Poland national football team

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This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see Poland women's national football team.
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Biało-czerwoni (The white and reds)
(The Eagles)
Association Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej (PZPN)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Adam Nawałka
Captain Robert Lewandowski
Most caps Michał Żewłakow (102)
Top scorer Włodzimierz Lubański (48)
Home stadium PGE Narodowy
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 11 Increase 1 (6 April 2017)
Highest 11 (April 2017)
Lowest 78 (November 2013)
Elo ranking
Current 14 Steady (19 April 2017)
Highest 2 (October 1975)
Lowest 55 (August 1956, April 1998)
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
Appearances 7 (first in 1938)
Best result Third place, 1974 and 1982
European Championship
Appearances 3 (first in 2008)
Best result Quarterfinals, 2016
Medal record
Men's football
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich Team
Silver medal – second place 1976 Montreal Team
Silver medal – second place 1992 Barcelona Team

The Poland national football team (Polish: Reprezentacja Polski w piłce nożnej) represents Poland in association football and is controlled by the Polish Football Association, the governing body for football in Poland. Poland's home ground is the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw and their current head coach is Adam Nawałka.

The most renowned Polish team was the one of the mid-1970s that held England to a draw at Wembley Stadium to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. They defeated Brazil 1–0 to claim third place in the tournament, with striker Grzegorz Lato winning the Golden Boot for his seven goals. Poland also finished third in the 1982 tournament, beating France 3–2 in the third-place play-off.

Poland also won the gold medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich; the silver medal in 1976 in Montreal; and a silver medal in 1992 in Barcelona. Their Olympic success was helped by a wholly amateur squad, similar to other nations behind the Iron Curtain.

Poland first qualified for the UEFA European Championship in 2008. They also qualified automatically for Euro 2012 by virtue of being joint hosts alongside Ukraine. They finished bottom of their group on both occasions. Their first win in the Euros was on 12 June 2016 in a group stage match of Euro 2016 against Northern Ireland.[1] They went on to reach the quarterfinals.


1919–1939: Early years[edit]

The Polish Football Federation (Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej) was established on 20 December 1919 in Warsaw. 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. 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 would play Brazil in a match which would become one of the most memorable matches in World Cup history. Despite Brazil not being regarded as the world's top team in the 1930s, it was still believed to be a hard-to-beat side. Under these circumstances, 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 reds 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.

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


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, which would eventually be one of many. 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.

1974 World Cup, 3rd place[edit]

Poland being mostly unknown on the international football scene before 1974 shook up the football world during the World Cup in Germany. However, this was no huge surprise as the core of the team successfully achieved a gold medal place in the Munich Olympics in 1972. The Olympics were not considered a major tournament by most Western nations, but Eastern European countries bypassed the amateur rules by fielding their full national teams, as most players also had employment with national industries or within the army. With their lightning speed and incredible team chemistry they were almost unstoppable. In qualifying they surprised everyone by eliminating England, quarter-finalists in 1970 and Champions in 1966.

Poland celebrating victory over Brazil 1974.

In their opening match of Germany '74 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 easily beat 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. 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 like 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.

1978 World Cup[edit]

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.

1982 World Cup 3rd place[edit]

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

The Okęcie Airport incident of 1980 unsettled the team, and caused four of its members to be temporarily banned by the PZPN, including Stanislaw Terlecki, who never played for Poland again.[2] The presence of Kazimierz Górski's Eagles was slowly dissolving by 1982, and only Grzegorz Lato, Andrzej Szarmach, Marek Kusto and Władysław Żmuda remained from the 1974 World Cup squad. The white and reds, however, were an exciting mix of veterans and upstart youngsters. This was soon to be Zbigniew Boniek's team and the Cup time to shine. Poland was in fact a pre-tourney favorite to go far. The 1982 World Cup also featured a new format for the tournament, with both an expansion to the overall pool to 24 and of the second group round to 12.

Poland won a spot in Group A, placing them with Italy, Cameroon and Peru. As often appears to be the case historically, Poland started slowly. On day two of the tournament, Poland opened with a respectable 0–0 draw against the Italians. Nevertheless, the defense played a great game holding Paolo Rossi scoreless, the only time the eventual champion Italians were to be shut out during the entire tournament. The Italy game was followed by an inexplicable 0–0 draw with Cameroon.

Everyone either awaited a Poland goal explosion or was ready to write the squad off as too dependent on their aging stars. The former came. A torrent of goals rained on Peru to close out Polish group play with a 5–1 onslaught. Five different Poles scored, including Włodzimierz Smolarek, Boniek and Lato, in what would be his final World Cup goal. Lato also had one assist and Boniek added two. Due to Italy's first round results, which consisted of three draws, Poland won the group.

