|International Match||01/20 20:00||-||USA vs Slovenia||-||View|
|Euro 2024||06/16 16:00||1||Slovenia vs Denmark||-||View|
|Euro 2020||06/20 13:00||2||Slovenia vs Serbia||-||View|
|Euro 2020||06/25 19:00||3||England vs Slovenia||-||View|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||11/20 19:45||10|| Slovenia v Kazakhstan ||W||2-1|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||11/17 19:45||9|| Denmark v Slovenia ||L||2-1|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||10/17 18:45||8|| Northern Ireland v Slovenia ||W||0-1|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||10/14 16:00||7|| Slovenia v Finland ||W||3-0|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||09/10 18:45||6|| San Marino v Slovenia ||W||0-4|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||09/07 18:45||5|| Slovenia v Northern Ireland ||W||4-2|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||06/19 18:45||4|| Slovenia v Denmark ||D||1-1|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||06/16 16:00||3|| Finland v Slovenia ||L||2-0|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||03/26 16:00||2|| Slovenia v San Marino ||W||2-0|
|Euro 2024 Qualifying||03/23 15:00||1||Kazakhstan v Slovenia||W||1-2|
|International Match||11/20 14:00||-||Slovenia v Montenegro||W||1-0|
|International Match||11/17 16:30||-||Romania v Slovenia||W||1-2|
|Failed to score||1||0||1|
The Slovenia national football team (Slovene: Slovenska nogometna reprezentanca) represents Slovenia in men's international football and is controlled by the Football Association of Slovenia, the governing body for football in Slovenia. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA. It competes in the three major professional tournaments available to European nations: the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Slovenia played its first official match in 1992, one year after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia. The majority of Slovenia's home matches are played at Stožice Stadium in Ljubljana.
Slovenia have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, and the UEFA European Championship once, but have never progressed beyond the group stage of a finals tournament. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Slovenia achieved its first (and so far only) victory in a major tournament, defeating Algeria 1–0. The team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating the 2006 FIFA World Cup winners Italy 1–0 in 2004, which was Italy's only defeat in the entire 2006 World Cup campaign. Their biggest defeat came in 2002 with a 5–0 loss to France, while their highest-scoring victory was a 7–0 win over Oman in 1999.
Boštjan Cesar holds the record for Slovenia appearances, having played 101 times between 2003 and 2018. Zlatko Zahovič scored 35 goals for Slovenia and is the record holder for most goals scored.
Before Slovenia's independence in 1991, the national football team of Slovenia existed only as a regional team, not officially recognised by FIFA. On 23 June 1921, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana hosted a match between France and a selection of players from Slovenian clubs. One of the guests at the match was the acting FIFA president Jules Rimet, who later initiated the first FIFA World Cup tournament. The French team won the match 5–0 and, although the match was not official by international standards, it was, at least in Slovenia, generally accepted as the first appearance of the Slovenian national team. In the following decades, Slovenia played four more unofficial friendly matches: in 1956 against China, in 1968 against Austria, in 1990 against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 1991 against Croatia.
In 1992, one year after Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia, the national team was admitted to UEFA and FIFA. On 3 June of the same year, Slovenia played its first FIFA-recognised game, a friendly match against Estonia in Tallinn. The match ended in a 1–1 draw, and the first official goal for the team was scored by Igor Benedejčič. The first team manager was Bojan Prašnikar. On 7 April 1993, the two teams played another friendly, and this time Slovenia achieved its first international victory by winning the match 2–0.
In 1994, managed by Zdenko Verdenik, Slovenia debuted in official competitions as the team competed in the UEFA Euro 1996 qualifiers. Slovenia played in Group 4 and finished in fifth place out of six teams, with eleven points. In the opening match of the qualifiers, Slovenia drew 1–1 at home against the 1994 FIFA World Cup finalists Italy. In the qualifiers for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, in a group with Denmark, Croatia, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia finished in last place, registering just one point in eight matches.
In July 1998, Srečko Katanec was appointed as the new manager of the team. Under his guidance, Slovenia finished the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifiers in second place, only behind Norway. Zlatko Zahovič scored eight of Slovenia's twelve goals in the qualifiers. In the additional playoffs, Slovenia faced Ukraine. The first leg was played in Ljubljana, which Slovenia won 2–1 after going a goal behind. Zahovič scored Slovenia's first goal, and Milenko Ačimovič scored a goal from the halfway line late in the match for the final score of 2–1. The second match was played in snowy conditions in Kyiv. Serhii Rebrov scored from the penalty spot in the 68th minute to give Ukraine a lead, while Slovenia equalised eight minutes later with a goal by Miran Pavlin. The 1–1 draw meant that Slovenia won 3–2 on aggregate and qualified for its first major tournament.
