Along with his compatriot Miroslav Karhan, Zdeno Strba is, at 33 years of age, one of the oldest players in the current Slovakia squad. Like Karhan, he is a defensive midfielder by trade. In South Africa, national coach Vladimir Weiss will look to Strba to exert his considerable influence to guide and keep in check the nation’s less experienced players, as he did during the qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup™.
Industrious and uncompromising, Strba is emblematic of a Slovakia side that have recently been punching above their weight, showing courage and conviction in their stride to a first-ever major tournament as an independent nation. A nation in which Strba had, until last season, spent his entire footballing career, which began at Matador Puchov in 1998. Four years, 78 appearances and five goals later, he signed for MSK Zilina, where he would become a cornerstone of the team. His CV would need a significant rewrite following his time at one of Slovakia’s most successful clubs, as he assisted them in securing three league titles (in 2003, 2004 and 2007), while picking up his first national cap during the same period.
After having made his mark on the Corgon Liga, the tough-tackling midfield man took on one last challenge, joining Greece’s Skoda Xanthi in January 2009. And while the season just past has not been a memorable one for the club, Strba’s play displayed a remarkable level of consistency, which he successfully carried over to the international realm with Slovakia. For Strba, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa will provide a fitting end to a distinguished career.