Republic of Ireland national football team
The Republic of Ireland national football team represents Ireland in association football. It is governed by the Football Association of Ireland and stages its home fixtures at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin; the team made their debut at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Between 1924 and 1936, the team competed as the Irish Free State and from until 1950, it was referred to by the FAI as Éire or Ireland. In 1953, FIFA decreed that for competitive matches in tournaments that both Irish teams may enter, the FAI team would be called the Republic of Ireland while the IFA team was to be named Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland was allowed to use the title Ireland by FIFA in the Home International Competition until it was discontinued in 1984; the Republic of Ireland was the first nation from outside the United Kingdom to defeat England at home at a fixture played at Goodison Park, Liverpool, in 1949. The team reached the quarter-final stage of the 1964 European Nations' Cup, where they lost to the eventual winners Spain.
Under the guidance of Jack Charlton, the team enjoyed its most successful era, reaching their highest FIFA world ranking at sixth in August 1993, qualifying for UEFA Euro 1988 in their first appearance at the UEFA European Championship, reaching the quarter-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in their first appearance at the finals, as well as making the last 16 at the 1994 edition. Charlton's successor Mick McCarthy lost out on the next two major tournaments but qualified for the 2002 World Cup, making it to the last 16. Under Giovanni Trapattoni, the team narrowly lost out on qualification for the 2010 World Cup during a controversial play-off, but went on to qualify for Euro 2012; the team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, marking the end of Trapattoni's tenure as manager. The Republic of Ireland fell to a record low FIFA ranking of 59th a record low of 70th in June 2014. For the next Euro qualifying campaign under manager Martin O'Neill, the Republic of Ireland finished third behind Germany and Poland, but went on to qualify for Euro 2016 after a 3–1 aggregate win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs.
The Boys in Green reached the Round of 16 stage at that tournament and were knocked out by the hosts and eventual runners-up France after losing 2–1. Between 1882 and 1924, Ireland was represented by a single national football team organised by the Belfast-based Irish Football Association. In 1920, Ireland was partitioned into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State Following the initial political upheavals surrounding Partition, a Dublin-based organisation calling itself the Football Association of the Irish Free State split from the IFA in 1921 and began organising its own league and national football team. In 1923, the FAIFS was recognised by FIFA as the governing body of football in the Irish Free State and at the 1924 Summer Olympics, the Irish Free State made their international debut. On 28 May, at the Stade Olympique, they beat Bulgaria 1–0, with Paddy Duncan scoring the team's first goal; as a result, they qualified for the quarter-finals. On 14 June 1924, the Irish Free State made their home debut against the United States, who had embarked on a brief European tour after competing in the same Summer Olympics.
Ed Brookes scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 home win at Dalymount Park. The Irish Free State did not play their next game until 21 March 1926, an away game against Italy lost 3–0. In subsequent years, the status of the Olympic Games football competition was downgraded and as a result, this game is regarded as the Irish Free State's first official game. On 25 February 1934, the Irish Free State made their FIFA World Cup debut, drawing 4–4 with Belgium at Dalymount Park in a 1934 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Paddy Moore scored all four of the Free State's goals and became the first player to score four goals in a World Cup game. After 1936, they reverted to the designation "Football Association of Ireland" and began to refer to their team as Éire or "Ireland". During this entire period, there were two Irish international football teams, chosen by two rival Associations. Both Associations, the Northern Ireland-based IFA and the Irish Free State-based FAI claimed jurisdiction over the whole of Ireland and considered themselves entitled to select players from the entire island.
At least 38 dual internationals were selected to represent both teams, however the overwhelming majority of these were Southerners who agreed to play for the IFA team, with only a bare handful "crossing the border" in the other direction. A 2–0 win over England at Goodison Park on 21 September 1949 was the first time England suffered a home defeat by a team outside the Home Countries of Scotland and the Ireland team run by the Belfast-based Irish FA. FIFA intervened when both teams entered 1950 World Cup qualification, the first time they had entered the same competition. Four players – Tom Aherne, Reg Ryan, Davy Walsh, Con Martin – played for the two different teams in the same FIFA World Cup tournament. All four players concerned had been born in the Irish Free State and made their full international debut in FAI colours before agreeing to represent the IFA team; this may have alarmed the FAI, since they subsequently lobbied FIFA to prevent the IFA from picking Southern-born players. FIFA's response was to restrict the eligibility of players on the basis of the border, further ruling in 1953 that ne
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Robert Lewandowski is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bayern Munich and is the captain of the Poland national team. After being the top scorer in the third and second tiers of Polish football with Znicz Pruszków, he moved to top-flight Lech Poznań, was the top scorer in the league as they won the 2009–10 Ekstraklasa. In 2010, he transferred to Borussia Dortmund for a reported €4.5 million, where he won honours including two consecutive Bundesliga titles and a season as the league's top goalscorer. In 2013, he earned with Borussia a spot in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, a tournament in which he was the second top goalscorer, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo. Prior to the start of the 2014–15 season, Lewandowski agreed to join Dortmund's domestic rivals, Bayern Munich, on a free transfer. In Munich, he won the Bundesliga title in each of his first four campaigns, earning a spot in the Bundesliga Team of the Year in every season. In 2015–16 and 2017–18, he led the league in goalscoring, in 2016–17 he was named the Bundesliga Player of The Year.