At UEFA Euro 2000, Slovenia were drawn into Group C, together with Spain, FR Yugoslavia and Norway. In the first game, Slovenia played against Yugoslavia and took a 3–0 lead after one hour of play, with Zahovič scoring twice and Pavlin once. However, Yugoslavia made a comeback as they scored three goals in just six minutes for a final score of 3–3, playing with only ten players after Siniša Mihajlović was sent off when the score was still 3–0 for Slovenia. The second game against Spain was played in Amsterdam. Spain took a 1–0 lead with a goal by Raúl, but Slovenia equalised after one hour of play as Zahovič scored his third goal of the tournament. Just a minute later, Spain was leading again as Joseba Etxeberria scored the winning goal. In the last round of the group stage, Slovenia played against Norway and still had a chance to progress to the quarterfinals. The match finished in a goalless draw and Slovenia won its second point of the tournament, but was eliminated.
|1||Spain||3||2||0||1||6||5||+1||6||Advance to knockout stage|
For the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia were drawn into a group with Russia, FR Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Faroe Islands and Luxembourg. In its first five qualifying games, Slovenia won only one match (away at Luxembourg), and even drew 2–2 with the underdogs Faroe Islands despite leading 2–0 with less than five minutes remaining. In the next five matches, Slovenia won four times, including a last minute victory over Russia. Slovenia finished in second place without a single defeat, and advanced to the playoff stage. In the playoffs, Slovenia faced Romania. They came from a goal down to win the first game 2–1 with the goals from Ačimovič in the first half and Milan Osterc in the second half. In the second leg in Bucharest, Slovenia took the lead with a goal scored by Mladen Rudonja. The final result was 1–1, and Slovenia qualified for its second consecutive major tournament and first ever World Cup.
At the World Cup, Slovenia played in Group B with Spain, Paraguay and South Africa. In the first game, Slovenia faced Spain for the second time in a row at a big tournament, having lost the previous game at Euro 2000. Spain took the lead in the first half with the goal from Raúl. Juan Carlos Valerón scored Spain's second goal 15 minutes before full-time for a 2–0 lead. A few minutes later, Sebastjan Cimirotič scored the first World Cup goal for Slovenia to reduce the score to 2–1, before Fernando Hierro scored in the 87th minute for the final score of 3–1. The match is notable due to the conflict between manager Katanec and star player Zahovič, after which Katanec announced his retirement after the tournament, while Zahovič was expelled from the team and sent home. Slovenia lost the two remaining matches against South Africa (1–0) and Paraguay (3–1) and finished last in the group with three defeats.
|1||Spain||3||3||0||0||9||4||+5||9||Advance to knockout stage|
After the resignation of Katanec, Prašnikar took over the team on a four-year contract. The team has undergone some major changes, with several key players retiring from the national team.
In the UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, Slovenia played against France, Israel, Cyprus and Malta. The team finished in second place with four wins out of eight games, however, they lost both matches against France without scoring any goals. In the playoffs, Slovenia played against its biggest rivals, Croatia. The first leg was played in Zagreb, where Croatia took the lead as Dado Pršo scored a goal in the fifth minute, while Slovenia equalised in the 22nd minute with a goal by Ermin Šiljak, for the final score of 1–1. In the second leg, Pršo scored the only goal of the game 15 minutes into the second half. Croatia qualified for the UEFA Euro 2004 with the aggregate score of 2–1, and Slovenia failed to qualify for its third consecutive major tournament. Šiljak scored a total of nine goals in the whole campaign, thus becoming the top goalscorer of the whole UEFA qualification tournament.
In May 2004, Prašnikar was replaced by Branko Oblak. Under Oblak's management, Slovenia played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Grouped with Italy, Norway, Scotland, Belarus and Moldova, the team started with victories over Moldova and Italy and a draw against Scotland, but still finished in fourth place after securing only five points in the remaining seven matches. With the victory over Italy, Slovenia became the only team to beat the eventual world champions, as Italy did not lose another game during the entire campaign (qualifiers and the main tournament).
Oblak was still in charge of Slovenia when the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers started. Grouped with the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg, the team started out with defeats to Bulgaria and Belarus, thus significantly reducing their chances to qualify, and as a result, in November 2006, Oblak was dismissed by the Football Association of Slovenia. During his two-year stint as the manager, Oblak tried out over forty different players.
In January 2007, Matjaž Kek was appointed as the new manager of the national team. He led Slovenia in the remainder of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, where Slovenia finished in sixth place, only above Luxembourg.
