Slovenia national football team

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Slovenia
Shirt badge/Association crest
AssociationFootball Association of Slovenia
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachMatjaž Kek
CaptainJan Oblak
Most capsBoštjan Cesar (101)
Top scorerZlatko Zahovič (35)
Home stadiumStožice Stadium
FIFA codeSVN
First colours Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 57 Decrease 2 (4 April 2024)
Highest15 (October–November 2010)
Lowest134 (December 1993)
First international
Unofficial
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Slovenia 0–5 France 
(Ljubljana, Kingdom of SCS; 23 June 1921)
Official
 Estonia 1–1 Slovenia 
(Tallinn, Estonia; 3 June 1992)
Biggest win
 Oman 0–7 Slovenia 
(Muscat, Oman; 8 February 1999)
Biggest defeat
 France 5–0 Slovenia 
(Saint-Denis, France; 12 October 2002)
World Cup
Appearances2 (first in 2002)
Best resultGroup stage (2002, 2010)
European Championship
Appearances2 (first in 2000)
Best resultGroup stage (2000, 2024)
Websitenzs.si

The Slovenia national football team (Slovene: Slovenska nogometna reprezentanca) represents Slovenia in men's international football and is controlled by the Football Association of Slovenia, the governing body for football in Slovenia. The national squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA. It competes in the three major professional tournaments available to European nations: the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Slovenia played its first official match in 1992, one year after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia. The majority of Slovenia's home matches are played at Stožice Stadium in Ljubljana.

Slovenia have qualified for a major tournament four times, twice for the FIFA World Cup and twice for the UEFA European Championship, but have never progressed beyond the group stage of a finals tournament. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Slovenia achieved their first (and so far only) victory in a major tournament, defeating Algeria 1–0. The team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating Italy 1–0 in 2004, which was Italy's only defeat in the entire 2006 World Cup campaign (qualifiers and the final tournament).

Boštjan Cesar holds the record for most appearances for Slovenia, having played 101 times between 2003 and 2018. Zlatko Zahovič scored 35 goals for Slovenia and is the record holder for most goals scored.

History

Origins and pre-independence years (1921–1991)

Before Slovenia's independence in 1991, the national football team of Slovenia existed only as a regional team, not officially recognised by FIFA. On 23 June 1921, the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana hosted a match between France and a selection of players from Slovenian clubs. One of the guests at the match was acting FIFA president Jules Rimet, who later initiated the first FIFA World Cup tournament. The French team won the match 5–0 and, although the match was not official by international standards, it was, at least in Slovenia, generally accepted as the first appearance of the Slovenia national team. In the following decades, Slovenia played several unofficial friendly matches, including in 1956 against China, in 1968 against Austria, in 1990 against Bosnia and Herzegovina and in 1991 against Croatia.

Independence, first victory and first qualifiers (1992–1998)

In 1992, one year after Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia, the Football Association of Slovenia was admitted to UEFA and FIFA. In the same year, on 3 June, Slovenia played its first FIFA-recognised game, a friendly match against Estonia in Tallinn. The match ended in a 1–1 draw, with the first official goal for the team being scored by Igor Benedejčič. The first coach was Bojan Prašnikar. On 7 April 1993, the two teams played another friendly, and this time Slovenia achieved its first international victory by winning the match 2–0.

In 1994, managed by Zdenko Verdenik, Slovenia debuted in official competitions as the team competed in the UEFA Euro 1996 qualifiers. Slovenia played in Group 4 and finished in fifth place out of six teams, with eleven points. In the opening match of the qualifiers, Slovenia drew 1–1 at home against 1994 World Cup finalists Italy. In 1998 World Cup qualification, Slovenia was drawn with Denmark, Croatia, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina, finishing in last place after registering just one point in eight matches.

Golden generation (1998–2002)

UEFA Euro 2000 campaign

In July 1998, Srečko Katanec was appointed as the new manager of the team. Under his guidance, Slovenia finished the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifiers in second place, only behind Norway. Zlatko Zahovič scored eight of Slovenia's twelve goals in the qualifiers. In the additional playoffs, Slovenia faced Ukraine. The first leg was played in Ljubljana, which Slovenia won 2–1 after trailing 1–0. Zahovič scored Slovenia's first goal, and Milenko Ačimovič scored a goal from the halfway line late in the match to make the score 2–1. The second match was played in snowy conditions in Kyiv. Serhii Rebrov scored from the penalty spot in the 68th minute to give Ukraine a lead, while Slovenia equalised eight minutes later with a goal by Miran Pavlin. The 1–1 draw meant that Slovenia won 3–2 on aggregate and qualified for its first major tournament.