He was named to the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season two times. He has scored over 200 goals in the Bundesliga, having reached the century mark quicker than any other foreign player, is the league's all-time leading foreign goalscorer, he holds the record for the fastest five goal haul in any major European football league since records have been kept after scoring five times in nine minutes against Wolfsburg in 2015. A full international for Poland since 2008, Lewandowski has earned over 100 caps and was a member of their team at Euro 2012, Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup. With 56 international goals, Lewandowski is the all-time top scorer for Poland. In 2015, he was voted Polish Sportspersonality of the Year and in 2016 he claimed fourth place at the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or Awards, he has been named the Polish Player of the Year a record seven times. The Guardian has ranked him as the fifth-best footballer on the planet in 2015. Lewandowski started his career at MKS Varsovia Warsaw.
The following year he moved to Delta Warsaw where he managed to play in the first team, scoring four goals. In 2006–07, Lewandowski was the Polish third division's top goal scorer with 15 goals, helping Znicz Pruszków win promotion; the next season he was the top scorer in the Polish second division with 21 goals. In June 2008, Lech Poznań signed Lewandowski from Znicz for 1.5 million złotys. Earlier that month, Lewandowski's agent Cezary Kucharski offered him to his former team Sporting Gijón, promoted to the Spanish top league after ten years in the second tier. However, Sporting rejected him, he made his debut for Lech in July 2008 as a substitute in a first-round UEFA Cup qualifier versus Khazar Lankaran from Azerbaijan. In that match, he scored the only goal of the match. During his Ekstraklasa debut in the first game of the season in a match against GKS Bełchatów, he scored a heel flick goal just four minutes after coming into the game late second half. In his first season in the Polish top division, he was second in the goal-scoring charts.
He finished. The next season, he became the top scorer with 18 goals and helped his team win the 2009–10 championship. Following press speculation that Lewandowski might move to one of a number of clubs he joined Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in June 2010, signing a four-year contract with the German club for a fee reported to be worth around €4.5 million. On 19 September, he scored his first goal in the Bundesliga to make it 3–0 in the Revierderby against Schalke 04. In the 2011–12 Bundesliga campaign, Lewandowski profited from an injury of Lucas Barrios and he was elevated to an ever-present position in the starting XI until the winter break; the striker responded by finding the net two times in Dortmund's 3–0 DFB-Pokal first round victory over SV Sandhausen. Lewandowski opened his league account in a 2–0 win over 1. FC Nürnberg on 20 August 2011 by providing the finishing touch from a Mario Götze cross. On 1 October, Lewandowski provided an assist and netted a hat-trick in the club's 4–0 victory over FC Augsburg, following a disappointing 3–0 loss to Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League group stage.
Dortmund climbed into second place in the Bundesliga with a comfortable 5–0 victory over 1. FC Köln on 22 October, with Lewandowski finding the net either side of half-time. Dortmund travelled to SC Freiburg on 17 December and Lewandowski struck twice and provided an assist for Kevin Großkreutz, as Dortmund eased to a 4–1 triumph. Due to his strong performance, he was named Best Player of the Year in Poland. Following the winter break, on 22 January 2012, Dortmund thrashed Hamburger SV 5–1 to move level on points with leaders Bayern Munich, he scored in a 1–0 home win over Bayern Munich on 11 April. The result gave Dortmund a six-point cushion over their title rivals with only four games left to play. On 21 April, Lewandowski provided the assist for Shinji Kagawa's 59th-minute goal as Dortmund won 2–0 over Borussia Mönchengladbach to seal their second straight title. In the final Bundesliga game of the campaign, Lewandowski scored two first-half goals as Dortmund beat Freiburg 4–0 and celebrated lifting the title.
