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Euro 2016 is the first time Slovakia has qualified for the tournament as an independent nation after spitting from Czechoslovakia. It was a matter of fifth time lucky for a squad that contains reputable names such as Marek Hamsik of Napoli and Martin Skrtel of Liverpool.

How They Qualified: Slovakia finished second in their group, five points behind holders Spain who they famously beat 2-1 in Zilina in October 2015 after former Chelsea reserve Miroslav Stoch emerged from the bench to seal an unlikely victory in the 87th minute. Marek Hamsik chipped in with 5 goals throughout  qualification as Slovenia’s place at Euro 2016 was secured via an automatic qualification spot with a 4-2 victory over Luxembourg in the final round of games.

Coach: Jan Kozak.

The former Czechoslovakia footballer of the year took charge of the national team in 2013 when it became clear that Slovakia would not be in Brazil the following summer. Kozak has somewhat invigorated the side injecting the spirit of the underdog to inspire the side to 17 victories out of the 29 games he has been in charge.

Slovakia's Hamsik celebrates after scoring against Luxembourg during their Euro 2016 group C qualification match at the Josy Barthel stadium in Luxembourg

Hamsik celebrates after scoring in the game that secured qualification against Luxembourg.

Key Man: Marek Hamsik.

The Slovakia captain has enjoyed a better season for Napoli in the 2015/2016 campaign with new coach Maurizio Sarri deploying the man with one of the most recognizable haircuts in football in his self confessed natural position, on the left of an attacking three. Undoubtedly, the man who Pavel Nedved once described as his heir apparent will be carrying the attack for Slovakia in France this summer.

One To Watch: Vladimir Weiss.

The former Manchester City man was tied in first place for assists during the qualifying stages with a tally of 6. Despite his tender years the 26-year-old has been on a journey through football already, amassing a list of clubs including Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers, Glasgow Rangers, Espanyol and Olympiakos before settling in Qatar for Al-Gharafa in 2016.

Fixtures:

June 11, 12 p.m. vs. Wales

June 15, 9 a.m. vs. Russia

June 20, 3 p.m. vs. England

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jan Mucha (Slovan Bratislava), Matus Kozacik (Viktoria Plzen), Jan Novota (Rapid Wien)

Defenders: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Jan Durica (Lokomotiv Moscow), Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin), Tomas Hubocan (Dynamo Moscow), Kornel Salata (Sloven Bratislava), Dusan Svento (FC Koln), Norbert Gyomber (Roma), Lukas Tesak (FC Kairat), Milan Skriniar (Sampdoria).

Midfielders: Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Stanislav Sestak (Ferencvaros), Miroslav Stoch (Bursaspor), Vladimir Weiss (Al-Gharafa), Juraj Kucka (AC Milan), Viktor Pecovsky (Zilina), Robert Mak (PAOK), Patrik Hrosovsky (Viktoria Plzen), Ondrej Duda (Legia Warsaw), Erik Sabo (PAOK), Jan Gregus (Baumit Jablonec), Matus Bero (Trencin).

Forwards: Michal Duris (Viktoria Plzen), Adam Nemec (Willem II), Adam Zrelak (Slovan Bratislava).