Poland national football team


Poland
Nickname(s)Biało-czerwoni (The White and Reds)
Orły (The Eagles)
AssociationPolish Football Association (PZPN)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachPaulo Sousa
CaptainRobert Lewandowski
Most capsRobert Lewandowski (122)
Top scorerRobert Lewandowski (69)
Home stadiumStadion Narodowy
Stadion Śląski
FIFA codePOL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 21 (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest5 (August 2017)
Lowest78 (November 2013)
First international
 Hungary 1–0 Poland 
(Budapest, Hungary; 18 December 1921)
Biggest win
 Poland 10–0 San Marino 
(Kielce, Poland; 1 April 2009)
Biggest defeat
 Denmark 8–0 Poland 
(Copenhagen, Denmark; 26 June 1948)
World Cup
Appearances8 (first in 1938)
Best resultThird place (1974, 1982)
European Championship
Appearances4 (first in 2008)
Best resultQuarter-finals (2016)

The Poland national football team (Polish: Reprezentacja Polski w piłce nożnej) has represented Poland in men's international football competitions since their first match in 1921. The team is controlled by the Polish Football Association, the governing body for football in Poland.

Poland has competed at eight FIFA World Cups with their first appearance being in 1938 where they were eliminated by Brazil. The country's best result is a bronze medal which Poland won in 1974 and 1982, with this era being regarded as the golden era of Polish international football. At the UEFA European Championship, Poland's best result was a quarter-finals appearance at the 2016 tournament before losing to eventual champions Portugal. Overall, they have competed in four European Championships with their debut being in 2008. They were co-hosts of the 2012 edition, along with Ukraine. Overall, Poland's best ever result in international football tournaments was the gold medal won at the 1972 Munich Olympics, along with winning the silver medal on two occasions; at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

History


Before independence

The first Polish football clubs were Lechia Lwów (1903), Czarni Lwów (1903), Pogoń Lwów (1904), KS Cracovia (1906) and Wisła Kraków (1906). The Polish national federation, called the Polish Football Union (Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej, PZPN), was founded on 20 December 1919, in Kraków when 31 delegates elected Edward Cetnarowski as the first president. The PZPN joined FIFA in 1923 and UEFA in 1955.

In a similar fashion to other European states, football appeared in Poland in the late 19th century. In 1888 Prof. Henryk Jordan, a court physician of the Habsburgs and the pioneer of sports in Poland, opened a sports park in Kraków's Błonia, a large open space surrounding the demolished city walls of that town. The park, along with the Sokół society founded in 1867, became the main centres to promote sports and healthy living in Poland. It was Jordan who began promoting football as a healthy sport in the open air; some sources also credit him with bringing the first football to Poland from his travels to Brunswick in 1890.[2] Other sources[3] mention Dr. Edmund Cenar as the one to bring the first ball and the one to translate The Cambridge Rules and parts of the International Football Association Board regulations to Polish language.

On 14 July 1894 during the Second Sokół Jamboree in Lwów at the General National Exhibition a short football match was played between the Sokół members of Lwów and those from Kraków. It lasted only six minutes and was seen as a curiosity rather than a potentially popular sport. Nevertheless, it was the first recorded football match in Polish history.[lower-alpha 1] It was won by the Lwów team after Włodzimierz Chomicki scored the only goal - the first known goal in Polish history.

This match precipitated the popularity of the new sport in Poland. Initially the rules and regulations were very simplified, with the size of the field and the ball varying greatly. Despite being discouraged by many educational societies and the state authorities, the new sport gained extreme popularity among pupils of various gymnasiums in Galicia. The first football teams were formed and in 1903–1904, four Lwów-based gymnasiums formed their own sport clubs: the IV Gymnasium for Boys formed a club later renamed to Pogoń Lwów, while the pupils of the I and II State Schools formed the Sława Lwów club, later renamed to Czarni Lwów. In the same season the Lechia Lwów was also formed. It is uncertain which of the clubs was created first as they were initially poorly organized; however, the Czarni Lwów are usually credited as being the first Polish professional football team. The following year, the popularity of the sport spread to nearby Rzeszów where Resovia Rzeszów was formed, while in the German-held part of Poland, the 1. FC Katowice and Warta Poznań were formed.

On 6 June 1906 a representation of Lwów youth came to Kraków for a repeat match, this time composed of two already organized teams, the Czarni and the team of the IV Gymnasium. Kraków's representation was badly beaten in both meetings (4-0 and 2-0 respectively). The same summer the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show set up camp at Kraków's Błonia, right outside of the traditional playground area and Jordan's garden. On 5 August 1906 the team of the Kraków-based Jan Sobieski Gymnasium played a match against the British and American members of Buffalo Bill's troupe, winning 1–0. The only goal scored by Stanisław Szeligowski was also the first goal scored by a Polish team in an international meeting. The success led to the popularisation of football in Kraków and to creation of the first Kraków-based professional football team, KS Cracovia - initially composed primarily of students of the Jan Sobieski Gymnasium.[2] By the autumn of that year there were already 16 teams in Kraków, including Wisła Kraków (It is said that actually Wisła Kraków was the first professional football team and not Cracovia). In 1911, a Kraków-based Union of Polish Football for Galicia was formed and entered the Austrian Football Association. The union inspired the creation of a number of teams.

After the outbreak of World War I, most of the Galician football players, many of them members of either Strzelec or Sokół, joined Piłsudski's Polish Legions. The unit, fighting alongside the Austro-Hungarian Army, fought mostly in various parts of Russian-held Poland, which led to popularisation of the new sport in other parts of partitioned Poland. Eventually, Poland regained its independence in 1918 and football of Poland also officially began.

1919–1939: Early years

Poland national team, 1924
Poland 5–6 Brazil, 1938

The first football federation was established on 25 June 1911 in Lwów as the Polish Football Union (Związek Polski Piłki Nożnej). After I World War members of PFU established on 20 December 1919 in Warsaw the Polish Football Federation (Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej). Two years later, they appointed Hungarian-born Jesza Poszony as the first coach of Polish national team. Poland would play its first official international match on 18 December 1921 in Budapest, where the side lost to Hungary 1–0. Their first international win would come on 28 May 1922 where they took on Sweden in Stockholm and beat them 2–1. Józef Klotz scored the first-ever goal for the national football team in that game.[4][5][6][7][8] Poland qualified for their first ever World Cup in 1937 when they beat Yugoslavia 4–0 and lost 1–0 in the two qualifying matches and ensured their place in the 1938 World Cup in France.

During their debut in the World Cup, Poland was set to play Brazil, by then had not been a world football power. The Polish team – which had never before participated on such a level – was expected to lose the game against the South Americans. Thus, the defeat was not a sensation. However, all fans were surprised at the style with which the Poles played their lone game of the tournament. The White and Red got to the extra time, only then losing 5–6. Ernest Wilimowski, who played for Ruch Chorzów at the time, scored four of Poland's five goals, which to date is one of the most impressive individual performances in the history of the World Cup.

Poland played what would be their last international match before the outbreak of World War II against Hungary, the runners-up in the 1938 World Cup. The match stands out as an achievement as Poland defeated the strongly favored Hungarian side 4–2.

