Slovakia national football team
The Slovakia national football team represents Slovakia in association football and is controlled by the Slovak Football Association, the governing body for football in Slovakia.
Captain: Martin Škrtel
Manager: Ján Kozák
Association: Slovak Football Association
Head coach: Ján Kozák
Arenas/Stadiums: Štadión Antona Malatinského, Štadión Pasienky, Štadión pod Dubňom
Eight of the 11 Czechoslovakian players who started the 1976 UEFA European Championship final against West Germany – and triumphed on penalties after a 2-2 draw – hailed from Slovakia, but the country took time to find its feet since it began competing as an independent state. Glory did arrive, however, in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Vladimír Weiss’s team not only topping their qualifying group but also knocking out holders Italy with a momentous 3-2 win at the final tournament in South Africa. Slovakia then broke their UEFA European Championship qualifying duck to reach the 2016 finals in France under coach Ján Kozák thanks largely to seven straight wins at the start of their campaign.
Slovakia Euro 2016 squad
Coach: Jan Kozak
Goalkeepers: Jan Mucha (Slovan Bratislava), Matus Kozacik (Viktoria Plzen), Jan Novota (Rapid Wien)
Defenders: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Jan Durica (Lokomotiv Moscow), Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin), Tomas Hubocan (Dynamo Moscow), Kornel Salata (Sloven Bratislava), Dusan Svento (FC Koln), Norbert Gyomber (Roma), Milan Skriniar (Sampdoria).
Midfielders: Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Stanislav Sestak (Ferencvaros), Miroslav Stoch (Bursaspor), Vladimir Weiss (Al-Gharafa), Juraj Kucka (AC Milan), Viktor Pecovsky (Zilina), Robert Mak (PAOK), Patrik Hrosovsky (Viktoria Plzen), Ondrej Duda (Legia Warsaw), Jan Gregus (Baumit Jablonec).
Forwards: Michal Duris (Viktoria Plzen), Adam Nemec (Willem II), Stanislav Sestak (Ferencvaros)
Best result: winners 1976 (as Czechoslovakia); never qualified since independence
Coach: Ján Kozák
Leading scorer: all-time – Róbert Vittek (23); current – Róbert Vittek (23)
Most appearances: all-time – Miroslav Karhan (107); current – Marek Hamšík (83)
Association formed: 1938
Where they play: Various
Slovakia national football team jersey
Slovakia’s first three attempts to qualify for a UEFA European Championship each ended in a third-placed finish, their steady progress undermined by home defeats against Romania (twice), Portugal, England and Turkey. That trend of losing on their own turf continued in the UEFA EURO 2008 series when the Czech Republic (0-3), Germany (1-4) and Wales (2-5) inflicted heavy reverses.
Weiss’s charges were brimming with confidence in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, though, when they recorded back-to-back 1-0 victories against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Russia. However, failure to score more than once in each of their ten matches, coupled with a 4-0 defeat at home to Armenia, put the brakes on an ultimately disappointing campaign – but success was to follow four years later, the highlight of their campaign a home win against holders Spain.