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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Talk about Slovenia
Have your say on Slovenia's progress
Slovenia are eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage after a disappointing campaign.

Did Slovenia do themselves justice?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


Although Slovenia have been knocked out, they'll return and earn their place in the next World Cup!
Donna Ipavec, Slovenia

With the heated departure of their talisman Zahovic, it was no surprise to see this mercurial side exit. The Slovenians have no one but themselves to blame.Despite being drawn into a favourable group, this gifted side did not show the commitment and desire needed to progress further in this tournament. Nonetheless, I expect this side to flower in time for Euro 2004.
Bobby Seagull, England

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Congratulations to our team and coach Katanec who made a small country proud
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Nejc,Slovenia
Of course Slovenia did themselves justice. Alright, they failed to qualify but so what? Neither did Argentina and France, two of the favourites.

Let's put this all into perspective shall we. Slovenia is making its first appearance at the World Cup, has a population of two million, and is not a football power. Argentina has been to countless World Cups, has a population of 35 million and is (was) a football power. Say no more! Slovenia will be back in 2006, stronger than ever.
James,Australia

Slovenia had a lot of chances to score in all three games but we didn't succeed because our attackers seemed to be confused and under pressure.

Congratulations to our team and coach Katanec who made a small country proud. See you in Euro 2004!
Nejc,Slovenia

Finally the Football Association of Slovenia does the decent thing and reverses its embarassing decision to keep Zahovic in the squad. It was said many times before - and this is the only truth - no player can be above the team.

Katanec has overwhelming support and I only hope Slovenia, like Ireland, proves they can play without best player and qualify for the second round.
Jero, slovenia

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We need to take these last few years as a building block
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Bojan, Slovenia

I think Zahovic and Katanec are both to blame. I am very disappointed with the display against South Africa. There was no determination, spirit, leadership or passion, and without that Slovenia are nothing.

Football has never been a popular sport in Slovenia and interest only came about because we did well before Euro 2000. Then everyone started liking football. In order to produce good players and have a consistently good national team, we need to take these last few years as a building block.

We (as all ex-Yugoslav republics) have weak national leagues and it's vital that the old league system of ex-Yugoslavia is brought back (it's being done for basketball).

This way we can all produce players, and teams that will benefit all our nations, as well as club teams. Without this move there will be no chance for Slovenia to prosper or compete in world football.
Bojan, Slovenia,

I blame Srecko Katanec for our premature exit from the tournament. He was a chump to substitute Zahovic in the Spain game, and now our team spirit has gone. Poor.
Marc Morrisovic, Ljubliana, Slovenia

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During the last year you have given us all a great deal of enjoyment
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Aleks Jeromel, England and Slovenia
Sorry to see Slovenia knocked out. Unfortunately the squad has been traumatised by the behaviour of Zahovic and it is sad to see Katanec suffer in what should have been his finest hour because of this petulant and arrogant individual.

I hope Katanec has a change of heart and leads Slovenia to Euro 2004. And Zahovic is never allowed to wear his nation's jersey again....give it to a team player who has spirit and pride - one who puts his country and team before himself.
Mike, Republic of Ireland

Slovenia have done very well when you consider their lack of experience at this level.
Gary Firbank, England

I would like to congratulate all Slovenian players, including Zlatko Zahovic, and the coach Srecko Katanec, for your brave participation in the World Cup. To have qualified for the finals was a fantastic achievement for your team and Slovenia and you must all be very proud of that.

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They have to believe they can still make the second round

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Mark, UK
You must take the episode of arguments as another experience to learn from in order to grow and achieve yet greater things in the future.

So you've lost against Spain and South Africa - so what? They probably were better teams, on the day at least, anyway. During the last year you have given us all a great deal of enjoyment watching your games and I am very proud of you. Best wishes for the future and thank you!
Aleks Jeromel, England and Slovenia

The boys are better off without Zahovic. Any man who disrespects the coach like that shouldn't be part of the team!
Landrew Roberts, England

Zahovic should have learnt from what the Irish did to Roy Keane - one player, however good (and he is excellent) does not make a team. The Irish seem to be going great guns without Keane and the best thing the Slovenians can do now is live up to their potential and knock the stuffing out of the rather mediocre South African and Paraguayan sides. They have to believe they can still make the second round.
Mark, UK

Zahovic has been sent home - hooray! Despite all his talents, he is an arrogant, rude and obnoxious individual who has had problems at every club he has been at over the years.

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Slovenia can do better and I hope to see it against South Africa and Paraguay
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Jakob, UK
What the Slovenian team needs now is focus and unity, the very qualities that got Slovenia to the World Cup, and not Zahovic's giant ego!
Peter,Australia

I'm really sorry to hear about Srecko Katanec's pending resignation. After the job he has done for Slovenia, he deserves a job for life, not a tirade of insults from Slovenia's so called star player.

I wish Mr Katanec the very best in his future career, and wherever it may take him. He can be proud that unlike that prima donna Zahovic, who has achieved nothing, Katanec was a true top class player and has performed miracles as his country's manager.
Mike Serieys, France

Unfortunately the game against Spain didn't show the true Slovenian fighting spirit. The players didn't create much, and they were standing too still. If you don't play well it shows, this must be said. Slovenia can do better and I hope to see it against South Africa and Paraguay.
Jakob, U.K.

Rudonja is their best player in their team. He was quiet in the Spain game but you will see his true colours in the next game. P.S France will go out!
Niall Tuttiett,England

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Slovenia have accomplished something that I could never have dreamed just by qualifying for the World Cup
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Milton Ceklic, Slovenia
After seeing the match with Spain, I really believe Slovenia has a very strong and powerful team. They played excellent! However, some of the referee's decisions were really in favour of Spain. I don't like blaming the referee for our loss, but it seems that he saw just what he wanted to see. Still, I think it was a great match. No hard feelings - keep on, Slovenia!
Irena,slovenia

The game is behind us. And we lost. But the most important thing is that our players showed that they can perform well! But I can not help thinking if the outcome would have been different if we had another referee! Anybody who saw the game and has a bit of common sense would agree with me.
Mojca, Slovenia

Slovenia have accomplished something that I could never have dreamed just by qualifying for the World Cup. They are a strong side and have a strong chance of reaching the second round this time! (My dream would be that Slovenia could meet England somewhere along the way).
Milton Ceklic, Slovenia

Despite Slovenia being the smallest country there and with a population of just 1.9 million, they are not getting any credit.
Jack Thornton,Slovenia

I had a great time with the Slovenia fans in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. They were playing Spain and were full of spirit, perfectly friendly, and gave the Spaniards a few scares. I'll never forget the Slovenian fans jumping up and down en masse and making that superb Amsterdam stadium wobble - like it is supposed to I might add.
Matt Cottingham, England


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