1939-1945: Ban on football under the occupation

When the Wehrmacht invaded Poland in September 1939, all Polish institutions and associations were dissolved, including the Polish Football Association PZPN. The German occupying forces forbade Poles to organise football matches. Consequently, there was no national team.[9]

Nine former national players were murdered by the German occupying forces. Three of them were killed in Auschwitz: Marian Einbacher, Adam Knioła (both Warta Poznań) and Antoni Łyko (Wisła Kraków). Stefan Fryc (Cracovia) and Bronisław Makowski (Wisła Kraków), who were both active in the resistance, were killed in mass shootings. Four Jewish players were murdered in Jewish ghettos: Józef Klotz, Zygmunt Krumholz (both Jutrzenka Kraków), Leon Sperling (Cracovia) and Zygmunt Steuermann (Hasmonea Lwów), brother of actress and Hollywood screenwriter Salka Viertel.[10]

Kazimierz Górski, was Head Coach of the National Team between 1971 and 1976.

1946–1974: Beginnings of the rise

On 11 June 1946, following the aftermath of World War II, Poland played their first international friendly match, against Norway in Oslo, a 3–1 defeat. The biggest success in the early years after the war was the victory against one of Europe's best at the time, Czechoslovakia. Poland defeated their southern neighbors 3–1.

Poland suffered the worst defeat in the team's history on 26 April 1948 with a 0–8 loss to the Danish side. Poland would later erase that memory as they posted their second highest ever victory in Szczecin when they took down Norway 9–0 on 4 September 1963. The game marked the debut for Włodzimierz Lubański. He scored one of the goals in the game. Lubański became the all-time top scorer for Poland while playing from 1963 to 1980 scoring 48 goals in 75 appearances. This victory was surpassed on 1 April 2009 in Kielce when Poland defeated San Marino 10–0.

On 1 December 1970, Polish football history would change forever all due to one man. Kazimierz Górski was named head coach of the national team. His success with the team was evident from the start with a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Górski would later lead the team to another medal at the 1976 Olympics where they captured silver. However, nothing matched the two bronze medals at the 1974 and 1982 World Cups — thus became part of Polish football history known to be the first Polish Golden generation.

1974–1986: "Golden Era"

Poland was not considered a major power on the international football scene before 1974. In qualifying for the 1974 World Cup in Germany, they surprised observers by eliminating England, quarter-finalists in 1970 and Champions in 1966. The core of the team had already won a gold medal in the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Poland celebrates a victory over Brazil in the 1974 World Cup.

In their opening match of the 1974 World Cup, Poland met Argentina, a team that was appearing in their 6th World Cup. Within eight minutes Poland were up 2–0, Grzegorz Lato opened the scoring in the seventh minute and just a minute later Andrzej Szarmach doubled the lead. In the 60th minute, Argentina cut the lead in half when Ramon Heredia scored. Two minutes later, however, Lato scored his second, which turned out to be the winning goal as Carlos Babington gave Argentina their second in the 66th. The match finished 3–2 for Poland.

Poland thrashed Haiti 7–0 in their second game. The goals included a hat-trick from Szarmach and two from Lato. In their final match of the first stage, Poland met Italy, who finished second at the previous World Cup in 1970. Poland were already through to the Second Round but needed at least a draw to win the group. At half-time, Poland was leading 2–0 on goals from Andrzej Szarmach and Kazimierz Deyna. It was not until the 86th minute that Italy managed a consolation goal through Fabio Capello. This gave Poland their third consecutive win, which led them to win the group. In the second round, Poland first won 1–0 against a Swedish side, which had not conceded any goals in their first three matches. Lato scored the only goal of the game. Next was Yugoslavia, who had drawn with Brazil and Scotland and won 9–0 against Zaire in the first round. Poland was awarded a penalty in the 24th minute and took the lead when Deyna converted. Stanislav Karasi tied it up for Yugoslavia in the 43rd. Lato won it for Poland again when he scored in the 62nd, making the final score 2–1 in Poland's favour.

On 3 July 1974 came the game that could have sent Poland into the 1974 World Cup Final. They played against the eventual champions West Germany. It had rained all day long, the field was entirely flooded. Poland wanted the game postponed but the Austrian referee would not agree. The game went ahead. Poland needed a win to be in the final, a draw was enough for the Germans. But in the miserably wet conditions, Poland's speed was of no use since the ball would not roll as it does on a dry field. Gerd Müller scored the winning goal in the 76th minute for Germany. The whole country was crushed. Poland would end the amazing run with a 1–0 victory over Brazil in the third-place game. Lato scored the winning goal his seventh of the tournament crowning him the top scorer of the World Cup.

In qualifying, Poland denied Portugal their second World Cup appearance when in 1966 they had captured third place. Poland opened the World Cup against their rivals from four years prior and the current Champions, West Germany. This time the match ended in a 0–0 draw.

Grzegorz Lato continued his scoring ways with the only goal in the 1–0 win over African side Tunisia in the second game. In the final first-round match Poland met Mexico. Zbigniew Boniek playing in his first World Cup opened the scoring in the 43rd minute. The Mexicans drew level through Víctor Rangel in the 52nd minute, but four minutes later Kazimierz Deyna put Poland ahead once again. Then Boniek scored his second in the 84th to secure the 3–1 win.

In the second round, Poland met three South American teams. In 1974, Poland had played and won against both Argentina and Brazil, both teams would get their revenge this time around. First, Argentina beat the Poles 2–0 with two goals from tournament top scorer Mario Kempes. Poland then defeated Peru 1–0 with a goal from Andrzej Szarmach. In what was Poland's last match of this World Cup, Brazil opened the scoring in the 12th minute on a goal from Nelinho. Even though Lato equalized one minute before half-time, it was not to be for Poland: two goals from Roberto in the 57th and 62nd minutes wrapped up the 3–1 win for Brazil.

Zbigniew Boniek, top scorer for Poland in the 1982 World Cup.

On 29 November 1980, a dispute between players and technical staff began at a hotel in Warsaw, ending in the Okęcie Airport. Following the incident, several players of the Poland national team were banned from international duty, also leading to the resignation of Ryszard Kulesza as head coach of the team.[11] At the 1982 FIFA World Cup, Poland were drawn in a group with Italy, Cameroon and Peru.[12] The first two games were consecutive 0–0 draws with Italy and Cameroon, but the final group game of the first round ended in a 5–1 win for Poland, meaning they would advance to the second round as group winners.[13][14][15]

In the first game of the second round, Poland beat Belgium 3–0; with a hat-trick from Boniek securing him a classic performance in the match, but the player would also receive a yellow card in the following match.[16][17] Nevertheless, Poland advanced as group winners to the knockout stage.[12] However, Poland would eventually be stopped in the semi-finals, losing 0–2 to Italy and ending the dream of playing at the World Cup final once again; but also securing a place in the third place play-off.[18] In the third place play-off, Poland beat France 3–2, with the game also being regarded as "the end of the golden era of Polish football".[19]

In 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Poland finished top of the qualifying group; with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat.[20] Poland's biggest win of the qualifying phase was a 4–1 win over Greece, meanwhile Poland's biggest defeat was a 0–2 defeat to Belgium.[21][22]

At the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Poland were drawn into a group with England, Morocco and Portugal.[23] The first match was a 0–0 draw, and in the second match, beat Portugal 1–0.[24][25] In the final group game, they lost 0–3 to England, but Poland still advanced into the knockout stage, as a result of Morocco winning 3–1 over Portugal.[26][27] In the round of sixteen, Poland were eliminated after suffering a 4–0 defeat to Brazil.[28]

Andrzej Juskowiak; top goalscorer for Poland in Euro 1996 qualifying (7 goals) and 1998 World Cup qualifying. (3 goals).

