Twelve years have passed for Polish fans to finally see their team back on track. Since football has always been considered the national sport in Poland, the bar was always set high. With Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski or Milik leading the team, Poles may actually have a chance to repeat the success of the 1974 and 1982 Poland World Cup finals.
- Fifa Ranking: 7
- Tournament Best: 3rd place (1974, 1982)
- Poland World Cup Appearances: 8
- Best Players: Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski, Piszczek, Glik, Krychowiak
Poland World Cup History – Road to Russia 2018
It all began in Astana, Kazakhstan.The first World Cup 2018 qualifying game resulted in a draw 2:2. Perhaps not the most desired outcome, nor much of a bad start in the the long road ahead for the Poles.
Like the Hussars back in the day, Polish players advanced fast and fiercely under the command of Adam Nawalka. With stars like Lewandowski or Blaszczykowski, pressure was, and still is high. Jumping from the 75th position in FIFA rankings in 2012 to number 7 in 2017 can be considered quite an achievement.
Qualifications followed and Poles performed pretty outstandingly winning 3:2 with Denmark, 2:1 with Armenia and 3:0 with Romania. The final game with Romania was one of the most beautiful ones under Nawalka’s leadership. The initial success, however, was followed by a major blow in the game against Denmark. A disastrous defeat in Copenhagen where the Poles lost 4:0 to Danish vikings, left their fans quite startled.
Disappointment did not last long as Poland beat Kazakhstan 3:0. Morale of the team and the fans was boosted even further, when 6 goals were scored against Armenia and 4 in the last match between Poland – Montenegro.
Poland World Cup 2018 Team
The appointment of Adam Nawalka was groundbreaking for the future of the Polish team. Supported by one of the greatest stars of Polish football – Zbigniew Boniek (current head of the Polish Football Association), Nawalka managed to lead the boys to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals.
Equipped with a strong team, Nawalka managed to get back the finesse the guys in the 70s and 80s played with. While Lewandowski scored 16 goals, it is not a one-man success. Others too significantly contributed to the overall success, including Blaszczykowski, Piszczek, Glik or Zielinski. Keep an eye out for the last one, as there is a lot of potential residing in that young lad. Despite not scoring any goals, his assistance in the qualifying period proved to be unfailing at least six times. Without his support in the game with Montenegro, Piszczek wouldn’t have scored the most beautiful goal of all the qualifying games. The ball went up so high that none of the defenders were able to reach it.
Poland World Cup 2018 – What to Expect?
Being seeded first in the World Cup draw, Poland avoided being matched with the World’s top teams. It was thus an advantageous draw for the Poles, but also well-deserved. The team finished top of their qualifying group thanks to a rather smooth qualification campaign.
Matched with Senegal, Colombia and Japan, the Polish team will face very different playing styles. While probably the best team in the group, the team still has to watch its back and not get ahead of themselves. Underestimating their rivals would be a mistake.
Poles can boast a number of excellent players, but will they succeed in cooperating with each other? Or will they repeat the defeat in Denmark? One thing is certain – hopes are high and failing would be a huge blow to not only the fans, but more importantly to some of the best football players out there. Reputation and respect are at stake.
Poland World Cup Betting Odds
|2018 World Cup||Poland Win||66/1*|
|2018 World Cup||Poland Win||50/1*|
|2018 World Cup||Poland Win||50/1*|
*Odds at the time of writing. Subject to change.