Slovenia are one of several nations to emerge from the former Yugoslavia with futsal as a popular winter sport and they are in third final tournament at this level, following an impressive improvement in the last decade. They first played as an independent nation in September 1995, drawing 1-1 and losing 3-0 in Slovakia, and their competitive debut was a 3-2 defeat of Belarus in 1996 FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying.
At the start of the decade they were getting closer to a maiden qualification and were pipped 3-1 by Croatia to the 2001 UEFA European Futsal Championship finals. Two years later they made it by beating Greece, Armenia and the Netherlands, though lost all three games in Italy. For the 2005 finals, Slovenia were in a qualifying group with Spain but only missed out on goal difference after a 3-3 draw, and in 2007 were pipped in a three-way tie-break by Romania in a thrilling group. The expansion of the finals to 12 teams, however, proved a boon in 2010 and again this time, while they also qualified for the first UEFA European Under-21 Futsal Tournament in 2008, and indeed their team is a young one. At club level KMN Svea Lesna Litija were among the last eight of the 2004/05 UEFA Futsal Cup.
Benjamin Melink, Rajko Uršič
Coach: Andrej Dobovičnik
Date of birth: 14 October 1967
Playing career: EM Pelikani, KMN Juventus, KMN Mizarstvo Širovnik, KMN Dobovec
Coaching career: EM Pelikani, Slovenia
Father-of-two Andrej Dobovičnik is an economics graduate and works for a leading telecommunications firm but his passion is sport, and especially futsal; indeed he continues to play in tournaments with his contemporaries.
Most of his playing career was spent at EM Pelikani of Celjem from 1981 to 1995, when he moved to Mila club KMN Juventus, winning the Slovenian title in his first season. In 1997 he joined Kroselj side KMN Mizarstvo Širovnik and another league crown followed. He performed the trick for the third time on his Pelikani return in 1999/2000.
Dobovičnik ended his playing career in 2004 and was soon Pelikani coach. In November 2005 he took the helm of the national team and at his second attempt led them to the UEFA European Futsal Championship finals for 2010 after a narrow failure in 2007, and managed it again for Croatia 2012.
2010: Group stage
2007: Did not qualify
2005: Did not qualify
2003: Group stage
2001: Did not qualify
1999: Did not qualify
1996: Did not qualify
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