At Euro 2000, Slovenia were drawn into Group C, together with Spain, FR Yugoslavia and Norway. In the first game, Slovenia played against Yugoslavia and took a 3–0 lead after one hour of play, with Zahovič scoring twice and Pavlin once. However, Yugoslavia made a comeback as they scored three goals in just six minutes for a 3–3 draw, despite playing with only ten players after Siniša Mihajlović was sent off. The second game against Spain was played in Amsterdam. Spain took a 1–0 lead with a goal by Raúl, but Slovenia equalised after one hour of play as Zahovič scored his third goal of the tournament. Just a minute later, Spain were leading again as Joseba Etxeberria scored the winning goal. In the last match of the group stage, Slovenia played against Norway and still had a chance to progress to the quarterfinals. The match finished in a goalless draw and Slovenia won its second point of the tournament, but were eliminated.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  Spain 3 2 0 1 6 5 +1 6 Advance to knockout stage
2  Yugoslavia 3 1 1 1 7 7 0 4
3  Norway 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
4 Slovenia 3 0 2 1 4 5 −1 2
Source: RSSSF 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign

For the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia were drawn into a group with Russia, FR Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Faroe Islands and Luxembourg. In its first five qualifying games, Slovenia won only one match (away at Luxembourg). Underdogs Faroe Islands held them to a 2–2 draw, after the Slovenes were leading 2–0 with less than five minutes remaining. In the next five matches, Slovenia won four, including a last minute victory over Russia. Slovenia finished in second place without a single defeat, and advanced to the playoff stage. In the playoffs, Slovenia faced Romania. They came from a goal down to win the first game 2–1 with the goals from Ačimovič in the first half and Milan Osterc in the second half. In the second leg in Bucharest, Slovenia took the lead with a goal scored by Mladen Rudonja. The final result was 1–1, and Slovenia qualified for its second consecutive major tournament and first ever World Cup.

At the World Cup, Slovenia played in Group B with Spain, Paraguay and South Africa. In the first game, Slovenia faced Spain in a Euro 2000 rematch. Spain took the lead in the first half with a goal from Raúl. Juan Carlos Valerón scored Spain's second goal with fifteen minutes remaining. A few minutes later, Sebastjan Cimirotič scored the first World Cup goal for Slovenia to cut the lead in half, before Fernando Hierro scored in the 87th minute for a 3–1 Spanish victory. The match is notable due to the conflict between manager Katanec and star player Zahovič, after which Katanec announced his retirement after the tournament, while Zahovič was expelled from the team and sent home. Slovenia lost the two remaining matches against South Africa (1–0) and Paraguay (3–1) and finished last in the group with three defeats.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  Spain 3 3 0 0 9 4 +5 9 Advance to knockout stage
2  Paraguay 3 1 1 1 6 6 0 4
3  South Africa 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 4
4 Slovenia 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5 0
Source: RSSSF

Decline (2003–2007)

After the resignation of Katanec, Prašnikar took over the team on a four-year contract. The team underwent major changes, with several key players retiring from the national team.

In the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, Slovenia played against France, Israel, Cyprus and Malta. The team finished in second place with four wins out of eight games, however, they lost both matches against France without scoring any goals. In the playoffs, Slovenia played against its biggest rivals, Croatia. The first leg was played in Zagreb, where Croatia took the lead as Dado Pršo scored a goal in the fifth minute, while Slovenia equalised in the 22nd minute with a goal by Ermin Šiljak, for the final score of 1–1. In the second leg, Pršo scored the only goal of the game 15 minutes into the second half. Croatia qualified for Euro 2004 by winning 2–1 on aggregate, despite Šiljak scoring a total of nine goals in the whole campaign and becoming the top goalscorer of the whole Euro qualification tournament.

In May 2004, Prašnikar was replaced by Branko Oblak. Under Oblak's management, Slovenia played in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. Grouped with Italy, Norway, Scotland, Belarus and Moldova, the team started with victories over Moldova and Italy and a draw against Scotland, but still finished in fourth place after securing only five points in the remaining seven matches. With the victory over Italy, Slovenia became the only team to beat the eventual world champions, as Italy did not lose another game during the entire campaign (qualifiers and the final tournament).

Grouped with the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg in Euro 2008 qualifying, the team started out with defeats to Bulgaria and Belarus, thus significantly reducing their chances to qualify, and as a result, in November 2006, Oblak was dismissed by the Football Association of Slovenia. During his two-year stint as the manager, Oblak used over forty different players.

In January 2007, Matjaž Kek was appointed as the new manager of the national team. He led Slovenia in the remainder of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, where Slovenia finished in sixth place, only above Luxembourg.

2010 World Cup campaign (2008–2011)

Slovenian players celebrating Nejc Pečnik's goal against Russia in the 2010 World Cup playoffs.

