Striker Lewandowski and Players who Are set To Play For Poland's Team at World Cup 2022
Poland's performance in their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, led by Paulo Sousa, was respectable with twenty points in 10 games. They placed in the UEFA play-offs after finishing second in Group I, behind a formidable England team, and Sousa left to join Flamengo of Brazil, making room for Czeslaw Michniewicz to take over as manager.
Poland advanced directly to the final round when their first opponents, Russia, were eliminated from the playoffs, earning them a trip to Qatar for the duration of one 90-minute match. Michniewicz and his team advanced with a 2-0 victory over Sweden, giving them the chance to move past their elimination from the tournament's group stage in 2018.
Michniewicz will be attempting to achieve the optimum balance between defense and attack, as well as between seasoned veterans and up-and-coming young stars, with the help of seasoned players like Robert Lewandowski in his squad. If he succeeds in doing that, Poland will be in a better position than they were four years ago to handle the situation.
Here, we take a look at five players that will be essential for Poland in their quest to advance to the knockout round of a World Cup for the first time since 1986 as they face Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina in Qatar.
For Poland, he has racked up 132 appearances and 76 goals – records both. And yet there is one thing missing from his resume – in Russia in 2018, which was his only World Cup to date, he failed to find the back of the net, with Bednarek and Krychowiak suppling Poland’s two goals at that tournament as they went out in the group stage.
The experienced keeper has spent most of his career at Arsenal and Juventus, filling his trophy cabinet in the process with such silverware as the Italian league title (three times), and a pair of English and Italian cup-winner’s medals. He has over 200 Serie A appearances to his name, having played 150 times in the Premier League prior to that. And as if that were not enough, he has also featured in a good 70 UEFA Champions League ties.
Jan Bednarek is a lynchpin of Poland’s back line. The 26-year-old central defender has made over 150 appearances for Southampton but is currently on loan at Aston Villa, where he is looking to get more regular playing time than he was anticipating on England's south coast. Last season though, he was one of the first names on the team sheet for the Saints, making 30 starts in the Premier League plus another from the bench, picking up four goals as well during the campaign.
Position: Defensive midfielder
Krychowiak has had an interesting career to date that has seen him ply his trade for a host of different clubs. In 2017, he won the Coupe de France with Paris St. Germain before going on to secure the Russian equivalent twice (in 2019 and 2021) at Lokomotiv Moscow. With Sevilla meanwhile, he was part of the 2015 and 2016 Europa League-winning teams.
Position: Attacking midfielder
Piotr Zielinski on the other hand has a lot fewer clubs on his CV than his team-mate Krychowiak. When he was still a youth player, he moved from Zaglebie Lubin to Udinese in Italy, with his Serie A debut coming almost immediately thereafter.
After two seasons on loan at Empoli, he moved to Napoli in 2016 and has laid down roots over the past six years. The 2020 Italian Cup winners are now regulars in the Champions League or Europa League, and Zielinski barely misses a match on the domestic and European stages for Maradona’s old club. 300 appearances in all competitions tell a tale, as do the 40+ goals that he has scored in the process.
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