Slovenia

Capital: Ljubljana
Population: 2,053,355
Currency: Euro
Official Language: Slovene
Borders: Italy (west), Croatia (south and east), Hungary (north east) and Austria (north)
GNP per Capita: $27,148
Main Airport: Ljubljana

The PrvaLiga Telekom Slovenije, also known by the abbreviation 1. SNL (Slovenian: Slovenska nogometna liga), is the main football league in Slovenia, and was formed in 1991 after Slovenia became an independent country. From 1920 until the end of the 1990/91 season, the Slovenian League was a lower division of the Yugoslavian league football system.  Before the 2006/07 season, the league was known as Liga Si.mobil Vodafone, however it was renamed when the main sponsor of the league became Telekom Slovenije.  For a more detailed map of who plays where in Slovenia go to Footiemap.com to access their excellent map site detailing all professional clubs in the country.

League Winners since 1992
1992 SCT Olimpija
1993 SCT Olimpija
1994 SCT Olimpija
1995 SCT Olimpija
1996 HiT Gorica
1997 Maribor Branik
1998 Maribor Teatanic
1999 Maribor Teatanic
2000 Maribor Teatanic
2001 Maribor Teatanic
2002 Maribor Teatanic
2003 Maribor Teatanic
2004 Gorica ND
2005 HiT Gorica
2006 HiT Gorica
2007 NK Domžale
2008 NK Domžale
2009 Maribor Teatanic

Clubs participating 2009/10 league

NK Olimpija – the most famous Slovenian football club, playing in the city of Ljubljana. They’ve won Slovenian First League 4 times , as well as four Slovenian Cups, and appeared in European competitions such as the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup.  Founded in 1911, Olimpija was until recently the best club in Slovenia, but lost its leading position due to financial problems. Olimpija currently plays home games at a stadium ŽŠD Ljubljana (The Bezigrad), but are expected to move to a new stadium Športni Park Stožice in 2010.

ND HiT Gorica – Champions from 2004, 2005 and 2006. Located on the Italian border, and within an hour of Trieste.  Their 3,000 seater stadium, known as the Stadion Sportni Park in the new part of the city is normally around a third full.

NK Domžale – Last season’s suprise champions again.  Domzale are one of the better supported teams in the league, although they still on average 1,800 in their 3,200 capacity Sportni Park stadium.  Domzale is located 20 minutes north of the capital Ljubljana.

NK Maribor – Seven times champions and the most successful Slovenian team in European football.  Maribor is the second biggest city in Slovenia and is located on the Austrian border.  Their stadium (right), the 13,000 capacity Stadion Ljudski Vrt is currently undergoing some serious redevelopment.

NK Koper – Located in the south western corner of Slovenia, almost sandwiched between Italy and Croatia.  The club have played European football on a number of occasions, although their last few seasons the best they have been able to manage is 6th.  They play at the 4,500 seater SRC Bonifika Stadion.

Nafta Lendava
– Third best supported team in the division, although they only average 1,000 in their modest Mestni Stadium, which can hold just over 2,000.  They are actually the oldest club in the country having been formed in 1903.

MIK CM Celje – Playing in the new national stadium – the 12,350 all seater Petrol Arena (right).  They recently sold the rights to their name to the highest bidder (a butcher’s shop). Celje is located halfway between Maribor and Ljubljana.

Drava Ptuj – Located in the north east of the county close to the Hungarian border.  The club are named after the Drava river that flows through the town.  Avoided relegation last season by winning the end of season play offs. The Metsni Stadion holds just over 2,000 although their average attendance is around 1,000.

NK Rudar Velenje – Promoted back to the top league at the end of the 2007/08 season after a two year absence.  They hail from the small town of Velenje which is half way between Maribor and Ljublana.  Their modest Ob Jezeru Stadion holds just 2,500 fans.

Interblock Ljubljana (renamed from Factor) – Amazingly the only club currently playing in the top division from the capital, although it took a play off win at the end of the 2006/07 season to stay up.  They play some of their games at the National Stadium – the Belzegrad (pictured right), with normal games being played at the 2,500 capacity Stefana Beleta. However, construction of a new stadium is due to start in 2008 which will mean the club relocating to Celje for most of 2008/09 season.

NK Nafta Lendava is the oldest Slovenian football club, which plays in the town of Lendava. Their stadium is the 2,000 capacity Mestni Stadion. The club were promoted in 2009. Lendava is close to the Hungarian border.

Nearest Airport – Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU)
Telephone:
+386 4 20 61 000
Website: http://www.lju-airport.si/eng/default.asp

Also known by its previous name, Brnik Airport. The airport is located near the village of Brnik, 19 km north of Ljubljana. The airport was opened on December 24, 1963.  It is named after Jože Pučnik (1932-2003), Slovenian public intellectual, dissident, and politician, leader of the Democratic Opposition of Slovenia between 1989 and 1992.

Brnik Airport is home to Adria Airways, the Slovenian flag carrier. There is currently one low-cost carrier serving the airport: EasyJet which connect Ljubljana to London Stansted. A number of other airlines also serve the airport.  On December 8, 2004, the airport received its first annual millionth passenger. Overall, the airport handled 1,524,028 passengers in 2007. It is by far the busiest airport in Slovenia.  The airport is served by a highway exit off the A2 motorway and by bus service connecting it with Ljubljana and Kranj. A rail line to both cities is planned as well.

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