For the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia were drawn into a group with the Czech Republic, Poland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and San Marino. In its opening match, Slovenia held Poland to a 1–1 draw in Wrocław, before winning two consecutive home games against Slovakia and Northern Ireland. Slovenia then won only one point in two games against the Czech Republic and lost away to Northern Ireland, and thus fell to fifth place in the group. However, the team greatly improved its form and won the last four games without conceding a single goal. As runners-up, Slovenia qualified for the playoffs, where they were drawn against Russia. The first leg was played in Moscow. The match ended in a 2–1 win for the home side, and in the second leg, held in Maribor, Slovenia defeated Russia 1–0 with a goal by Zlatko Dedić. Slovenia advanced to the finals due to the away goals rule. The top scorer of the national team during the qualifying campaign was Milivoje Novaković with five goals.

At the World Cup, Slovenia played in Group C alongside England, Algeria and the United States. In the opening game against Algeria, Slovenia achieved its first ever World Cup win after Robert Koren scored the only goal in the match. In their second game against the United States, Slovenia were leading 2–0 at half-time with goals from Valter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankić, however, Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley scored in the second half for the United States. In their last match of the group stage, Slovenia lost to England 1–0 with a goal by Jermain Defoe. As the United States defeated Algeria with a late goal, Slovenia dropped to third place and were eliminated from the tournament.

Slovenia vs. United States at the 2010 World Cup

After the 2010 World Cup, Slovenia achieved their highest ever position in the FIFA World Rankings, as the team was ranked 15th in October 2010. However, Slovenia started the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers with an unexpected home defeat against Northern Ireland. Two defeats against Italy and a home defeat against Estonia meant that Slovenia finished only in fourth place in the group, behind Italy, Estonia and Serbia.

Katanec's second spell and management changes (2011–2018)

In October 2011, the Football Association of Slovenia appointed Slaviša Stojanović as the new manager. He led the team in only nine matches, including the first four matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where Slovenia recorded one victory and three defeats. He was sacked by the end of 2012 and was replaced by Katanec, who had previously led the team between 1998 and 2002. Under his leadership, Slovenia lost at home to Iceland, before winning four consecutive games to finish third in the group, two points behind Iceland.

In the qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016, Slovenia came close to directly qualifying for the tournament for the first time. The team lost a decisive game away to Switzerland. Slovenia led 2–0 with less than 15 minutes remaining, but the Swiss then scored three times to win 3–2. As the third-placed team, Slovenia advanced to the playoffs, where they were eliminated by Ukraine 3–1 on aggregate. The qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup were similar, as Slovenia narrowly lost two decisive away matches against Slovakia and England. After the defeat at Wembley Stadium, where Harry Kane scored the only goal of the match in the 94th minute, Katanec announced his resignation as the manager. In December 2017, Tomaž Kavčič became the new manager.

In 2018, Slovenia competed in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League. In accordance with the FIFA World Rankings, the team competed in the third-tier League C along with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Norway. After the poor run of results, in which Slovenia obtained only one point in the first four matches, Kavčič was sacked. He became the manager with the shortest tenure in Slovenian history, leading the team in only seven games. As Slovenia finished last in the group, they were relegated to the bottom tier League D, but UEFA changed the system for the next edition and the team remained in League C.

Kek's second spell, Nations League promotion, and Euro 2024 (2019–present)

Kek was appointed as the manager for the second time in November 2018. Slovenia failed to make a breakthrough during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, losing both games against Austria and obtaining only one point against North Macedonia. Despite the unexpected 2–0 home victory against Poland, Slovenia finished fourth in the group. However, in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League C, Slovenia remained undefeated in all six games against Greece, Moldova and Kosovo. Under the leadership of team captain Jan Oblak, Slovenia held Greece to a 0–0 draw in both matches and also obtained all twelve available points against Moldova and Kosovo, thus securing first place in the group and promotion to League B for the 2022–23 edition. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia once again failed to qualify for the main event; they started the campaign with a 1–0 home victory against Croatia with a goal by Sandi Lovrić, which was Slovenia's first victory over their neighbours after failing to beat them in the previous eight official matches. After two narrow defeats against Russia and a surprising defeat to Cyprus, Slovenia finished fourth in the group with four wins in ten matches, behind Croatia, Russia and Slovakia.

In 2022, Slovenia made their maiden appearance in League B of the Nations League, and avoided relegation after finishing third in a group with Serbia, Norway and Sweden. Benjamin Šeško scored three of Slovenia's six goals in the competition, including a goal in the decisive 1–1 away draw to Sweden that secured a crucial point on the last matchday.

