Dubravka, Skriniar, Lobotka to lead Slovaks at Euro 2024

football07 June 2024 21:01| © AFP
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Milan Skriniar © Gallo Images

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, Paris Sant Germain defender Milan Skriniar and Napoli midfielder Stanislav Lobotka form the backbone of Slovakia's final 26-man squad for Euro 2024 announced on Friday.

Slovakia's Italian coach Francesco Calzona told reporters he had made the final decision on Friday morning as he trimmed a provisional 32-man squad to 26 names.

"I had lots of thoughts but I tried to make the best decision for the national team," said Calzona, who also coached Napoli in the Serie A this spring.

"The players did very well in training, they had an outstanding approach, so it was a tough decision."

"It was about tiny details in the end," added the 55-year-old Calzona, who took over Slovakia in 2022.

He led the team to their third Euro appearance with a comfortable second-place finish in qualifying Group J behind Portugal on 22 points from 10 games.

"We have played good football and created a strong group of players," said Calzona.

"I guess I didn't even expect to put together such a team in such a short time."

Six players picked by Calzona are younger than 23.

"We are trying to form the future of this national team too," Calzona said.

He added Slovakia would rely on team spirit as they face Belgium on June 17, Ukraine four days later and Romania on June 26 in Group E of the tournament hosted by Germany and starting on June 14.

"We know our limits. Our only chance of achieving something remarkable is to be a real team consisting of 26 elements," Calzona said.

After beating minnows San Marino 4-0 in a friendly on Wednesday, Slovakia face a tougher test as they take on Wales in the last pre-Euro friendly in Trnava on Sunday.


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

Defenders: Vernon De Marco (Hatta Club/UAE), Norbert Gyomber (Salernitana/ITA), David Hancko (Feyenoord/NED), Sebastian Kosa (Spartak Trnava), Adam Obert (Cagliari/ITA), Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin/GER), Milan Skriniar (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Denis Vavro (FC Copenhagen/DEN)

Midfielders: Laszlo Benes (Hamburg/GER), Matus Bero (Bochum/GER), Ondrej Duda (Verona/ITA), Patrik Hrosovsky (Genk/BEL), Juraj Kucka (Slovan Bratislava), Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli/ITA), Tomas Rigo (Banik Ostrava/CZE)

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