Lewandowski finished the year as the third top goal scorer with 22 goals, none from the penalty spot, six assists. In the final game of the season for Dortmund, he scored a hat-trick in the DFB-Pokal Final, a 5–2 win over Bayern Munich, to earn the club its first league and cup double. Lewandowski finished as the DFB-Pokal's top goalscorer, with seven goals from six game
Polonia Warsaw, founded in 1911, is the oldest existing Warsaw sports club, with football, basketball and field and swimming teams. Polonia Warsaw was formed in the autumn of 1911 as a union of two school teams; the founder of the club was captain Wacław Denhoff-Czarnocki, who came up with the name of the club. Polonia is Latin for "Poland" and is used by Polish ex-patriates in reference to their communities in other countries; the choice of such a name was a brave decision at the time, since Poland was not an independent country, Warsaw was a part of Russian partition. The players played in black-and-white striped shirts, but in the spring of 1912, they switched to their now traditional design of all black shirts; the legendary patriotic explanation for this color scheme was that it was a sign of mourning for the occupied and divided motherland of Poland. This lasting devotion to tradition resulted in the club's popular name: The Black Shirts; the uniform's white shorts and red socks come from the colors of the Polish flag.
The club's first match on 19 November 1911 was against a strong local rival and ended 3–4 in favor of Korona. Two years in February 1913, The Black Shirts defeated Korona 4–0. During the first world war, German occupants were more liberal in their ways than the previous Russian counterparts, allowed the official registration of sports clubs on Polish territory, on 15 October 1915 Polonia official became a football club, despite existing for four years; the first match between Polonia and Legia Warsaw was played on 29 April 1917. It was the first historic "Great Derby of Warsaw" – the clash of these two rival teams. A month there was a second match between the teams, ending with the same score. Hatred divided their supporters early in the clubs' history and continues to this day, driving strong emotions during the matches and sometimes greater emotions between matches. In 1921, the Black Shirts came second in the first season of the Polish football championship. In 1926, they finished the season as joint-champions.
Polonia was Warsaw's favorite club – the great majority of the city's inhabitants were devoted Black Shirt supporters. In the late 1930s, Polonia became one of powerhouses of Polish football, with players, such as Jerzy Bulanow, Wladyslaw Szczepaniak, Erwin Nyc and Henryk Jaznicki capping for the national team; the friendship between Polonia and KS Cracovia – the prewar Polish football legend and the first champions of Poland – dates back to those days. In 1946, Polonia won the Polish Championship title, it was burned capital. The final match was played on "Wojska Polskiego" Stadium on Lazienkowska Street, because Polonia's stadium on 6 Konwiktorska Street had been ruined during the war; the Black Shirts defeated AKS Chorzów in the final. In 1952, Polonia Warsaw won their first Polish Cup. In the final, Polonia managed to outscore local rivals Legia Warsaw 1-0, much to the delight of Warsaw's fans, who supported the Black Shirts. During the Stalinist period, Polonia's name and colors were changed – Warsaw's oldest club was renamed Kolejarz, as the team was now tied to the Polish National Railroad company.
The Black Shirts were banned, as the Stalinist regime was trying to erase everything, associated with Warsaw from before the war. Every Polish football club got a ` sponsor', such as militia or mining industry. At the time, the railroad was one of the poorest sponsors choosing another club, as the main club they were investing in. Polonia's management struggled to face the problems that the club came across, which contributed to its eventual relegation to the Polish second division. Fifteen years there were still thousands of fans on Konwiktorska Street. Nobody thought it would take 40 years for Polonia to come back to top-flight football. One of the reasons behind this, was that all the young men, promising footballers to be – from all over Poland, the Warsaw youth academies, were called up for compulsory army training, which under the communist rule lasted about 5 years, or sometimes longer. Many of the players received an offer to play for the army sponsored Legia Warsaw, which led to some of Polonia's bitter rivals biggest successes, in the 1960s.
Till the modern day Polonia's fans attribute Legia's current popularity in Warsaw to the communist regime, the'stealing' of talented players. Polonia's ultras fans put up a flag with an anti-communist symbol, in the center of'Kammienna' sector every game. In the 1992–93 season, after 40 years playing in the lower leagues, Polonia Warsaw was promoted to the first division; the organization of the club was insufficient to compete with the strongest clubs in Polish football - the biggest problems being lack of money and a sound training base. After one season, the team was relegated yet again, but only for a year as in the 1995–96 season Polonia Warszawa won promotion again. In 1996, Janusz Romanowski took over as chairman of Polonia, having just backed out from sponsoring local rivals Legia Warszawa. In 1998'The Black Shirts' finished runner-up in the top flight and in 1999 reached the semi-finals of the Intertoto Cup. In the 1999/2000 season, Polonia were not considered challengers for the title.
