Matjaž Kek will be remembered as the most successful Slovenian coach after taking them to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and securing a visa for the European Championship in Germany on Monday night. It will be their first appearance at the Euro after 24 years of waiting! Slovenia defeated Kazakhstan (2-1) at home in the last qualifying round, with goals scored by Benjamin Šeško and Benjamin Verbić, while Orazov scored the only goal for the guests. Throughout the match, there was no doubt about their passage, although Kazakhstan threatened dangerously but failed to bring uncertainty into it.
After the match, Kek looked like a man who had lost several tons of weight. “Joy, we are happy and proud,” he said. “I think we deserved this and thank all of Slovenia for the enormous positive energy. It paid off – for this generation that was declared losers and this is a big thing for our football.” The goal was clear from the beginning, and they achieved it with determination. He hopes that this will be a new motivator for all of Slovenian football. “Thank you to everyone – from players to people in the association and fans,” he added. “Today is a beautiful day for all of us.”
Kek’s tenure in charge of Slovenia has been marked by many challenges, including criticism from local public opinion that questioned his ability to lead them to major competitions. However, he has proven them wrong with his successes both on and off the pitch. Although his contract expires after the Euros, he doesn’t know if he’ll stay or go yet.” I’m happy to look ahead and not back,” he said. “In these five years, a lot has happened.” He knows when enough is enough but now he is only looking forward to what lies ahead at the Euros without any doubts or fears about anything else except getting them into