In the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, Slovenia finally ended its major tournament drought and qualified for the Euro finals for the first time in 24 years. Šeško was once again one of the key players, scoring five goals in nine appearances, including a goal in the decisive home game against Kazakhstan on the final matchday, which Slovenia won 2–1 in front of 16,432 spectators, a record home attendance for the Slovenia national team. The team finished the qualifiers in second place, behind only Denmark, with a record tally of 22 points from 10 games. In addition, it was also the first time that Slovenia directly qualified for a major tournament without having to play an additional play-off.

Team image

Nickname and mascot

The Slovenia national team does not have an official nickname and was the only team at the 2010 World Cup and the 2024 European Championship without one. During the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Slovenian journalists and the Football Association of Slovenia tried to choose a nickname for the team, but the process failed to gain the support of fans. In 2010, the Slovenian web portal Siol organized a fan vote and the nickname "Kekci", a reference to the Slovenian fictional child character Kekec and the then national team manager Matjaž Kek, finished in first place. However, the nickname was never officially adopted by the Football Association of Slovenia. "Kekci" is still occasionally used by the Slovenian media when referring to the national team.

During the 2010 World Cup, some foreign media articles used the nickname "Zmajčeki" (English: Little Dragons) when referring to the Slovenian national team, however, this was the old nickname of Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana when they competed in the Yugoslav football system. Because Olimpija had a long tradition in the former Yugoslav First League, football fans and the media in the countries of the former Yugoslavia still use this nickname today when referring to the Slovenian team.

In 2002, Slovenia received an official mascot for its appearance at the 2002 World Cup. The mascot, called Trigi, is based on a round shape representing the Earth or a ball, with a stylized depiction of Triglav, the highest Slovenian mountain, on its head in a green, white and blue colour combination.

Kits and colours

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Slovenia national football team kits.

Until 1993, Slovenia played its matches in white, blue and red, which are the traditional colours of the country. In 1993, the board of the Football Association of Slovenia decided to change the main colours to green and white, inspired by NK Olimpija from the capital city of Ljubljana.

In December 2009, the board voted to change the kit's colours to white for home matches and blue for away matches. The new colours came into effect in April 2012, when a new all-white home kit with a blue and green trim was unveiled. The new away kit, introduced a couple of months earlier, was all-blue with a white and green trim. In 2016, the all-green version returned as an away kit, while the light blue kit became the new home kit. In 2022, the new Slovenian kits were selected through an online fan vote for the first time. The home colours were again changed to all-white and the away colours to all-blue.

For their World Cup appearances in 2002 and 2010, the Slovenian kit featured a stylized depiction of Triglav. Since 2010, the depiction has been used on each new kit set.

Kit suppliers

Nike has been the team's kit provider since 2007. Previously, the kit providers were Puma, Adidas, Uhlsport, and Kappa.

Kit provider Period
Puma 1993–1996
Adidas 1997–2001
Uhlsport 2002–2003
Kappa 2003–2006
Nike 2007–present

Home stadium

Slovenia's home matches have been held at ten venues in eight cities. Since 2010, most matches have been played in Ljubljana at the Stožice Stadium, with a seating capacity of 16,038. The final training sessions and physical preparation of the team before domestic matches are held at the National Football Centre Brdo in Predoslje.

Stožice Stadium, the main stadium of the Slovenia national team

The first home stadium of Slovenia was the Bežigrad Stadium, located in the Bežigrad District in Ljubljana. It was the main stadium of the national team until 2004, when UEFA banned it due to insufficient infrastructure. In the same year, the newly built Arena Petrol in Celje became the new main venue of the team for the next three years. For the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia moved to the recently renovated Ljudski vrt stadium in Maribor, where the team remained undefeated in their six home matches during the qualifying campaign (five wins and a draw), consequently qualifying for the main tournament. Stožice were built in 2010, and since then the venue has hosted most of the national team's home matches. The venue also holds the record for the highest home attendance of the Slovenia national team, as 16,432 spectators gathered for the final match of the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers against Kazakhstan on 20 November 2023, which saw Slovenia qualify for the Euros. The attendance record was later equaled in March 2024, when Slovenia defeated Portugal in a friendly match, ending their eleven-game winning streak.

Other venues where Slovenia played at least one home match are the Bonifika Stadium in Koper, Fazanerija City Stadium in Murska Sobota, Domžale Sports Park in Domžale, Nova Gorica Sports Park in Nova Gorica, Stanko Mlakar Stadium in Kranj, and ŽŠD Ljubljana Stadium in Ljubljana.

