Slovenia

Coach Kek believes team must play entertaining football even if they lose every match.

    Cologne's Novakovic has been an automatic starter for his country [GALLO/GETTY]

    Formerly members of the Yugoslav team, Slovenia – population: 2 million – qualified for the first time since their debut in 2002 courtesy of an away-goals playoff win over Russia (pop: 142 million).

    Having also knocked out East European big guns Poland and the Czech Republic on their way to South Africa, 25th-ranked Slovenia have every chance of making the knockout rounds.

    Slovenia's teamsheet reads like a who's-not of European football, but coach Matjaz Kek has built his side around a formidable defence, with goals coming from Cologne striker Milivoje Novakovic.

    Goalkeepers:

    Samir Handanovic (Udinese), Jasmin Handanovic (Mantova), Aleksander Seliga (Sparta Rotterdam).

    Group C fixtures

    Saturday June 12

     England v USA

    Sunday June 13

     
    Algeria v Slovenia

    Friday June 18

     
    Slovenia v USA
     England v Algeria 

    Wednesday June 23

     
    Slovenia v England 
     USA v Algeria

    Defenders:

    Miso Brecko (FC Cologne), Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble), Branko Ilic (Lokomotiv Moscow), Matej Mavric-Rozic  (Koblenz), Bojan Jokic (Chievo), Marko Suler (Ghent), Suad Filekovic (NK Maribor), Elvedin Dzinic (NK Maribor).

    Midfielders:

    Andraz Kirm (Wisla Krakow), Robert Koren (Unattached), Valter Birsa (AJ Auxerre), Andrej Komac (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Dalibor Stevanovic (Vitesse Arnhem), Aleksander Radosavljevic (Larissa), Rene Krhin (Inter Milan).

    Forwards:

    Milivoje Novakovic (FC Cologne), Zlatko Dedic (VfL Bochum), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Ghent), Nejc Pecnik (Nacional Funchal), Tim Matavz (Groningen). 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.