Slovenian Football: New Coach Presents First Team

By , 09 Nov 2018, 11:50 AM Sport
Slovenian Football: New Coach Presents First Team CC-by-0

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STA, 8 November 2018 - Interim head coach of the national football team, Igor Benedejčič, presented on Thursday the roster for the last two matches in the UEFA Nations League, against Norway on 16 November and Bulgaria on 19 November. The roster does not feature star midfielder Kevin Kampl, who has announced his retirement from the national team.

Presenting the roster at a press conference in Brdo pri Kranju, Benedejčič said that Kampl had informed the Slovenian Football Association about his decision last week.

The 28-year old, who plays for Germany's Leipzig, debuted for the national team in 2012, scoring two goals in 28 matches for Slovenia. His last match for the national team was on 6 September, when Slovenia lost at home to Bulgaria.

"I regret that he has made such a decision. He is an excellent player, which he has been proving for years in the club," Benedejčič said, expressing hope that Kampl would change his mind and help the team turn the things around.

This is not the only problem for the new coach, as the team will also be without veterans Bojan Jokić (injury) and Josip Iličić (yellow cards).

Slovenia are at the bottom of Group 3 of League C of the UEFA Nations League with one point and are in serious danger of being relegated to League D. Slovenia are facing the opponents who are at the top of the group with nine points each.

"We are aware of the position we are in. We are facing two tough matches, with both opponents fighting for the first place. It is up to us to give our best and try to stay in the group," said the coach.

* Slovenia's roster for the matches against Norway and Bulgaria:

- goalkeepers: Vid Belec (Sampdoria), Aljaž Ivačič (Olimpija), Matic Kotnik (Panionios);

- defenders: Jure Balkovec (Hellas Verona), Miha Blažič (Ferencvaros), Bojan Jokić (Ufa), Luka Krajnc (Frosinone), Miha Mevlja (Zenit), Nemanja Mitrović (Jagiellonia), Nejc Skubic (Konyaspor), Petar Stojanović (Dinamo Zagreb), Aljaž Struna (Palermo);

- midfielders: Jaka Bijol (CSKA Moscow), Domen Črnigoj (Lugano), Amir Dervišević (Maribor), Josip Iličić (Atalanta), Rene Krhin (Nantes), Rudi Požeg Vancaš (Celje), Rajko Rotman (Kayserispor), Leo Štulac (Parma), Benjamin Verbič (Dynamo Kyiv), Miha Zajc (Empoli);

- forwards: Robert Berić (St. Etienne), Roman Bezjak (Jagiellonia), Andraž Šporar (Slovan Bratislava), Luka Zahović (Maribor).

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