Rivalries

Slovenia's main football rivals are its neighbours Croatia. The matchup between the two sides is known as the Neighbourhood derby (Slovene: Sosedski derbi, Croatian: Susjedski derbi). As of March 2022, they have faced each other twelve times (eleven official matches and one unofficial match). One of the most notable matches between Slovenia and Croatia took place in 2003, where the two teams met in the qualifying playoffs for UEFA Euro 2004. After a 1–1 draw in the first match in Zagreb, Slovenia then lost 1–0 at home and failed to qualify for its third consecutive major tournament. In March 2021, Slovenia finally managed to win a game against Croatia after failing to do so in the previous nine matches, as they won 1–0 at home during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Results and fixtures

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023

Slovenia  v  Northern Ireland
7 September UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Slovenia  4–2  Northern Ireland Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 12,587
Referee: Marco Guida (Italy)
San Marino  v  Slovenia
10 September UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying San Marino  0–4  Slovenia Serravalle, San Marino
20:45 UTC+2 Report Stadium: San Marino Stadium
Attendance: 844
Referee: Mykola Balakin (Ukraine)
Slovenia  v  Finland
14 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Slovenia  3–0  Finland Ljubljana, Slovenia
18:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 15,823
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Northern Ireland  v  Slovenia
17 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Northern Ireland  0–1  Slovenia Belfast, Northern Ireland
19:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Windsor Park
Attendance: 16,332
Referee: István Kovács (Romania)
Denmark  v  Slovenia
17 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Denmark  2–1  Slovenia Copenhagen, Denmark
20:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Parken Stadium
Attendance: 35,608
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez (Spain)
Slovenia  v  Kazakhstan
20 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Slovenia  2–1  Kazakhstan Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 16,432
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

2024

United States  v  Slovenia
20 January Friendly United States  0–1  Slovenia San Antonio, United States
14:00 UTC−6 Report Stadium: Toyota Field
Attendance: 9,191
Referee: Pierre-Luc Lauzière (Canada)
Malta  v  Slovenia
21 March Friendly Malta  2–2  Slovenia Ta' Qali, Malta
19:00 UTC+1 Report Stadium: National Stadium
Attendance: 1,652
Referee: Sandi Putros (Denmark)
Slovenia  v  Portugal
26 March Friendly Slovenia  2–0  Portugal Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 16,432
Referee: Irfan Peljto (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Slovenia  v  Armenia
4 June Friendly Slovenia  2–1  Armenia Ljubljana, Slovenia
18:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 8,389
Referee: Andreas Argyrou (Cyprus)
Slovenia  v  Bulgaria
8 June Friendly Slovenia  1–1  Bulgaria Ljubljana, Slovenia
15:00 UTC+2 Report Despodov 4' (pen.) Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 11,037
Referee: Arda Kardeşler (Turkey)
Slovenia  v  Denmark
16 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group C Slovenia  1–1  Denmark Stuttgart, Germany
18:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: MHPArena
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Sandro Schärer (Switzerland)
Slovenia  v  Serbia
20 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group C Slovenia  v  Serbia Munich, Germany
15:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Allianz Arena
England  v  Slovenia
25 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group C England  v  Slovenia Cologne, Germany
21:00 UTC+2 Report Stadium: RheinEnergieStadion
Slovenia  v  Austria
6 September 2024–25 UEFA Nations League Slovenia  v  Austria Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Slovenia  v  Kazakhstan
9 September 2024–25 UEFA Nations League Slovenia  v  Kazakhstan Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Norway  v  Slovenia
10 October 2024–25 UEFA Nations League Norway  v  Slovenia Oslo, Norway
20:45 UTC+2 Report Stadium: Ullevaal Stadion
Kazakhstan  v  Slovenia
13 October 2024–25 UEFA Nations League Kazakhstan  v  Slovenia Kazakhstan
18:00 UTC+5 Report
Slovenia  v  Norway
14 November 2024–25 UEFA Nations League Slovenia  v  Norway Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Austria  v  Slovenia
17 November 2024–25 UEFA Nations League Austria  v  Slovenia Austria
18:00 UTC+1 Report

Management

Since 1991, eight managers have been in charge of the national team. Bojan Prašnikar, Srečko Katanec and Matjaž Kek are the only three managers with more than one spell.

Tomaž Kavčič is the manager with the shortest managerial tenure, having been in charge for only seven matches in 2018 before being sacked. He was replaced by Igor Benedejčič, who became the first manager to be appointed as a caretaker.

List of managers

Statistics updated as of 16 June 2024, after the match against Denmark.

