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Milivoje Novakovic in action during Slovenia's World Cup qualifying match against San Marino last October. (Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Milivoje Novakovic

Born: May 18, 1979 in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Position: Striker

Nickname: Super Nova

Clubs Played for: Although Novakovic spent most of his career playing second-division soccer in Austria and Belarus, once Super Nova made a surprising move to German Bundesliga side FC Koln in 2007 he led the league in scoring with 20 goals and helped the Billy Goats get back to the top flight. Although he has run afoul of his teammates and coaches, Novakovic is invaluable to Koln, scoring nearly every other game (51 goals in 108 games).

International career: Novakovic made his international debut in 2006 and has since led his country with five goals in World Cup qualifying.

Why is he so special? The 31-year-old has all the tools of a great striker – two dangerous feet and powerful head

His most famous moment: In September, Slovenia faced Group 3 leader Slovakia, needing a win to fend off a surging Czech Republic and increase its chances of making the qualifying playoffs. Novakovic rose to the occasion scored twice as Slovenia won 2-1.

He said it: "Fortunately I was able to avoid injury for a very long time and that gave me strength, and, of course, when you work a lot and work hard, at some point you reap the rewards in life."

Interesting fact: Novakovic was stripped of FC Koln's captaincy this season and has not seen eye-to-eye with head coach Zvonimir Soldo. "I need a captain to be my right-hand man on the field and with whom I share a mutual respect," Soldo said.