After a historic evening and qualifying for Euro 2024, Slovenia woke up to a cloudy and rainy morning. It was the exact opposite on Monday evening, when right after the match fireworks lit up the sky above the full Stožice, and the football players continued the celebration from the locker room in front of the stadium, where they greeted and cheered on the stage together with the most loyal fans. The cheering also moved to the streets of Ljubljana.
Almost 16,500 spectators watched Slovenia’s second place in the European Championship after 24 years in the stands of Ljubljana’s Stožice. This is the largest number of spectators at the central Slovenian football stadium and, as a result, a record for a home match of the Slovenian national team, announced the Football Association of Slovenia (NZS).
Dressed in the jerseys of current and former football representatives, equipped with scarves and banners, some also with torches. Fans of younger generations experienced real football euphoria for the first time.
Ten fans from Kazakhstan used to cheer in Stožice. Their joy was greatest only at the beginning of the second half, when Koper’s striker Ramazan Orazov equalized.
The referee’s final whistle and the fun began. Emotions overwhelmed the football players on the field, the professional staff next to the field and the fans in the stands. 13 years after the last appearance in a major competition, a new football frenzy has begun in Slovenia.
“Heart beats. Thank you, fans,” it was written on the banner, which was held on the stage after the match in front of the fans by the chosen ones Matjaža Kek. After the match and the celebration in the locker room, the joy after the historic victory moved to the front of the stadium. “Slovenia is moving forward,” the already warmed-up throats of the fans shouted in unison.
Those who did not get tickets for the historic match watched the decisive clash of Group H in Ljubljana bars, where it was hot despite the slightly cooler weather. After the referee’s final whistle, the joy moved to the streets.
The photos from November 20 will surely adorn the historical football album entitled Euro 2024.