Though not an automatic first choice, centre-half Matej Mavric has played an important role for Slovenia over many years, amassing over 30 senior caps. The 31-year-old also played in three of the Zmajceki’s South Africa 2010 qualifiers, helping to keep clean sheets against Poland and Czech Republic and securing vital points in the process.
Mavric, who had been a regular throughout Slovenia’s unsuccessful Germany 2006 preliminary campaign, has admitted that he expects to be a squad player in South Africa, although he told FIFA.com: “I don’t mind playing a more minor role”. The experienced centre-half, who plays his club football for German second tier side TuS Koblenz after spells with Norway’s Molde and Slovenian sides NK Primorje and NK Gorica, has also expressed confidence that Slovenia’s togetherness and team spirit will see them through to the last 16.
"I’m confident we can make it into the next round," he said. "We have a good team and we can get through if we work together. We're always there for each other both on and off the pitch. That helped us a lot in qualifying and was probably the most important factor behind our success."