Manager Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Major tournaments Ref.
Bojan Prašnikar 1991–1993 4 1 2 1
Zdenko Verdenik 1994–1997 32 10 8 14
Bojan Prašnikar 1998 5 1 1 3
Srečko Katanec 1998–2002 47 18 16 13 Euro 2000 – Group stage2002 World Cup – Group stage
Bojan Prašnikar 2002–2004 16 6 3 7
Branko Oblak 2004–2006 23 6 7 10
Matjaž Kek 2007–2011 49 20 9 20 2010 World Cup – Group stage
Slaviša Stojanović 2011–2012 9 2 2 5
Srečko Katanec 2013–2017 42 16 7 19
Tomaž Kavčič 2017–2018 7 1 1 5
Igor Benedejčič 2018 2 0 2 0
Matjaž Kek 2018– 56 27 17 12

Players

Current squad

The following 26 players were called up for UEFA Euro 2024.

Caps and goals are correct as of 16 June 2024, after the match against Denmark.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jan Oblak (captain) (1993-01-07) 7 January 1993 66 0 Spain Atlético Madrid
12 1GK Vid Belec (1990-06-06) 6 June 1990 21 0 Cyprus APOEL
16 1GK Igor Vekić (1998-05-06) 6 May 1998 1 0 Denmark Vejle
2 2DF Žan Karničnik (1994-09-18) 18 September 1994 29 1 Slovenia Celje
3 2DF Jure Balkovec (1994-09-09) 9 September 1994 33 0 Turkey Alanyaspor
4 2DF Miha Blažič (1993-05-08) 8 May 1993 32 0 Poland Lech Poznań
6 2DF Jaka Bijol (1999-02-05) 5 February 1999 50 1 Italy Udinese
13 2DF Erik Janža (1993-06-21) 21 June 1993 11 3 Poland Górnik Zabrze
20 2DF Petar Stojanović (1995-10-07) 7 October 1995 54 2 Italy Sampdoria
21 2DF Vanja Drkušić (1999-10-30) 30 October 1999 8 0 Russia Sochi
23 2DF David Brekalo (1998-12-03) 3 December 1998 14 1 United States Orlando City
5 3MF Jon Gorenc Stanković (1996-01-14) 14 January 1996 25 1 Austria Sturm Graz
7 3MF Benjamin Verbič (1993-11-27) 27 November 1993 59 6 Greece Panathinaikos
8 3MF Sandi Lovrić (1998-03-28) 28 March 1998 35 4 Italy Udinese
10 3MF Timi Max Elšnik (1998-04-29) 29 April 1998 16 1 Slovenia Olimpija Ljubljana
14 3MF Jasmin Kurtić (1989-01-10) 10 January 1989 92 2 Italy Südtirol
15 3MF Tomi Horvat (1999-03-24) 24 March 1999 7 0 Austria Sturm Graz
22 3MF Adam Gnezda Čerin (1999-07-16) 16 July 1999 32 4 Greece Panathinaikos
24 3MF Nino Žugelj (2000-05-23) 23 May 2000 1 0 Norway Bodø/Glimt
25 3MF Adrian Zeljković (2002-08-19) 19 August 2002 1 0 Slovakia Spartak Trnava
26 3MF Josip Iličić (1988-01-29) 29 January 1988 81 17 Slovenia Maribor
9 4FW Andraž Šporar (1994-02-27) 27 February 1994 54 12 Greece Panathinaikos
11 4FW Benjamin Šeško (2003-05-31) 31 May 2003 30 11 Germany RB Leipzig
17 4FW Jan Mlakar (1998-10-23) 23 October 1998 18 3 Italy Pisa
18 4FW Žan Vipotnik (2002-03-18) 18 March 2002 9 2 France Bordeaux
19 4FW Žan Celar (1999-03-14) 14 March 1999 11 0 Switzerland Lugano

