Rival Analysis: Slovan Bratislava profile
Paokfc.gr’s Rival Analysis column puts the magnifying glass on our UEFA Europa Conference League opponents Slovan Bratislava, giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the Slovakian club ahead of our Matchday 2 contest at the Toumba Stadium.
A not-so-old acquaintance returns to Toumba. Slovan Bratislava is back in Thessaloniki, where they saw off PAOK in 2019 to qualify for the UEFA Europa League Play Offs.
Domestic dominance and a European trophy
The club was founded in 1919 and at 102 years of age has 15 championships and 17 Slovakian Cups to their name. It is the only team in the country to have won a European title, the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969, beating Barcelona 3-2 in Basel.
Slovan’s home ground is the stadium «NFS – Tehelné Pole» with a capacity of 22,500. It is also the Slovakian national stadium, which was inaugurated in 2019 and since then hosts all the home games of the national team. The basic colors of Slovan are blue and white, while they are nicknamed «Belasí», which means «Blue skies».
In the last five years the club have conquered almost everything domestically. In the 2016-17 season, although the club went two years without winning a trophy, they won the Slovak Cup. The next season she retained the cup, while in the 2018-19 season the club won the league. In the two seasons that followed (2019-20, 2020-21) they won the double.
Their route to the Conference League Group Stage
Slovan started their European journey from the Champions League qualifiers. They overcame the obstacle of Irish side Shamrock Rovers and were eliminated by Young Boys of Switzerland. That meant that they «landed» in the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League where theyr faced Lincoln of Gibraltar. The Slovaks prevailed 3-1 in the first game away from home, while the second leg ended 1-1 and so they qualified.
Their next opponents were Olympiacos, who beat them 3-0 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. The second leg ended in a 2-2 draw in Bratislava and so the Greek side went through. This meant that Slovan found themselves in the Conference League facing PAOK.
In Slovakia, Slovan continue to waltz towards a fourth consecutive title. After nine games in the league they are top of the standings with 20 points (six wins, two draws and one defeat), having the best attack and the second-best defense.
The coach of the team is Vladimir Weiss, who honorably took the name of his father, a distinguished football player of then Czechoslovakia and then gave the same name to his son who also plays in the team. He took over the reins in May, signing a five-year contract.
The 57-year-old coach is in Slovakia for the second time in his coaching career, while previously (2016-2020) he was the national coach of Georgia, and he has also been coach of Slovakia.
After winning the double last season, the team retained the core of the squad and brought in some new additions to further strengthen their squad. In the squad is a player familiar to Greek fans. That player is Vladimir Weiss, who is the son of the coach, who in the recent past wore the jersey of Olympiacos.