FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Poland have participated at seven FIFA World Cups in total (1938, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2002, 2006). In 1972 they won gold at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Munich and defeated Brazil in the Play-off for Third Place at the World Cup in Germany two years later. The eastern Europeans earned the bronze medal once more with victory over France at Spain 1982. However, after the 1986 tournament it was another 16 years before they participated at a World Cup again, but they failed to advance beyond the group stage at Korea/Japan 2002. Poland did not fare any better at Germany 2006, where a shock 2-0 opening defeat against Ecuador was followed up with a 1-0 reverse against the hosts in their second outing, ending their hopes of progression to the knockout rounds. Bialo-czerwoni (the White and Reds) did not qualify for South Africa 2010 or Brazil 2014.
Poland boast great quality throughout their squad, the majority of whom play their club football abroad. In Wojciech Szczesny, who lifted the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014, they have a top-class goalkeeper, while Grzegorz Krychkowiak, who won the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla, and the outstanding Robert Lewandowski, who spearheads the attack at record German champions Bayern Munich, are equally influential. Other players with experience at foreign clubs, such as Arkadiusz Milik, should help Poland stay in contention for a place at the next World Cup.
Adam Nawalka has been head coach since October 2013. As a player he earned 35 caps for Poland and featured at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, where he played the full 90 minutes in a 0-0 group stage draw with Germany FR. Nawalka took his coaching badges in the mid-1990s and has since held the reins at Wisla Krakau, GKS Katowice and Gornik Zabrze, among others. Furthermore, he gained experience with the national team as assistant coach to Leo Beenhakker between May and July 2007.
2 – On 11 October 2014 Poland recorded their first ever win over Germany when they beat the reigning world champions 2-0 in Warsaw.
The former stars
Wlodzimierz Lubanski, Robert Gadocha, Jan Tomaszewski, Kazimierz Deyna, Grzegorz Lato, Michal Zewlakow