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Slovenia squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Matevž Vidovšek (1999-10-30) 30 October 1999 1 0 Slovenia Olimpija Ljubljana UEFA Euro 2024 PRE
GK Klemen Mihelak (2001-12-31) 31 December 2001 0 0 Slovenia Mura v.  United States, 20 January 2024
GK Denis Pintol (2000-02-07) 7 February 2000 0 0 Slovenia Olimpija Ljubljana v.  United States, 20 January 2024
GK Martin Turk (2003-08-21) 21 August 2003 0 0 Italy Parma v.  Kazakhstan, 20 November 2023
DF Žan Zaletel (1999-09-16) 16 September 1999 2 0 Denmark Viborg UEFA Euro 2024 PRE
DF Mitja Ilenič (2004-12-26) 26 December 2004 1 0 United States New York City FC v.  United States, 20 January 2024
DF Srđan Kuzmić (2004-01-16) 16 January 2004 1 0 Denmark Viborg v.  United States, 20 January 2024
DF Marcel Ratnik (2003-12-23) 23 December 2003 1 0 Slovenia Olimpija Ljubljana v.  United States, 20 January 2024
DF Sven Šoštarič Karič (1998-03-07) 7 March 1998 1 0 Slovenia Maribor v.  United States, 20 January 2024
DF David Zec (2000-01-05) 5 January 2000 1 0 Slovenia Celje v.  United States, 20 January 2024
DF Matija Kavčič (1997-07-11) 11 July 1997 0 0 Slovenia Bravo v.  United States, 20 January 2024
MF Miha Zajc (1994-07-01) 1 July 1994 39 8 Turkey Fenerbahçe UEFA Euro 2024 PRE
MF Jan Repas (1997-03-19) 19 March 1997 4 0 Slovenia Maribor v.  United States, 20 January 2024
MF Tamar Svetlin (2001-07-30) 30 July 2001 1 0 Slovenia Celje v.  United States, 20 January 2024
MF Luka Vešner Tičić (2000-10-25) 25 October 2000 1 0 Slovenia Koper v.  United States, 20 January 2024
MF Mark Zabukovnik (2000-12-27) 27 December 2000 1 0 Slovenia Celje v.  United States, 20 January 2024
MF Sandro Jovanović (2002-04-23) 23 April 2002 0 0 Slovenia Aluminij v.  United States, 20 January 2024
FW Luka Zahović (1995-11-15) 15 November 1995 15 0 Poland Pogoń Szczecin UEFA Euro 2024 PRE
FW Andrés Vombergar (1994-11-20) 20 November 1994 3 0 United Arab Emirates Ittihad Kalba v.  United States, 20 January 2024
FW Nejc Gradišar (2002-08-06) 6 August 2002 1 1 Hungary Fehérvár v.  United States, 20 January 2024
FW Matej Poplatnik (1992-07-15) 15 July 1992 1 0 Slovenia Bravo v.  United States, 20 January 2024
FW Danijel Šturm (1999-01-04) 4 January 1999 1 0 Slovenia Domžale v.  United States, 20 January 2024
FW Aljoša Matko (2000-03-29) 29 March 2000 0 0 Slovenia Celje v.  San Marino, 10 September 2023
Notes
  • PRE = Preliminary squad

Records

Individual records

As of 16 June 2024, 237 players have made at least one appearance for the Slovenia national team. With 101 caps, Boštjan Cesar has the most appearances for Slovenia. Cesar also started the most matches as captain (39) and had the longest career as a Slovenian international footballer: 15 years, 1 month and 15 days. Zlatko Zahovič is the highest-scoring Slovenia player with 35 goals. Sašo Udovič scored the most goals in a single match, scoring five against Iceland in 1996.

As of 16 June 2024 Players in bold are still active with Slovenia. Boštjan Cesar is Slovenia's all-time most capped player. Most appearances
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Boštjan Cesar 101 10 2003–2018
2 Bojan Jokić 100 1 2006–2019
3 Jasmin Kurtić 92 2 2012–present
4 Valter Birsa 90 7 2006–2018
5 Samir Handanović 81 0 2004–2015
Josip Iličić 81 17 2010–present
7 Milivoje Novaković 80 32 2006–2017
Zlatko Zahovič 80 35 1992–2004
9 Mišo Brečko 77 0 2004–2015
10 Milenko Ačimovič 74 13 1998–2007
Aleš Čeh 74 1 1992–2002
Top goalscorers
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Zlatko Zahovič 35 80 0.44 1992–2004
2 Milivoje Novaković 32 80 0.4 2006–2017
3 Josip Iličić 17 81 0.21 2010–present
4 Sašo Udovič 16 42 0.38 1993–2000
5 Ermin Šiljak 14 48 0.29 1994–2005
6 Milenko Ačimovič 13 74 0.18 1998–2007
7 Andraž Šporar 12 54 0.22 2016–present
8 Benjamin Šeško 11 30 0.37 2021–present
Tim Matavž 11 39 0.28 2010–2020
10 Primož Gliha 10 28 0.36 1992–1998
Boštjan Cesar 10 101 0.1 2003–2018

Team records

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA
1930 to 1990 Part of  Yugoslavia Part of  Yugoslavia
United States 1994 Did not enter Did not enter
France 1998 Did not qualify 5th 8 0 1 7 5 20
South Korea Japan 2002 Group stage 3 0 0 3 2 7 Squad 2nd (PO) 12 6 6 0 20 11
Germany 2006 Did not qualify 4th 10 3 3 4 10 13
South Africa 2010 Group stage 3 1 1 1 3 3 Squad 2nd (PO) 12 7 2 3 20 6
Brazil 2014 Did not qualify 3rd 10 5 0 5 14 11
Russia 2018 4th 10 4 3 3 12 7
Qatar 2022 4th 10 4 2 4 13 12
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Morocco Portugal Spain 2030
Saudi Arabia 2034
Total Group stage 6 1 1 4 5 10 2/7 72 29 17 26 94 80

