Boniek in 2007
|Date of birth||3 March 1956|
|Place of birth||Bydgoszcz, Poland|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Outside Midfielder
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Zbigniew "Zibì" Kazimierz Boniek (Polish pronunciation: [ˈzbiɡɲɛv ˈbɔɲɛk]; born 3 March 1956 in Bydgoszcz) is a former Polish footballer and manager and the current head of the Polish FA. A former midfielder, he is considered one of the greatest Polish players of all time, and was selected by Pelé as one of the 100 best living footballers in 2004.
In an 80-cap international career, he scored 24 goals and played at three consecutive World Cups, helping Poland to 3rd place in 1982 and making the Team of the Tournament. His greatest achievements in club football were at Juventus in Italy, winning the 1985 European Cup.
In the early 1990s he managed several Italian clubs, and also the Polish national team in 2002.
As the head of Polish football he is hugely popular with supporters due to his view on decriminalising football fans and in favour of legalising pyrotechnics inside stadiums, which is common ultras practice.
Boniek first played at Zawisza Bydgoszcz and later at Widzew Łódź. He transferred to Italian football giants Juventus in 1982. With Juventus he won the Cup Winners' Cup and the European Super Cup in 1984 (scoring in the final of the former) and the European Cup in 1985. After finishing his professional career at Roma in 1988, he had a successful business career.
As a player, Boniek was known for his blistering pace and acceleration. He was one of the best dribblers of his time and also displayed superb technique. The Juventus president Gianni Agnelli nicknamed him Bello di notte ("Beauty at night", which is a play on the title of the Buñuel movie Belle de Jour) because of his performances in European club tournament matches, which were played in the evening. Boniek was named by Pelé as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers and by FIFA as one of the 100 best-ever players. On 12 October 2009, he received a Golden Foot career award.
Boniek has served as vice-president of the Polish Football Association, and in July 2002 he became the manager of Poland. He resigned in December 2002, after just five matches (2 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats, including a 1–0 home loss against Latvia in a European Championship qualifier).
According to reports back in Poland, Boniek had been favored to become the new Minister of Sport for his country, but he denied the claims and stated that he had no intention of taking up the job.
Honduran international footballer Óscar Boniek García was given the middle name Boniek in honour of Zbigniew Boniek. García chose to have the name "Boniek" written across the back of his jersey while playing for Houston.
- Scores and results table. Poland's goal tally first:
|1||11 May 1976||Basel, Switzerland||Switzerland||1–2||Friendly|
|2||31 October 1976||Warsaw, Poland||Cyprus||5–0||FIFA World Cup 1978 qualifying|
|3||19 June 1977||São Paulo, Brazil||Brazil||1–3||Friendly|
|4||5 April 1978||Poznań, Poland||Greece||5–2||Friendly|
|5||12 April 1978||Łódź, Poland||Republic of Ireland||3–0||Friendly|
|6||10 June 1978||Rosario, Argentina||Mexico||3–1||FIFA World Cup 1978|
|8||15 November 1978||Wrocław, Poland||Switzerland||2–0||UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying|
|9||18 April 1979||Leipzig, East Germany||East Germany||1–2||UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying|
|10||2 May 1979||Chorzów, Poland||Netherlands||2–0||UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying|
|11||29 August 1979||Warsaw, Poland||Romania||3–0||Friendly|
|12||13 May 1980||Frankfurt, West Germany||West Germany||1–3||Friendly|
|13||28 May 1980||Poznań, Poland||Scotland||1–0||Friendly|
|14||28 October 1981||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Argentina||2–1||Friendly|
|15||15 November 1981||Wrocław, Poland||Malta||6–0||FIFA World Cup 1982 qualifying|
|16||18 November 1981||Łódź, Poland||Spain||2–3||Friendly|
|17||22 June 1982||A Coruña, Spain||Peru||5–1||FIFA World Cup 1982|
|18||28 June 1982||Barcelona, Spain||Belgium||3–0||FIFA World Cup 1982|
|21||22 May 1983||Chorzów, Poland||Soviet Union||1–1||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
|22||27 March 1984||Zurich, Switzerland||Switzerland||1–1||Friendly|
|23||19 May 1985||Athens, Greece||Greece||4–1||FIFA World Cup 1986 qualifying|
|24||30 May 1985||Tirana, Albania||Albania||1–0||FIFA World Cup 1986 qualifying|
- Serie A: 1983–84
- Coppa Italia: 1982–83
- European Cup: 1984–85
- UEFA Super Cup: 1984
- European Cup Winners' Cup: 1983–84
- Piłka nożna magazine plebiscite: 1978, 1982
- FIFA World Cup All-star Team: 1982
- FIFA 100: 2004
- Golden Foot Legends Award: 2009
- "Zbigniew Boniek to receive Golden Foot career award". ESPN. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
- "MŚ: Boniek będzie kibicował... Bońkowi" (in Polish). onet.pl. June 4, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "FIFA World Cup Awards: All-Star Teams". Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- "Legends". Golden Foot. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- "Dettaglio decorato". Retrieved 29 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zbigniew Boniek.|
- Zbigniew Boniek (90minut.pl)
- A song (in Polish) dedicated to Boniek
- BBC: Pele's list of the greatest