The Poles defeated the world champions and made the whole country happy. Now we can only dream of such success

The Poles defeated the world champions and made the whole country happy. Now we can only dream of such success

This goal went down in history as one of the most important goals scored by the Polish national team. Exactly 50 years ago, Grzegorz Lato secured the third place for the national team at the World Cup.

Before the match with Brazil, Polish footballers had every right to feel unsatisfied. They stormed through the tournament in Germany, winning five games in a row. Among the defeated teams were: Argentina, Haiti, Italy, Sweden and Yugoslavia. Later, the streak was interrupted, because our players lost the memorable “match on the water” to the host team. The 0:1 defeat meant that the white and reds had to play for third place. And so reaching this stage of the championship event was a great feat, but the Poles knew that there was a chance even for a gold medal.

Grzegorz Lato’s Rally

At the 1974 World Cup, the Canarinhos defended their title. They did not look as impressive as the white and reds, because in the first group stage they recorded a win and two draws, and then in the next part of the competition two wins and a loss. The only loss came in a clash with the Netherlands, who advanced to the final.

Either way, you had to watch out for Brazil. The Poles knew that perfectly well. They did everything they could to avoid conceding a goal, and they also hoped to strike a decisive blow. And so it happened in the 76th minute. Then Grzegorz Lato made a run on the right side and beat the opponents’ goalkeeper with a ground shot. No more goals were scored, which gave a 1-0 victory and third place at the World Cup for the Polish team.

It was the first medal for our team in the history of appearances at football world cups. It is worth adding that Poland had previously participated in the world championship only in 1938. The success of Kazimierz Górski’s team was repeated in 1982, when under the leadership of Antoni Piechniczek our footballers once again came in third place.

After the 1974 World Cup, the country was in a frenzy about the Polish national team. It is estimated that 100,000 Warsaw residents celebrated the silver medal at the World Championships with the players (back then, silver was awarded for third place). Górski’s players were called heroes, and each of them became very recognizable.

Grzegorz Lato – the king of the World Cups from Poland

The tournament in Germany was great for the Poles, not only in terms of winning a medal, but also in terms of their overall shooting form. Grzegorz Lato scored the most goals of all players, scoring seven goals. Andrzej Szarmach had five goals under his name, which gave him second place in the scoring table.

Lato is the Polish king of the World Cup. He has scored ten goals in total at the World Cup, which puts him at the top of the all-time list.

– Our attitude in the Federal Republic of Germany has had a wide resonance all over the world. During the championship, a certain man approached me at our headquarters in Murrhardt. A German. A collector who brought a whole stack of commemorative postcards issued by the German post office for the World Cup and suggested that I sign each of them. Of course, not for free. For signing four thousand cards, I received one thousand marks – Lato recalled in his book “Grzegorz Lato. Król Mundial”

Now, our fans can only dream of great victories at major events. In the 21st century, the Polish team has only made it out of the group stage at the World Cup once. I’m talking about 2022, of course, when France beat us 3-1 in the 1/8 finals.

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