Then came one for the ages. In one of the most impressive one-man shows in Cup history, Boniek netted a hat-trick against Belgium in the first game of Group 1 play, accounting for all three goals in the 3–0 victory. Boniek would be key in the following match as well against the Soviet Union, but not in positive fashion. In the midst of the tense scoreless draw, Boniek was yellow carded for the second time and thus had to sit and watch the following match. The Poles would eventually be stopped in the semi-finals. The opponent was once again Italy, winners of Group 3 and eliminators of Brazil. This would be no rematch of the first meeting, though, as the adaptable Italians were not to be stymied. Rossi ran the shagged-out Poland ragged, scoring in the 22nd and 72nd minute in a reportedly easy 2–0 win.

Poland saved some face in the third-place game, feeling freewheeling enough to beat France 3–2 in a game that featured about ten minutes of absolute dominance by the Poles surrounding the halftime break. This game along with the World Cup would be remembered as an end to the golden era of Polish football.

1986 World Cup[edit]

The 1986 World Cup in Mexico would mark Poland's last appearance on the World's greatest stage in the 20th century. Poland qualified to the tournament by finishing in first place over Belgium on goal differential and qualified for their fourth consecutive World Cup.

Poland's opponents in Group F would be Morocco, Portugal and England. During the first game the fans spotted that the magic of the earlier years was gone as they only managed a scoreless draw against a surprising Morocco team that would finish top of the group. In the second game hope was restored with an impressive 1–0 victory over Portugal in which Włodzimierz Smolarek scored the winning goal. In the last match of the group stages Poland took on England. England won the match 3–0, with all three goals scored by Gary Lineker, however, Poland still managed to reach the knockout stages after Morocco surprised Portugal with a 3–1 victory.

Due to Poland finishing in third place in the group they were drawn against a strong Brazilian side in the knock-out stages. The Brazilians gave Poland no chance after defeating them 4–0, sending them home.


After the golden era in the 1970s and 1980s Poland would encounter a period of drought being unable to qualify for any major tournament. During the late 1980s to the late 1990s Poland's biggest achievement would be capturing the silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. There were high hopes for the young team who narrowly missed out on the gold medal (losing the final 3–2 to the hosts Spain after conceding a goal in injury time), and the two star strikers Wojciech Kowalczyk and Andrzej Juskowiak in particular, but ultimately this generation achieved nothing in international football.

2002 World Cup[edit]

Poland's qualification to the 2002 World Cup marked their first appearance in the tournament since 1986. During the qualifications Poland finished top of their group and qualified for the World Cup in Korea and Japan as the first team out of Europe.

Although nobody expected Poland to repeat their feats of 1974 and 1982 most fans and the press did expect at least the second round. Both South Korea and the United States were viewed as teams easily within Poland's reach, particularly after the excellent qualifying campaign. Portugal was another matter but many did not dismiss the possibility of a draw. In the first game, however, the South Koreans stunned Poland with a 2–0 win. The poor performance led to calls for wholesale changes to the team that was to face Portugal in the second game. In the end, manager Jerzy Engel only made one change and the Poles were duly hammered 4–0 and eliminated from the tournament. In the last game, Engel fielded a completely overhauled team and Poland outclassed the United States, but, in the light of two previous defeats, the 3–1 victory was too little, too late.

Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 South Korea 3 2 1 0 4 1 +3 7
 United States 3 1 1 1 5 6 −1 4
 Portugal 3 1 0 2 6 4 +2 3
 Poland 3 1 0 2 3 7 −4 3

4 June 2002
South Korea  2–0  Poland Asiad Main Stadium, Busan
10 June 2002
Portugal  4–0  Poland Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju
14 June 2002
Poland  3–1  United States Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon

2006 World Cup[edit]

During the 2006 World Cup, Poland came in with high hopes of qualifying out of the group stages for the first time since 1986 after a solid qualifying campaign. Being drawn to the group A, which consisted of the hosts Germany, Ecuador and Costa Rica, Poland was looked upon as a favorite with Germany to progress through the knockout stages. However, just like four years earlier, the campaign was a massive disappointment. Again, Poland lost their first game, this time to Ecuador. The final score was 2–0 with goals from Carlos Tenorio and Agustín Delgado. Poland did have two major chances to score against Ecuador though; with first Ireneusz Jeleń's and then Paweł Brożek's left foot strikes hitting the woodwork (crossbar and then post). Poland lost to group leader Germany on 14 June, in an epic game, where goalkeeper Artur Boruc made numerous critical saves. The final score was 1–0 though, with a goal scored by Oliver Neuville in the 91st minute, thus ensuring their exit from the World Cup. In the last match Poland eliminated Costa Rica 2–1 with both Polish goals headed in by center back Bartosz Bosacki.

2008 European Championship[edit]

Ebi Smolarek led Poland with 9 goals in qualifying.

