The first thing you see when you look at Slovakia’s squad is a distinct lack of big names as opposed to other European football nations.
A lot of their hopes rest on a 22-year old who plays for a mid-range club in Italy’s Serie A (Marek Hamsik) and a 20-year old who makes part-time appearances for Chelsea (Miroslav Stoch) so things don’t bode all that well for Slovakia.
A lack of depth is also a major blight but it is often that teams like this bind together and play a tight, spirited brand of football in the World Cup finals.
They find themselves in a group that they, somehow, can manage to get out of but luck must fall their way and it would be a big surprise to see them go further than the Round of 16 but no shock to sneak past the group stage.
Playing schedule: New Zealand (Rustenburg) June 15; Paraguay (Bloemfontein) June 20; Italy (Johannesburg) June 24
Also known as: -
Manager: Vladimir Weiss (SVK)
Captain: Marek Hamsik
Key players: Marek Hamsik, Martin Skrtel, Stanislav Sestak
Wildcard: Robert Vittek
Player to watch: Miroslav Stoch
Most caps: Miroslav Karhan (96). Of this squad: Robert Vittek (70)
Top goalscorer: Szilard Nemeth (22). Of this squad: Robert Vittek (19)
FIFA ranking: 34
Qualifying: Top of UEFA group stage.
Appearance: 1st (as Slovakia) 8 as Czechoslovakia
Best result: Runner-up – 1962
Marek Hamsik (Napoli)
Kamil Kopunek (Spartak Trnava)
Jan Kozak (Politehnica Timisoara)
Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague)
Marek Sapara (Ankaragucu)
Zdeno Strba (Xanthi)
Miroslav Stoch (Chelsea)
Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City)