Stanislav Sestak: Slovakian sniper

His two goals against the Czech Republic during World Cup qualifying propelled The Fighting Jondas to their first-ever World Cup.

Stani is ready to devastate defences this summer

Stanislav Sestak  

Born: Dec. 16, 1982, in Demjata, Slovakia (former Czechoslovakia)  

Position: Striker/midfielder  

Nickname: Stani  

Clubs playedfor: Stanislav Sestak began his career with his hometown club Tatran Presov in 2000 and then moved to Slovan Bratislava in 2002. Sestak then swapped Slovakian powerhouses when he traded Bratislava for MSK Zilina in 2004. In 2007, the 27-year-old moved to Germany after Bochum paid $1 million for his services. In three seasons at the Ruhrstadion, Stani has helped keep Bochum in the top flight with 28 goals in 79 league games.  

International career: Sestak is the punch in Slovakia’s offence. During World Cup qualifying, he tied Poland’s Euzebiusz Smolarek for top scorer in Group 3 with six goals — most notably two goals against the Czech Republic. Sestak's increased production (10 goals in 29 appearances) means he has a chance of supplanting Szilard Nemeth (22 goals in 59 appearances) as the country’s all-time leading goal scorer.   

Why is he so special? Sestak is always in motion, flowing from the striker's position upfront to the right side of midfield. Although that sometimes means his teammates can't anticipate his capricious runs, Sestak is likely to be in open space.   

His most famous moment: Sestak's two goals against the Czech Republic during World Cup qualifying — a quick turn and shoot that inspired Slovakia to a 2-1 win and a low volley into the bottom corner that helped Slovakia earn a 2-2 draw – propelled The Fighting Jondas to their first World Cup.  

He said it: "I think first place (in Group F) is already taken. I'm pretty certain the world champions (Italy) can cope with this group. But we're contenders for second place. That would be a huge success for Slovakia."

What they’re saying about him:"The opponent (must) have due respect for Stani." — Marcel Koller, former Bochum manager   

Here is an interesting fact: Sestak hopes Slovakia’s appearance in the 2010 World Cup will close the gap between soccer and the country’s most popular sport, hockey. The 27-year-old told "Ice hockey has been easily our No. 1 sport up to now. Taking part at the World Cup, and hopefully giving a decent account of ourselves, could well close the gap."