1986–2001: Decline

After the "Golden Era" from the 1970s and 1980s, Poland suffered a severe drought in international football; they didn't qualify for three consecutive editions of the FIFA World Cup, failing to qualify in 1990, 1994 and 1998.

In 1990 World Cup qualifying, Poland finished 3rd in the qualifying group, behind Sweden and England, on 5 points with two wins, one draw and three defeats.[29] They began qualifying for the 1990 edition with a 1–0 win over Albania, before defeats to Sweden (2–1) and England (3–0).[30][31][32] Poland then drew 0–0 with England, lost to Sweden 0–2 and beat Albania 2–1 in their final game, but were 4 points behind England; thus failing to qualify.[33][34][35]

In 1994 World Cup qualifying, Poland finished 4th in the qualifying group, behind Norway, the Netherlands and England.[36] Poland began qualifying with 1–0 win over Turkey; followed by a 2–2 draw with the Netherlands, a 1–0 win over San Marino and a 3–0 win in the reverse fixture.[37][38][39][40] Afterwards, Poland drew 1–1 with England, before a 0–3 defeat in the reverse fixture.[41][42] Afterwards, Poland would then go on to suffer consecutive defeats, losing 1–0 and 3–0 to Norway, followed by a 2–1 defeat to Turkey and a 1–3 defeat to the Netherlands in the final fixture.[43][44][45][46]

In Euro 1996 qualifying, Poland drew a qualifying group with Romania, France, Slovakia, Israel and Azerbaijan.[47] Poland lost 2–1 to Israel in the first game, and would later record a 1–0 win over Azerbaijan and a 0–0 draw with France.[48][49][50] Later, Poland lost 2–1 to Romania, beat Israel 4–3 and Slovakia 5–0, before consecutive draws with France (1–1) and Romania (0–0).[51][52][53][54] Poland lost 4–1 to Slovakia in the penultimate qualifying game, and drew 0–0 with Azerbaijan in the final group game.[55][56]

In 1998 World Cup qualifying, Poland finished 3rd behind England and Italy.[57] They began qualifying with a 2–1 loss to England before a win over Moldova (2–1) and a 0–0 draw with Italy.[58][59][60] Afterwards, they suffered successive defeats to Italy (3–0) and England (0–2).[61][62] They won the next two games; 4–1 over Georgia and 3–0 over Moldova, with Andrzej Juskowiak scoring a hat-trick against the latter.[63][64] The final game was against Georgia, with Poland losing 0–3.[65]

During the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying. Poland was in a group with England, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxemburg. Despite Poland being an underdog in the group, they surprised by finishing above favourited Bulgarians and winning two games against them. Poland was third and was tied in points with England but failed to qualify by goal differences.

2001–2006: Rebuild

Poland qualifying for the 2002 World Cup was significant, as it was Poland's first appearance at the World Cup finals since 1986.[66] Poland's biggest win overall in the qualifying phase was a 4–0 win over Armenia, while Poland's biggest defeat was a 1–4 defeat to Belarus.[67][68]

The Polish drew a group featuring South Korea, the United States and Portugal.[69] The first match was played with South Korea on 4 June; with Poland losing 2–0.[70] The second game was with Portugal on 10 June; which Poland lost 4–0, confirming its early elimination.[71] Poland then played the United States in the final group game on 14 June; winning 3–1 with goals from Olisadebe, Kryszałowicz and Żewłakow.[72] Despite the win, Poland finished last in the group, with a goal difference of –4 and 3 points.[4]

Tomasz Frankowski; top goalscorer during Poland's 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, with 7 goals, including a hat-trick against Azerbaijan.

Poland's qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup was overall successful; as they won eight and lost two, without a single draw.[73] They finished behind England in the qualifying group; but as a result of being the second best second-placed team in the play-offs, they qualified automatically for the finals in Germany.[73] The biggest win of the qualifying phase for Poland was an 8–0 victory over Azerbaijan, in which Tomasz Frankowski scored a hat-trick.[74][75] The biggest defeat of the qualifying phase for Poland were two defeats against England, losing both home and away games by a scoreline of 1–2.[76][77]

At the 2006 World Cup, Poland drew Germany, Ecuador and Costa Rica in Group A.[78] Despite high hopes from the Polish press, media and fans, Poland's campaign at the World Cup was seen as an underachievement; as Poland lost two and won one game, finishing third in the group.[79] Poland's first match was a 2–0 defeat to Ecuador,[80] followed by a 1–0 defeat to Germany, with Oliver Neuville scoring a stoppage time winning goal;[81] with the defeat to Germany, and following Ecuador's 3–0 win over Costa Rica, officially ending Poland's chances of advancing further than the group.[82] The third and final group game saw Poland defeat Costa Rica 2–1; with Bartosz Bosacki getting on the scoresheet twice.[83][84]

2008: Debut at the Euros

Ebi Smolarek, who scored 9 goals during the qualifying phase.

In Euro 2008 qualifying, Poland were drawn into a group with Portugal, Serbia, Finland, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Azerbaijan.[85] Poland's campaign began in uncomfortable fashion; suffering a 1–3 defeat to Finland on 2 September 2006 and then drawing 1–1 with Serbia on 6 September.[86][87] In the third match, on 7 October, Poland won 1–0 over Kazakhstan, with Euzebiusz Smolarek scoring the goal.[88] On 11 October, Poland beat Portugal 2–1 with Smolarek scoring the two goals.[89] On 15 November, they beat Belgium 1–0.[90] On 24 March 2007, Poland beat Azerbaijan 5–0, and on 28 March beat Armenia 1–0.[91][92] On 2 June, they beat Azerbaijan 3–1 with Smolarek and Krzynówek (2) scoring.[93] On 6 June, Poland lost 1–0 to Armenia, on 8 September drew 2–2 with Portugal, and on 12 September drew 0–0 with Finland.[94][95][96] On 13 October, Poland beat Kazakhstan 3–1 with a hat-trick from Smolarek.[97] On 17 November, they beat Belgium 2–0 with two goals from Smolarek, and on 21 November drew 2–2 with Serbia in the final qualifying game; thus qualifying for the tournament as the 1st place team in the qualifying group following Portugal's 0–0 draw with Finland, Poland's first ever Euro appearance.[98][99][100]

At UEFA Euro 2008, they were drawn in Group B; with Germany, Austria and Croatia.[101] The opening match was against Germany on 8 June at the Hypo-Arena in Klagenfurt, a match that Poland lost 2–0 with two goals from Lukas Podolski.[102] In the second game, Poland drew 1–1 with Austria; taking the lead through Brazil-born Roger Guerreiro, before conceding in the third minute of stoppage time following a controversial penalty.[103][104] The final group game was against Croatia, which Poland lost 1–0, finishing bottom of the group.[105]

2010: Disaster in World Cup qualifying

In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Poland were drawn in a group with Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland and San Marino, and this has been Poland's worst qualifying campaign to date. Poland finished 5th in the group; just above San Marino, with 11 points.[106] Poland began the campaign with a 1–1 draw against Slovenia on 6 September 2008.[107] On 10 October, Poland beat San Marino 2–0.[108] On 11 October, they won 2–1 against the Czech Republic.[109] After these two wins, Poland lost consecutive matches against Slovakia (15 October, losing 1–2) and Northern Ireland (28 March 2009, losing 2–3).[110][111] After these defeats, Poland recorded their biggest ever win, winning 10–0 against San Marino in which six different players scored, with Euzebiusz Smolarek scoring four goals, on 1 April 2009.[112][113] On 5 September, Poland drew 1–1 with Northern Ireland and on 9 September, lost 3–0 to Slovenia.[114][115] On 10 October, Poland lost 2–0 to the Czech Republic and on 14 October, lost 1–0 to Slovakia.[116][117]

2012: Host of the Euros

On 18 April 2007, in Cardiff, Poland and Ukraine were selected to host UEFA Euro 2012 by the UEFA Executive Committee. The bid defeated other bids made, including one from Italy and joint bids by Croatia and Hungary and Greece and Turkey; thus becoming the third successful joint-bid made to host the UEFA European Championship, after the Netherlands and Belgium in 2000, and Austria and Switzerland in 2008.

