ŠK Slovan Bratislava have ended a ten-year wait to become Slovakian champions again. The only Slovakian team ever to lift a European trophy, the 1969 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against FC Barcelona, sealed their fifth title with a 3-1 home victory over FC Nitra courtesy of goals from Samuel Slovák, forward Juraj Halenár and midfielder Ján Kozák.
Slovan moved 14 points clear with four games remaining as closest challengers MŠK Žilina lost at 3-0 at MFK Košice. "The title went into the right hands," said coach Ladislav Pecko. "I have a gorgeous feeling. My childhood dream has become a reality. To claim the title as a coach is a fantastic moment in my life." Pecko has now been involved in all five of Slovan's post-independence titles – as a player in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999 and now as coach.
For Slovan captain Michal Hanek it was a particularly special day. Last Christmas, when Slovan were four points ahead of Žilina, the defender opted not to shave again until his team clinched the title and he kept his word, only removing the beard minutes after the final whistle against Nitra at the Tehelné Pole. "The beard started to be nasty," smiled the 29-year-old. "This is a special moment for me – my biggest club success."
The championship was also significant for Kozák, Branislav Obžera and Halenár as they celebrated successive Superliga crowns, having triumphed last season with FC Artmedia Petržalka. "I hope we will now be able to achieve European success with Slovan as well," stated Obžera. "But it will be tough." Slovák added: "For a club like Slovan, ten years waiting for the title is a long period – I am happy we ended it."
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.