Poland as a country is steeped in history, with a language that is slightly difficult for outsiders to learn. Poland is home to breathtaking scenery and some truly idyllic old towns. The country prides itself on preserving its culture and heritage.
As we count down to the international friendly match between the White and Reds of Poland and the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Allnigeriafootball.com brings to you 5 interesting facts about the Polish national football team.
1. Bayern Munich top striker and Poland all time leading goal scorer Robert Lewandowski’s parents were so convinced he would follow in their footsteps (the father was a judo champion and the mother a pro volleyball player) and become a very famous sportsman.
Their conviction was so strong such that they gave their son a non Polish Christian name in order to make it easier for commentators to pronounce in future and certainly they were damn right because their son is currently an international football super star.
2. Poland and VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski was only 11 when he saw his father stab his mother to death, Blaszczykowski is responsible for one of the German Bundesliga all-time greatest misses, this happened when he was playing for Borussia Dortmund against Freiburg in 2010/2011 season. Watch it below.
3. Borussia Dortmund right back Lukasz Piszczek will play in the international friendly match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria despite his involvement in a match-fixing scandal. While playing for Zaglebie Lubin in 2006, he was one of seven players who bribed to ensure UEFA Cup qualification by paying off last-day opponents Cracovia.
While other team members were jailed and banned from ever playing football, Piszczek received a suspended sentence, a fine and a five-year ban from the national team which was quickly lifted. When he complained: “I’m being made to look like someone who was involved in a gang rape.”
4. The greatest era of Polish football was in the mid-1970’s and early 1980’s. Poland held England to a draw in a dramatic match at Wembley Stadium to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Poland went further to reach the semi-finals, where they narrowly lost 1-0 to the eventual World Champions Germany and just missing out on the final.
Poland ended the tournament by defeating mighty Brazil and the current World Champions 1–0 to claim third place in the tournament. Striker Grzegorz Lato won the Golden Boot for his seven goals. Poland also finished third in the 1982 tournament, beating France 3–2 in the third-place play-off.
Poland also won the gold medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich; the silver medal in 1976 in Montreal; and a silver medal in 1992 in Barcelona.
5. Poland first qualified for the UEFA European Championship in 2008. They also qualified automatically for Euro 2012 by virtue of being joint hosts alongside Ukraine. They finished bottom of their group on both occasions. Their first win in the Euros was on 12 June 2016 in a group stage match of Euro 2016 against Northern Ireland. Poland reached the quarterfinals, the team’s best result. Poland is currently ranked at 6th in the world, one position below their all-time high from August 2017.