Poland were drawn into Group A; with Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic.[118] On 8 June, the opening match played between Poland and Greece at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, ended 1–1, with Poland taking the lead in the 17th minute through Robert Lewandowski before Greece equalized in the second half through Dimitris Salpingidis in the 51st minute, and in the game, both teams went down to 10 men.[119][120] Poland's next game was on 12 June, again played at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, with the game against Russia finishing 1–1, with Russia taking the lead through Alan Dzagoev in the 37th minute before Poland equalized through Błaszczykowski in the 57th minute.[121][122] Poland's final game was against the Czech Republic, played on 16 June, at the Stadion Miejski, in Wrocław, where Poland lost 1–0 following a goal from Petr Jiráček.[123][124] Poland finished bottom of the group, with just two points, prompted coach Franciszek Smuda to resign following the humiliating elimination.[118]

2014: World Cup qualifying

Poland was drawn in Group H of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying; with England, Ukraine, Montenegro, Moldova and San Marino.[125]

On 7 September, Poland's first qualifying match ended in a 2–2 draw with Montenegro, with goals from Błaszczykowski and Mierzejewski.[126] On 11 September, they beat Moldova 2–0 with goals from Błaszczykowski and Wawrzyniak.[127] On 17 October, Poland drew 1–1 with England, with Glik scoring the equalizing goal.[128] On 22 March 2013, Poland lost 3–1 to Ukraine, conceding two goals in the first seven minutes alone, with Piszczek scoring Poland's only goal.[129] On 26 March, Poland beat San Marino 5–0, with a brace from Lewandowski, and goals from Piszczek, Teodorczyk and Kosecki.[130] On 6 September, Poland drew 1–1 with Montenegro; with Lewandowski scoring the equalizing goal only five minutes after Poland initially conceded.[131] On 10 September, they beat San Marino 5–1, with a brace from Zieliński, and goals from Błaszczykowski, Sobota and Mierzejewski.[132] However, Poland lost the last two games against Ukraine and England; losing 1–0 and 2–0, respectively.[133][134][135]

2016–2018: "New Era" 2016 Euro Quarterfinal and 2018 World Cup qualifying

In UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, Poland were drawn in Group D; with Germany, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Gibraltar.[136]

On 7 September 2014, Poland beat Gibraltar 7–0, with Robert Lewandowski scoring four goals, Kamil Grosicki scoring two goals and Łukasz Szukała scoring one goal.[137][138][139] On 11 October, Poland beat Germany 2–0, with Germany having won the 2014 FIFA World Cup less than three months prior, with goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Sebastian Mila.[140] On 14 October, Poland drew 2–2 with Scotland, with goals from Krzysztof Mączyński and Milik not being enough to secure the three points.[141] On 14 November, they beat Georgia 4–0, with goals from Kamil Glik, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Mila and Milik.[142] On 29 March 2015, they drew 1–1 with the Republic of Ireland, with Sławomir Peszko; but conceded a goal from Shane Long in stoppage time.[143] On 13 June, they beat Georgia 4–0; with a goal from Milik and a hat-trick from Lewandowski.[144] On 7 September, they beat Gibraltar 8–1; with Grosicki, Lewandowski and Milik all scoring twice, and Jakub Błaszczykowski and Bartosz Kapustka.[145] On 8 October, they drew 2–2 with Scotland, with Lewandowski scoring a brace.[146] On 11 October, they beat the Republic of Ireland 2–1 with goals from Krychowiak and Lewandowski, securing automatic qualification for the Euros.[147]

Jakub Błaszczykowski playing for Poland during the Euro 2016 quarter-finals match with Portugal, on 30 June 2016.

At the UEFA Euro 2016 finals, Poland were drawn in Group C; with Germany, Northern Ireland and Ukraine.[148]

Poland's first match was with Northern Ireland, on 12 June at the Stade de Nice in Nice; a game they won 1–0 with a goal from Arkadiusz Milik in the 51st minute.[149] The next match was with Germany at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on 16 June; with the finishing 0–0.[150] Poland's final group game was with Ukraine on 21 June, at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, a game they won 1–0 with a goal from Jakub Błaszczykowski.[151] In the round of sixteen, Poland were drawn to play Switzerland on 25 June at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne. Poland took the lead through a goal from Błaszczykowski, but conceded a bicycle kick from Xherdan Shaqiri in the 82nd minute, finishing the game 1–1 in regular time. After even extra-time could not break the tie; Poland beat Switzerland in a penalty shootout, winning 5–4 on penalties.[152][153] On 30 June, at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille played with Portugal in the quarter-finals of the tournament; a game in which Poland took the lead in the 2nd minute through a goal from Robert Lewandowski before conceding a goal from Renato Sanches in the 33nd minute. The match was 1–1 even after regular time and extra-time ended; thus taking the game to penalties. Poland lost the penalty shootout, losing 5–3 with Błaszczykowski having the crucial penalty saved.[154]

Robert Lewandowski, who finished the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with 16 goals; breaking the European qualifying record for goals scored, as well as becoming all-time top goalscorer for Poland.[155]

In 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Poland were drawn in Group E; with Denmark, Montenegro, Romania, Armenia and Kazakhstan.[156]

The opening match for Poland was against Kazakhstan on 4 September 2016, which Poland drew 2–2, taking a 2–0 lead through goals from Bartosz Kapustka and Robert Lewandowski, but they conceded two goals from Sergei Khizhnichenko in the second half.[157] On 8 October, Poland beat Denmark 3–2 with Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick.[158] Three days later, on 11 October, they beat Armenia 2–1, with goals from Lewandowski and an own goal from Hrayr Mkoyan.[159] On 11 November, Poland beat Romania 3–0 with Kamil Grosicki and Lewandowski (2) scoring the goals.[160] On 26 March 2017, Poland beat Montenegro 2–1 with Lewandowski and Łukasz Piszczek scoring the goals.[161] On 10 June, Poland beat Romania 3–1 with a hat-trick from Lewandowski.[162] However, on 1 September, they suffered a 4–0 defeat to Denmark, their first loss of their qualifying campaign.[163] Three days later, they beat Kazakhstan 3–0 with goals from Arkadiusz Milik, Kamil Glik and Lewandowski.[164] On 5 October, they trashed Armenia 6–1, with goals from Grosicki, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Rafał Wolski and a hat-trick from Lewandowski, who became Poland's record goalscorer in the match.[165] Three days later, on 8 October, Poland officially qualified for the tournament with a 4–2 win over Montenegro; with goals from Krzysztof Mączyński, Grosicki, Lewandowski and an own goal from Filip Stojković.[166]

