***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE OR TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about two moons away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Slovenia, which has qualified for the World Cup twice, in 2002 and 2010.
Affectionately known as [blank]
FIFA Ranking: 65 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to qualify (UEFA), finishing below Croatia, Russia (later suspended), Slovakia and above Cyprus and Malta
At the 2010 World Cup, Slovenia were the only team without a nickname or mascot, and to this day that remains the case. And although there have been publicly-run competitions and other media efforts to attempt to give them one, these have all proven to be unsuccessful. That being said, this hasn’t affected the passion Slovenians feel for their beloved Whatevers one bit, and if you walk down any street in Ljubljana, you can expect to hear the locals having a heated discussion about the team they lovingly refer to as Big And Quite Bad Football Men Wearing Slovenia Clothes.
The team previously and currently known as [blank], have reached two World Cups, going out at the group stage on both occasions. At the 2002 World Cup, either star player Zlatko Zahovič or manager Srečko Katanec were to blame, after the pair clashed during the team’s opening match (a 3-1 loss to Spain), resulting in Zahovič being sent home and the team going from bad to worse in their next two matches, losing to South Africa and Paraguay and going bye bye without a point, and reunited with pariah/hero Zahovič back in Europe.
Eight years later, this unnamed team fared somewhat better in South Africa, but this time it was the Americans who were to blame for their demise. Twice. Slovenia won their opening match against Algeria (their first ever World Cup points and win), and then were leading Team USA 2-0 at half-time. The fun ended there though, as [blank] blew the lead and the match ended 2-2, and in the final pair of group games, [blank] lost to England, which meant a US win would send them through at [blank]’s expense. And that’s what happened, with the USA scoring a winner in the last minute.
Those were the glory days for [blank], and they’ve now retaken their place at the back of the Balkan football queue, accordingly receding into footballing anonymity once again.
One to watch: Slovenian National Football Team’s mascot, “Soccer Man Happy Guy Friend”
Just because [blank] don’t have a nickname,, doesn’t mean they can’t have an official team mascot. And here is!
The Highpoint: Their first World Cup, 2002 and their first win, 2010 World Cup
From non-existence, to being named [blank], to reaching its first World Cup, to winning their first World Cup match. Who knows what’s next for [blank]. Round of 16 at some point? Who knows, after all it is [blank] we’re talking about here!
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
World Cup Qualifying | Europe
Malta 🇲🇹 x 🇸🇮 Slovenia
Slovenia 🇸🇮 x 🇷🇺 Russia
Slovakia 🇸🇰 x 🇸🇮 Slovenia