At the end of the autumn round, the Black Shirts were for the first time in club's history leading the league. That team had two managers – Jerzy Engel (who became the coach of the Polish national team, which qualified for the World C
Górnik Zabrze is a Polish football club from Zabrze. Górnik is one of the most successful Polish football clubs in history, winning the most Polish Championship titles; the club was a dominant force in the 1980s. Górnik holds the record for winning the most consecutive Polish Championship titles and Polish Cup titles. In addition, the club was 1969–70 Cup Winners' Cup runners-up; the club plays in a white or dark blue-red kit, is based at the Ernest Pohl Stadium. Their main local rival is Ruch Chorzów; the club was founded in 1948, three years after Polish borders had moved westward and the city of Zabrze became part of the Polish Republic. Górnik was patterned after several smaller sports associations that had existed in Zabrze between 1945 and 1948 – KS Zjednoczenie, KS Pogoń, KS Skra, KS Concordia; the clubs merged into a single organization, which took the name "Górnik", the Polish word for "Miner", reflecting the fact that Zabrze was an important coal-mining centre. In 1950 Górnik joined the Opole Silesia regional league.
In 1952 the club was promoted to the Polish Second Division. Their first game in the second tier was against Skra Częstochowa, was witnessed by 20,000 fans, with Górnik winning 5–1; the whole season was successful and Górnik finished second overall, behind Górnik Wałbrzych. The club was promoted to the top division in 1955. In their first game in the top flight Górnik beat local rivals Ruch Chorzów 3–1, with 25,000 in attendance. In 1957, just a year after promotion, Górnik won its first championship of Poland; the team, with star, Ernest Pohl, was third in 1958, to regain the crown in 1959 and 1961, together with such players as Stanislaw Oslizlo and Hubert Kostka. In 1961 Górnik for the first time appeared in European Cups, losing in the first round to Tottenham Hotspur; the next championship, won in 1963, marked the beginning of an unusual streak of five consecutive titles, a Polish record. Górnik's biggest success in European football took place in 1970. In the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, Gornik beat all their opponents – Olympiacos, Levski Sofia and AS Roma, reaching the final, which took place in Vienna.
There, Manchester City turned out to be the better team, winning 2–1. The following season Górnik would once again play Manchester City, with the 1970 final being repeated this time in the quarter-final. During the mid-1970s Górnik form deteriorated and in late spring of 1978, the team was relegated to the Second Division. However, it in games of 1979 -- 80, Zabrze's side finished sixth. In 1984, after purchasing of a group of talented players, Gornik finished fourth, a sign of better times. Between 1985 and 1988 Górnik again marked a magnificent streak, with four consecutive championships. Zabrze's side played versus renowned European powerhouses, such as Bayern Munich, Hamburger SV, Juventus and Real Madrid. In 1994 Górnik competed again for the title and with players as Jerzy Brzęczek, Grzegorz Mielcarski, Tomasz Wałdoch, hopes were high. Before the last round of the league the standings at the top were: Legia 47 points and Górnik 45 points. Since the two teams were to face each other in Warsaw, Górnik still had a chance to win the title.
