The Golden Generation of Slovenian football - featuring the likes of Zahovic and Pavlin – may have passed but the country is once again forging a reputation on the global stage.

An astonishing 12 national leagues were represented in Slovenia’s last squad, with players picked from the likes of Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Borussia Dortmund. Just two players play in Slovenia’s PrvaLiga - the same number that play in the Japanese J League (including veteran striker Milivoje Novakovic who is with Nagoya Grampus).

Following a highly successful period between 2000 and 2010, which saw the team qualify for three major tournaments, Slovenia’s new crop of talent has the country dreaming of a place at the 2018 World Cup Finals. Group F rivals England, Slovakia and Scotland will be out to stop that dream becoming reality.

FIFA Ranking
As of June 2015: 49
Highest: 15 – November 2010
Lowest: 134 – December 1993

Home Ground
Rotation system, with three of the most used stadiums being:
Arena Petrol, Celje
Ljudski vrt, Maribor
Stozice, Ljubljana

A brief history...
Slovenia played their first match in 1992 following the split of Yugoslavia in 1991 and have since gone on to qualify for one European Championship final (2000) and two World Cup finals (2002 & 2010). They failed to progress beyond the group stage on each occasion but the 2010 campaign in South Africa saw the country claim a win over Algeria and a credible 2-2 draw with the United States.

The current Euro 2016 qualification campaign has been a mixed one for Srecko Katanec’s team with three wins and three defeats. In their two games against England they have taken the lead only to lose goals to costly defensive lapses.

One to watch
Kevin Kampl
At only 24-years of age, the tricky Borussia Dortmund winger is likely to play a key part in Slovenia’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. Kampl is new to the Bundesliga having signed from Salzburg in January 2015 and was instrumental in Dortmund’s late-season revival. His pace and spectacular dribbling skills have brought comparisons to Franck Ribery and Marco Reus, although he has identified his role model as Zinedine Zidane. Thrives as the main creative force in Slovenia’s  4-3-2-1 formation.

Slovenia remain one of Scotland’s least familiar opponents, with just three past meetings between the sides. The first game came in the qualifying group for World Cup 2006 when Scotland were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Hampden. We did gain revenge in the return leg however, winning 3-0 in Celje thanks to goals from Darren Fletcher, James McFadden and Paul Hartley. The last game between the two countries was a 1-1 draw in 2012 with Christophe Berra securing an away draw in the coastal town of Koper.

The Maribor Curse

Scotland might have a decent record in Slovenia but the same cannot be said for our club sides, who have suffered some nightmare results against the country’s most successful club NK Maribor. Hibernian, Rangers and Celtic have all been eliminated from Europe by Maribor in the last 10 years. A cause for caution for the Scotland team.

Want more info on our World Cup qualifying opponents? Read our Group F profiles of Malta and Lithuania