The Slovenia Times

Celje wins national football championship for first time ever


Celje climbed to the top in the 2019/20 season, which was interrupted due to the coronavirus epidemic, by defending the home turf in the last, 36th round of the premier league, drawing a thriller with the rivals from the capital.

The new champions are actually one of the only two clubs to never be relegated from the first Slovenian league since its establishment, and this is the year where the consistency finally paid off.

Olimpija finished third in the standings and was leapfrogged by Maribor, the champions from the previous season, due to the better head-to-head record.

Celje head coach Dušan Kosić, who was declared the best coach of the season, said after the game, which was watched by only 500 spectators due to restrictive measures, that it was "crazy, full of emotion, and the match was tough.

"The journey was beautiful, and even when we stumbled, we believed in ourselves. The vision was the right one and the lads stood together even after disappointments. Fortune was also on our side."

Apart from the best coach award, Celje also bagged the awards for the best player in the 2019/20 season (Mitja Lotrič) and the best young player (Dario Vizinger).

The Slovenian printed media are also heaping praise on the underdog winning the national championship for the first time as Celje is actually celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Delo says that Celje has become a "glorious football fortress" after the town has been mainly producing handball champions.

The sports newspaper Ekipa SN speaks on the front page about the "historic" win by Celje and adds that the "football gods have eventually reached a just verdict".


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