The Poland national football team has represented Poland in men’s international football competitions since its first match in 1921. The team is controlled by the Polish Football Association (PZPN), the governing body for football in Poland. The country’s best result was a bronze medal, which Poland won in 1974 and 1982; this era is regarded as the golden era of Polish international football. This is because they have the best men which are great players of all time. Therefore, in the article are the top ten best Polish players of all time.
1. Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski was born on 21 August 1988. He is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a striker for La Liga club Barcelona and captains the Poland national team. Recognized for his positioning, technique, and finishing, Lewandowski is considered one of the best strikers of all time, as well as one of the most successful players in Bundesliga history. He has scored over 600 senior career goals for club and country. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world. A full international for Poland since 2008, Lewandowski has earned over 130 caps and was a member of their team at UEFA Euro 2012, Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Euro 2020. With 76 international goals, Lewandowski is the all-time top scorer for Poland and the third overall men’s international goal scorer in Europe, only behind Ferenc Puskás (84) and Cristiano Ronaldo (117).
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2. Zbigniew Boniek
Zbigniew Boniek is recognised as one of the greatest Polish footballers of all time. He was a midfielder who could also play on the right flank, and as a second striker. In 2004, Pelé named him in his list of the 100 greatest living football players. In eighty international appearances, Boniek scored twenty-four goals and appeared in three straight World Cups, propelling Poland to third place in 1982 and making Team of the Tournament. During his career, his best achievements in club football came with Juventus in Italy. Between 1983 and 1985, he won the Serie A, Coppa Italia, European Cup, European Cup Winners' Cup and European Super Cup. Boniek was also the first Polish player to be crowned a champion of Europe. Boniek was fortunate enough to play in Poland’s greatest era of football, but he was a huge driving force in their success. He had excellent teammates around him, such as Deyna and Lato. However, this doesn’t take away from his individual ability on the field.
3. Wojciech Szczęsny
Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny was born on 18 April 1990. He is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A club Juventus and the Poland national team. After starting his club career at Legia Warsaw, Szczęsny signed for Arsenal in January 2006, where he made his professional debut in 2009. At the international level, Szczęsny has earned over 60 caps for Poland since his debut in 2009 and was included in the nation’s squad as it co-hosted UEFA Euro 2012, also later taking part in Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Euro 2020.
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4. Andrzej Szarmach
Andrzej Szarmach came to prominence at the 1974 World Cup, with regular striker Wlodzimierz Lubanski missing, Szarmach got the nod to play up front and really grasped the opportunity, forming a fantastic attacking partnership alongside wingers Grzegorz Lato and Robert Gadocha, with Deyna prompting and pulling the strings behind them. Szarmach would end the tournament with five goals, the joint second highest scorer alongside Johan Neeskens, just behind team-mate Lato's total of seven goals. He would also go on to play at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups. At club level Szarmach suffered the same fate as the other players of the golden generation of the 1974 World Cup, Poland refusing to let footballers play in foreign leagues until they were thirty years old. For Szarmach this would be 1980, the same year as his Stal Mielec team-mate Grzegorz Lato. Whilst Lato headed for Belgium, Szarmach went to France, enjoying five years with Auxerre where he scored nearly 100 goals in 150 games. It seemed like quite a fitting move, given his iconic Asterix-style moustache.
5. Grzegorz Lato
Instantly recognisable in the 1970s with his Bobby Charlton-esque comb- over, it wasn't just his hairstyle that made Grzegorz Lato stand out, his play on the right wing was fantastic. With his electrifying pace and direct style, he was a real handful for defenders. He was part of the Poland's first golden generation of footballers who became the surprise outfit at the 1974 World Cup, Lato top-scoring in the tournament with an incredible seven goals as Poland finished in third place, their best ever result at a major tournament. Unfortunately, despite having been only 24 at the 197 World Cup and being in the form of his life, Poland had a ban at the time on their footballers moving abroad until they'd reached 30, so it was only at major international tournaments that Lato's talents could be showcased. Having played his entire career with Stal Mielec, Lato was eventually allowed to move to a foreign team in 1980, when he reached his thirtieth birthday, and moved to Lokeren in Belgium.
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6. Łukasz Fabianski
Łukasz Marek Fabiański was born on 18 April 1985. He is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club West Ham United. He also played for the Poland national team, until his retirement in 2021. Having begun his career at Legia Warsaw, Fabiański joined Arsenal for £2.1 million in 2007, and was mainly used as back-up, but played as the club won the 2014 FA Cup Final. On the expiration of his contract in 2014, he joined Swansea City and played 150 total matches in four years. He then signed for West Ham for £7 million. As a full international for Poland since 2006, Fabiański represented his country on 57 occasions. He was included in the squads for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Euro 2020.
7. Jakub Kiwior
Jakub Piotr Kiwior was born on 15 February 2000. He is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Spezia and the Poland national team. Kiwior made his Fortuna Liga debut for Železiarne Podbrezová against Nitra on 16 February 2019. Kiwior played the entirety of the 3–1 victory at pod Zoborom. In August 2019, Kiwior’s transfer to MŠK Žilina was announced. He made his debut in the yellow jersey on 10 August 2019 during an away fixture against Ružomberok. Kiwior made his debut as a starter for Poland against the Netherlands in a 2022–23 UEFA Nations League 2–2 away draw on 11 June 2022.
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8. Jakub Błaszczykowski
Jakub Blaszczykowski is regarded as one of the greatest Polish footballers of all time. Kuba was a winger who made a name for himself early in his career while playing for Wisla Kraków. He joined Borussia Dortmund in 2007, where he played for most of his career. In addition to two Bundesliga championships, two DFL-Super cups and one DFB-Pokal, he has participated in almost 250 games. In 2008 and 2010, Blaszczykowski won the title of Polish Footballer of the Year. He is Poland's second-most- capped player, and at UEFA Euro 2012 he served as the national team captain. Kuba also participated in the 2018 World Cup and the 2016 UEFA European Championships, in which Blaszczykowski was the star player. Poland reached the Quarter Finals, managing to score two goals as well as converting in the shootout against Switzerland.
9. Kazimierz Deyna
Kazimierz Deyna is one of the most well-known Polish football players in history. Due to his exceptional vision, he was one of the most skilled players of his generation when he played as an offensive midfielder in the playmaker role. Deyna scored spectacular, unique goals- and once scored directly from a corner. He received multiple votes from Polish fans for Football Player of the Year as a result of his accomplishments and abilities. He was also the mastermind behind Kazimierz Górski's incredible team, who put on the greatest Polish display in tournament history. Deyna, who scored forty-one goals while playing ninety-seven games for Poland, was frequently the team's captain. After the success of The Eagles in the World Cup, Deyna finished third behind Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer in the France Football vote for the best player at the 1974 tournament. He also captained Poland at the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina, in which the squad advanced to the knockout round.
10. Ernest Pohl
Poland was still reeling from the events of World War II in the 1950s but the country still produced some top footballing talent and none more so that Ernest Pohl. Choosing to stay in his native homeland, Pohl was a goalscoring machine for both Gornik Zabrze to winning 8 Ekstraklasa titles from 1957-1967. This, added with the two titles he had won with Legia Warsaw, meant that Pohl was a winning league player for 11 out of 12 seasons from 1955-1967. His legacy still stands to this day as his 186 goals in the Polish top flight remains the all-time goal total in the competition to this day.
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