Lewandowski scored 16 goals during qualifying; breaking the European qualifying scoring record, as well as becoming the all-time top goalscorer of Poland.[167]

The Poland national team line-up before the third and final group game against Japan; on 28 June. Poland won the game 1–0.[168]

2018 World Cup

Poland played at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their first World Cup since 2006, in Group H; against Senegal, Colombia and Japan.[169] Despite the group being considered close, Poland were tipped as favorites to advance.[170][171][172] In May 2018, Poland named the preliminary 34-man squad, and on 4 June, they named the final 23-man squad.[173][174] The squad featured several notable players; such as elite striker Robert Lewandowski (playing at his first World Cup), VfL Wolfsburg's veteran midfielder Jakub Błaszczykowski, Monaco defender Kamil Glik (who suffered an injury two weeks prior to the start of the tournament), Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik and Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny.[175]

However, despite all of this and despite being ranked 8th in the FIFA Ranking prior to the tournament,[176] Poland's tournament was disappointing overall; they lost to Senegal in the opening match, losing 1–2 on 19 June in Moscow.[177] Five days later, on 24 June, they lost to Colombia in Kazan, losing 0–3,[178] which mathematically ended their hopes of qualifying from the group and on 28 June, beat Japan 1–0 in their final group game in Volgograd.[179] Poland finished bottom of their group, and like their two previous performances in 2002 and 2006, got two losses and only won the last match.[180]

2018–2019 UEFA Nations League and UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying

The qualifying group stage draw was held on 2 December 2018 in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The 55 teams were drawn into 10 groups: five groups of five teams (Groups A–E) and five groups of six teams (Groups F–J). Ranked at No. 10 in Pot 1, Poland was drawn into UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group G. Group G consists of six teams: Austria, Israel, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland and Slovenia,[181] where they will play against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format.[182]

The top two teams will qualify directly for the finals. Unlike previous editions, the participants of the play-offs will not be decided based on results from the qualifying group stage, but instead based on their performance in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League. In 2018, Poland was drawn into Group 3 in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League A, along with Portugal and Italy. Poland, which had not gotten out from the shocking 2018 World Cup nightmare, was relegated to League B with two home defeats and two away draws, only to be allowed to remain on League A following UEFA rule changes.

Despite this poor performance in the Nations League however, Poland opened their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying by a single-margin 1–0 win against Austria in Vienna thanked for Krzysztof Piątek.[183] Three days later, Poland followed up their suit by beating Latvia 2–0 at home.[184]

On Friday June 7, 2019, Poland defeated North Macedonia with an unimpressive 1–0 win by a lone goal from Piątek which made the team suffered criticism for its poor form in that win.[185] On June 10, 2019, Poland put its best performance up to date in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification, overpowering Israel 4–0 in Warsaw three days later with goal from Krzysztof Piątek, Robert Lewandowski, Kamil Grosicki and Damian Kądzior.[186]

Poland continued its quest for UEFA Euro 2020 by a visiting game against minor Slovenia and was expected to grab total three points in Ljubljana due to Slovenia's unimpressive performance. Despite this, Poland's trip to Slovenia turned to be a complete nightmare, with the team suffered a humiliating 0–2 away defeat.[187] A following 0–0 home draw to Austria meant that Poland's top spot had been under bank with Slovenia approached very quickly.[188]

In October, Poland embattled two opponents, Latvia and North Macedonia, for its UEFA Euro 2020 quest. Poland managed a convincing 3–0 away win over minnows Latvia, eliminated the Latvians from the competition.[189] Surprisingly, Slovenia's shock away defeat to North Macedonia relieved pressure for Poland, with Slovenia fell from second to fourth place, gave the Poles an upper hand to qualify.[190] Eventually, Poland beat North Macedonia 2–0 at home,[191] and with Slovenia fell hurdle to the Austrians at Slovenian soil,[192] Poland qualified to the competition for the fourth consecutive participation history.

2020–2021 UEFA Nations League and 2022 World Cup qualifying

Being allowed to remain in League A, Poland was drawn against Italy, Netherlands and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The performance of this tournament would be doubled as part of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification as playoff campaigns. Poland was also seeking its first win and a possible best finish in order to obtain a possible playoff position in case they could not directly qualify for 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Poland started their League games without Lewandowski. In their first match, an away game against the Dutch, the Poles disappointed with a 0–1 loss.[193] Then, Poland had to make another away trip, this time against the tough Bosnian rival, which held Italy 1–1 away before and was better prepared with the arrival of Edin Džeko. However, Poland managed a comeback, from being a goal down, Kamil Glik and Kamil Grosicki turned the deficit to beat Bosnia 2–1, which was Poland's historic win in the Nations League.[194] In October, Poland hosted Italy and Bosnia at home, and the Poles obtained four points, a goalless draw with Italy before an important 3–0 win over Bosnia with Lewandowski scoring 2 and Karol Linetty scoring 1, temporarily occupying top spot of the group.[195][196] However, when matches resumed in November, Poland had to deal with more difficulties when they headed up against Italy away, and bowed down with a 0–2 defeat despite Italy had already been depleted by COVID-19 plague, thus Poland lost any chance to determine in their quest for the Final of the Nations League.[197] With very slim opportunity, Poland gave up and lost to the Netherlands 1–2 at home, ending in third place and will stay in the same league for the 2022–23 UEFA Nations League season.[198]

2021: UEFA Euro 2020

Poland played in June 2021 in Sevilla's Estadio de La Cartuja and St. Petersburg's Gazprom Arena, replacing the original Aviva Stadium in Dublin.[199] The draw has put Poland into against two very strong and difficult opponents, the hosts Spain and Sweden, alongside the winner of the Play-off Path B, Slovakia. The top two teams from each group will progress to the round of 16, along with the four best runners-up chosen among the third-placed teams. The tournament ended in yet another catastrophe for the Polish side — Poland started with a shock 1–2 loss to Slovakia, with Wojciech Szczęsny registered to the history in an unfabulous way as the first goalkeeper to score an own goal in the UEFA European Championship.[200] Despite Robert Lewandowski's valiant efforts in the two other games, scoring three goals, including the one that gave Poland a famous 1–1 away draw to Spain, but a 2–3 defeat to Sweden marked the end of Poland in the tournament.[201][202]

Team image


Names

The official FIFA country code for Poland is POL. This abbreviation is used to identify the team in FIFA, UEFA, and other matches. The same abbreviation is also used under the International Organization for Standardization. "Polish national football team" can be translated into Polish as "Reprezentacja Polski w piłce nożnej". The team's nicknames include "Biało-czerwoni" which means "The white-reds" and "Orły" which translates into "The Eagles". These are the most common names given to the Polish national football team. In English, the team is also widely known as "The White Eagles", based on Poland's national coats of arms.

National kits

Scarf of Poland

The national kits of Poland reflect the colors of the national flag which are white and red. Apart from minor details (in the 1920s the socks in the home kit were striped), the design remains unchanged since 1921. The home kit consists of a white shirt, red shorts and white socks; the away kit is all red (though sometimes worn with white shorts). On the rare occasions when both home and away kits clash with the opponent's, a colours third kit is available, usually in either black or blue (currently navy blue with white-red sleeves).

