Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Poland national football team
The Poland national football team represents Poland in association football and is controlled by the Polish Football Association, the governing body for football in Poland. At the FIFA World Cup, the current best result for Poland are two bronze medals won in 1974 and 1982, with this era being regarded as the golden era of Polish international association football. At the Euros, Poland's best result is reaching the quarter-finals in 2016, in Poland's third consecutive appearance at the competition. Poland's debut at the Euros was in 2008, they were co-hosts of the 2012 edition, along with Ukraine. Overall, Poland's best result in international football tournaments as a whole was the gold medal won at the 1972 Munich Olympics, along with winning the silver medal on two occasions; the first football federation was established on 25 June 1911 in Lwów as the Polish Football Union. After I World War members of PFU established on 20 December 1919 in Warsaw the Polish Football Federation. Poland would play its first official international match on 18 December 1921 in Budapest, where the side lost to Hungary 1–0.
Their first international win would come on 28 May 1922 where they took on Sweden in Stockholm and beat them 2–1. Poland qualified for their first World Cup in 1937 when they beat Yugoslavia 4–0 and lost 1–0 in the two qualifying matches and ensured their place in the 1938 World Cup in France. During their debut in the World Cup, Poland would play Brazil in a match which would become one of the most memorable matches in World Cup history. Despite Brazil not being regarded as the world's top team in the 1930s, it was still believed to be a hard-to-beat side, having participated in two first World Cups. Under these circumstances, the Polish team – which had never before participated on such a level – was expected to lose the game against the South Americans. Thus, the defeat was not a sensation. However, all fans were surprised at the style with which the Poles played their lone game of the tournament; the white and reds got to the extra time, only losing 5–6. Ernest Wilimowski, who played for Ruch Chorzów at the time, scored four of Poland's five goals, which to date is one of the most impressive individual performances in the history of the World Cup.
Poland played what would be their last international match before the outbreak of World War II against Hungary, the runners-up in the 1938 World Cup. The match stands out as an achievement as Poland defeated the favored Hungarian side 4–2. On 11 June 1946, following the aftermath of World War II, Poland played their first international friendly match, against Norway in Oslo, a 3–1 defeat; the biggest success in the early years after the war was the victory against one of Europe's best at the time, Czechoslovakia. Poland defeated their southern neighbors 3–1. Poland suffered the worst defeat in the team's history on 26 April 1948 with a 0–8 loss to the Danish side. Poland would erase that memory as they posted their second highest victory in Szczecin when they took down Norway 9–0 on 4 September 1963; the game marked the debut for Włodzimierz Lubański. He scored one of the goals in the game. Lubański became the all-time top scorer for Poland while playing from 1963 to 1980 scoring 48 goals in 75 appearances.
This victory was surpassed on 1 April 2009 in Kielce when Poland defeated San Marino 10–0. On 1 December 1970, Polish football history would change forever all due to one man. Kazimierz Górski was named head coach of the national team, his success with the team was evident from the start with a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Górski would lead the team to another medal at the 1976 Olympics where they captured silver. However, nothing matched the two bronze medals at the 1982 World Cups. Poland being unknown on the international football scene before 1974 shook up the football world during the World Cup in Germany. However, this was no huge surprise as the core of the team achieved a gold medal place in the Munich Olympics in 1972; the Olympics were not considered a major tournament by most Western nations, but Eastern European countries bypassed the amateur rules by fielding their full national teams, as most players had employment with national industries or within the army. With their lightning speed and incredible team chemistry they were unstoppable.
In qualifying they surprised everyone by eliminating England, quarter-finalists in 1970 and Champions in 1966. In their opening match of Germany'74 Poland met Argentina, a team, appearing in their 6th World Cup. Within eight minutes Poland were up 2–0, Grzegorz Lato opened the scoring in the seventh minute and just a minute Andrzej Szarmach doubled the lead. In the 60th minute, Argentina cut the lead in half. Two minutes however, Lato scored his second, which turned out to be the winning goal as Carlos Babington gave Argentina their second in the 66th; the match finished 3–2 for Poland. Poland thrashed Haiti 7–0 in their second game; the goals included a hat-trick from two from Lato. In their final match of the first stage, Poland met Italy, who finished second at the previous World Cup in 1970. Poland were through to the Second Round but needed at least a draw to win the group. At half-time, Poland was leading 2 -- 0 on goals from Kazimierz Deyna, it was not until the 86th minute. This gave Poland their third consecutive win.
