa and solid left-back Bojan Jokic may surpass him yet. Prolific striker Zlatko Zahovi? is the all-time record goal scorer for the side, hitting the back of the net on 35 occasions between 1992 and 2004. Milivoje Novakovic has also scored an impressive 31 goals for the Slovenia international football team since being called for the very first time in 2006.