Under the new manager Leo Beenhakker, who replaced Paweł Janas in 2006, Poland began its Euro 2008 qualifying campaign in a distinctly unimpressive fashion, losing 1–3 to Finland at Zawisza Stadium in Bydgoszcz. They followed that up with a 1–1 draw against Serbia at Legia Stadium in Warsaw on 6 September 2006. Their first win came against Kazakhstan on 7 October 2006 (final score 0–1). Just four points from three relatively easy games put the Poles on the brink of early elimination.

However, in the next five games Poland notched five straight victories. Poland faced Portugal on 11 October 2006, winning 2–1 in Chorzów, after an excellent performance. Next they headed to Brussels where they defeated Belgium 1–0. They recorded wins against Azerbaijan (5–0) and Armenia (1–0) at home in Poland, and away to Azerbaijan (1–3), however they failed to pick up any points in Armenia on 6 June 2007 (0–1).

Poland then traveled to Lisbon to face Portugal, the match ended in a 2–2 draw. They returned from Helsinki with another point (0–0). A power outage briefly marred the rematch against Kazakhstan but Poland collected three points (3–1). Poland clinched its Euro 2008 berth with a 2–0 victory against Belgium in Chorzów and followed that up with a draw (2–2) against Serbia in Belgrade. Poland finished its qualifying campaign as group leaders. Euzebiusz Smolarek finished with nine goals under his tally for Poland and was the third overall top scorer in the qualifications only behind David Healy of Northern Ireland (13 goals) and Eduardo of Croatia (10 goals).

Main article: UEFA Euro 2008

Poland's qualification to UEFA Euro 2008 marked their first appearance in the tournament. The team's success meants that almost 50 years of Poland's consecutive failures to qualify for the European Championship (the last major European country to do so, save for Ukraine who did not start qualifying under their own flag until the 1990s) came to an end, all the more welcoming in the light of Poland having been recently awarded the organization of the tournament's next edition, prompting many to expect a new golden era of Polish football, this time under Beenhaker's leadership. And yet, in spite of an impressing campaign edging Portugal to first place in their qualifying group, the tournament would be a disappointing debut.

Poland was drawn in the group that consisted of Germany, co-hosts Austria and Croatia. In a rematch from the 2006 World Cup, Poland took on Germany in the first game. Although the Poles were far from dominated in the game and created many chances, the match ended with a 2–0 victory for Germany; Lukas Podolski, the Polish-born German striker, scored both goals for Germany. In the second match, Poland would take on the co-hosts Austria in Vienna. Roger Guerreiro opened the scoring for Poland in the 30th minute, however Austria equalized in stoppage time in the 93rd minute after a very controversial penalty which Austrian striker Ivica Vastić convert to make the final score 1–1. In any hopes of qualifying, Poland would need a large victory in their last game against Croatia. Croatia, however, beat Poland 1–0 to eliminate them from the tournament.

Group B[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Croatia 3 3 0 0 4 1 +3 9
 Germany 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6
 Austria 3 0 1 2 1 3 −2 1
 Poland 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
8 June 2008
Germany  2–0  Poland Hypo-Arena, Klagenfurt
12 June 2008
Austria  1–1  Poland Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna
16 June 2008
Poland  0–1  Croatia Hypo-Arena, Klagenfurt
Notes on the tie-breaking situation
  • Austria and Poland are ranked by goal difference in all of their group games as their head-to-head result was a 1–1 draw.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Poland's qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup has been their worst to date. Despite being drawn in a seemingly easy group with Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland and San Marino, Poland finished in fifth place only ahead of San Marino with a record of three victories two draws and five losses. The campaign started off well enough with a total of seven points in the first three matches. A respectable 1–1 draw against future world cup qualifiers Slovenia was seen as an undesirable result at start. A routine victory over San Marino, and an impressive win over the Czech Republic left Poland at the top of the table after three games.

The match against Slovakia in Bratislava, however, was seen as the turning point in qualifying. Poland was leading 1–0 until the 85th minute when Stanislav Šesták scored an equalizer after an error by Artur Boruc. Then just a minute later, Šesták scored a second, making the final score 2–1 in Slovakia's favour. The next opponent was Northern Ireland; the match, which was played at Windsor Park in Belfast, was seen as a crucial match for Poland, as their hopes of qualification hung in the balance. The ground was not in the best condition, which allowed for a horrific mistake in the 61st minute when Michał Żewłakow passed the ball back to Boruc, who miskicked the ball while it hopped over his foot on a bumpy pitch. Northern Ireland went on to win the game 3–2. Following that crucial loss, Poland recorded their largest victory ever, defeating San Marino 10–0. In the last three matches, however, Poland managed just a 1–1 draw with Northern Ireland and two losses to the eventual two World Cup qualifiers Slovenia and Slovakia.

