Robert Vittek believes Slovakia's shock FIFA World Cup™ win over Italy has "moved the limits" of what the country can achieve in the game. A goal in each half from Vittek put the eastern European side in charge at Ellis Park and Kamil Kopunek's third finally proved decisive in fending off a late Italian fightback as Vladimir Weiss' side booked a place in the last 16 on their World Cup debut.
They came into the match as the outsiders in Group F but now have a knockout match against the Netherlands to look forward to in Durban on Monday. Vittek, who plays his club football in Turkey with Ankaragucu, said: "This is a huge success, we have really moved the limits of Slovak football somewhere else.
"We are so extremely happy that we showed everybody that we were capable of achieving this. In our first two matches we were not lucky but against Italy we were the better side and that's why we are moving on," he continued. "I wouldn't say it was a domination, but we were better, we played with our heart and that is what decided the match."
This is a huge success, we have really moved the limits of Slovak football somewhere else.
The striker also believes his side will play with total freedom against their Dutch opponents in the last 16. "We have nothing to lose," he added. "We came here as outsiders, as newcomers, and we wanted to surprise. We have already surprised once and we hope we can do the same again against Holland, but they are one of the favourites."
In theory, Slovakia can only get better ahead of the UEFA European Championships of 2012 and the FIFA World Cup in 2014, with Weiss' squad containing 10 players aged 25 or under. The Slovakia coach was full of praise for his young side, led by Napoli star Marek Hamsik, following their memorable win: "Hamsik was under pressure and he showed his high quality, he was a good captain. But everybody was excellent, we played like a team, there was good quality. This experience is good for the future."