World Cup 2010 profile – Slovakia – Little-known Slovaks hope to cause a stir

Slovakia currently has a population of 5.5m which makes it the 109th most populated country in the world. It currently has 428 968 registered players – a high proportion when considering the population. Domestically there are 12 teams that participate in the top tier of Slovakian football. The most recent qualifiers for the coveted Champions League Group Stage from Slovakia were Artmedia Bratislava (now MFK Petrzalka) who famously beat Celtic 5-0 before losing 4-0 at Parkhead to progress in the competition 5-4 on aggregate. Slovan Bratislava are the most successful team domestically, having won the league on five occasions, and they are the only Slovakian team to win a European competition when they won the Cup Winners Cup in 1969. Like lots of the smaller European nations, many of Slovakia’s star names choose to ply their trade abroad with only three players in the World Cup preliminary squad (Kornel Salata of Bratislava, M


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