Euro 2012[edit]

Main article: UEFA Euro 2012
UEFA Euro 2012 opening match between Poland and Greece at the National Stadium, Warsaw.

On 18 April 2007 in Cardiff, Poland and Ukraine were elected by UEFA's Executive Committee to co-host Euro 2012. Poland's and Ukraine's bid defeated the other shortlisted bids from Italy and Croatia/Hungary, becoming the third successful joint-bid for the European Championship, after those of Belgium/Netherlands, for Euro 2000, and Austria/Switzerland for Euro 2008.

The Polish-Ukrainian hosting is seen as a way of shifting the focus towards regions and nations of central and eastern Europe, whose population demonstrates a strong feeling for football, but are less developed in terms of the quality of the local leagues and football infrastructure, when compared with western Europe. The final tournament draw was held in Kiev, and the groups were decided: Poland, automatically seeded in Group A, were drawn with Russia, Greece and Czech Republic. The host team were eliminated without earning a single win after a 1–0 loss against the Czech Republic.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Czech Republic 3 2 0 1 4 5 −1 6 Advance to knockout phase
2  Greece 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
3  Russia 3 1 1 1 5 3 +2 4
4  Poland (H) 3 0 2 1 2 3 −1 2
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
(H) Host.

8 June 2012
18:00 UTC+2
Poland  1–1  Greece
Lewandowski Goal 17' Report Salpingidis Goal 51'
National Stadium, Warsaw
Attendance: 56,070
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

12 June 2012
20:45 UTC+2
Poland  1–1  Russia
Błaszczykowski Goal 57' Report Dzagoev Goal 37'
National Stadium, Warsaw
Attendance: 55,920
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

16 June 2012
20:45 UTC+2
Czech Republic  1–0  Poland
Jiráček Goal 72' Report
Municipal Stadium, Wrocław
Attendance: 41,480
Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Poland was drawn in Group H of the European FIFA World Cup qualifying along with England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Moldova and San Marino.

Poland started their campaign on 7 September 2012 away at Montenegro. Captain Jakub Błaszczykowski gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot, but two strikes before half-time put the hosts in front. Adrian Mierzejewski, however, headed in a 55th-minute equaliser as the game finished in a 2–2 draw. Poland won their first game of the group four days later as they defeated Moldova 2–0 in Wrocław. Błaszczykowski's first-half penalty and Jakub Wawrzyniak's late header was enough for victory. Poland's next scheduled qualifier was against England on 16 October 2012. Due to heavy rain, however, the pitch was deemed unplayable by the referee and it was decided that the game would take place the following day. When the match finally took place, Kamil Glik's second-half header cancelled out Wayne Rooney's first half header in a 1–1 draw.

Poland suffered their first defeat of the qualifying campaign at home to Ukraine. The visitors were two goals up inside seven minutes before Łukasz Piszczek pulled a goal back. Ukraine scored again on the stroke of half-time as the game ended 1–3. Poland faced San Marino on 26 March and won 5–0. Poland tied Moldova on 7 June and tied the team 1–1, making their chances of qualifying for the World Cup minuscule. Poland's next qualifier is at home to group leaders Montenegro on 6 September, before they travel to minnows San Marino on 10 September. Poland drew 1–1 with Montenegro in Warsaw, with Robert Lewandowski the scorer for the Poles. They then travelled to San Marino, where they achieved a 5–1 victory. Poland travelled to Ukraine on 11 October where a single goal by Andriy Yarmolenko ensured a 1–0 victory for the home side, and confirmed Poland's elimination in the qualifiers. They faced England in their final group game on 15 October where they were defeated 2–0.

Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 England 10 6 4 0 31 4 +27 22
 Ukraine 10 6 3 1 28 4 +24 21
 Montenegro 10 4 3 3 18 17 +1 15
 Poland 10 3 4 3 18 12 +6 13
 Moldova 10 3 2 5 12 17 −5 11
 San Marino 10 0 0 10 1 54 −53 0
  England Moldova Montenegro Poland San Marino Ukraine
England  4–0 4–1 2–0 5–0 1–1
Moldova  0–5 0–1 1–1 3–0 0–0
Montenegro  1–1 2–5 2–2 3–0 0–4
Poland  1–1 2–0 1–1 5–0 1–3
San Marino  0–8 0–2 0–6 1–5 0–8
Ukraine  0–0 2–1 0–1 1–0 9–0

UEFA Euro 2016 qualification[edit]

Poland were drawn in Group D along with Germany, Gibraltar, Georgia, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland.

Poland played against Gibraltar in later's first ever competitive international match in the first round of qualifying matches on 7 September 2014, and with this game against Gibraltar, Poland became only the second country to play all of UEFA's football associations, after Estonia achieved that record being the first country to do so. Poland beat Gibraltar 7–0 in this match to earn their first points of qualifying.

