- Radoslaw Majecki has kept two clean sheets in three games
- The Poland goalkeeper credits the impassioned home crowds
- Majecki: "We showed what we're about"
Radoslaw Majecki has been a stand-out performer for Poland in his team’s three group matches at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The supporters have also made their mark by creating a fantastic atmosphere in the stands, which has not gone unnoticed by the young shot-stopper.
“Huge respect to the fans, they really have been our 12th man," said the Polish No1 in an interview with FIFA.com. "We want to go back to Lodz for the final.”
The 19-year-old became Legia Warsaw's first-choice keeper this past season, and he has certainly lived up to expectations at Poland 2019. The hosts only conceded two goals in their three group stages matches. Majecki made a crucial late intervention against Senegal to preserve the result and ensure his side qualified for the Round of 16.
“Did my heart skip a beat when that shot was unleashed? No, because if I’d panicked, then I wouldn’t have saved it," he said. "I stayed calm. Sebastian Walukiewicz helped me out and we averted the danger.
“Our aim was to qualify for the knockouts, and we’ve done that. We showed what we’re about in that match against Senegal and managed to keep hold of the ball well. It’s just a shame we didn’t create any clear-cut chances. We didn’t do anything wrong, but we’ll try to adjust a couple of things and be more clinical in our next match and right up until the final, if we get there."
Majecki's strong performances have also caught the eye of Poland legend Zbigniew Boniek, now head of the Polish FA.
“One thing is certain: Majecki is going to have a great career. I think we’ll be talking about him for years to come,” the former Zawisza Bydgoszcz, Widzew Lodz, Juventus and Roma player wrote on Twitter.
The Polish faithful have also made a big impression on Boniek by creating a brilliant atmosphere in Lodz. A great many supporters helped to energise the team before each kick-off, but fans have also recognised the effort shown by Poland’s opponents, such as Tahiti. The Polish crowd applauded the visitors off the pitch after that match, greeting the players with high-fives and asking to have pictures taken with them.
As for Majecki, the youngster has his sights set extremely high. At the first press conference on the eve of the World Cup, he shared what his dreams were for this tournament. A top-three finish would count as success in his eyes, but winning the tournament is the prize he wants.
His opinion remains unchanged, as do his thoughts about the supporters: "I hope we come back to Lodz for the final, and the fans are able to help us as much as they have up until now.”