Manager: Matjaz Kek
Best: Round one (2002)
Tiny Slovenia weren't tipped to qualify for the World Cup, and the fact that the nation of just two million people managed to finish ahead of such vaunted opponents as Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia must qualify as a kind of soccer equivalent of David vs. Goliath. But for this David, the Goliaths keep on coming, and they'll have to play magnificently to earn one of the group's two spots in the knockout stages. Hopes are pinned on striker Milivoje Novakovic, who immodestly describes himself as one third of the side's "backbone," along with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and attacking midfielder Robert Koren.
Player to watch: The German based striker Milivoje Novakovic thinks highly of himself. If he scores during the World Cup, he'll have reason to.