Slovakia team profile

Integral to the Czechoslovakia side which won the 1976 UEFA European Championship final against West Germany, Slovakia have now qualified for the first time as an independent nation.

Róbert Vittek (Slovakia)

Best result: winners 1976 (as Czechoslovakia); never qualified since independence
Coach: Ján Kozák
Leading scorer: all-time – Róbert Vittek (23); current – Róbert Vittek (23)
Most appearances: all-time – Miroslav Karhan (107); current – Marek Hamšík (83)
Association formed: 1938
Nickname: None
Where they play: Various

Eight of the 11 Czechoslovakian players who started the 1976 UEFA European Championship final against West Germany – and triumphed on penalties after a 2-2 draw – hailed from Slovakia, but the country took time to find its feet since it began competing as an independent state. Glory did arrive, however, in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Vladimír Weiss's team not only topping their qualifying group but also knocking out holders Italy with a momentous 3-2 win at the final tournament in South Africa. Slovakia then broke their UEFA European Championship qualifying duck to reach the 2016 finals in France under coach Ján Kozák thanks largely to seven straight wins at the start of their campaign.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P124 W62 D26 L36 F213 A135
Final tournament: P8 W3 D3 L2 F12 A10
Qualifying: P116 W59 D23 L34 F201 A125

Slovakia's first three attempts to qualify for a UEFA European Championship each ended in a third-placed finish, their steady progress undermined by home defeats against Romania (twice), Portugal, England and Turkey. That trend of losing on their own turf continued in the UEFA EURO 2008 series when the Czech Republic (0-3), Germany (1-4) and Wales (2-5) inflicted heavy reverses.

Weiss's charges were brimming with confidence in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, though, when they recorded back-to-back 1-0 victories against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Russia. However, failure to score more than once in each of their ten matches, coupled with a 4-0 defeat at home to Armenia, put the brakes on an ultimately disappointing campaign – but success was to follow four years later, the highlight of their campaign a home win against holders Spain.

Memorable EURO matches
09/10/14: Slovakia 2-1 Spain

Goals from Jurak Kucka (17) and Miroslav Stoch (82) ended the holders' 36-match, eight-year unbeaten qualifying run.

07/09/10: Russia 0-1 Slovakia, UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying
A Miroslav Stoch goal gave Vladimír Weiss's men a memorable victory against the eventual group winners.

20/06/76: Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany, 5-3 on pens, 1976 UEFA European Championship final
Prague-born Antonín Panenka's penalty earned the title for a side dominated by Slovak players.

Did you know?
Jozef Čapkovič − a member of Czechoslovakia's successful 1976 squad − won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1969 alongside his twin, Ján, while at ŠK Slovan Bratislava. The brothers, however, never played together for the national side.

* Last updated on 13/10/2015