For the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia were drawn into a group with the Czech Republic, Poland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and San Marino. In its opening match, Slovenia held Poland to a 1–1 draw in Wrocław, before winning two consecutive home games against Slovakia and Northern Ireland, respectively. Slovenia then won only one point in the two games against the Czech Republic and lost away to Northern Ireland, and thus fell to fifth place in the group. However, the team greatly improved its form and won the last four games without conceding a single goal. As runners-up, Slovenia qualified for the playoffs, where they were drawn against Russia. The first leg was played in Moscow. The match ended in a 2–1 win for the home side, with Nejc Pečnik scoring a crucial away goal for Slovenia late in the game. In the second leg, held in Maribor, Slovenia defeated Russia 1–0 with a goal by Zlatko Dedić, advancing to the main tournament with an aggregate score of 2–2 due to the away goals rule. The top scorer of the national team during the qualifying campaign was Milivoje Novaković with five goals.
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Slovenia played in Group C alongside England, Algeria and the United States. In the opening game against Algeria, Slovenia achieved its first ever victory at the World Cup after Robert Koren scored the only goal in the match for a 1–0 victory. In their second game against the United States, Slovenia were leading 2–0 at half-time with goals from Valter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankić, however, Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley scored in the second half for the United States for the final score of 2–2. In their last match of the group stage, Slovenia lost to England 1–0 with a goal by Jermain Defoe. As the United States defeated Algeria with a late goal, Slovenia dropped to third place and was eliminated from the tournament.
After the 2010 World Cup, Slovenia achieved their highest ever position in the FIFA World Rankings, as the team was ranked 15th in October 2010. However, Slovenia started the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers with an unexpected home defeat against Northern Ireland. Two defeats against Italy and another unexpected home defeat, this time against Estonia, meant that Slovenia finished only in fourth place in the group, behind Italy, Estonia and Serbia.
In October 2011, the Football Association of Slovenia appointed Slaviša Stojanović as the new manager. He led the team in only nine matches, including the first four matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where Slovenia recorded one victory and three defeats. He was sacked by the end of 2012 and was replaced by Katanec, who had previously led the team between 1998 and 2002. Under his leadership, Slovenia lost at home to Iceland, before winning four consecutive games to finish third in the group, two points behind Iceland. In the qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016, Slovenia came close to directly qualifying for the tournament for the first time, however, the team lost a decisive game away to Switzerland. Slovenia led 2–0 with less than 15 minutes remaining, but the Swiss team then scored three times to win 3–2. As the third-placed team, Slovenia advanced to the playoffs, where they were eliminated by the Ukraine 3–1 on aggregate. The qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup were similar to the previous ones, as Slovenia narrowly lost two decisive away matches against Slovakia and England. After the defeat at Wembley, where Harry Kane scored the only goal of the match in the 94th minute, Katanec announced his resignation as the manager. In December 2017, Tomaž Kavčič became the new manager.
In 2018, Slovenia competed in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League. In accordance with the FIFA World Rankings, the team competed in the third-tier League C along with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Norway. After the poor run of results, in which Slovenia obtained only one point in the first four matches, Kavčič was sacked. He became the manager with the shortest tenure in Slovenian history, leading the team in only seven games. As Slovenia finished last in the group, they were supposed to be relegated to the bottom tier League D, but UEFA changed the system for the next edition and the team remained in League C.
Kek was appointed as the manager for the second time in November 2018. Slovenia failed to make a breakthrough during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, losing both games against Austria and obtaining only one point against North Macedonia. Despite the unexpected 2–0 home victory against Poland, Slovenia finished fourth in the group. In the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League C, however, Slovenia remained undefeated in all six games against Greece, Moldova and Kosovo. Under the leadership of team captain Jan Oblak, Slovenia held Greece to a 0–0 draw in both matches, and also obtained all twelve available points against Moldova and Kosovo, thus securing first place in the group and promotion to League B for the 2022–23 edition. In the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia once again failed to qualify for the main event. They started the campaign with a 1–0 home victory versus Croatia with a goal by Sandi Lovrić, which was notably Slovenia's first victory over their neighbour rivals after failing to beat them in the previous eight official matches. After two narrow defeats against Russia and a surprising defeat to Cyprus, Slovenia finished fourth in the group with four wins in ten matches, behind Croatia, Russia and Slovakia.
In 2022, Slovenia made their maiden appearance in League B of the Nations League, and avoided relegation after finishing third in a group with Serbia, Norway and Sweden. Benjamin Šeško scored three of Slovenia's six goals in the competition, including a goal in the decisive 1–1 away draw to Sweden that secured a crucial point on the last matchday.