Slovakia pin their hopes on seasoned skipper Marek Hamsik, again-Sports activities Information , Alenz

Slovakia pin their hopes on seasoned skipper Marek Hamsik, again-Sports activities Information , Alenz

5 totally different coaches have been in cost and a handful of regulars have retired since Euro 2016, however captain Marek Hamšík stays the crew’s figurehead.

Euro 2020: Slovakia pin their hopes on seasoned skipper Marek Hamsik, again

File picture of Slovakia’s Marek Hamsik. AP

After reaching the final 16 on the European Championship 5 years in the past, Slovakia’s hopes for fulfillment at this yr’s match can be pinned on the identical participant as final time.

5 totally different coaches have been in cost and a handful of regulars have retired since Euro 2016, however captain Marek Hamšík stays the crew’s figurehead.

Now with out the likes of Martin Škrtel, Stanislav Šesták, Adam Nemec, and Ján Ďurica, Milan Škriniar leads the defence whereas the crew depends on Hamšík’s creativity and imaginative and prescient for its attacking recreation.

Nobody has performed extra video games (126) or scored extra targets (26) for Slovakia than Hamšík, who made his worldwide debut in 2007.

The massive query for Slovakia coach Štefan Tarkovič, nonetheless, is whether or not Hamšík can nonetheless produce on the most important levels.

The attacking midfielder, who turns 34 in July, disappeared from the highlight after ending his 11-year stint at Napoli in early 2019 to hitch Chinese language membership Dalian.

Journey points amid the coronavirus pandemic and his goal to get taking part in time forward of Euro 2020 prompted him to return to European soccer this yr.

He joined IFK Gothenburg in March on a half-year contract. Gothenburg hoped Hamšík would carry the membership nearer to its first home title since 2007, however a calf harm pressured him to sit down out the beginning of the Swedish league season in April.

Slovakia will face Poland and Sweden in St Petersburg and Spain in Sevilla in Group E.

Euro 2020 marks Slovakia’s third look at a significant match since turning into an unbiased nation in 1993. It superior from its group on each earlier events, and Hamšík was a necessary a part of the crew’s success every time.

On the 2010 World Cup, Hamšík and ahead Róbert Vittek helped Slovakia to a vital 3-2 win over Italy, which despatched the defending champions house after the group part. Slovakia ended up shedding to eventual finalists Netherlands within the final 16.

At Euro 2016, Slovakia upset Russia 2-1, with Hamšík scoring the second purpose, earlier than holding England to a 0-0 draw. Slovakia superior as probably the greatest third-placed groups however misplaced to Germany within the first knockout spherical.

Slovakia has been struggling since. The crew did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, completed final in its Nations League group final yr, and solely made it to Euro 2020 by beating Eire on penalties and Northern Eire in additional time within the qualifying playoffs.

With out Hamšík, Slovakia bought off to a poor begin in its 2022 World Cup qualifying marketing campaign in March when it did not beat Cyprus and Malta. The crew recovered a bit with a 2-1 win over Russia.

In seek for extra consistency on the European Championship, Tarkovič, who was an assistant to Ján Kozák at Euro 2016 and changed Pavel Hapal in October, will flip to Hamšík — once more.

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