Euro 2020 Profile: Poland

Fri, Jun 11 2021

Team: Poland

Manager: Paulo Sousa

Group: E

Other teams in group: Spain, Sweden, Slovakia

 

THE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Lukasz Fabianski, Radoslaw Majecki, Lukasz Skorupski, Wojciech Szczesny

Defenders: Jan Bednarek, Bartosz Bereszynski, Pawel Dawidowicz, Kamil Glik, Michal Helik, Tomasz Kedziora, Kamil Piatkowski, Tymoteusz Puchacz, Maciej Rybus

Midfielders: Przemyslaw Frankowski, Kamil Jozwiak, Mateusz Klich, Kacper Kozlowski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Karol Linetty, Jakub Moder, Przemyslaw Placheta, Piotr Zielinski

Forwards: Robert Lewandowski, Dawid Kownacki, Arkadiusz Milik, Karol Swiderski, Jakub Swierczok.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

Poland was in a 6 team Group G during the qualification phase along with Austria, North Macedonia, Israel, Slovenia and Latvia.

They were favourites to top the group and they justified that favouritism by claiming 25 out of a maximum of 30 points, only losing once on a 2-0 score line away to Slovenia in Sept 2019, and registering a 0-0 draw at home to Austria also in Sept 2019.

Their captain and main striker Robert Lewandowski was joint top scorer in this group with Austria’s Marko Arnatovic, both getting 6 goals.

Jerzy Brzeczek was the manager in charge of Poland for the entire qualification process but despite guiding them to the finals he was sacked by the Polish FA and replaced with former Portugese player and current coach of Bordeaux in Ligue 1, Paulo Sousa

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski stands head and shoulders above all Polish players in terms of his achievements in the game, having scored over 500 goals for club and country.

He is best known for his achievements with Bayern Munich and the Polish Senior International team but in fact he was making the headlines much earlier in his career, being top scorer in the lower leagues of Polish football with his first club Znicz Pruszhow, winning the Polish Premier League with Lech Poznan in 2009-10, transferring to Borussia Dortmund in 2010 where he went on to win two Bundesliga titles before finally moving up to elite level with his transfer to Bayern Munich in 2014.

David Kownacki

Kownacki is another of Paula Souso’s strikers for this tournament and when he was only 16 years of age he was dubbed ‘the new Lewandowski’.

He also played with one of Poland’s top sides Lech Poznan before gaining experience abroad with Italian side Sampadoria where he scored 6 goals in 35 appearances over a three-year period.

He is currently with Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga.

Lukasz Fabianski

Fabianski is the best known of the five English Premiership players in the squad, having spent seven years in Highbury with Arsenal, four seasons with Swansea before joining West Ham Utd in 2018. 

Fabianski replaced Wojciech Szczesny in goals for Poland in the first match of Euro 2016 after the latter suffered and injury and he went on to have a great tournament for his country before they were defeated on penalties by eventual winners Portugal.

WHERE THEY ARE PLAYING

Poland v Slovakia, June 14th, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg.

Spain v Poland, June 19th, La Cartuja, Seville.

Sweden v Poland, June 23rd, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg.

The matches were originally scheduled to be played at Bilbao's San Mamés and Dublin's Aviva Stadium. However, due to a lack of guarantees regarding spectators caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, UEFA announced on 23 April 2021 that the matches scheduled in Bilbao were moved to Seville, and the group stage matches scheduled in Dublin were reallocated to Saint Petersburg.

THREE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE TEAM

Robert Lewandowski once scored five goals in nine minutes when playing for Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg in a Bundesliga match in Sept 2015.

Poland bear the nickname ‘Bialo-Czerwoni’ which translates to ‘the Polish Eagles’.

Lukasz Fabianski has made more Premier League appearances than any other Pole. He had notched up 181 starts while his teammate Wojciech Szczesny ranks second with 132 appearances.

 

First Game: Poland v Slovakia, June 14th, KO 17.00 hrs.

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