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Slovakia Euro 2024 squad: Who makes the cut? Which stars have missed out?

Sports Mole takes a look at Slovakia's squad for Euro 2024, including the key players to make the cut and the notable names that miss out.

Slovakia head coach Francesco Calzona has announced his final 26-man squad that will travel to Germany for Euro 2024.

The Falcons are preparing to make a third consecutive European Championship appearance after finishing in second spot in their qualifying group.

After failing to reach the knockout rounds in Euro 2020, Slovakia will hope to avoid a similar fate when they compete in Group E alongside Belgium, Romania and Ukraine.

Calzona opted to name an initial 32-man provisional squad before making the tough call over which six players should drop out of the final selection.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at Slovakia's 26-man squad for Euro 2024, highlighting some of the key names to make the cut as well as focusing on those missing from the travelling party.


Skriniar, Lobotka among senior players selected

Slovakia's Stanislav Lobotka celebrates scoring their second goal with Milan Skriniar on October 13, 2023© Reuters

Calzona has selected a squad which contains five players who have earned over 50 caps for their country, including Paris Saint-German defender Milan Skriniar.

The Slovakia captain has returned to the fold after being forced to miss March's friendlies against Austria and Norway due to an ankle problem.

Stanislav Lobotka is undoubtedly one of Slovakia's standout players, having spent the last four years of his career showcasing his immense technical ability at Italian giants Napoli.

Patrik Hrosovsky and Ondrej Duda will also bring their experience to the table, while Juraj Kucka and Peter Pekarik are the only two players in the squad who have reached a century of international appearances.

In fact, Hertha Berlin's Pekarik is 12 matches away from equalling Slovakia's all-time appearance record which is currently held by a member of Calzona's backroom staff, former Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik.


Who else will be representing Slovakia?

Newcastle United's Martin Dubravka celebrates after winning the penalty shootout on February 27, 2024© Reuters

Martin Dubravka is the senior man in Slovakia's goalkeeper department, having represented his country on 43 occasions.

The Newcastle United goalkeeper enjoyed plenty of game time during the 2023-24 season, featuring in 23 Premier League games due to Nick Pope's injury absence.

Dubravka's deputy Marek Rodak is the only other Premier League representative in the squad, although the Fulham shot-stopper will hit the free-agent market when his contract expires at the end of this month.

At the opposite end of the pitch, Robert Bozenik is expected to lead the line for his country after playing a key role in Boavista's successful relegation battle.

The striker found the net in five of Boavista's seven league victories, netting a total of nine Primeira Liga goals to finish the campaign as his club's top scorer.

Meanwhile, Feyenoord's 18-year-old winger Leo Sauer has done enough to impress Calzona, making him the youngest member of the 26-man squad.

Sauer became Slovakia's youngest-ever player when he made his international debut as a substitute in March's 1-1 draw against Norway.


Which Slovakia stars will miss Euro 2024?

Slovakia's Robert Mak celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 26, 2023© Reuters

Uncapped goalkeeper Dominik Takac and the defensive duo of Michal Tomic and Matus Kmet were among those cut from Calzona's initial 32-man selection.

Dominik Holly, Jakub Kadak and Robert Polievka were the remaining three players to be told that they would drop out of the final squad.

Robert Mak was one of the notable names left out of the provisional squad, having previously represented his country at Euro 2016 and Euro 2020.

The 33-year-old winger featured in six of Slovakia's 10 qualifiers and was included in the squad for March's friendlies against Austria and Norway.

However, he will not get the chance to add to his 81 caps this summer despite scoring 10 goals and providing two assists in 27 appearances for Sydney FC during the 2023-24 season.


Slovakia Euro 2024 squad in full

Goalkeepers: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United), Marek Rodak (Fulham), Henrich Ravas (New England Revolution)

Defenders: Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin), Milan Skriniar (Paris Saint-Germain), Norbert Gyomber (Salernitana), David Hancko (Feyenoord), Adam Obert (Cagliari), Denis Vavro (Copenhagen), Vernon De Marco (Hatta), Sebastian Kosa (Spartak Trnava)

Midfielders: Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli), Juraj Kucka (Slovan Bratislava), Ondrej Duda (Hellas Verona), Patrik Hrosovsky (Genk), Matus Bero (Bochum), Laszlo Benes (Hamburger SV), Tomas Rigo (Banik Ostrava)

Forwards: Robert Bozenik (Boavista), Lukas Haraslin (Sparta Prague), Ivan Schranz (Slavia Prague), David Strelec (Slovan Bratislava), Tomas Suslov (Hellas Verona), David Duris (Ascoli), Lubomir Tupta (Slovan Liberec), Leo Sauer (Feyenoord)



Manager - Francesco Calzona

Napoli coach Francesco Calzona reacts on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Calzona spent several years working as Maurizio Sarri's assistant at Perugia, Alessandria, Sorrento, Empoli and Napoli.

He then went to work alongside Eusebio Di Francesco at Cagliari and Luciano Spalletti at Napoli, before Slovakia presented him with his first managerial opportunity in July 2022.

Impressively, Calzona has lost just four of his 18 games in charge, with two of those defeats taking place against Euro 2016 winners Portugal.

Unlike the other 23 coaches at Euro 2024, Calzona has spent the last three months splitting his duties with another managerial role.

He returned to Napoli in February to take the club through to the end of the season, before turning his full focus to Slovakia's third consecutive European Championship appearance.


Star player - Milan Skriniar

Milan Skriniar in action for Slovakia on September 11, 2023© Reuters

Having won league titles in Italy and France, Skriniar is undoubtedly one of the strongest players in Slovakia's 26-man squad for Euro 2024.

The 29-year-old will need to produce consistent high-level performances if he is to marshal a backline that will have to remain firm if Slovakia are to have any hope of reaching the last 16.

In addition to his defensive attributes, Skriniar will be tasked with showing his leadership skills in his first international tournament as Slovakia's captain.

The centre-back also offers a wealth of experience, having amassed 68 caps and represented his country at the last two European Championships.


Form

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Group and fixtures

Euro 2024 Group E (26/06)

June 17: Belgium 0-1 Slovakia (5pm | Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt)
June 21: Slovakia 1-2 Ukraine (2pm | Merkur Spiel-Arena, Dusseldorf)
June 26: Slovakia 1-1 Romania (5pm | Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt)

All kickoff times BST


Expected XI


Dubravka; Pekarik, Vavro, Skriniar, Hancko; Kucka, Lobotka, Duda; Schranz, Bozenik, HaraslinID:545470:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect12426:
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Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona reacts on September 11, 2023
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