When you look at Group C the countries that grab your attention are England and USA. Slovenia and Algeria were not really given that much attention. If you look at the table, you will see Slovenia sitting at the top with 4 points, something not a lot of people expected.
Now for those of you who do not know much about Slovenia here’s a little trivia. They previously played for the Yugoslavia national football team. It was only after the split of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991 that they played their first game which was in 1992. This is only their second World Cup. Prior to this they played in the 2002 FIFA World Cup but were eliminated in the group stages. They are currently 25th on the FIFA world ranking.
Karmen Kutin gives us her view of Slovenia and the World Cup.
On how far Slovenia can make it in the competition: I don’t know, If we will play good football and have a little luck, we can come up to the quarterfinals…if not, we won’t be too disappointed, because the mere fact, that we have come to the World Cup is a great success for Slovenia!
On which team/player will excel in the competition: England, Portugal, Argentina, Netherlands, France, Spain… these are all strong, quality teams. In my opinion, there are no favorites; all of them can surprise us! (so true) As far as the players are concerned… all of them are good in some way, but I think Lionel Messi will be brilliant.
On Slovenia’s Main Man: I will mention a few of them: Novakovič Milivoje, Koren Robert, Dedič Zlatko, Birsa Valter, Komac Andrej….. but every single player in our team is good! And together they are a great team. They have a strong heart and a desire to succeed! These boys are our pride and hope and we are always with them!
On the Second Favorites: Besides the Slovenian team I enjoy watching Netherlands, Portugal and England play…of course there are also other interesting matches, but when Slovenia lose, my favorites would definitely be Netherlands. Regarding players, my favorite player is Steven Gerard.
Yesteryears This is Slovenia’s second World Cup so there is not much to say but I remember the big finale between Italy and France in 2006, when Italy won. There were a lot of happy, sad, funny and shocking moments… we laughed, cried and cheered… football is a game where everything can happen. Of course, the happiest recently event is victory over Russia…it was a holiday for everybody in Slovenia, we were all celebrating!
On a Personal Note
The football addict: For me, football is the best game ever! I like to watch, play and discuss it. I would really love to go to South Africa and support my team, but it is too expensive for me, so unfortunately, I will had to stay at home and watch it on TV… Waiting for FIFA World Cup 2010 was long, exciting and nervous…we had to go through qualification and we were in a very tough group, and therefore the last win against Russia was even sweeter. We have demonstrated our ability and our heart and that’s why we deserved to go to South Africa!
Superstitious? No, I’m not superstitious when it comes to the game… all I have is a Slovenian flag or scarf around my neck, because I think it is necessarily…
Celebration time! Nothing special… we sing songs, our football anthem and we have the Slovenian flag I’m from a little village, but if you go to a bigger town, people are on the streets, they watch the match on the big screen, there is music and the atmosphere is excellent! These people live for football and Slovenia!
Role of Football In Africa: I think the World Cup hasn’t changed South Africa, but it is a great event for the whole of Africa. Football has a special place in the hearts of Africans, they really love this game!
Words of Wisdom for the team: I would say: “Guys, you are simply the best, show them who we are and play with your heart! You are my heroes and you will always be! Let’s play!”
* The interview has been taken prior to the World Cup and hence may not reflect the current happenings in the tournament.