Europe's young footballers play 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.

UEFA evropsko prvenstvo U21_slovenija

 

Spring of 2021 was football-themed in Slovenia. Along with Hungary, Slovenia co-hosted the UEFA European Football Under-21 Championship.

Four Slovenian cities (Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Koper) and four Hungarian cities (Budapest, Győr, Székesfehérvár, Szombathely) co-hosted the matches of the 16 best young European football teams.

The championship started and ended in Slovenia. The opening match of the Championships was played in Maribor's Ljudski vrt between the national teams of Slovenia and Spain, who were the defending European champions in this age category. Germany and Portugal met in the final at the Stožice football stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, with Germany winning the U21 European title.

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Slovenia again at the European Championships

After more than two decades of relative quiet, Slovenia's national football players will play in the European Championships. The Slovenian national football team has successfully passed the qualifying filter and will be among the twenty-four European teams that will compete in Germany for the title of the best in Europe from 14 June to 14 July 2024.

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Venues in Slovenia

Find out more about the Slovenian stadiums which hosted the European footballers of 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. Slovenia has also had its own national holiday dedicated to sport.

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Discover the Slovenian Cities that hosted 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.

Maribor – Pohorje

The Styrian capital at the base of the green Pohorje Mountains

Maribor – Pohorje

Maribor – Pohorje

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Koper

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

Koper

Koper

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Celje

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

Celje

Celje

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Ljubljana

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

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

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UEFA evropsko prvenstvo U21_ambasadorja_jan oblak_josip ilicic
Source: 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 and Josip Iličić.

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Jan Oblak

Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper is one of the best goalkeeper in the world.

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.

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 campaign took its first concrete steps at the European Under-21 Championships in Hungary and in Slovenia, the world's first green destination, which has for many years been an example of good practice in promoting sustainable action and development. In the framework of this campaign, activities were carried out to promote sustainability and a clean environment/air:

  • 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.

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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.

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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 became tempted to discover Slovenia, here are some reasons why you should put it on your future travel list.

Discover nature

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

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Food and wine

Love is experienced through the stomach.

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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 visit.

Slovenia in the eyes of the global media

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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

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Top 10 sights

Must-see attractions in green Slovenia!

Top 10 sights

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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

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Active holidays

Discover the world of active outdoor adventures in Slovenia.

Active holidays

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10 evergreen reasons to visit Slovenia in 2024

10 best reasons to visit Slovenia in 2024.

10 evergreen reasons to visit Slovenia in 2024

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Zagotovite si neizčrpen vir idej za preživljanje prostega časa v naravi!

Zdaj je čas za nabiranje navdihov za vsa prihodnja aktivna doživetja na prostem. Naročite brezplačno tiskano publikacijo za aktivne rekreativce »Slovenija na prostem« in se prijavite na mesečne e-novice »Zgodbe iz Slovenije«.

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