FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Having only entered World Cup qualifying for the first time ahead of France 1998, Slovenia have an admirable record for a young nation of two tournaments from five attempts. Their debut at Korea/Japan 2002 was a disappointing affair, losing all three of their games, but at South Africa 2010 they came agonisingly close to reaching the last 16, spurning a 2-0 lead against USA to ultimately finish a point behind second-placed England.
Built around the solid spine of 2010 veterans - Samir Handanovic in goal, captain Bostjan Cesar and Miso Brecko in defence, with Cesar's Chievo team-mate Valter Birsa in midfield - four of their record cap-holders are at their heart. The likes of Kevin Kampl, Josip Ilicic and Tim Matavz look set to be the next line of stand-out performers.
Srecko Katanec returned to the helm following a decade-long hiatus in charge of the likes of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates, having taken them to Korea/Japan and UEFA EURO 2000. He also represented Yugoslavia at Italy 1990.
52 – Croatia and South Africa are the only nations to have played less than Slovenia's 52 qualifiers and still qualify twice for the finals.
The former stars
Zlatko Zahovic, Ales Ceh, Milenko Acimovic