Matjaz Kek’s side are underdogs in Group C but they will be competitive and can cause a surprise or two

Slovenia’s Benjamin Sesko takes selfies with fans after the team’s victory in a friendly against Portugal. Photograph: Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

This article is part of the Guardian’s Euro 2024 Experts’ Network, a cooperation between some of the best media organisations from the 24 countries who qualified. is running previews from two countries each day in the run-up to the tournament kicking off on 14 June.


This is only the second time the national team will participate at the Euros, following 2000 when, led by Zlatko Zahovic and under the guidance of coach Srecko Katanec, they took a 3-0 lead against Yugoslavia but surrendered it to draw 3-3. Overall it will be Slovenia’s fourth appearance at a major finals after the 2002 and 2010 World Cup, but they have never got out of their group.

Qualifying for Euro 2024 was a significant achievement for Slovenia, and the team has the capacity to cause a surprise. They are in a group with England, Denmark, and Serbia and are expected to finish last but should not be underestimated.

Matjaz Kek is a pragmatic coach who leads the team with a firm hand, putting an emphasis on unity and hard work. “Being competitive is what interests us,” he says. “We are not among the favourites, which suits me just fine. There were a lot of people who seemed to smile when they got Slovenia in the group. They may come to regret that.”

Having got to the finals, there is no way Slovenia will change their game approach or tactics now. This team is based on collective effort and staying humble as they look for any way to hurt their opponents. Slovenia play in a 4-4-2 system, relying on a solid defence with the goalkeeper Jan Oblak a standout player. Their other key member of the squad is young Benjamin Sesko up front. The team have shown that they can beat the best, as demonstrated by their remarkable victory against Portugal earlier this year.

Back in Slovenia the game against Serbia will generate the most interest. Serbia are the successor to Yugoslavia, the country they both belonged to before the break up. And then there is that unfinished business from 2000 too.