Poland National Football Team
2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16
The Poland National Football team has gone through a rollercoaster ride since playing its first international match in 1921. During its golden years, it would fight toe-to-toe with the elites. An Olympic gold medal and two third-place World Cup finishes are the highlights of the glorious past of Polish football.
But, Poland fans also saw the opposite side of the coin as their team could not qualify for the European Championships for 48 years and has been absent from the World Cup knockout stages since 1986.
Want to see how the Poland National Football Team at the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Click the links below to bet on your favourite World Cup matches!
Tuesday November 22 – Mexico vs Poland (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 5pm).
Friday November 25 – Poland vs Saudi Arabia (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 2pm).
Wednesday November 30 – Poland vs Argentina (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 8pm).
Poland National Football Team Founding
The Polish Football Association was founded in 1911, but Poland did not play its first international match before 1921. Poland traveled to Budapest to play Hungary on 18 December 1921. The first win would come in the next year when Poland beat Sweden 2-1 in Stockholm.
First World Cup
Poland National Football played its first World Cup in 1938 after beating Yugoslavia in a two-legged fixture. Poland would win 4-0 in the first leg before losing the reverse fixture 1-0. The 4-1 aggregate score was enough to send the Poles through.
Poland played Brazil in its round-of-16 match and got eliminated after the tie ended 6-5 in favor of the South Americans after extra time. Ruch Chorzów was on the losing team despite scoring four goals.
Football came to a complete halt in Nazi-occupied Poland. After the war, Polish football had to rebuild from scratch. After years of incremental development, Poland rose to prominence in the 1974 World Cup.
The Poland National Football Team opened its World Cup campaign with a remarkable 3-2 win over Argentina. Poland cruised to a 7-0 victory over Haiti in the following match. Biało-czerwoni rounded up the group stage with a 2-1 win against Italy and entered the next round of the competition as a group champion. Poland could not grab the top spot from its second-round group as it lost to hosts West Germany. A second-place finish in Group B paired Poland with Group A runner-up Brazil in the third-place decider. Grzegorz Lato scored the match’s only goal as Poland clinched the third spot.
After the highs of ’74, Poland went to the 1978 World Cup with high anticipations. Poland once again made it to the second round with a 100% win record, but it could not progress past the second round.
Four years later, Poland National Football topped its World Cup group ahead of Italy, Cameroon, and Peru. A Zbigniew Boniek hattrick earned the Poles a 3-0 win in the first knockout stage against Belgium. High-flying Poland lost to eventual champion Italy in the semifinals. So, it had to settle for third place once again. Poland would also make it out of the World Cup group stages in 1986. But, a 4-0 defeat to Brazil put the Polish World Cup dream to bed. Poland has not made it to the World Cup knockout stages since then.
World Cup Hiatus
After the 1986 World Cup, the Poland National Football team did not qualify for the next three editions. In 2002, it returned to the “Greatest Show on Earth” for the first time in 16 years. But, it crashed out of the group stages. Poland would return to the showpiece event in 2006 and 2018 but failed to extend its World Cup journey beyond the group stages. Poland would hope for better luck in the 2022 World Cup, where it will be facing Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico in Group C.
Even in its golden years, Poland has failed to qualify for the European Championships. Poland’s wait to play top-tier continental football would end in 2007 when it qualified for Euro 2008. Poland has featured in all four Euros since 2008. In 2012, it was one of the co-hosts. But, other than Euro 2016, it failed to reach the knockout stages.
Poland made it to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016. Poland eliminated Switzerland on penalties to face Portugal in the quarters. After a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes of football, the match went to penalties again. This time, the luck was against the Poles as Jakub Błaszczykowski missed the target to hand Portugal a 5-3 win in the shootouts.