The kit has traditionally been adorned with the coat of arms of Poland, i.e. the crowned white eagle. Until 2006, the coat of arms featured only the inscription "POLSKA" in capital letters above the eagle, and not, as with many other national teams, the national football federation logo. The Euro 2012 kits were the first to feature the logo of the PZPN. When the kit was first launched it did not include the coat of arms but it was restored shortly thereafter. Since 2009, the kits have been provided by Nike.

Supporters

Association football supporters of Polish national football team

The Polish team enjoys widespread support in Poland and among Polish diaspora worldwide. Some fans of the team are reportedly fanatic and often violent, with connections to Polish organized crime syndicates.[203] Supporters of the team have been involved in a number of incidents, such as during UEFA Euro 2012, held in Poland, when Polish and Russian supporters clashed prior to the encounter between the two countries' teams.[citation needed]

The notable chant among Polish fans is "Polska, bialoczerwoni" ("Poland, the White and Red").[204] Styrmir Gislason, the head of the Association of Icelandic Football Fans stated that the Icelandic Viking thunder clap chant was inspired by Polish football chants.[205]

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period
Adidas 1974–1992
Admiral 1992–1993
Lotto 1993–1994
Puma 1994–1996
Nike 1996–1998
Adidas 1999
Puma 1999–2000
Tico 2000
Puma 2001–2009
Nike 2009–

Stadiums


Stadion Narodowy

Main stadiums

Stadion Śląski in Chorzów was built in 1956 and seats 47,246 people. The record attendance came on 20 October 1956, when 100,000 fans witnessed a game between Poland and the Soviet Union, with Poland winning 2–1. This holds the record for the most spectators to watch Poland. The stadium was renovated to seat 55,211 and was reopen in October 2017. In 1993, the stadium was designated as the official home stadium of the Poland national team.

Over 100,000 fans witnessed a game at old stadium in Warsaw. A new Stadion Narodowy was constructed in Warsaw with an expected capacity of 58,580 seats. Following UEFA Euro 2012, it has been used as the venue for all qualifying matches and some friendly matches of the Poland national team.

Stadion Śląski

Other stadiums

Poland national football team plays selected matches at other major Polish stadiums, including:

Results and fixtures


2020

4 September 2020 (2020-09-04) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Netherlands  1–0  Poland Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 UTC+2 Bergwijn  61' Report Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
7 September 2020 (2020-09-07) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Bosnia and Herzegovina  1–2  Poland Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina
20:45 UTC+2 Report
Stadium: Bilino Polje
Attendance: 0
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
7 October 2020 (2020-10-07) Friendly Poland  5–1  Finland Gdańsk, Poland
20:45 UTC+2 Grosicki  9', 18', 28'
Piątek  53'
Milik  87'
Report Niskanen  68' Stadium: Stadion Energa Gdańsk
Referee: Michal Ocenáš (Slovakia)
11 October 2020 (2020-10-11) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Poland  0–0  Italy Gdańsk, Poland
20:45 Report Stadium: Stadion Energa Gdańsk
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez (Spain)
14 October 2020 (2020-10-14) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Poland  3–0  Bosnia and Herzegovina Wrocław, Poland
20:45
Report Stadium: Stadion Wrocław
Referee: Craig Pawson (England)
11 November 2020 (2020-11-11) Friendly Poland  2–0  Ukraine Chorzów, Poland
20:45
Report Stadium: Stadion Śląski
Attendance: 0
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (Austria)
15 November 2020 (2020-11-15) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Italy  2–0  Poland Reggio Emilia, Italy
20:45
Report Stadium: Stadio Città del Tricolore
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
18 November 2020 (2020-11-18) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League Poland  1–2  Netherlands Chorzów, Poland
20:45 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Stadion Śląski
Attendance: 0
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel)

2021

25 March 2021 (2021-03-25) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Hungary  3–3  Poland Budapest, Hungary
Report
Stadium: Puskás Aréna
Attendance: 0
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
28 March 2021 (2021-03-28) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Poland  3–0  Andorra Warsaw, Poland
20:45 UTC+2
Report Stadium: Stadion Wojska Polskiego
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (Belgium)
31 March 2021 (2021-03-31) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification England  2–1  Poland London, England
20:45 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
1 June 2021 (2021-06-01) Friendly Poland  1–1  Russia Wrocław, Poland
20:45 UTC+2 Report
Stadium: Stadion Wrocław
Referee: Marco Guida (Italy)
8 June 2021 (2021-06-08) Friendly Poland  2–2  Iceland Poznań, Poland
18:00 UTC+2
Report Stadium: Lech Stadium
Referee: Balazs Berke (Hungary)
14 June 2021 (2021-06-14) UEFA Euro 2020 Poland  1–2  Slovakia Saint Petersburg, Russia
18:00 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Krestovsky Stadium
Attendance: 12,862
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (Romania)
19 June 2021 (2021-06-19) UEFA Euro 2020 Spain  1–1  Poland Seville, Spain
21:00 UTC+2
Report Stadium: La Cartuja
Attendance: 11,732
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
23 June 2021 (2021-06-23) UEFA Euro 2020 Sweden  3–2  Poland Saint Petersburg, Russia
18:00 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Krestovsky Stadium
Attendance: 14,252
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
2 September 2021 (2021-09-02) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Poland  v  Albania Warsaw, Poland
Stadium: PGE Narodowy
5 September 2021 (2021-09-05) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification San Marino  v  Poland Serravalle, San Marino
Stadium: Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle
8 September 2021 (2021-09-08) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Poland  v  England Warsaw, Poland
Stadium: PGE Narodowy
9 October 2021 (2021-10-09) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Poland  v  San Marino Warsaw, Poland
Stadium: PGE Narodowy
12 October 2021 (2021-10-12) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Albania  v  Poland Tirana, Albania
Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
12 November 2021 (2021-11-12) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Andorra  v  Poland Andorra
15 November 2021 (2021-11-15) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Poland  v  Hungary Poland

Coaching staff


Position Name
Head coach Paulo Sousa
Assistant coach Manuel Cordeiro
Assistant Víctor Sánchez Lladò
Goalkeeping coach Paulo Grilo
Fitness coach Lluis Sala and Antonio José Gómez
Analyst Cosimo Cappagli and Hubert Małowiejski

Coaching history

Notice: Kurt Otto (1936), Andor Hájdu (1954), Leo Beenhakker (2006-09) and Paulo Sousa (since 2021) were the only foreign managers to coach the Poland national football team.

Players


Current squad

The following 26 players were initially called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 and friendly matches against Russia and Iceland on 1 and 8 June 2021.[208] Arkadiusz Milik withdrew injured on 7 June and was not replaced, thus reducing the squad to 25 players.[209]
Caps and goals updated as of 23 June 2021 after the match against Sweden.
Caps and goals including all matches officially recognized by the Polish Football Association (also those not recognized by FIFA).

