Slovan Bratislava Team Profile: Slovakia’s Finest Football Club
For the new football season, Soccer Box is pleased to announce that we have added the Slovan Bratislava home shirt 2015 – 2016 to our online store. The jersey, a beautiful white and light blue kit manufactured by Adidas, is the garb of Slovakia’s most decorated soccer club. Founded in May 1919, Slovan Bratislava have won Slovakia’s modern top-flight football championship—the Fortuna Liga—on eight occasions. Their most recent victory came in 2013 – 2014, and the 2015 – 2016 campaign will see the team trying to reclaim the top spot. But what of the team’s history and past success? Find out more in this Slovan Bratislava team profile.
A Long and Decorated League History
Slovan Bratislava (often nicknamed “the Sky blues” by fans) have a long and impressive legacy that stretches back many years. Indeed, the football club’s eight Fortuna Liga titles are only the tip of the iceberg as far as their trophy case is concerned.
The Fortuna Liga, also known as the Slovak Super Liga, was only established in 1993, when Slovakia finally became an independent state. Previously, Slovan Bratislava had been members of the Slovak League (which only existed briefly, from 1939 to 1944) and the Czechoslovak First League. The latter division enjoyed a markedly longer history, lasting from 1925 to 1993.
Of the Slovak League’s five seasons, the Sky blues were victorious in four of them, winning the title in 1940, 1941, 1942, and 1944. In the Czechoslovak First League, on the other hand, Slovan Bratislava collected eight additional trophies between 1940 and 1992. The football club last won the Czechoslovak league in its second to last year.
When the Fortuna Liga got its start, the Sky blues were the natural frontrunners. They won the inaugural title in the 1993 – 1994 season, topping the rest of the field by seven points to make an indelible mark on Slovakian football. They also defended their title in both 1995 and 1996, meaning that it took until the fourth season of the Fortuna Liga for another team to win the title.
A Long Title Wait
Slovan Bratislava experienced a decade-long title drought between the 1998 – 1999 season and the 2008 – 2009 campaign. In the intervening years, MSK Zilina were the dominant football club, collecting all six of their Fortuna Liga titles between 2002 and 2012.
The 2000s were not kind to the Sky blues, though. In 2004, the soccer club fell to 10th place on the standings table and were relegated from the Fortuna Liga for the first time since the league’s inception. They spent two seasons in the second division, before securing promotion and returning to the top-flight in 2006 – 2007. Even then, though, Slovan Bratislava barely dodged relegation, finishing in eighth place at the end of the campaign.
Luckily for fans in the Slovan Bratislava home shirt 2015 – 2016, the soccer club seems to have bounced back since. The Sky blues were fifth in 2008, but made their long-awaited return to first in 2009. Since then, they’ve finished in the top three every year, winning two more titles in 2013 and 2014. Last season, they finished third, as AS Trencin clinched their first-ever Fortuna Liga title. MSK Zilina, meanwhile, ended the year as the runners-up. Both clubs continue to challenge the Sky blues in the 2015 – 2016 campaign.
In addition to being the most successful club in the history of the Slovak Super Liga, Slovan Bratislava have also collected a number of titles and trophies outside of the domestic league. They’ve won the Slovak Cup 13 times (most recently in 2013) and the Slovak Super Cup on four occasions (most recently in 2014). In addition, before Slovakia became an independent state in 1993, the Sky blues claimed the Czechoslovak Cup five times.
Perhaps Slovan Bratislava’s greatest claim to fame among Slovakian soccer clubs, though, is that they are the only one in history to win a UEFA title. Indeed, in 1969, the Sky blues beat Barcelona 3-2 to win the now-defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. Not only has no Slovakian team contended for a UEFA tournament since the country became an independent state in 1993, but no other Czechoslovakian club ever won a UEFA title, either. In other words, the Sky blues have bragging rights that no other sports team in their country can match.
Can Slovan Bratislava with a ninth Fortuna Liga title in 2015 – 2016? Is a decisive return to UEFA victory in their not-too-distant future? Let us know your thoughts by engaging with us on Twitter.