Poland have never achieved that much of success in the Euro football competitions and in the FIFA World Cup but they have a goal-scoring machine in Robert Lewandowski.
This team qualified for the Euro competitions for the first time since its inception in 1960. They have never achieved success, but they are the Olympic gold and silver medalists. Poland as a football team represents an enigma. Surrounded by a powerhouse like Germany and a strong team in the Czech Republic, Poland has never managed to set the world stage on fire.
To sum up the humiliation for Poland, the team was one of the last to qualify for the Euro tournament, much after Turkey and Russia even. Thus, heading into Euro 2020, Poland is expected to once again occupy the bottom rung of the table. The Poles are in Group E of Euro 2020, with Spain, Sweden and Slovakia being the other members. There might be a straight shootout for the third spot between Slovakia and Poland.
Yet, there is some hope for Poland in Euro 2020 due to one player. This individual has been in the form of his life for his club Bayern Munich. In the last couple of years, his goal-scoring capabilities have been remarkable. Robert Lewandowski has been named Robert Lewan’goal’ski for the sheer volume of goals.
He has earned over 110 caps and was a member of their team at UEFA Euro 2012, Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With 66 international goals, this star is the all-time top scorer for Poland. That is the value Robert Lewandowski brings to the table. His scoring form for Bayern Munich, especially from the start of the sextuple till the end of the 2021 Bundesliga season has been too good.
Consider these stats. In 2018, Lewandowski became the all-time top scorer in the German Super Cup history. On 27 November 2018, Lewandowski became the third-fastest player to score 50 goals (after Lionel Messi and Ruud van Nistelrooy) in the Champions League when he scored two goals in a 5-1 win over Benfica. It took Lewandowski just 77 Champions League matches to reach the milestone.
Lewandowski finished as the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League group stage with eight goals in six matches. On 9 February 2019, Lewandowski scored in a 3-1 win over Schalke 04 and in doing so became the first player to score 100 competitive goals at the Allianz Arena. His goal was also his 119th league goal for Bayern Munich which saw him draw level with Roland Wohlfarth as the club’s third-highest goalscorer of all-time.
In the 2020/21 season, Lewandowski became the third player to pass the 250-goal mark in Bundesliga. Lewandowski joined Gerd Muller and Klaus Fischer in this feat. After winning the treble with Bayern Munich, he was named The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2020.
Lewandowski has scored over 270 goals in the Bundesliga. He reached the century mark quicker than any other foreign player, and is the league’s all-time leading foreign goalscorer. Moreover, he has won the Bundesliga Top Scorer Award in six seasons. Lewandowski was awarded four Guinness World Records for the fastest five-goal haul in any major European football league.
Despite the presence of Robert Lewandowski, one man cannot do it all. The team has very few experienced players. Lewandowski is the only player to have over 100 caps for Poland. Grzegorz Krychowiak, Kamil Gilk, Piotr Zielinski, Łukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny and Arkadiusz Milik are the only Polish players who have had over 50-plus caps in international football.
Apart from Lewandowski and Szczesny, none of the other players feature in big cubs across Europe. Szczesny plays for Juventus while Lewandowsky has been sublime for Bayern Munich. The lack of big club experience for the other players will prove to be a major stumbling block for Poland.
However, the Euro also gives dark horses some hope. Greece had upset all odds by winning the 2004 Euro championships. Portugal, a constant underachiever, managed to win in 2016 with Cristiano Ronaldo not contributing that much. If Poland can play as a collective unit, then they can very well reach the playoffs of Euro for the first time.