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Wojciech Szczęsny (1990-04-18) 18 April 1990 (age 31) 56 0 Juventus
12 1GK Łukasz Skorupski (1991-05-05) 5 May 1991 (age 30) 4 0 Bologna
22 1GK Łukasz Fabiański (1985-04-18) 18 April 1985 (age 36) 56 0 West Ham United

2 2DF Kamil Piątkowski (2000-06-21) 21 June 2000 (age 21) 2 0 Red Bull Salzburg
3 2DF Paweł Dawidowicz (1995-05-20) 20 May 1995 (age 26) 4 0 Hellas Verona
4 2DF Tomasz Kędziora (1994-06-11) 11 June 1994 (age 27) 23 0 Dynamo Kyiv
5 2DF Jan Bednarek (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 25) 33 1 Southampton
13 2DF Maciej Rybus (1989-08-19) 19 August 1989 (age 31) 63 2 Lokomotiv Moscow
15 2DF Kamil Glik (vice-captain) (1988-02-03) 3 February 1988 (age 33) 86 6 Benevento
18 2DF Bartosz Bereszyński (1992-07-12) 12 July 1992 (age 29) 35 0 Sampdoria
25 2DF Michał Helik (1995-09-09) 9 September 1995 (age 25) 3 0 Barnsley
26 2DF Tymoteusz Puchacz (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 22) 5 0 Union Berlin

6 3MF Kacper Kozłowski (2003-10-16) 16 October 2003 (age 17) 5 0 Pogoń Szczecin
8 3MF Karol Linetty (1995-02-02) 2 February 1995 (age 26) 34 3 Torino
10 3MF Grzegorz Krychowiak (1990-01-29) 29 January 1990 (age 31) 82 4 Lokomotiv Moscow
14 3MF Mateusz Klich (1990-06-13) 13 June 1990 (age 31) 34 2 Leeds United
16 3MF Jakub Moder (1999-04-07) 7 April 1999 (age 22) 12 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
17 3MF Przemysław Płacheta (1998-03-23) 23 March 1998 (age 23) 5 0 Norwich City
19 3MF Przemysław Frankowski (1995-04-12) 12 April 1995 (age 26) 15 1 Chicago Fire
20 3MF Piotr Zieliński (1994-05-20) 20 May 1994 (age 27) 63 7 Napoli
21 3MF Kamil Jóźwiak (1998-04-22) 22 April 1998 (age 23) 17 2 Derby County

9 4FW Robert Lewandowski (captain) (1988-08-21) 21 August 1988 (age 32) 122 69 Bayern Munich
11 4FW Karol Świderski (1997-01-23) 23 January 1997 (age 24) 7 2 PAOK
23 4FW Dawid Kownacki (1997-03-14) 14 March 1997 (age 24) 7 1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
24 4FW Jakub Świerczok (1992-12-28) 28 December 1992 (age 28) 6 1 Nagoya Grampus

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the national team in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Radosław Majecki (1999-11-16) 16 November 1999 (age 21) 0 0 Monaco UEFA Euro 2020, 17 May 2021 PRE
GK Karol Niemczycki (1999-07-05) 5 July 1999 (age 22) 0 0 Cracovia v.  England, 31 March 2021
GK Bartłomiej Drągowski (1997-08-19) 19 August 1997 (age 23) 1 0 Fiorentina v.  England, 31 March 2021 PRE

DF Robert Gumny (1998-06-04) 4 June 1998 (age 23) 1 0 FC Augsburg UEFA Euro 2020, 17 May 2021 PRE
DF Arkadiusz Reca (1995-06-17) 17 June 1995 (age 26) 14 0 Crotone v.  England, 31 March 2021 INJ
DF Sebastian Walukiewicz (2000-04-05) 5 April 2000 (age 21) 3 0 Cagliari v.  Hungary, 25 March 2021 INJ
DF Paweł Bochniewicz (1996-01-30) 30 January 1996 (age 25) 2 0 Heerenveen v.  Netherlands, 18 November 2020
DF Rafał Pietrzak (1992-01-30) 30 January 1992 (age 29) 3 0 Lechia Gdańsk v.  Finland, 7 October 2020
DF Alan Czerwiński (1993-02-02) 2 February 1993 (age 28) 1 0 Lech Poznań v.  Finland, 7 October 2020

MF Kamil Grosicki (1988-06-08) 8 June 1988 (age 33) 83 17 West Bromwich Albion UEFA Euro 2020, 17 May 2021 PRE
MF Sebastian Szymański (1999-05-10) 10 May 1999 (age 22) 11 1 Dynamo Moscow UEFA Euro 2020, 17 May 2021 PRE
MF Rafał Augustyniak (1993-10-14) 14 October 1993 (age 27) 1 0 Ural Yekaterinburg UEFA Euro 2020, 17 May 2021 PRE
MF Sebastian Kowalczyk (1998-08-22) 22 August 1998 (age 22) 0 0 Pogoń Szczecin v.  England, 31 March 2021
MF Bartosz Slisz (1999-03-29) 29 March 1999 (age 22) 0 0 Legia Warsaw v.  England, 31 March 2021
MF Bartosz Kapustka (1996-12-23) 23 December 1996 (age 24) 14 3 Legia Warsaw v.  Hungary, 25 March 2021 PRE
MF Michał Karbownik (2001-03-13) 13 March 2001 (age 20) 3 0 Brighton & Hove Albion v.  Hungary, 25 March 2021 PRE
MF Jacek Góralski (1992-09-21) 21 September 1992 (age 28) 17 1 Kairat v.  Netherlands, 18 November 2020 INJ
MF Damian Kądzior (1992-06-16) 16 June 1992 (age 29) 6 1 Piast Gliwice v.  Ukraine, 11 November 2020
MF Jakub Kamiński (2002-06-05) 5 June 2002 (age 19) 0 0 Lech Poznań v.  Ukraine, 11 November 2020

FW Arkadiusz Milik (1994-02-28) 28 February 1994 (age 27) 59 15 Marseille UEFA Euro 2020, 17 May 2021 INJ
FW Krzysztof Piątek (1995-07-01) 1 July 1995 (age 26) 18 8 Hertha BSC v.  England, 31 March 2021 INJ
FW Adam Buksa (1996-07-12) 12 July 1996 (age 25) 0 0 New England Revolution v.  Netherlands, 4 September 2020 PRE

OTH Withdrew from the squad due to other reasons.
INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
COVID Tested positive for COVID-19.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Retired from the national team.
U21 Joined Poland national under-21 football team

Previous squads

Player records


As of 23 June 2021[210]
Players in bold are still active with Poland.

Most capped players

Robert Lewandowski is Poland's top goalscorer and their most capped player.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Robert Lewandowski 122 69 2008–present
2 Jakub Błaszczykowski 108 21 2006–present
3 Michał Żewłakow 102 3 1999–2011
4 Grzegorz Lato 100 45 1971–1984
5 Kazimierz Deyna 97 41 1968–1978
6 Jacek Bąk 96 3 1993–2008
Jacek Krzynówek 96 15 1998–2009
8 Władysław Żmuda 91 2 1973–1986
9 Kamil Glik 86 6 2010–present
10 Kamil Grosicki 83 17 2008–present

Top goalscorers

Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Robert Lewandowski (list) 69 122 0.57 2008–present
2 Włodzimierz Lubański 48 75 0.64 1963–1980
3 Grzegorz Lato 45 100 0.45 1971–1984
4 Kazimierz Deyna 41 97 0.42 1968–1978
5 Ernest Pol 39 46 0.85 1955–1965
6 Andrzej Szarmach 32 61 0.52 1973–1982
7 Gerard Cieślik 27 45 0.6 1947–1958
8 Zbigniew Boniek 24 80 0.3 1976–1988
9 Ernst Wilimowski 21 22 0.95 1934–1939
Jakub Błaszczykowski 21 108 0.19 2006–present

Competitive record


Jan Tomaszewski (left) and Henryk Kasperczak after 3rd place match Poland-Brazil, 1974 FIFA World Cup
UEFA Euro 2012 in Warsaw
Polish anthem during Czech Republic - Poland, UEFA Euro 2012
Krzysztof Mączyński playing for national team in 2013
Portugal against Poland in the UEFA Euro 2016 Quarterfinal match
World Cup 2018 Team including Grzegorz Krychowiak (10), Artur Jędrzejczyk (3), Rafał Kurzawa (21), Kamil Glik (15), Jan Bednarek (5), Łukasz Fabiański (22), Bartosz Bereszyński (18), Jacek Góralski (6), Piotr Zieliński (19), Robert Lewandowski (9), Kamil Grosicki (11).

