Poland National Football Team History
The Poland national football team has qualified for nine FIFA World Cups but is yet to win one. Poland played their first official international match in 1921 and lost 1-0 to Hungary. Their first win came a year later when they defeated Sweden 2-1.
The first Poland FIFA World Cup appearance was in 1938. In the single-elimination tournament, the White and Reds took Brazil to extra time but fell 6-5. Ernest Wilimowski scored four goals in the match and remains the only player to ever score four goals in a World Cup match and end up on the losing side.
Poland next qualified for a World Cup 36 years later, in 1974, during the team’s “Golden Era”. In the meantime, they won an Olympic Gold Medal at Munich ‘72. At the 1974 World Cup, Poland won third place for the first time. In 1978, Poland also finished on top of their FIFA World Cup group and only conceded one goal in the process. They were, however, eliminated at the conclusion of the second group stage.
Four years later, Poland would finish third for the second time in the last three World Cups. The White and Reds drew their first two matches to Cameroon and Italy, but a 5-1 win over Peru sent them to the second round as group winners. With a 3-0 win over Belgium, in which Zbigniew Boniek scored a hat trick, and a scoreless draw against the Soviet Union, Poland advanced to the semifinal. There, they were eliminated by Italy but won the third place game over France, 3-2.
Poland national football team advanced to the knockout stage at the 1986 World Cup as one of the highest-ranked third-place teams, but lost 4-0 to Brazil in the newly instituted round of 16. After 1986, Poland had to wait 16 years to qualify for another World Cup.
In what remains their joint-worst performance at a World Cup, Poland finished at the bottom of Group D in 2002. They did score a 3-1 win over the USA in their final match, though. Poland also failed to advance to the knockout stage in 2006, finishing third place in a group with Germany, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Under Leo Beenhakker, Poland qualified for their first European Championship in 2008 and have qualified for four straight editions. Their best performance came in 2016, when they made the Euro quarterfinals. A Jakub Błaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski-led team didn’t lose a single game and only lost to eventual champions Portugal on penalty kicks. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Poland national football team were favorites, but they finished in last place in their group and suffered an early exit.
Poland qualified for Qatar 2022 in the UEFA playoffs by defeating Sweden; this will be their first consecutive World Cup since early 2000s. They will be participating with current huge attraction Robert Lewandowski.
- Robert Lewandowski – 76 goals
- Włodzimierz Lubański – 48 goals
- Grzegorz Lato – 45 goals
- Kazimierz Deyna – 41 goals
- Ernest Pol – 39 goals
Poland Soccer Leagues & Clubs:
The Ekstraklasa is a top-level Polish soccer league. It is a popular choice for Poland soccer betting and comprises 18 teams. The league format is quite straightforward. Each team plays a double-round robin with no playoffs. The team with the most points at the end of the season is crowned champion. Meanwhile, the bottom three teams are relegated to the I liga.
The second-tier Polish soccer league is known as the I Liga. Like in the Ekstraklasa, there are 18 clubs. The top two teams at the end of the season are automatically promoted to the Ekstraklasa. The third to sixth-place finishers contest a promotion playoff to determine the third-promoted team. Meanwhile, the bottom three teams are relegated to the third-tier II Liga.
|Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza|
|Sandecja Nowy Sącz|
Polish Cups & Tournaments
All of Poland’s soccer teams registered with the Football Association can participate in the Polish Cup. For that reason; the knockout tournament is often called the “Cup of a Thousand Teams”. Even reserve teams can participate in the knockout-style tournament. The Polish Cup has been held since 1950 and Legia Warsaw are the most successful club in its history, with 19 titles.
Poland Soccer Betting Information
For Poland soccer betting, take a look at the Ekstraklasa as a starting point. The league typically has a big home-field advantage. In 2021-22 home teams won 44 percent of their matches, while away teams won just 28 percent of the time. The league is balanced, with emphasis on both attack and defense. A total of 2.67 goals per game were scored in 2021-22, which made totals betting quite difficult.
That’s because 50 percent of matches finished with over 2½ goals and 50 percent finished with under that total. That’s not to say totals betting can’t be profitable in the Ekstraklasa. Knowing the ins and outs of specific matchups will provide better insight into how a match will play out. Bettors should know that Legia Warsaw have typically been the strongest side from Poland in the last decade. Lech Poznan and Raków Częstochowa have also had their moments.
With how many teams are involved, betting on the Polish Cup could also be an attractive option. Raków Częstochowa won the cup in both 2021 and 2022, which is no easy feat. Upsets are common and lower-league teams sometimes even make it deep into the tournament.
The Poland National Team has heavily relied on their all-time top scorer, Robert Lewandowski, for quite some time. Despite being in his mid-30s, Lewandowski continues to be prolific. However, he is still searching for his first-ever World Cup goal. Poland’s first soccer game in the tournament is against Mexico. Along with Mexico, they will also face tough opponents in Saudi Arabia and Argentina.
Being in this group is undoubtedly challenging for Poland. Experts analyzing betting tips often question whether they will secure a top-two finish and advance to the next stage. The odds are set at -120 for Poland, along with Mexico, to make it to the round of 16. In contrast, favorites Argentina are heavily favored with odds of -1600 to qualify. Poland also carries +450 odds to win the group, but it has been since 1986 that they last advanced to the knockout stage.
Poland’s performance in the recent European Championship was underwhelming. They finished at the bottom of Group E with a draw and two losses. Additionally, they secured a third-place finish in Group 4 of the 2022 UEFA Nations League A.
Poland’s best players are at the extreme ends of the pitch. Striker Lewandowski and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny are high-profile stars. There are some solid players in the rest of the group, like Piotr Zielinski and Gregorz Krychowiak, but this isn’t necessarily a very deep team. Poland are priced at the same odds as the USA to win the World Cup, at +15000.
The Polish Ekstraklasa isn’t a very well-known league. However, teams like Legia Warsaw and Lech Poznan often appear in UEFA competitions. The league has become more interesting now that three teams get relegated each season. End-of-the-season matches are now more important, which bettors can take advantage of.
The Poland national team has its moments but hasn’t performed well on the biggest stages recently. Robert Lewandowski is a world-class player but the quality of service he gets with Poland has always been questioned. A result here and there is certainly within reason, but not many expect Poland to make deep runs at major tournaments.