Marek Hamsik recovers from injury in time to make final 23 for South Africa.

    Midfielder Marek Hamsik was Napoli's top-scorer in the Italian Serie A this season [GALLO/GETTY]

    Vladimir Weiss' team clinched qualification in style for their first World Cup since independence from the former Czechoslovakia, topping their group ahead of fellow qualifiers Slovenia and the regional might of the Czech Republic and Poland.

    The Slovak lineup will be unfamiliar to most but is streaked with talent, including new Dutch champion and on-loan Chelsea starlet Miroslav Stoch, Liverpool centre half Martin Skrtel, Napoli's Marek Hamsek and the coach's son and namesake, 20-year-old Vladimir Weiss.

    With young Vlad's grandfather – a former Czechoslovakia international – also named Vladimir Weiss, the Slovaks will be hoping their form on the pitch stays as consistent as their gene pool.


    Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Dusan Kuciak (Vaslui), Dusan Permis (Dundee United).

    Group F fixtures

    Monday June 14

    Italy v Paraguay 

    Tuesday June 15

    New Zealand v Slovakia 

    Sunday June 20

    Slovakia v Paraguay 
     Italy v New Zealand 

    Thursday June 24

    Slovakia v Italy 
     Paraguay v New Zealand


    Peter Pekarik (VfL Wolfsburg), Martin Petras (Cesena), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Jan Durica (Lokomotiv Moscow), Radoslav Zabavnik (Mainz), Marek Cech (West Bromwich Albion), Kornel Salata (Slovan Bratislava).


    Kamil Kopunek (Spartak Trnava), Jan Kozak (Timisoara), Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague), Marek Sapara (Ankaragucu), Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City), Miroslav Stoch (Chelsea), Zdeno Strba (Skoda Xanthi).


    Stanislav Sestak (VfL Bochum), Erik Jendrisek (Schalke 04), Robert Vittek (Lille), Martin Jakubko (Saturn Ramenskoye), Filip Holosko (Besiktas).

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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