The Slovenia national team in action during the FIFA 2010 World Cup Group 3 Qualifying match between San Marino and Slovenia at Stadio Olimpico on October 14, 2009 in Serravalle, Italy. ((Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images) )

Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek made no surprise choices Tuesday when he announced his final 23-man World Cup squad.

With no injuries affecting any of his star names, Kek will count on the players who led the team through its qualification campaign to reach the World Cup for only the second time.

Bochum forward Zlatko Dedic, Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and Robert Koren, who was recently released by English club West Bromwich Albion, are included as expected.

The squad also had midfielders Valter Birsa of Auxerre and Abdraz Kirm of Wisla Krakow, as well as Grenoble defender Bostjan Cesar and Cologne forward Milivoje Novakovic.

Slovenia’s debut at the World Cup came in 2002 when the team lost all three of its matches.

The alpine country qualified for South Africa by beating Russia on away goals in the qualification playoffs in November.

Slovenia is in Group C along with Algeria, the United States and England.

It faces New Zealand in a warmup on Friday, two days before departing for South Africa.


Goalkeepers: Samir Handanovic (Udinese), Jasmin Handanovic (Mantova), Aleksander Seliga (Sparta Rotterdam).

Defenders: Bojan Jokic (Chievo), Marko Suler (Gent), Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble), Branko Ilic (FC Moscow), Matej Mavric-Rozic (TuS Koblenz), Elvedin Dzinic (Maribor), Miso Brecko (FC Cologne), Suad Filekovic (Maribor).

Midfielders: Andraz Kirm (Wisla Krakow), Andrej Komac (Maccabi Tel-Aviv), Rene Krhin (Inter Milan), Dalibor Stevanovic (Vitesse Arnhem), Robert Koren (out of contract), Aleksander Radosavljevic (Larissa), Valter Birsa (Auxerre).

Forwards: Milivoje Novakovic (FC Cologne), Zlatko Dedic (Bochum), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Gent), Nejc Pecnik (Nacional), Tim Matavz (FC Groningen).