Poland on 11 October 2014 beat reigning world champions Germany for the first ever time in Warsaw. Second half goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Sebastian Mila gave the home side victory and put them top of the group.

On 29 March 2015, Poland earned a 1–1 draw away to the Republic of Ireland to remain top of the group. A first half strike from Sławomir Peszko gave the visitors the lead before an injury time equalizer from Shane Long rescued a late point for the hosts. On 11 October 2015, Poland secured a place in Euro 2016 when they beat the Republic of Ireland 2–1 in Warsaw. Robert Lewandowski ended the qualifying campaign with 13 goals, thus tying with Northern Ireland's David Healy for the most number of goals scored in a single European Championship qualifying campaign.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Germany Poland Republic of Ireland Scotland Georgia (country) Gibraltar
1  Germany 10 7 1 2 24 9 +15 22 Qualify for final tournament 3–1 1–1 2–1 2–1 4–0
2  Poland 10 6 3 1 33 10 +23 21 2–0 2–1 2–2 4–0 8–1
3  Republic of Ireland 10 5 3 2 19 7 +12 18 Advance to play-offs 1–0 1–1 1–1 1–0 7–0
4  Scotland 10 4 3 3 22 12 +10 15 2–3 2–2 1–0 1–0 6–1
5  Georgia 10 3 0 7 10 16 −6 9 0–2 0–4 1–2 1–0 4–0
6  Gibraltar 10 0 0 10 2 56 −54 0 0–7 0–7 0–4 0–6 0–3
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

UEFA Euro 2016[edit]

Association football supporters of Polish national football team

Poland were drawn in Group C along with Germany, Ukraine and Northern Ireland. They faced Northern Ireland first, at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, where they won 1–0, with Arkadiusz Milik scoring the winning goal. They then faced Germany at the Stade de France on 16 June, drawing 0–0. Lastly, they played Ukraine at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, winning 1–0. They came in second in their group, earning the same amount of points as Germany but inferior on goal difference. The team advanced on to the next stage of the tournament for the first time ever,[3] where they faced Switzerland on 25 June, drawing 1–1 but progressing 5–4 after penalty kicks to advance to the quarter-finals. On 30 June, they faced eventual champions Portugal in the quarter-finals, drawing 1–1 but falling 5–3 after another penalty shootout to exit the tournament. This was Poland's best ever performance at a European Championship.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Germany 3 2 1 0 3 0 +3 7 Advance to knockout phase
2  Poland 3 2 1 0 2 0 +2 7
3  Northern Ireland 3 1 0 2 2 2 0 3
4  Ukraine 3 0 0 3 0 5 −5 0
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers

FIFA 2018 qualification[edit]

Poland were drawn in Group E along with Denmark, Romania, Montenegro, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Poland 5 4 1 0 12 6 +6 13 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 8 Oct 3–2 10 Jun 2–1 4 Sep
2  Montenegro 5 2 1 2 10 6 +4 7 Possible second round[a] 1–2 5 Oct 4 Sep 10 Jun 5–0
3  Denmark 5 2 1 2 7 5 +2 7 1 Sep 0–1 8 Oct 1–0 4–1
4  Romania 5 1 3 1 6 4 +2 6 0–3 1–1 0–0 1 Sep 5 Oct
5  Armenia 5 2 0 3 6 10 −4 6 5 Oct 3–2 4 Sep 0–5 2–0
6  Kazakhstan 5 0 2 3 3 13 −10 2 2–2 1 Sep 10 Jun 0–0 8 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 26 March 2017. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
  1. ^ The eight best runners-up across all groups will advance to the second round (play-offs). The ninth-ranked runners-up will be eliminated.

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

Host nation(s) – Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter
Italy 1934
France 1938 Round 1 11th 1 0 0 1 5 6
Brazil 1950 Did not enter
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958 Did not qualify
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974 Third place 3rd 7 6 0 1 16 5
Argentina 1978 Round 2 5th 6 3 1 2 6 6
Spain 1982 Third place 3rd 7 3 3 1 11 5
Mexico 1986 Round of 16 14th 4 1 1 2 1 7
Italy 1990 Did not qualify
United States 1994
France 1998
South Korea Japan 2002 Group stage 25th 3 1 0 2 3 7
Germany 2006 Group stage 21st 3 1 0 2 2 4
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022
Total Third place 7/20 31 15 5 11 44 40

UEFA European Championship record[edit]

