A Football Spring in Slovenia

Slovenia is one of the most sports-focused countries in the world taking into consideration the number of top athletes and the organisation of competitions at the highest level. Many times, the nation has proven to be quite an excellent organiser of sports competitions. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Slovenia observed strict health and safety measures and ensured appropriate conditions for sports teams, thus proving itself to be an exemplary organiser of competitions in so-called “bubbles”.

 

UEFA evropsko prvenstvo U21_slovenija
Slovenian Football Association

 

 

This year, spring in Slovenia will be marked by football. Along with Hungary, Slovenia will co-host the UEFA European Football Under-21 Championship. The championship is divided into two stages: the group stage will take place from 24 to 31 March, and the knockout stage that starts on 31 May and ends with the finals on 6 June 2021.

Four Slovenian cities (Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Koper) and four Hungarian cities (Budapest, Győr, Székesfehérvár, Szombathely) will co-host the matches of the top 16 young European football teams. The first and the final matches will take place in Slovenia. On 24 March, the first match will take place at the Ljudski Vrt Stadium in Maribor between Slovenia and Spain, the latter competing to defend its European title in this age category. The finals will take place at the Stožice Stadium in Ljubljana on 6 June 2021. The group stage in Slovenia will host matches in groups B and D.

Visit website

Group A (Székesfehérvár, Budapest)

  • Hungary
  • Germany
  • Romania
  • the Netherlands

Group B (Maribor and Celje)

  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Czechia
  • Italy

Group C (Győr, Szombathely)

  • Russia
  • Iceland
  • France
  • Denmark

Group D (Koper and Ljubljana)

  • Portugal
  • Croatia
  • England
  • Switzerland

Football is one of the most popular sporting activities in the world, so the expectations with regard to spectatorship via different media and social channels are quite significant. More than 153 million viewers around the world will watch the event via direct broadcasts on national and foreign TV networks and via live streaming. 96 million interactions and video views are expected in terms of social media engagement for the event.

Venues in Slovenia

Find out more about the Slovenian stadiums that will host the European footballers at the Under-21 Championship.

Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana

The central Slovenian stadium in Ljubljana is a modern facility and the largest stadium in Slovenia hosting competitions at the national and international levels. 

Visit website

Ljudski Vrt Stadium, Maribor

The Ljudski vrt Stadium is almost a sacred sanctuary for the people of Maribor, as football is very important in the city that boasts the oldest grapevine in the world.

Visit website

Z'dežele Stadium, Celje

The Arena Petrol Stadium in Celje is home to football in Celje and has hosted many important international football competitions in recent years.

Visit website

Bonifika Stadium, Koper

Koper is one of those Slovenian cities that has good reason to be proud of its football tradition. The Bonifika Stadium has a rich history of hosting many important competitions.

Visit website

Slovenia – a Land of Sports in the Heart of Europe

Slovenia is quite a phenomenon when it comes to sport. This nation of 2 million people has 7,000 categorised athletes. More than two thirds of the population participate in recreational sports. Rated by the number of Olympic medals per person, Slovenia ranks among the top countries in the world. Since last year, Slovenia has also had its own national holiday dedicated to sport.

Explore

Discover the Slovenian Cities Scheduled to Host the European Football Under-21 Championship

Each Slovenian city due to host this year’s European Football Under-21 Championship has its own charm. The Green Capital, the city with the oldest grapevine in the world, the city of princes, and the city of a hundred suns are only a few of the symbols that are a reflection of their souls.

Celje

The town of princes with rich archaeological treasures, a modern urban vibe, and a green soul.

Celje

Celje

More

Maribor – Pohorje

The Styrian capital at the base of the green Pohorje Mountains

Maribor – Pohorje

Maribor – Pohorje

More

Ljubljana

Ljubljana. Vibrant. Lively. A city that combines the charm of a small capital and the confidence of big European cities.

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

More

Koper

This picturesque historical town with its own green surroundings is a bridge between the Karst and the Sub-Mediterranean world.

Koper

Koper

More

Cleaner Air – Better Game

The European Football Association (UEFA) joins other sports organisations that that have used their reputations to take an active part in raising awareness about climate change and the importance of environmental conservation. The new campaign with the slogan “Cleaner air – better game” focuses on raising awareness of the importance of clean air and stressing the threats of air pollution for the future of the game in Europe.

The first concrete steps will be taken at the European Under-21 Championships hosted by Hungary and Slovenia, the world's first green destination, which has been an example of good practice in promoting sustainable operation and development for many years. The following activities for the promotion of sustainability and clean environment/air are planned as part of this campaign:

  • planting trees in host countries
  • programmes for public bicycle share in host cities
  • a carbon neutral tournament
  • conference on climate action.

Take a tour through our green story

Watch the interactive video and get to know some of the most interesting facts and green stories that reveal the sustainable path of Slovenia.

Play interactive video

Take a tour through our green story

Take a tour through our green story

Watch the interactive video and get to know some of the most interesting facts and green stories that reveal the sustainable path of Slovenia.

More

 

UEFA evropsko prvenstvo U21_ambasadorja_jan oblak_josip ilicic
Slovenian Football Association

 

Oblak and Iličić – the UEFA Under-21 Championship Ambassadors 2021

Throughout history, there have been many famous and successful Slovenian football players who have attained prominence on a global scale. Marko Elsner and Srečko Katanec were the members of the bronze medal-winning Yugoslav team at the Olympics in Los Angeles. Brane Oblak wore the football jerseys of the former Yugoslavia and Germany’s Bayern Munich. One of the most famous names in football is Zlatko Zahović. A new generation of Slovenian footballers are now achieving success on international football pitches, including the ambassadors of the European Football Under-21 Championship, Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) and Josip Iličić (Atalanta Bergamo).

Visit website

 

Jan Oblak

Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper is one of the best and the fifth most expensive goalkeeper in the history of football.

Josip Iličić

This Slovenian midfielder spent most of his professional career playing for Italian clubs. He also has extensive playing experience on the Slovenian national team.

Sport is in Our Blood

With its diversity and three different climate types, Slovenia has the perfect conditions for a variety of outdoor activities. Slovenians love nature. We usually put on our hiking boots, hop on our bikes, or get on our skis in winter. Clear waters beckon us to enjoy water experiences, and even adrenaline buffs have many options for spending a great time in Slovenia.

Slovenia from A to Z

If, while watching the European Football Under-21 Championship, you become tempted to discover Slovenia, here are some reasons why you should put it on your future travel list.

Active holidays

Active adventures in nature.

Active holidays

More

Discover nature

Feel the pleasant effects of the natural green environment in Slovenia.

Discover nature

More

Food and wine

Love is experienced through the stomach.

Food and wine

More

10 evergreen reasons to visit Slovenia in 2021

10 best reasons to visit Slovenia.

10 evergreen reasons to visit Slovenia in 2021

More

Slovenia in the eyes of the global media

Slovenia in the eyes of the global media and the country’s top features that will inspire you to plan your next visit.

Slovenia in the eyes of the global media

More

Spas and health resorts

Rest, relax and enjoy the soothing power of thermal waters and wellness treatments.

Spas and health resorts

Spas and health resorts

More

Top 10 sights

Must-see attractions in green Slovenia!

Top 10 sights

More

Regions

In its small corner of the world, Slovenia is the only European country lying at the crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian Plain.

Regions

More

Stories from Slovenia

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive a green piece of Slovenia in your inbox, and learn about holidays, seasonal offers, upcoming events and travel options.

Share with friends

Add to favourites Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Vkontakte Recommend to a friend