mardi 28 juin 2016

Great Poland National Team XI

Poland National Team greatest era is obviously about the one of the period 1972-1982 and the tryptic World Cup 74, World Cup 78 and 82. Will be presented here those three teams (not the one that was Olympic champion in 1972, nor the very first one that participated in a World Cup, in 1938, with that match against Brazil) and the one which is currently quarter-finalist of an European championship into which Poland literally never shown up until today (match against Portugal on the 30 June). Whatever where their run will end, this XI will be added to the three aformentioned legendary XI.

Third at the WM '74 (World Cup in West Germany) :

Polska 1974
With maybe a preference for the left hand of the midfield for legendary number 10 Deyna (Kasperczak was the piston on the right).

Second Round at the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina (the second round was a about a new group phase with two groups with 4 teams).

Polska 1978
Were in the last 8 but suffered two clear defeats against Argentina then Brazil in that second round though.
Kukla replaced Tomaszewski for the two last matches of Poland against Peru (1-0 win) and Brazil (0-3, it was 0-2 against Argentina). The talentuous but since a long time handicaped with injuries Lubanski finally participated into a World Cup, here, in '78. Now a "veteran" he was a starter at the begining of the competion, but the former inside-left was quickly replaced by a young Boniek on the left wing of the attack and become his turn the substitute for the redhead revelation player.

Third (again) at the Spanish World Cup, in 1982 :

Polska 1982
A 4-3-3 with a central number 10 (who made his career as defensive midfielder, not exactly "box-to-box" but "box-to-midfield-top") and two wingers/ 2nd strikers, here again. Zmuda was the libero. Even though Janas could be it in club too, Zmuda had this privilege in the National Team as it was the case in Lodz where they were partners for two seasons (80-82). Dziubia replaced Jałocha after 25 minutes of play in the last game of the first round against Cameroon as the the latter get injured.

1986 : round of 16 at the second Mexican World Cup with always Boniek plus Smolarek, in gross - 0-0 with Morocco, 1-0 against a Portugal in crisis, 0-3 against England then 0-4 against Brazil.

Euro 2016 : Third participation ever in the Euro finals (three in a row, 2008, 2012 at home, 2016) and a very first qualification for the knockout stages.

Poland 2016
After a victorious penalty shootout against Switzerland in the round of 16 of this very first Euro with 24 teams, the road stopped in the quarter-finals for this team of Poland, in a penalty shootout against Portugal.

See also : "Mundial 82 lineups" .

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