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
France 1960 Did not qualify
Spain 1964
Italy 1968
Belgium 1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976
Italy 1980
France 1984
West Germany 1988
Sweden 1992
England 1996
Belgium Netherlands 2000
Portugal 2004
Austria Switzerland 2008 Group stage 14th 3 0 1 2 1 4
Poland Ukraine 2012 Group stage 14th 3 0 2 1 2 3
France 2016 Quarter-finals 7th 5 2 3 0 4 2
Total Quarter-finals 3/15 11 2 6 3 7 9

Olympic Games record[edit]

Host nation(s) – Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
Greece 1896 Did not enter

(Poland wasn't independent)

France 1900
United States 1904
Greece 1906
United Kingdom 1908
Sweden 1912
Belgium 1920 Did not enter - - - - - -
France 1924 Round 1 1 0 0 1 0 5
Netherlands 1928 Did not qualify
United States 1932
Nazi Germany 1936 Fourth place 4 2 0 2 11 10
United Kingdom 1948 Did not qualify
Finland 1952 Round 1 2 1 0 1 2 3
Australia 1956 Did not qualify
Italy 1960 Group stage 3 1 0 2 7 5
Japan 1964 Did not qualify
Mexico 1968
West Germany 1972 Champions 7 6 1 0 21 5
Canada 1976 Runners-up 5 3 1 1 12 5
Soviet Union 1980 Did not qualify
United States 1984
South Korea 1988
Spain 1992 Runners-up 6 4 1 1 17 6
Total 7/23 28 17 3 8 70 39
Football at the summer Olympics has been an U-23 tournament since 1992.

FIFA ranking history[edit]


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
28 29 33 53 48 31 32 43 33 34 25 25 22 24 22 34 58 73 66 55 76 41 34 15 11


  • Gold medal (1) 1972 Olympics 1972
  • Silver medal (2) 1976 Olympics 1976 1992 Olympics 1992

Team image[edit]


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 "Białe Orły" which translates into "The White Eagles". These are the most common names given to the Polish national football team.

National kits[edit]

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 white eagle (until 2006, the coat of arms featured the inscription "POLSKA" in capital letters above the eagle), the Polish coat of arms, 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, however, when the kit was first launched it did not include the iconic coat of arms with the white eagle. After only a few matches, the Coat of arms made its return on the national kits.) Since 2009, the current kits are provided by Nike.

Kit history[edit]

1974 World Cup Home
1978 World Cup Home
1982 World Cup Home
1986 World Cup Home
1990 Home Kit
2002 World Cup Home
2006 World Cup Home
UEFA Euro 2008
2009 Home Kit
UEFA Euro 2012
2014 Home Kit
Euro 2016 Home

Kit providers[edit]

Kit provider Period
Poland Polsport −1973
Germany Adidas 1973–1991
Italy Lotto 1992–1993
Germany Puma 1994–1996
United States Nike 1997–1999
Germany Puma 2000–2009
United States Nike 2009–present


Stadion Śląski in 2009
Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw

Main stadiums[edit]

Silesian Stadium 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 is currently[when?] being renovated to seat 55,210. In 1993, the stadium was designated as the official home stadium of the Poland national team.

A new National Stadium was constructed in Warsaw with an expected capacity of 58,145 seats. Following Euro 2012, it has been used as the venue for all qualifying matches and some friendly matches of the Poland national team.

Other stadiums[edit]

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

Results and fixtures[edit]




Date Venue Opponent Competition Score Goalscorer(s) Attendance
1 June 2016 Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Gdańsk  Netherlands Friendly 1–2 Artur Jędrzejczyk 40,392
6 June 2016 Henryk Reyman Stadium, Kraków  Lithuania Friendly 0–0 33,027
12 June 2016 Allianz Riviera, Nice  Northern Ireland UEFA Euro 2016 1–0 Arkadiusz Milik 33,742
16 June 2016 Stade de France, Saint-Denis  Germany UEFA Euro 2016 0–0 73,648
21 June 2016 Stade Vélodrome, Marseille  Ukraine UEFA Euro 2016 1–0 Jakub Błaszczykowski 58,874
25 June 2016 Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne   Switzerland UEFA Euro 2016 1–1
5–4 (p)
Jakub Błaszczykowski 38,842
30 June 2016 Stade Vélodrome, Marseille  Portugal UEFA Euro 2016 1–1
3–5 (p)
Robert Lewandowski 62,940
4 September 2016 Astana Arena, Astana  Kazakhstan FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier 2–2 Bartosz Kapustka, Robert Lewandowski 19,905
8 October 2016 PGE Narodowy, Warsaw  Denmark FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier 3–2 Robert Lewandowski (3) 56,811
11 October 2016 PGE Narodowy, Warsaw  Armenia FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier 2–1 Hrayr Mkoyan (o.g.), Robert Lewandowski 44,786
11 November 2016 Arena Națională, Bucharest  Romania FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier 3–0 Kamil Grosicki, Robert Lewandowski (2) 48,531
14 November 2016 Stadion Wrocław, Wrocław  Slovenia Friendly 1–1 Łukasz Teodorczyk 40,119
26 March 2017 Stadion pod Goricom, Podgorica  Montenegro FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier 2–1 Robert Lewandowski, Łukasz Piszczek 10,439
10 June 2017 PGE Narodowy, Warsaw  Romania FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier
1 September 2017 Telia Parken, Copenhagen  Denmark FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier
4 September 2017 PGE Narodowy, Warsaw  Kazakhstan FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier
5 October 2017 Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan  Armenia FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier
8 October 2017 PGE Narodowy, Warsaw  Montenegro FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier


Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Montenegro on 26 March 2017.
Caps and goals updated as of 26 March 2017 after the match against Montenegro.
Caps and goals including all matches officially recognized by PZPN (also those not recognized by FIFA).

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
22 1GK Łukasz Fabiański (1985-04-18) 18 April 1985 (age 32) 39 0 Wales Swansea City
1 1GK Wojciech Szczęsny (1990-04-18) 18 April 1990 (age 27) 28 0 Italy Roma
12 1GK Łukasz Skorupski (1991-05-05) 5 May 1991 (age 25) 1 0 Italy Empoli

20 2DF Łukasz Piszczek (1985-06-03) 3 June 1985 (age 31) 54 3 Germany Borussia Dortmund
15 2DF Kamil Glik (Vice-captain) (1988-02-03) 3 February 1988 (age 29) 51 3 France Monaco
13 2DF Maciej Rybus (1989-08-19) 19 August 1989 (age 27) 44 2 France Lyon
3 2DF Artur Jędrzejczyk (1987-11-04) 4 November 1987 (age 29) 29 3 Poland Legia Warsaw
2 2DF Michał Pazdan (1987-09-21) 21 September 1987 (age 29) 25 0 Poland Legia Warsaw
18 2DF Maciej Sadlok (1989-06-29) 29 June 1989 (age 27) 15 0 Poland Wisła Kraków
4 2DF Thiago Cionek (1986-04-21) 21 April 1986 (age 31) 11 0 Italy Palermo
10 2DF Bartosz Bereszyński (1992-07-12) 12 July 1992 (age 24) 3 0 Italy Sampdoria
6 2DF Igor Lewczuk (1985-05-30) 30 May 1985 (age 31) 2 0 France Bordeaux

16 3MF Jakub Błaszczykowski (1985-12-14) 14 December 1985 (age 31) 90 18 Germany VfL Wolfsburg
11 3MF Kamil Grosicki (1988-06-08) 8 June 1988 (age 28) 49 9 England Hull City
17 3MF Sławomir Peszko (1985-02-19) 19 February 1985 (age 32) 43 2 Poland Lechia Gdańsk
5 3MF Krzysztof Mączyński (1987-05-23) 23 May 1987 (age 29) 23 1 Poland Wisła Kraków
19 3MF Piotr Zieliński (1994-05-20) 20 May 1994 (age 22) 22 3 Italy Napoli
8 3MF Karol Linetty (1995-02-02) 2 February 1995 (age 22) 14 1 Italy Sampdoria
3MF Paweł Wszołek (1992-04-30) 30 April 1992 (age 24) 10 2 England Queens Park Rangers
21 3MF Jacek Góralski (1992-09-21) 21 September 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Poland Jagiellonia Białystok
3MF Damian Dąbrowski (1992-08-27) 27 August 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Poland Cracovia

9 4FW Robert Lewandowski (Captain) (1988-08-21) 21 August 1988 (age 28) 86 43 Germany Bayern Munich
7 4FW Arkadiusz Milik (1994-02-28) 28 February 1994 (age 23) 33 11 Italy Napoli
14 4FW Łukasz Teodorczyk (1991-06-03) 3 June 1991 (age 25) 12 4 Belgium Anderlecht
23 4FW Kamil Wilczek (1988-01-14) 14 January 1988 (age 29) 2 0 Denmark Brøndby

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the national team in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Artur Boruc (1980-02-20) 20 February 1980 (age 37) 64 0 England Bournemouth v.  Slovenia, 14 November 2016 RET
GK Przemysław Tytoń (1987-01-04) 4 January 1987 (age 30) 14 0 Spain Deportivo La Coruña v. UEFA Euro 2016 PRE

DF Paweł Dawidowicz (1995-05-20) 20 May 1995 (age 21) 1 0 Germany VfL Bochum v.  Romania, 11 November 2016 PRE
DF Bartosz Salamon (1991-05-01) 1 May 1991 (age 25) 9 0 Italy Cagliari v.  Kazakhstan, 4 September 2016
DF Jakub Wawrzyniak (1983-07-07) 7 July 1983 (age 33) 49 1 Poland Lechia Gdańsk v. UEFA Euro 2016

