Igor Sypniewski

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Igor Sypniewski
Personal information
Full name Igor Sypniewski
Date of birth (1974-10-11) 11 October 1974 (age 43)
Place of birth Łódź, Poland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 ŁKS Łódź 2 (0)
1995–1998 Ceramika Opoczno
1998 Kavala 18 (7)
1998–2001 Panathinaikos 53 (8)
2001 OFI Crete 10 (1)
2001 RKS Radomsko 8 (3)
2002 Wisła Kraków 6 (1)
2002 Kallithea 2 (0)
2003 Halmstads BK 21 (10)
2004 Malmö FF 8 (2)
2004 Trelleborg 2 (0)
2005–2006 ŁKS Łódź 46 (16)
2006 Bunkeflo 7 (5)
National team
1999–2001 Poland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Igor Sypniewski (born 11 October 1974), nicknamed Sypa, is a Polish former footballer.[1] He was believed to be one of the greatest prospects of Polish football, however his struggle with alcohol and mental health problems prevented him from realising his full potential and is considered to this day one the biggest unfulfilled talents.[2]

Club career[edit]

Early career and success[edit]

Born in Łódź, Sypniewski began his career with ŁKS Łódź, a club for whom he would play several seasons in the Polish Ekstraklasa and Polish First League. He also spent several seasons playing in the Greek Super League with Kavala, Panathinaikos and OFI Crete.[3] He also appeared in the UEFA Champions League with Panathinaikos, and was reasonably successful with the club, even though he failed to win the Greek championship, including his outstanding performance for Panathinaikos F.C against a then star-studded Manchester United.[4]


Following his Greek spell, Sypniewski after only a short while at the then top division side RKS Radomsko scoring 5 goals in 9 games, he was impressive enough to be signed by Wisła Kraków, which at the time completely dominated Polish football. Several weeks after his transfer however, due to his frequent absenteeism and excessive drinking, the club released him.[5]

He then signed for Swedish club Halmstad,[6] where he scored nine goals in 13 games during the spring in the 2003 Allsvenskan season, which rendered him a reputation as a fearsome striker in the series. He also snubbed international invitations from the Polish national team to focus on his club performances. During the autumn season Sypniewski suffered from mysterious illness, while Halmstad dropped from fourth to ninth in the series. He was suspended by the club from taking part in the final game of the season, since he had agreed to join Malmö FF on a free transfer for the 2004 season.

Along with Patrik Andersson and Afonso Alves, Sypniewski joined a Malmö team that had come close to winning the championship in successive years, and he was expected to play alongside Niklas Skoog, with Alves and central midfielder Tobias Grahn supplying the necessary passes. Following some unexpected problems in pre-season, while not wanting to practice properly on Malmö's camp in La Manga Club, Sypniewski hit back and scored twice in a 5–1 whitewash for Malmö at home against Örebro SK in front of a 20000 + crowd. Following that game, Sypniewski started struggling with form and temper, eventually going to such lengths that Malmö terminated his three-year contract after six months with the club.[7] When Sypniewski departed, Afonso Alves moved up to a striking position, where he fired Malmö to the championship, even though Sypniewski got no medal, due to not enough matches played. He turned up at bottom side Trelleborgs FF in a desperate attempt to save the strugglers from relegation, but Sypniewski was completely out of shape and was out following a couple of games.

Sypniewski returned to Poland and scored 22 goals in a season with Łódź. Sypniewski then made a shock return to the city of Malmö to play with Bunkeflo in the third-tier division.[8] Following a promising start with several goals and with rumours surfacing about interest from higher levels, Sypniewski managed to get into trouble once more, committing drunk driving in Malmö, which rendered him sacked from Bunkeflo, and forced to move back to Poland.

Withdrawal from football and post-playing career[edit]

ŁKS Łódź offered him a helping hand, but his personal problems continued.[9]

Since then he made several attempts at getting back into football, but due to his addiction, he trialled with several clubs other than ŁKS, mostly local lower league teams until he eventually retired altogether.

He re-appeared in 2007 when he went to watch ŁKS Łódź play Lech Poznań as a spectator in the stands. In a state of intoxication he, along with a group of ŁKS hooligans, attacked the Lech fans in the away sector. He was jailed for a year and a half following a different incident for violence.[10]

His semi-autobiography was published in November 2014 with the help of two local Łódź journalists, Żelisław Żyżyński and Paweł Hochstim.[11] He is currently devoting all his time to fighting his illnesses which plagued his career.

International career[edit]

Sypniewski made two appearances for the senior Poland national football team from 1999 to 2001.


External links[edit]