Poland captain Michal Zewlakow said today that he is unfazed as he prepares to break the 100-cap record set two decades ago by Polish football great Grzegorz Lato.
Zewlakow will equal Lato's unbeaten 100-match tally if he takes to Chicago's Soldier Field for a friendly against the United States on Saturday. He will set a new record of 101 caps if he turns out against Ecuador in a second friendly the following Tuesday in Montreal, Canada.
"Of course every footballer wants a game like that to leave the best memories," the 34-year-old defender said ahead of a friendly Saturday away to the United States. "But I'm not thinking that way, I'm not expecting it to be special. I'm simply looking forward to my next game with the national team," he said on the website of the Polish football association (PZPN).
Zewlakow, who earned his first cap for Poland in 1999, signed for Turkish club Ankaragucu earlier this year from Greek side Olympiakos where he spent four seasons. His previous clubs include Belgium's Anderlecht and hometown side Polonia Warsaw.
Lato, now 60 and head of the PZPN since 2008, played for his country from 1971 to 1984 during Polish football's golden age. Poland won Olympic gold in 1972 and two years later came third in the World Cup, when Lato, with seven goals, was the tournament's top scorer. They took Olympic silver in 1976, and were again third in the 1982 FIFA World Cup™.
Poland have failed to flourish since those heady days, but fans have high hopes for the UEFA EURO 2012 European championships, which Poland will co-host with neighbouring Ukraine. Zewlakow has made Polish football history before, in 2000, when he and brother Marcin became the first twins to play for their country.