In the second round, Poland first won 1–0 against a Swedish side, which had not conceded any goals in their first three matches
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
The Polish SuperCup in football is an annually held match between the champion of the Ekstraklasa and the Polish Cup winner. To this date the Polish SuperCup has been played out 24 times with the Polish Cup winner taking the trophy 14 times, while the Ekstraklasa champions had won the trophy 10 times; the most successful club is Lech Poznań. Notes: 1 Not organized. 2 Lech Poznań won the Double. 3 Not disputed since the Polish Federation could not decide the 1992–93 Ekstraklasa Champion. 4 Legia Warsaw won the Double, played against Polish Cup Finalist. 5 It was not disputed by financial problems. 6 Wisła Kraków won the Double. 7 The Polish Cup Winner, Dyskobolia Grodzisk Wielkopolski resigned. The 2nd placed team in the 2006–07 Ekstraklasa, GKS Bełchatów, replaced the Cup Winner. 8 Legia Warsaw won the Double. Football in Poland Polish national football team List of Polish football champions Polish Cup Poland - List of Super Cup Finals, RSSSF.com
Azerbaijan national football team
The Azerbaijan national football team is the national football team of Azerbaijan and is controlled by Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan. It represents Azerbaijan in international football competitions; the majority of Azerbaijan's home matches are held at the national stadium, Baku Olympic Stadium, with friendly matches sometimes hosted at club stadiums. The Azerbaijan national football team has taken part in qualification for each major tournament since Euro 96, but has never qualified for the finals tournament of any World Cup or European Championships. In the early twentieth century, football began to become popular in Azerbaijan, part of the Russian Empire. In 1912, Azerbaijani football players had their first "international match" and they won in Tbilisi, Georgia against the local "Sokol" team with 4:2. During 1912–1913, matches between Azerbaijani and Georgian football teams were organized, first in Tbilisi and in Baku. In 1914 the Football Union was founded in Azerbaijan.
The Football Union undertook the organization of other competitions. The oldest records of football teams in Soviet Azerbaijan goes back to 1926–1927, when Trans-Caucasian Championship was organized in Tbilisi. Three South Caucasian countries participated: Azerbaijan and Georgia; the Azerbaijan national football team held its first friendly matches against Georgia and Armenia in 1927 for the Trans-Caucasian Championship in Georgia. In 1926 footbal players from Azerbaijan played three matches with Football team from Iran in Baku. In 1929 there were played three matches between these teams in Tehran. In all matches Azerbaijan players won; the 1960s is considered the Golden Age for Azerbaijani football as it produced great players like Anatoliy Banishevskiy, Alakbar Mammadov and the football referee Tofiq Bahramov, most famous for being the linesman who helped to award a goal for England in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany. After Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991, AFFA — Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan — was created.
In 1992, renowned Azerbaijani footballer Alekper Mamedov became the first head coach of the Azeribaijani national football team, compiling a 3–1 record as coach that includes the first national team victory, over Georgia on May 25, 1993. In 1994, the national team was accepted into FIFA and UEFA; the security issues, forced the team to play all of its home Euro 96 qualifiers in Trabzon, Turkey. As of the early 2000s, AFFA started to integrate more players to the national team through FIFA's eligibility rules. In February 2004, Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of the Brazil team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup was appointed its national coach. Despite a poor start, a 0–6 defeat to Israel on February 18, Azerbaijan won their first away match, 3–2 against Kazakhstan on April 28. In June 2005, following a 3–0 defeat by Poland, Torres stood down from the position, to be replaced by former Neftchi coach Vagif Sadygov, his third spell as coach of Azerbaijan. Shahin Diniyev took over as manager in November 2005.
