FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Since gaining independence in 1993, Slovakia have been unable to replicate the golden era of previous Czechoslovakia sides that participated at eight FIFA World Cups between 1934 and 1990. Their greatest achievement was to finish as runners-up at Italy 1934 and Chile 1962. Slovakia have only successfully navigated one of the five World Cup qualifying campaigns contested since their independence, reaching the 2010 finals. In 2006 they were beaten in the play-offs by Spain, and did not make it out of their qualifying group for the 1998, 2002 and 2014 editions. Nevertheless, Slovakia’s maiden World Cup appearance in South Africa was undeniably a success. The Repre reached the knockout rounds after finishing above Italy and New Zealand in the group stage, losing only to Paraguay. However, they were eliminated in the Round of 16 following a 2-1 defeat against eventual runners-up the Netherlands.

The team
Slovakia struggled to reproduce the form that took them to South Africa 2010 and did not qualify for UEFA EURO 2012 or Brazil 2014. The side’s stand-out player is attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik, the team’s leader who captained them at the tournament in South Africa.

The coach
Jan Kozak was appointed in July 2013, but before then the former Slovakian international had only managed club teams in his homeland.

The stat
4 - Robert Vittek hit four goals in as many games at the 2010 World Cup, making him the country’s record goalscorer at the competition. In the group stage he scored against New Zealand and struck a brace against Italy, before finding the target once more against the Netherlands in the last 16.

The former stars
Ferdinand Daucik, Miroslav Karhan, Marek Mintal, Szilard Nemeth