Football

What is the secret of Slovenian goalkeepers?

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A national team located in southern central Europe isn't very famous for its players. Sure, there are Valter Birsa performing AC Milan, Josip Ilicic from Fiorentina and a lot more potentials which could soon become a part of the best European teams, but the squad is most famous for specialising in one position - goalkeepers.

Here are three of the best custodians from Slovenia...

Vid Belec

A product of Internazionale's youth system signed his first professional contract with the Italians in 2010. The 23-year-old was not yet given the opportunity to shine at Giuseppe Meazza as he was sent on loan twice.

At the age of 20, his first loan included a Serie B team Crotone. Due to the injury of the team's first goalkeeper, the Slovenian quickly took his place and remained there until summer 2012, returning to Inter after two seasons.

The club have sent him out again in July 2013, this time to Portuguese club Olhanense. And again, he was granted a great amount of minutes, thus becoming an important member of the squad. He remains at Primeira until the season end where another Slovenian accompanies him.

Jan Oblak

One of the best young goalkeepers in the world was lured away from Olimpija to Benfica in 2010. He faced four loans, all inside Portugal, and was usually used just as a reserve.

This could be the year for the 21-year-old. Artur Moraes' recent form drop opened up the gate for this lad thanks to the club manager Jorge Jesus. Oftenly preseving the net intact in the league matches have made him a star in Lisbon.

He featured the national team only trice for now, because of this remarkable goalkeeper, which is considered to be among the best in Europe.

Samir Handanovic

Udinese have signed Slovenia's best player back in 2004. As these previous two, he was also sent on loan frequently, finally earning a place in the staring XI in 2007, after the departure of Morgan De Sanctis.

In 2012, Internazionale paid 12 million euros for the 29-year-old as Julio Cesar left Serie A ex-champions and joined Queens Park Rangers. There is no one who could match his abilities at the club.

The master of clean sheets has earned 69 caps for Slovenia and could soon reach 100 appearances as he was and will remain the first pick on the squad list.

The 29th team of the world have participated in 2002 and 2010 World Cup. Their campaign wasn't successfull even once as they ran out of the competitions in the group stages.

Unfortunately, the national side will miss this year's competition, but only great things could happen for them in the future.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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