He resigned on 31 October 2007, Gjoko Hadzievski was named as care-taking coach of Azerbaijan. In April 2008, former German football player and coach Berti Vogts was appointed as a manager of Azerbaijan on a two-year contract. Azerbaijan had a mixed qualifying campaign, finishing with 5 points, just missing out on a last place to Liechtenstein with 2 points. In November 2009, AFFA extended Berti Vogts' contract a further two years, making him the first manager to manage Azerbaijani national team in two qualification cycles. In 2010, following a shock win over Turkey, the team reached 90th place in FIFA World Rankings, Azerbaijan's highest position in country's football history. After victory over Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan broke their scoring and points records by gaining 7 points and scoring 10 goals. In November 2011, AFFA extended Berti Vogts' contract a further two years, until end of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification cycle. Under Vogts, Azerbaijan had some poor results, not being able to defeat second-string sides.
Vogts faced major criticism and demonstration from local supporters and the media. However, Azerbaijan managed to finish qualification cycle in fourth place, the team's best finish. In December 2013, Vogts being granted a new two-year contract, with aim to lead Azerbaijan through EURO 2016 qualifying. On July 2014, Azerbaijan beat its ranking record by reaching 73rd place in FIFA World Rankings. Following three straight losses, Vogts resigned from his post after spending six years in charge of Azerbaijan. Succeeding Vogts as full-time manager was former Croatia international Robert Prosinečki, he guided the Azeri team to another record points haul in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, but the team still finished fifth in the six-team Group C. Prosinečki resigned after deciding not to extend his contract with the Azerbaijan football federation; as of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying round, Azerbaijan's home colours are all-red kit. The team wears an all-blue kit for away games; this combination of colours are traditional for the national team since their first game.
In the beginning of 90s the team has worn a white shirt, to the end of decade it has been transformated into blue-white striped shirts. At the beginning of the 2000s, the kit was replaced by the white shirt with a vertical tricolour stripe, color originating from the national flag of Azerbaijan on the chest; the kit was changed into blue shirts, red shorts and green socks only for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying round. After the tournament, the national team went back to their usual combination of colours. Azerbaijan national team's away colours were yellow-black striped shirts, black shorts and yellow socks until UEFA E
Warta Poznań is a multi-sports club based in Poznań, Poland. Founded in 1912, the association football section are two-time winners of the Polish Football Championship, in 1929 and 1947, but reside in the Polish Second League, I liga; the name means the Guard in Polish and a name of river Warta on which Poznań is located. The club played in second level between 1951–1952, 1956–1960, 1970–1971, 1973–1975, 1977–1979, 1991–1993, 1995–1996, 1997–1998 and since 2007, they played in the top level last between 1993–1995. The club has one of the most successful field hockey and tennis teams in the country. Ekstraklasa: 1st place: 1929, 1947 2nd place: 1922, 1925, 1928, 1938, 1946 3rd place: 1921, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1932, 1935, 1936 Youth Teams: Polish U-19 Runner Up: 1936, 1975 As of 4 September 2016Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Czarni Lwów Warta Poznań Official Website Cooliozum Warta Poznań
Miedź Legnica is a Polish football club based in Legnica, Poland. Miedź was founded in 1971; as of the 2018/19 season, the club competes in the Ekstraklasa, the top tier of the Polish league system. Miedź secured promotion from I liga during the 2017/18 season; the club's manager is Dominik Nowak. The Sports Director is Marek Ubych; the Director of the Academy is Krzysztof Kądziołka. In 2018, Miedź Legnica achieved promotion to the top flight for the first time in club's history; as of 1 November 2018. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Polish Cup: Winner: 1992 – Miedź Legnica 1–1 4–3 Górnik Zabrze Polish SuperCup: Finalist: 1992 – Lech Poznań 4–2 Miedź Legnica Miedź Legnica scores are given first in all scorelines. Had international caps for their respective countries. Players listed in bold represented their countries while playing for Miedź. Poland Grzegorz Bartczak Andrzej Bledzewski Marcin Burkhardt Łukasz Garguła Jarosław Gierejkiewicz Tomasz Jarzębowski Romuald Kujawa Wojciech Łobodziński Piotr Madejski Mariusz Mowlik Marcin Nowacki Marcin Robak Michał Stasiak Bartosz Ślusarski Albania Enkeleid Dobi Cape Verde Kadú Alves Croatia Mladen Bartulović Estonia Artjom Artjunin Henrik Ojamaa Artur Pikk Igor Subbotin Finland Petteri Forsell Haiti Kevin Lafrance Latvia Valērijs Šabala Lithuania Tadas Labukas Trinidad and Tobago Keon Daniel Official website Miedź Legnica