Slovenia’s increasingly important Timi Max Elšnik remains on solid ground but is already flirting with paradise: ‘For us, the sky is the only limit’
After a dream spring and summer, his club scene has slowed down a bit (like his club in general…), but on the national stage, his career has taken a jet-propelled turn. Timi Max Elšnik “cemented” himself in the striking line-up of the Slovenian national team and more than justified the trust of selector Matjaž Kek in the convincing 3-0 victory over Finland. Timi Max Elšnik was a great match for the rugged northerners in the middle of the park and after the game he emphasised out loud what the whole country is thinking: that Euro 2024 is now really close.
“We have achieved what we set out to do. Ljubljana has some very important points left. We are extremely happy, but we are keeping our feet firmly on the ground. It’s not over yet… We still have some important steps to take. But it is true that we are on the right path towards Germany,” said Timi Max Elšnik after the victory in Stožice.
Timi Max Elšnik: “We knew we were better”
Such a convincing victory surprised many, especially since Finland beat Slovenia in Helsinki. That was the reason why many people were afraid of the Ljubljana showdown, but Timi Max Elšnik said that the national team did not doubt it for a moment. “No, there was no fear. In Helsinki we showed a lot of quality, we had our chances. But we didn’t take advantage of them, and what happened happened. That’s football too. Sometimes your opponent punishes you… But we knew we were better than them in terms of quality. We believed in it and we did it on the pitch. We were playing at home, we had to let them know where they had come from. So that they don’t have an easy evening… I think we did very well. Combative and full of energy. This is the way forward,” said the captain of Olimpija.
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The next stop on the road to Germany will be Belfast, where Slovenia will be hosted on Tuesday. “We know we are close… From the very beginning of the assembly, there was a certain pressure. However, we showed our best and it is up to us to do it again in Belfast. We need to fix the things that were bad this time and build on the good things. Pressure is an integral part of football… Slovenia has waited a long time to come under such pressure. I don’t really see a problem with that. For us, it’s a privilege. For us, the sky is the only limit and the time is right for Slovenia to get somewhere. But slowly… We need to prepare for Northern Ireland. Each match is, of course, its own story. The Northern Irish are uncomfortable, as they proved in Ljubljana. If we are not right, we will be punished. But everything is in our hands. If we are 100%, I believe we will not let what we have won slip through our fingers,” said 25-year-old Timi Max Elšnik.
It remains to be seen how much Slovenia will suffer on the Island, but even if the Northern Irish have their chances, the visitors will have a big trump card in goal. Timi Max Elšnik also mentioned Jan Oblak after the win over Finland:”There were also moments when the game was breaking. Thank God we were 2-0 up, it’s easier to play with a lead like that than 1-0. But even 2:0 can be deceiving. If you score a goal, panic sets in… Well, in those moments when the Finns had their chances, we were saved by Jan Oblak, who had some outstanding defences. That’s why we have it. He was a true captain. He contributed to the three points with a goalless game.”
This text was automatically translated using AI.