MF Grzegorz Krychowiak (1990-01-29) 29 January 1990 (age 27) 44 2 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Montenegro, 26 March 2017 INJ
MF Tomasz Jodłowiec (1985-09-08) 8 September 1985 (age 31) 49 1 Poland Legia Warsaw v.  Slovenia, 14 November 2016
MF Bartosz Kapustka (1996-12-23) 23 December 1996 (age 20) 14 3 England Leicester City v.  Slovenia, 14 November 2016
MF Filip Starzyński (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 (age 25) 4 1 Poland Zagłębie Lubin v. UEFA Euro 2016

FW Mariusz Stępiński (1995-05-12) 12 May 1995 (age 21) 3 0 France Nantes v. UEFA Euro 2016
FW Artur Sobiech (1990-06-12) 12 June 1990 (age 26) 13 2 Germany Hannover 96 v. UEFA Euro 2016 PRE
  • INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
  • PRE Preliminary squad.
  • RET Retired from the national team.

Previous squads[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Players who appeared at least 50 times for the national team or scored at least 10 goals.

  • Bold – Indicates player with at least 50 caps and 10 goals.


Notice: Leo Beenhakker was the only foreign manager to coach Polish team.

Poland national team managers since 1922[6] from to
Józef Szkolnikowski 1921-03-12 1922-05-14
Józef Lustgarten 1922-05-14 1922-09-03
Kazimierz Glabisz 1923-06-03 1923-11-01
Adam Obrubański 1924-08-10 1924-08-31
Tadeusz Kuchar 1925-07-19 1925-07-19
Tadeusz Synowiec 1925-08-30 1927-06-19
Tadeusz Kuchar 1928-06-10 1928-06-10
Stefan Loth 1928-07-01 1931-10-25
Józef Kałuża 1932-05-29 1939-08-27
Henryk Reyman 1947-06-11 1947-08-31
Andrzej Przeworski 1947-09-14 1947-10-26
Zygmunt Alfus 1948-04-04 1948-09-19
Andrzej Przeworski 1948-10-10 1948-10-17
Mieczysław Szymkowiak 1949-05-08 1949-11-06
Mieczysław Szymkowiak 1950-05-01 1950-10-22
Ryszard Koncewicz 1953-05-10 1956-07-22
Alfred Nowakowski 1956-08-26 1956-08-26
Czesław Krug 1956-10-28 1956-11-16
Henryk Reyman 1957-05-19 1958-10-05
Czesław Krug 1959-05-20 1962-11-28
Wiesław Motoczyński 1963-05-15 1965-11-01
Ryszard Koncewicz 1966-01-05 1966-01-05
Antoni Brzeżańczyk 1966-05-03 1966-07-05
Alfred Nowakowski 1966-09-11 1966-10-22
Michał Matyas 1966-11-17 1967-10-29
Ryszard Koncewicz 1968-04-24 1970-10-25
Kazimierz Górski 1971-05-05 1976-07-31
Jacek Gmoch 1976-10-16 1978-09-06
Ryszard Kulesza 1978-10-11 1980-12-07
Antoni Piechniczek 1981-01-25 1986-06-16
Wojciech Łazarek 1986-10-07 1989-06-03
Andrzej Strejlau 1989-08-23 1993-09-22
Lesław Ćmikiewicz 1993-10-13 1993-11-17
Henryk Apostel 1994-02-09 1995-11-15
Władysław Stachurski 1996-02-19 1996-05-01
Antoni Piechniczek 1996-06-02 1997-05-31
Krzysztof Pawlak 1997-06-14 1997-06-14
Janusz Wójcik 1997-09-06 1999-10-09
Jerzy Engel 2000-01-26 2002-06-14
Zbigniew Boniek 2002-07-15 2002-11-20
Paweł Janas 2003-02-12 2006-06-20
Leo Beenhakker 2006-07-11 2009-09-10
Stefan Majewski 2009-09-17 2009-10-28
Franciszek Smuda 2009-10-29 2012-06-16
Waldemar Fornalik 2012-07-10 2013-10-16
Adam Nawałka 2013-10-26 present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UEFA.com. "Poland defeat Northern Irish for first EURO win - UEFA EURO - News - UEFA.com". uefa.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Majchrzak, Grzegorz (23–29 July 2012). "Banda czworga, czyli afera na Okęciu". Uważam Rze (in Polish). Warsaw: Presspublica: 84–87. ISSN 2082-8292. 
  3. ^ "Poland beat Ukraine to advance for first time". Reuters. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  4. ^ FIFA.com. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - Associations - Poland - Men's - FIFA.com". fifa.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Klub wybitnego reprezentanta" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Managers history" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 October 2015. 

External links[edit]