Born: Sept 20, 1980, in Radlje ob Dravi, Slovenia
Clubs played for: Began his career in his native Slovenia with Dravograd and Celje before moving to Norwegian mid-table side Lillestrøm. Koren, however, became an influential midfielder when he joined West Bromwich Albion in 2007. Roko is the Baggies star attacking midfielder and has helped lead them back to the Premiership.
International career: Is captain of Slovenia and in that role has been instrumental in creating unity in the locker-room — the kind of cohesion that motivated Slovenia to overcome a history of division and beat Russia in the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff.
Why is he so special? Is a mischievous midfielder who enjoys weaving between defenders to confuse and frustrate. He can often be found darting around the outside of the 18-yard box or distracting the opposition inside the area, but wherever the 29-year-old is, the ball is sure to be at his feet or on its way to him.
His most famous moment: His finest moment, along with his countrymen, was Slovenia's historic 1-0 against Russia in the second leg of the qualifying playoffs. He caused Russia's defence trouble the entire game.
He said it: "We're all confident of doing well in South Africa. We've reached our goal by qualifying, but our job is not done yet."
What they're saying about him: "Has been playing tremendously well (in 2010) and chipping in with important goals." Roberto Di Matteo, West Bromwich Albion manager.
An interesting fact: Lost his sight in one eye in 2008 after a preseason training accident. Fired a powerful shot that was blocked by a teammate and then ricocheted back to his face. Koren's left eye immediately began swelling as blood pooled within — a few hours later, however, his sight returned. "I was afraid there might be some problems with my vision," he said.