Poland national football team
Poland National Football Team

World Cup Participation

1938, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2002, 2006, 2018, 2022



Team Information

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’s Golden Era and Downfall

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.

FIFA World Cup - Betting News

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.

Joint-Worst Performance at a 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.

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