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA
1960 to 1992 Part of  Yugoslavia Part of  Yugoslavia
England 1996 Did not qualify 5th 10 3 2 5 13 13
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Group stage 3 0 2 1 4 5 Squad 2nd (PO) 12 6 3 3 15 16
Portugal 2004 Did not qualify 2nd (PO) 10 4 3 3 16 14
Austria Switzerland 2008 6th 12 3 2 7 9 16
Poland Ukraine 2012 4th 10 4 2 4 11 7
France 2016 3rd (PO) 12 5 2 5 19 14
Europe 2020 4th 10 4 2 4 16 11
Germany 2024 Qualified 2nd 10 7 1 2 20 9
United Kingdom Republic of Ireland 2028 To be determined To be determined
Italy Turkey 2032
Total Group stage 3 0 2 1 4 5 2/8 86 36 17 33 119 100

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
2018–19 C 3 Group stage 4th 6 0 3 3 5 8 Same position 38th
2020–21 C 3 Group stage 1st 6 4 2 0 8 1 Rise 33rd
2022–23 B 4 Group stage 3rd 6 1 3 2 6 10 Same position 25th
2024–25 B 3 To be determined
Total 18 5 8 5 19 19

Head-to-head record

The following table shows Slovenia's all-time international record, correct as of 16 June 2024 after the match against Denmark.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Albania 7 4 2 1 6 2 +4
 Algeria 2 1 0 1 1 2 −1
 Argentina 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2
 Armenia 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
 Australia 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Austria 4 1 0 3 2 5 –3
 Azerbaijan 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
 Belarus 5 1 2 2 5 8 −3
 Belgium 2 0 1 1 0 2 −2
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 4 0 0 4 4 10 −6
 Bulgaria 5 0 2 3 3 9 −6
 Canada 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
 China 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
 Colombia 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Croatia 11 1 4 6 10 19 –9
 Cyprus 12 6 3 3 19 11 +8
 Czech Republic 5 1 1 3 2 7 −5
 Denmark 7 0 2 5 4 15 −11
 England 6 0 1 5 4 10 −6
 Estonia 9 6 1 2 13 5 +8
 Faroe Islands 4 3 1 0 12 3 +9
 Finland 4 1 1 2 4 5 −1
 France 3 0 0 3 2 10 −8
 Georgia 4 2 1 1 5 4 +1
 Germany 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Ghana 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Gibraltar 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6
 Greece 7 0 4 3 3 11 −8
 Honduras 1 0 0 1 1 5 −4
 Hungary 4 3 0 1 5 3 +2
 Iceland 4 3 0 1 15 7 +8
 Israel 5 2 3 0 8 5 +3
 Italy 7 2 1 4 3 5 −2
 Ivory Coast 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3
 Kazakhstan 2 2 0 0 4 2 +2
 Kosovo 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2
 Latvia 5 4 0 1 9 2 +7
 Lithuania 6 2 2 2 11 7 +4
 Luxembourg 4 4 0 0 9 1 +8
 Malta 9 7 2 0 17 3 +14
 Mexico 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
 Moldova 4 4 0 0 10 1 +9
 Montenegro 3 2 1 0 4 1 +3
 Netherlands 2 0 0 2 0 3 −3
 New Zealand 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
 North Macedonia 7 1 2 4 7 13 −6
 Northern Ireland 7 3 1 3 7 5 +2
 Norway 11 2 3 6 10 17 −7
 Oman 2 2 0 0 11 0 +11
 Paraguay 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2
 Poland 8 2 3 3 9 9 0
 Portugal 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Qatar 3 1 1 1 4 2 +2
 Romania 9 3 3 3 12 14 −2
 Russia 7 2 1 4 8 11 −3
 San Marino 7 7 0 0 26 0 +26
 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Scotland 5 0 3 2 3 7 −4
 Serbia 8 1 6 1 11 13 −2
 Slovakia 8 3 4 1 9 6 +3
 South Africa 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Spain 2 0 0 2 2 5 −3
 Sweden 4 0 2 2 1 4 −3
  Switzerland 9 2 1 6 8 17 −9
 Trinidad and Tobago 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
 Tunisia 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1
 Turkey 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1
 Ukraine 6 2 3 1 7 7 0
 United Arab Emirates 2 0 2 0 3 3 0
 United States 3 1 1 1 5 5 0
 Uruguay 2 0 0 2 0 4 −4
 Wales 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Total 292 108 75 109 372 344 +28
  1. ^ Includes matches against FR Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro.

Honours

Minor tournaments

Other awards

See also

References

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