Coach: Vladimir Weiss

Key Player: Vladimir Weiss junior

World Ranking: 38

World Cup Record: Eight appearances as Czechoslovakia

Group F Schedule:
14 June – New Zealand v Slovakia
19 June – Slovakia v Paraguay
24 June – Slovakia v Italy

Slovakia beat more heralded eastern European rivals Czech Republic and Poland to the top spot in their qualifying group to reach their first major tournament as an independent nation.

A relatively kind draw has put them alongside world champions Italy, Paraguay and New Zealand in the finals but their progress to the last 16 depends heavily on their ability to reproduce their best qualifying form.

Slovakia showed good attacking skills and solid defensive form on the road to South Africa, but emulating Czechoslovakia's 1962 run will be a far-fetched dream for the World Cup debutants.

Vladimir Weiss junior, the coach's son, could be one of Slovakia's secret weapons while Marek Hamsik and Stanislav Sestak are expected to be the team's outstanding players.

Sestak was the team's top scorer in qualifying with six goals. Martin Skrtel has recovered from a long-term injury and needs to find his best form quickly to make the defence strong.

Final Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Dusan Kuciak (Vaslui), Dusan Permis (Dundee United).

Defenders: Peter Pekarik (VfL Wolfsburg), Martin Petras (Cesena), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Jan Durica (Lokomotiv Moscow), Radoslav Zabavnik (Mainz), Marek Cech (West Bromwich Albion), Kornel Salata (Slovan Bratislava).

Midfielders: Kamil Kopunek (Spartak Trnava), Jan Kozak (Timisoara), Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague), Marek Sapara (Ankaragucu), Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City), Miroslav Stoch (Chelsea), Zdeno Strba (Skoda Xanthi).

Forwards: Stanislav Sestak (VfL Bochum), Erik Jendrisek (Schalke 04), Robert Vittek (Lille), Martin Jakubko (Saturn Ramenskoye), Filip Holosko (Besiktas).