15 Best Polish Footballers of All Time

Who is the greatest Polish football player ever?

Poland is one of the dark horses in the world football. The biggest achievements of this country are winning a gold medal in 1972 Summer Olympic and reaching the semi-finals in two World Cup tournaments in 1974 and 1982. Besides those feats, this country also produces a lot of quality football players such as Zbigniew Boniek, Grezegorz Lato, Jerzy Dudek, Robert Lewandowski and many more.

Those Polish players did not only shine in the national team level. Some of them become mainstays in their respective clubs and won numerous prestigious awards.

In this article, I give you a list of 15 best Polish footballer of all time. Be sure to vote for your favorite in the poll section.

15. Euzebiusz Smolarek

Euzebiusz "Ebi" Smolarek is a striker who could also play as a winger. He actively played in Poland national team in the period 2002-2010. Smolarek was known as a player who is fast, agile, and intelligent. This player was raised by Feyenoord Youth Academy and played for several clubs in various countries such as Borussia Dortmund, Racing Santander, and Bolton Wanderers. His greatest individual achievement is awarded as "Polish Footballer of the Year" three years in a row, from 2005 to 2007.

14. Emmanuel Olisadebe

Emmanuel Olisadebe is a striker who was born in Nigeria, but has Polish citizenship. The player changed his citizenship when he played for Polonia Warsaw and was part of Poland national team squad in the 2002 World Cup. His best achievement at club level is helping Polonia Warsaw win treble winners in 2000. He also briefly played for Greek club Panathinaikos for four years and won two Superleague Greece titles .

13. Wojciech Szczęsny

Szczęsny was trusted to be the first-team goalkeeper of Arsenal when he was only 20 years old. He was signed by the club since a teenager and raised by Arsenal's Youth Academy. His career as Arsenal's number one goalkeeper started in the year 2010, the moment when he managed to beat his competitors, Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia. Since that time, he has been regularly called upon to join Poland national team squad in various international tournaments.

12. Ernest Pohl

Ernest Pohl is a legendary Polish national team striker who played in the 1952-1967 period. He holds the record as the all-time top scorer of the Polish League, with a total of 186 goals. His goal records with the national team of Poland is also good, in which he scored 39 goals from 46 matches. His best performance occurred in the 1960 Olympic games, where he scored six goals in a match against Tunisia, helped his country win by a score of 6-1.

11. Kazimierz Deyna

Actively played in the period 1968-1978, Deyna was regarded as one of the best playmakers in Europe at the time. His best achievement occurred in 1972, when he helped his country win the Olympics and became the top scorer of the tournament. In 1974, Deyna even ranked third in the Ballon d'Or award, just under Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer. This player ended his career as a professional footballer in the United States Soccer League, at San Diego Sockers.

10. Maciej Zurawski

Zurawski is a former Polish striker who underwent a brilliant career at Wisla Krakow and Glasgow Celtic in the period 1999-2008. At Wisla Krakow, he won five Ekstraklasa (top division in Polish League) titles and became two-time top scorer of the tournament. His career at Celtic was also good, where Zurawski played alongside great strikers such as Jon Hartson, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, and Dion Dublin. In this club he earned the nickname "Magic Zurawski" and won two Scottish League titles.

9. Wlodzimierz Lubański

Lubanski is the player who holds the record as all-time top scorer of Poland national football team, with a total of 48 goals from 72 appearances. His most spectacular matches took place in 1969, when Lubanski scored five goals and took his country beat Luxembourg with a score of 8-1. Although very he was prolific in scoring, Lubanski was not very well known because he only played for low-profile clubs in not-so-popular leagues.

8. Jakub Blaszczykowski

Blaszczykowski is a winger who started to be recognized internationally when he played for Borussia Dortmund. He made his debut at Dortmund in 2007 and managed to amaze football fans because of his high running speed and good dribbling skills. Together with his compatriot, Robert Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski helped Dortmund win two Bundesliga championships.

7. Ernst Wilimowski

Ernst Wilimowski is a retired footballer who played during the period of World War II, from 1939 to 1955. He was very prolific in scoring goals. Although there is no official records, many people said Wilimowski scored more than 1,100 goals throughout his career. He also became the first player who can score four goals in a World Cup match. He created that achievement in the 1938 World Cup, in a match where his country lost to Brazil by a score of 5-6. Throughout his career, he scored 21 goals in 22 appearances for the Polish national team.

6. Artur Boruc

Artur Boruc underwent the best period of his career when he played for Glasgow Celtic in 2005-2010. At this club, he showed excellent performance as a goalkeeper and a nickname, "The Holy Goalie." During five years of joining Celtic, Boruc won three Scottish league titles. He debuted as the number one goalkeeper of Poland national team in 2004.

5. Jerzy Dudek

Poland is famous for having a lot of quality goalkeepers. Besides Szczesny, Fabianski, and Boruc; there is still a greater goalie, and he is Jerzy Dudek. Dudek was one of the players who had the biggest role in helping Liverpool win the Champions League 2005. He performed brilliantly in the final game, leading his team beat AC Milan through penalties shoot-out. In the match, Dudek managed to saved two penalty kicks from two AC Milan biggest stars, Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko.

4. Michał Żewłakow

Playing in the period 1999-2011, Zewlakow holds the record as the player with the highest number of appearances for Poland national team. The defender became a mainstay of the country in two major tournaments, the World Cup in 2002 and 2006. Zewlakow's career at club level was also quite good, where he won a Poland League title with Legia Warsaw, two Belgian League titles with Anderlecht, and three Greek League titles with Olympiakos FC.

3. Grzegorz Lato

Grzegorz Lato showed captivating performances in the 1974 World Cup, where he became the top scorer of the tournament and helped his country finish third. He repeated the same achievement by taking his country reached the third place in the 1982 World Cup and also won the gold medal in the 1972 Olympics. Lato was actually not a pure striker, but he was more a winger with high goal scoring instincts. Throughout his career, he scored 45 goals in 100 matches for Poland national football team.

2. Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski is a Polish striker who was born in 1988. Due to his great performances, he has been regarded as one of the best Borussia Dortmund players of all time. He debuted for Dortmund in 2010, signed after played brilliantly at a Poland club, Lech Poznan. So far, Lewandowski has presented two Bundesliga titles and a DFB-Pokal trophy to Dortmund. He was also three years in a row selected as "Polish Player of the Year" from 2011 to 2013.

1. Zbigniew Boniek

Zbigniew Boniek is one of the best second strikers in his era. He played for Poland national team in the 1982-1988 period, leading the country rank third in the 1982 World Cup. After his impressive performances in the World Cup tournament, Boniek moved to an elite Italian club, Juventus. At Juventus, he won an Italian league title, one Coppa Italia trophy, one European Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one Cup Winners'. After three years playing for Juventus, Boniek moved to AS Roma, where he won the Coppa Italia trophy before retiring in 1988.

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