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Slovenia not to be underestimated

Updated: December 5, 2009, 9:16 PM ET
By Mark Young | Special to ESPN.com

Slovenia is the smallest country to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. And to gain its berth in South Africa, Slovenia stunned one of the game's big powers, Russia, in a two-leg playoff series. How unexpected was that result? Borut Pahor, the prime minister of Slovenia, had promised to clean the mud off the boots of every player if they beat the mighty Russians. The PM was thrilled to oblige during the celebrations in the Slovenia locker room after the victory.

Slovenia, with a population ...

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