MARTIN SKRTEL: NATIONAL TEAM CAREER REVEALED
Istanbul Basaksehir centre back Martin Skrtel enjoyed a good national team career with Slovakia before he retired two years ago. The ex-Liverpool and Zenit St. Petersburg defender had played for the Slovakia senior national team over a period of 15 years before he called time on his career with the team.
Martin Skrtel played for the various youth teams at country level before making his debut in the colours of the senior team in 2004. He played a major part in helping Slovakia qualify for the FIFA World Cup tournament for the first time ahead of the 2010 edition in South Africa.
Skrtel and Slovakia were part of the first World Cup tournament on African soil. At the tournament, Martin Skrtel was one of the best players as Slovakia secured a famous 3-2 win over four-time champions Italy in the group stage.
Martin Skrtel and Slovakia made it through the group stage and into the round of 16 before they were eliminated by the Netherlands at that stage. The Netherlands went all the way to the final before losing to Spain 1-0 at the end of extra time courtesy the goal from Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.
Slovakia made a big statement in South Africa 2010 but they were unable to qualify for another major tournament until the 2016 edition of the European Championships in France. Martin Skrtel captained his country throughout the qualifiers ahead of the tournament on French soil. They defeated defending champions Spain during the qualifiers.
Martin Skrtel represented Slovakia at Euro 2016 and just like what was obtainable with South Africa 2010, Slovakia reached the round of 16 before they were knocked out. They had beaten Russia and also drawn with England in the group stage before their wings were clipped by the Germans in the first knockout round.
Skrtel would later make a century appearance for his country two years later in a derby match with Czech Republic thus becoming the third player to achieve the feat. The former Fenerbahce player announced his retirement from the Slovakia national team in February 2019 at the age of 34. He finished with six goals in 104 games.