September 19, 2021

Poland, all about the team

The Biale Orly. When suddenly, seeming to burst into the sky and coming out of nowhere, a white eagle appears, evoking the national coat of arms.

  • The calendar (French time)

June 14: Poland v Slovakia, 6 p.m., in St. Petersburg

June 19: Spain v Poland, 9 p.m., in Seville

June 23: Sweden v Poland, 6 p.m., in St. Petersburg

The first two of each group as well as the four best thirds qualify.

  • The team that should play

Wojciech Szczesny – Tomasz Kedziora, Kamil Glik, Jan Bednarek, Maciej Rybus – Karol Linetty, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Mateusz Klich, Piotr Zielinski – Arkadiusz Milik, Robert Lewandowski.

If Poland has twice finished on the World Cup podium (in 1974 and 1982), the country had to wait for the 2008 edition to compete for its first Euro. Host of the event in 2012 (along with Ukraine), Poland reached the quarter-finals in 2016. Their best result in the competition.

  • The manager: Paulo Sousa

Just appointed at the end of January to replace Jerzy Brzeczek, the first thing Paulo Sousa did was go meet the “Pope”. But rather than go to Rome, the Portuguese technician went to Munich. For four hours, the new coach took the pulse of the superstar Robert Lewandowski, captain of the team. “I wanted to know how he saw the national team. “

Unsurprisingly, the best player of the year 2020 appreciated the approach. And for his first position as national coach, the former coach of the Girondins de Bordeaux (and professional globetrotter) aspires to advance a team. “Apparently several players wanted a change and a new football identity. “

  • A player: Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski (left) during a match between Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 14, 2020, in Warsaw.

He’s like that Robert Lewandowski, he doesn’t think so. If no one disputes him the title of the most complete striker in Europe, the ruthless Polish striker confesses never to think about the crucial moment. Faced with the guardian, time becomes a luxury that he cannot afford. “You don’t even have half a second to think about what to do and how to do it”, he explained to New York Times, may’s beginning. And it works for him.

Best player of the year 2020 – the Golden Ball would not have escaped him if the organizers had not decided to cancel the award, pandemic obliges -, the Polish captain has just exceeded Gerd Müller’s record of goals on a Bundesliga season (41 goals) for Bayern Munich. “Robert is the best striker in the world”, decided his trainer in Bavaria, Hansi Flick. At 33, Lewandowski received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta at the start of the year, the equivalent of the Legion of Honor in Poland, and is approaching the Euro with envy.

  • It happened to Euro

We are never betrayed except by our own people. Although a native of Gliwice, Silesia, Lukas Podolski (36) has never donned the Biale Orly jersey. His family having left Poland when he was a toddler for the green grass of Germany, the player made the heyday of the Mannschaft. “Lukas could play for Poland if [la fédération] had discovered in time that my son is a footballer », recalled his father, Waldemar.

Well served twice by his friend Miroslav Klose – also of Polish origin – Podolski “baptized” Poland in his own way for the country’s great debut at the Euro (2008). Two goals, but no celebration for the one who has always ensured: “My heart beats partly in Polish. “

Who remembers that it was in the stands of a stadium in Gdansk that in 1983 a certain Lech Walesa had taken advantage of a football match to change the course of history? The unionist and opponent of the regime takes advantage of the half-time of the round of 16 return of the European Cup winners’ Cup between Gdansk and Juventus Turin by Michel Platini to embed himself live in front of the cameras, and see the crowded stadium cheering the leader of Solidarnosc, as recalled So Foot. Shortly after, the union leader received the Nobel Peace Prize, and, after the fall of the regime in 1990, was elected president of the country. Was it that night that Platini began to envision a presidential destiny?

The first attempt was almost a masterstroke. For the country’s debut in the competition, Edyta Gorniak did not come far from winning the bet. Second in the 1994 edition, the singer had nevertheless risked disqualification after the dress rehearsal for having finished the song in English – at the time it was necessary to remain faithful to the language of her country. Finally, the English version was released a year after Eurovision.

They fit in the hand, perfect to accompany a football match; pierogis are a sort of large ravioli lightly filled with potatoes and cottage cheese, or meat, or cabbage. They are also available in a sweet version, with blueberries or other seasonal fruits. But for dessert, we recommend that you try Torun’s venerable gingerbread (or «Torun gingerbread»), whose tradition dates back to the Middle Ages.