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In the present era, they have been graced by arguably their greatest ever player, striker Robert Lewandowski. However, Poland were competitive long before the former Bayern Munich striker's emergence.
Poland were gold medallists at the 1972 Olympic soccer tournament, also picking up silver in 1976 and 1992. In 1974 and 1982, they finished third at the FIFA World Cup, although they have never bettered this.
Early history of the national team
Football came to Poland before they gained independence in 1918. After independence, the Polish Soccer Union (Polski Zwiazek Pilki Noznej, PZPN) was founded in December 1919 and they played their first official match two years later, a 1-0 defeat to Hungary.
Having failed to qualify for the first two editions of the tournament, Poland's World Cup debut came in 1938 and they lost 6-5 to Brazil after extra time. This match is famous for Ernest Wilimowski's four goals for the Poles.
The massacre of players during World War II
The German occupation of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War was followed by the banning of organised soccer and the PZPN was dissolved, as was the Poland national team.
On June 11, 1946, Poland returned to international soccer in a friendly against Norway, which they lost 3-1 in Oslo.
On April 26, 1948, Poland suffered their worst ever defeat - an 8-0 loss to Denmark - but a revival would soon be on the cards for Polish soccer.
Wlodzimierz Lubanski scored on his debut for Poland in a 9-0 win over Norway in 1963. This, it could be argued, marked the beginning of a new era for Poland - one of unprecedented success.
Kazimierz Gorski was announced as head coach of the national team on December 1, 1970, and led Poland to the gold medal at the 1972 Olympics.
They then followed that up with a 1-0 win over Sweden and a 2-1 triumph over Yugoslavia before Germany knocked them out thanks to Gerd Muller's winning goal. Nevertheless, Poland beat Brazil 1-0 to claim third place.
In 1982 in Spain, Poland made the semi-finals of the World Cup once again, where they were beaten 2-0 by Italy. They beat France 3-2 in the third-place play-off in a last dance of sorts for their golden generation.
Downfall and recent resurgence
In the group stage, a 0-0 draw with Germany was sandwiched in between victories over Northern Ireland and Ukraine - both with the same 1-0 scoreline. Poland therefore qualified comfortably for the knockout stages.
In the round of 16, Poland eliminated Switzerland on penalties following a 1-1 draw. However, they were knocked out by eventual champions Portugal on penalties themselves after a 1-1 draw in Marseille.
Poland followed that up by qualifying for Euro 2020, but the competition was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was played in 2021 and they were drawn in Group E with Spain, Slovakia and Sweden.
At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Poland reached the round of 16, despite a fairly uninspired qualification from the group. However, they came up against a Kylian Mbappe motivated France and his stunning brace gave the defending champions a 3-1 win.
Lewandowski finally scored his first goals at a World Cup, netting against Saudi Arabia and a retaken stoppage-time consolation from the penalty spot against France, he also missed a penalty against Mexico.
Lewandowski has not only netted over 70 times for Poland, but he also won the 2020 Best FIFA Men's Player Award in recognition of his contribution to an astonishing treble-winning season for Bayern Munich. This means that he will surely go into the history books as a Poland national team legend when he hangs up his boots.
Another modern icon is Jakub Blaszczykowski, who witnessed his father stab his mother to death as a child, but rose above this tragedy to enjoy a tremendous career, playing a key role for Borussia Dortmund as well as the Poland national team.
Kazimierz Gorski remains the most iconic coach in Poland's soccer history and also won a solitary cap for the national team as a player in 1948.
Poland's biggest rivals
Polish national newspaper Super Express riled Germans up ahead of their European Championship encounter in 2008 by controversially depicting Poland coach Leo Beenhakker holding the severed heads of Michael Ballack and Joachim Low, then the Germany national team's captain and coach respectively.
Poland's national team has a passionate fanbase, which has inspired soccer fans across the world.