However the game ended in a 1 -- 1 tie. Before Legia scored the goal which gave her the title, the referee of the match – Mr Redzinski – sent off one by one 3 players from Gornik's squad, Górnik had to finished match with only 8 players against 11 players of Legia, it was the last match in Mr Redzinski's career. In the same year, Górnik played its last so far game in European Cups, losing to Admira Wacker Vienna. In the spring of 2007 Górnik got a new sponsor – German insurance company Allianz. However, after finishing 16th in the Ekstraklasa in 2008–09, the club was relegated to the Polish First League, the 2nd level of Polish football, during the 2009–10 season. In June 2010, the club earned promotion back to the Ekstraklasa for the 2010–11 season. Ekstraklasa 1st Place: 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88 2nd Place: 1962, 1968–69, 1973–74, 1990–91 Polish Cup Winner: 1964–65, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72 Runner-up: 1955–56, 1956–57, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1985–86, 1991–92, 2000–01 Polish SuperCup: Winners: 1988 European Cup: Quarter-Final: 1967–68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: Runner-up: 1969–70Youth Teams: Polish U-19 Champion: 1967, 1989 Polish U-19 Runner Up: 1985, 2001, 2011 Polish U-19 Bronze Medal: 2015 Polish U-17 Champion: 1992, 1996 Polish U-17 Runner Up: 2014 As of 28 February, 2019.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Górnik Zabrze is believed to have one of the largest and most loyal fanbases in Poland in the Upper Silesian metropolitan area. In the 2016–17 season, Górnik Zabrze drew the highest average home attendance of all second level Polish football clubs, they drew the highest attendance in their league. After their comeback to the top flight in 2017, Górnik drew the highest average home attendance in Polish football, surpassing current top teams Lech Poznań and Legia Warsaw, with most league games being sold-out. Górnik holds a long-standing rivalry with Upper Silesian side Ruch Chorz
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
Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR and Russia
Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR is a document which provided general Soviet physical education system requirements for both athletes and coaches. Similar systems still exist today in several former Soviet republics; the classification was established in 1935 and was based on separate classifications, which existed for several sports disciplines before. Starting in 1949, it was revised every four years, the period, which corresponded to the Olympic cycle, to reflect new standards for the physical training; the document contained test standards and conditions, necessary for the conferment of sports ranks and titles, for all sports, cultivated in the USSR. As of the 1970s, there were following ranks for athletes of the USSR: Merited Master of Sport of the USSR, equates to international champion who has made valuable contributions to the sport Master of Sport of the USSR, International Class, equates to international champion Master of Sport of the USSR, equates to national champion Candidate for Master of Sport of the USSR, equates to nationally ranked player First-Class Sportsman, equates to regional champion Second-Class Sportsman, equates to state champion Third-Class Sportsman, equates to city champion First-Class Junior Sportsman Second-Class Junior Sportsman Third-Class Junior Sportsman Each of these titles was awarded only for results on the official competitions.
Athletes who qualified for the rank were awarded a badge with serial number. This system was popular among Soviet satellite states and was used in Bulgaria, East Germany and Romania until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Russia continued the system, former Soviet republics Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan maintain a similar or identical ranking system. In Albania, a similar system, the Sports titles one, was started in 1967. A new sports title called Merited Master of Sport of Russia was created by the Russian government in 2007 to replace the previous one; the title of Merited Master of Sport of the USSR was awarded to a handful of foreigners. On 30 January 1952, the title Merited Master of Sport of the USSR was awarded to Agustín Gómez Pagóla, born in Spain and started to play football there, but moved to the USSR during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, played for Torpedo Moscow in 1947–1954, being the team captain in 1951–1953. In 1972, to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet Union, this title was awarded to the following prominent athletes from socialist nations: Maria Gigova András Balczó Karin Janz Li Ho-Jun Teófilo Stevenson Khorloogiin Bayanmönkh Włodzimierz Lubański Nicolae Martinescu Ondrej Nepela Under the Soviet system, titles were awarded to coaches based on national and international success.
Significant International success brought Merited Coach of the USSR while national success was rewarded with Merited Coach of one of the Soviet republics. Merited Coach of the USSR Merited Coach of the Uzbek SSR The same system is in place today for most of the former Soviet republics as well. For example, Merited Coach of Russia Merited Coach of Ukraine Merited Coach of Uzbekistan Since 2007, a few foreign coaches have been awarded the title of Merited Coach of Russia for their roles in securing Russian victories: 2007: David Blatt, coach of the Russian men's basketball team, champions, 2007 European Championships 2008: Giovanni Caprara, coach of the Russian women's volleyball team, champions, 2006 European Championships 2008: Dick Advocaat, head coach of Zenit St. Petersburg, champions, 2007–08 UEFA Cup and 2008 UEFA Super Cup 2013: Guus Hiddink, coach of Russian national team, bronze medalists, 2008 European Championships 2013: Oleg Znarok, head coach of Dynamo Moscow, champions, 2011/2012 Gagarin Cup 2013: Harijs Vītoliņš, assistant coach of Dynamo Moscow, champions, 2012/2013 Gagarin Cup The title of Honored Judge of Russia may be given to sport judges and referees who have reached the level of "All-Russian Sports Official" and have distinguished careers of officiating to their credit.
Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR Unified Sports Classification of Ukraine "Приказ: Об утверждении Положения о присвоении почетных спортивных званий". Ministry of Sport. 27 November 2008. Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. vol. 9, p. 64