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Did not enter Declined participation
1934 Did not qualify 1 0 0 1 1 2
1938 Round 1 11th 1 0 0 1 5 6 2 1 0 1 4 1
1950 Did not enter Declined participation
1954 Withdrew Withdrew
1958 Did not qualify 5 3 0 2 9 7
1962 2 0 1 1 2 3
1966 6 2 2 2 11 10
1970 6 4 0 2 19 8
1974 Third place 3rd 7 6 0 1 16 5 4 2 1 1 6 3
1978 Round 2 5th 6 3 1 2 6 6 6 5 1 0 17 4
1982 Third place 3rd 7 3 3 1 11 5 4 4 0 0 12 2
1986 Round of 16 14th 4 1 1 2 1 7 6 3 2 1 10 6
1990 Did not qualify 6 2 1 3 4 8
1994 10 3 2 5 10 15
1998 8 3 1 4 10 12
2002 Group stage 25th 3 1 0 2 3 7 10 6 3 1 21 11
2006 21st 3 1 0 2 2 4 10 8 0 2 27 9
2010 Did not qualify 10 3 2 5 19 14
2014 10 3 4 3 18 12
2018 Group stage 25th 3 1 0 2 2 5 10 8 1 1 28 14
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
Total Third place 8/21 34 16 5 13 46 45 116 60 21 35 228 141

Olympic Games

Host nation(s) – Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
1896no Olympic football tournament
1900Did not enter
1904
1908
1912
1920
1924Round 1100105
1928Did not qualify
1932no Olympic football tournament
1936Fourth place42021110
1948Did not qualify
1952Round 1210123
1956Did not qualify
1960Group stage310275
1964Did not qualify
1968
1972Gold medalists7610215
1976Silver medalists5311115
1980Did not qualify
1984
1988
Since 1992See Poland Olympic football team
Total6/222213275233

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D* L GF GA
1960 Did not qualify200227
1964200204
19686312139
19726222106
1976632195
19808521134
1984612369
19888323911
1992623186
1996103431412
20008413128
20048413117
2008 Group stage14th301214148422412
2012302123Qualified as hosts
2016 Quarter-finals5th523042106313310
2020 Group stage21st30124610811185
2024 To be determinedTo be determined
Total Quarter-finals 4/16 14 2 7 5 11 15 104 47 27 29 171 113

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Group Pld W D L GF GA P/R Rank
2018–19 A 3 4 0 2 2 4 6 10th
2020–21 A 1 6 2 1 3 6 6 10th
2022–23 A To be determined
Total 10 2 3 5 10 12 10th

FIFA ranking history

Source:[211]

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
28 29 33 53 48 31 32 43 33 34 25 25 22 24 22 34 58 73 66 55 76 41 34 15 7 20 19 19 21

Head-to-head record


Statistics updated as of 23 June 2021. List including all matches officially recognized by the Polish Football Association (also those not recognized by FIFA).

Key
Positive balance (more Wins)
Neutral balance (Wins = Losses)
Negative balance (more Losses)
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Confederation
 Albania11731147+7UEFA
 Algeria220061+5CAF
 Andorra220070+7UEFA
 Argentina113261218−6CONMEBOL
 Armenia7511154+11UEFA
 Australia100112−1AFC
 Austria105231917+2UEFA
 Azerbaijan6510201+19UEFA
 Belarus6222910−1UEFA
 Belgium197662620+6UEFA
 Bolivia220031+2CONMEBOL
 Bosnia and Herzegovina541093+3UEFA
 Brazil121291937−18CONMEBOL
 Bulgaria2512944730+17UEFA
 Cameroon302103−3CAF
 Canada6600204+16CONCACAF
 Chile1010220CONMEBOL
 China PR220020+2AFC
 Colombia6204810−2CONMEBOL
 Costa Rica330083+5CONCACAF
 Croatia511337−4UEFA
 Cuba1010000CONCACAF
 Cyprus7430145+9UEFA
 Czech Republic/ Czechoslovakia2774163353−20UEFA
 Denmark2382133849−11UEFA
 Ecuador311154+1CONMEBOL
 Egypt201104−4CAF
 England2017121232−20UEFA
 Estonia9711184+14UEFA
 Faroe Islands3300121+11UEFA
 Finland3322837226+42UEFA
 France163581827−9UEFA
 Georgia5401134+9UEFA
 East Germany199462627−1UEFA
 Germany/ West Germany2117131234−22UEFA
 Ghana110040+4CAF
 Gibraltar2200151+14UEFA
 Greece1710433012+18UEFA
 Guatemala211032+1CONCACAF
 Haiti3201113+8CONCACAF
 Hungary3385204290−48UEFA
 Iceland7520157+8UEFA
 India110021+1AFC
 Iran330062+4AFC
 Iraq522173+4AFC
 Republic of Ireland28111164430+14UEFA
 Israel137423215+17UEFA
 Italy183871023−13UEFA
 Ivory Coast110031+2CAF
 Japan75021410+4AFC
 Kazakhstan5410123+9UEFA
 North Korea211072+5AFC
 South Korea311156−1AFC
 Kuwait211031+2AFC
 Latvia1511224015+25UEFA
 Libya110050+5CAF
 Liechtenstein110020+2UEFA
 Lithuania11542178+9UEFA
 Luxembourg7610265+21UEFA
 North Macedonia5410112+9UEFA
 Malta4400130+13UEFA
 Mexico8323913−4CONCACAF
 Moldova6510102+8UEFA
 Montenegro422096+3UEFA
 Morocco522193+6CAF
 Netherlands173681724−7UEFA
 New Zealand211020+2OFC
 Nigeria100101−1CAF
 Northern Ireland104241413+1UEFA
 Norway1912345826+32UEFA
 Paraguay100104−4CONMEBOL
 Peru330092+7CONMEBOL
 Portugal133551318−5UEFA
 Romania36715145756+1UEFA
 Russia/ Soviet Union194691834−16UEFA
 San Marino8800331+32UEFA
 Saudi Arabia330052+3AFC
 Scotland103521413+1UEFA
 Senegal100112−1CAF
 Serbia/ Yugoslavia2610795154−3UEFA
 Singapore110061+5AFC
 Slovakia931514140UEFA
 Slovenia8332990UEFA
 South Africa2101110CAF
 Spain11128928−19UEFA
 Sweden2784153959−20UEFA
  Switzerland114612112+9UEFA
 Thailand110031+2AFC
 Tunisia430192+7CAF
 Turkey1711333912+27UEFA
 Ukraine9423119+2UEFA
 United Arab Emirates220092+7AFC
 Uruguay412145−1CONMEBOL
 United States177373622+14CONCACAF
 Wales8521105+5UEFA
Total8543712112721,4591,150+309FIFA

Honours


  • Quarter-finals (5th place): 2016

See also


Notes


  1. In fact there was a previous meeting mentioned by the press in Kraków in 1892, though no details are known

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