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Slovenia's players celebrate after winning on October 9, 2014 a Euro 2016 qualifying match
© AFP

*FIFA World Cup™ finals history
*
Having only entered World Cup qualifying for the first time ahead of France 1998, Slovenia have an admirable record for a young nation of two tournaments from five attempts. Their debut at Korea/Japan 2002 was a disappointing affair, losing all three of their games, but at South Africa 2010 they came agonisingly close to reaching the last 16, spurning a 2-0 lead against USA to ultimately finish a point behind second-placed England.

*The team
*
Some of the teams 2010 veterans remain, most notably captain Bostjan Cesar and midfielder Valter Birsa. The likes of Kevin Kampl, Josip Ilicic and Tim Matavz look set to be the next line of stand-out performers, but arguably the biggest star is Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. 

*The coach
*
Srecko Katanec returned to the helm following a decade-long hiatus in charge of the likes of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates, having taken them to Korea/Japan and UEFA EURO 2000. He also represented Yugoslavia at Italy 1990.

The stat
52 –
Croatia and South Africa are the only nations to have played less than Slovenia's 52 qualifiers and still qualify twice for the finals­.

*The former stars
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Zlatko Zahovic, Ales Ceh, Milenko Acimovic