AGONA Profile: Slovan Bratislava, eager to stop PAOK in Europa League tracks
AGONAsport takes a closer look at Slovan Bratislava, who will play PAOK in the qualification playoffs of the 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League.
Founded in 1919, Slovan Bratislava have traditionally been one of the most successful Czechoslovakian - and now Slovakian - clubs. It is the only club from both Czechoslovakia and Slovakia which has won a European title. In 1969, Slovan Bratislava won the European Cup, defeating Barcelona 3:2 in Basel. Last season, the club celebrated winning the Slovakian Championship after a five-year drought, claiming the club’s 21st league title including both Czechoslovakia and Slovak league titles.
Full name: Športový klub Slovan Bratislava futbal
Owner: Ivan Kmotrík
Head coach: Jan Kozak jr. (Caretaker)
Stadium: Tehelné pole (Capacity 22,500)
Major honours: 8 league Czechoslovakia titles, 5 Czechoslovak Cups, Slovak League / Slovak Super Liga championships, 15 Slovak Cups
HEAD COACH: JAN KOZAK JR.
Jan Kozak is a former Slovak footballer who became a manager following his retirement. As a player, Kozak was a midfielder who played for clubs such as Slavia Prague, West Bromwich Albion, Larissa and Slovan Bratislava. He made a total of 25 appearances for Slovakia, scoring two goals in his international career. His senior playing career lasted for 18 years, before he retired and moved into a coaching role. He is the son of former manager of Slovakia Jan Kozak snr.
Kozak, 39, was appointed coach of the Slovan Bratislava B team in July of 2015, before he was promoted to the Slovan Bratislava senior team last month. In his first season coaching at senior level, Slovan Bratislava currently sit on top of the table in the Slovak Super Liga, with Kozak’s men boasting five wins from five league matches.
Kozak took over the reins from Martin Sevela who was shown the door following the disappointing UEFA Champions League exit to Montenegrin side Sutjeska in the first qualifying round.
Andraz Sporar is a centre-forward who signed for Slovan Bratislava in January 2018, become the most expensive signing in the history of the Slovak domestic league. Sporar impressed in his first season at the club, helping the club win the 2017/18 Slovak Cup. Last season, Sporar won the Slovak title and became the league’s highest goal scorer, tying the record for most goals scored in a season with 29 goals. Sporar is also a Slovenian international who has made 13 appearances and scored one goal in his international career. Transfermarkt rates his value at one million euros.
Mohammed Rharsalla is a winger who has a dual citizenship with both Morocco and Spain. He was signed by Slovan Bratislava in the January transfer window in 2018, on a 4.5-year contract from Ukrainian outfit Olimpik Donetsk. The 25-year old has made 42 appearances for the club, tallying 16 goals. He has the ability to play on both wings, with his preferred position out on the left flank. He can also play as a second striker depending on the team’s formation. Transfermarkt also rates his value at one million.
Greek centre-forward Georgios Tzovaras signed for Slovan Bratislava from PAOK last month for a total of 100,000. The 19-year old forward is yet to make an appearance for his new club.