Poland has a strong footballing pedigree. In this article, we discuss the best Polish footballer of all time has produced in the world. They have the distinction of finishing third in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups.
Below we have looked at some of the greatest Polish footballers of all time.
1- Zbigniew Boniek
Zbigniew Boniek made a great name for himself in the world of football. If we are discussing the best Polish footballers of all time, then we can never omit his name from the list.
Boniek was one of the best players during the 1980s. He was known for his excellent technique, dribbling, and incredible pace. The gifted forward would be a nightmare for defenders with his surging runs from midfield.
He was also very versatile as he could play in several attacking positions, including as a winger, attacking midfielder, or a second striker. While his football intelligence and work rate also earned him great praise from everyone.
Pele selected Boniek as one of the 100 best-living footballers in 2004. He earned 80 caps for the Poland national team, notching 24 goals. The versatile player also represented his country in three consecutive World Cups. He was a key member of the Poland team that secured a third-placed finish in the 1982 World Cup.
Boniek also played for some of the biggest European clubs. He was at Juventus between 1982 and 1985, where he made 81 league appearances and struck 14 goals. In comparison, his stint at Roma saw him scoring 17 goals in 76 league matches.
2- Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski is a hugely famous name in the world of football. He is still active in football, currently playing in Barcelona. The Polish footballer is over 30 now, but his levels have not dropped. He is still surprising the world with his amazing goal-scoring prowess.
Lewandowski has earned plaudits from experts for his movement, intelligence, technique, and finishing. He is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of all time and the best Polish footballers of all time.
The Barcelona star has the distinction of scoring over 600 goals for both club and country. He was successful at Borussia Dortmund, winning two Bundesliga titles and making it to the Champions League final. The striker became even more successful when he moved to Bayern Munich in 2014.
The 34-year-old has won the league title at the German club every eight seasons. He also played a key role in the Bavarians’ Champions League victory in 2019-20.
Lewandowski has also been incredible at the international level. He is the all-time top goalscorer for Poland, scoring 76 goals in over 130 appearances. His levels had not dropped when he moved to Barcelona, where he still scored goals.
3- Grzegorz Lato
Grzegorz Lato is also one of the greatest Polish footballers of all time. He played as a winger and was known for his pace, awareness, and flexibility.
The amazing footballer made 100 appearances for the Poland national side, with an incredible 45 goals to his name. He was instantly recognizable due to his hairstyle, which was like a Bobby Charlton-esque comb-over. Lato was excellent on the right wing. He was a joy to watch due to his incredible pace and direct style of play.
The talented winger was part of the national team’s first golden generation of footballers who did incredibly well at the 1974 World Cup. That was when Poland finished third in the prestigious tournament, with Lato bagging seven goals to be their top scorer.
However, he couldn’t showcase his talent to foreign clubs as Poland had imposed a ban at that time on their players moving abroad until they reached the age of 30. Lato played his entire career at Stal Mielec and later had stints at Lokeren and Atlante.
4- Andrzej Szarmach
Andrzej Szarmach’s fame grew enormously during the 1974 World Cup. With Wlodzimierz Lubanski out of contention, he was featured in the team for the prestigious tournament, and he surprised everyone with his amazing talent.
The 71-year-old formed a great attacking partnership with Grzegorz Lato and Robert Gadocha. He struck an impressive five goals in the tournament as Poland finished third at the World Cup. The Polish footballer was also part of the squad for the 1978 and 1982 World Cups. He earned 61caps for the national side, with 32 goals.
Szarmach had a nomadic club career as he played for several different sides, including Arka Gdynia, Górnik Zabrze, Stal Mielec, Auxerre, and others. Unfortunately, he also suffered the same fate as Grzegorz Lato. He also couldn’t move abroad until the age of 30 due to Poland’s ban.
Lato went to Belgium while Szarmach headed to France, where he joined Auxerre. He enjoyed an impressive spell at the French club, bagging nearly 100 goals in 150 matches.
5- Kazimierz Deyna
Kazimierz Deyna is also one of the greatest Polish footballers of all time. He was one of the best players of his generation who played as an attacking midfielder.
Deyna did incredibly well at the international level of football. He won the gold medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics. The midfielder was also the top goalscorer, notching an incredible nine goals.
The Polish footballer also earned 97 appearances for his country, with 41 goals to his name. The stylish midfielder earned great praise from many in Europe for his technical skills.
Deyna was one of the first Polish stars to move abroad as he joined Manchester City in 1978. He failed to make a huge impact on the English side due to injuries, but he showed glimpses of his quality. He struck 13 goals in just 41 matches in England. The attacking midfielder moved to the United States, joining San Diego Sockers in 1983.
6- Jakub Błaszczykowski
Jakub Blaszczykowski is another best Polish footballers of all time. The winger started his football career at Wisla Krakow, establishing himself as a key squad member. He moved to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2007 and enjoyed success there. The Polish footballer was there between 2007 and 2016, during which he won two Bundesliga titles, two DFL-Supercups, and a DFB-Pokal. He has also played for VfL Wolfsburg for a few seasons.
Jakub Blaszczykowski also has the distinction of being named Polish Footballer of the Year twice. He made 108 appearances for the national side, with 21 goals.
7- Ernest Pohl
Ernest Pohl is one of the best Polish footballers in the world. He played 46 international matches for the national side, bagging an incredible 39 goals.
The 1950s was when Poland was still reeling from the events of the Second World War, but the country still produced a football gem like Pohl. He was one of the most prolific goalscorers as his goals helped Gornik Zabrze to win eight Ekstraklasa titles between 1957 and 1967. The amazing footballer scored an incredible 186 goals in the Polish top flight, which remains the all-time goal total in the competition to this day.
8- Arkadiusz Milik
Arkadiusz Milik is one of the most famous and best Polish footballers of all time. He is currently on loan at Serie A giants Juventus from Marseille.
Milik started his career at Gornik Zabrze before moving to Bayer Leverkusen in 2013. He didn’t stay long at the German club and joined Ajax, initially on loan, which was later made permanent. The Polish star made 52 league appearances at the Johan Cruyff Arena, with 32 goals. He was one of the top scorers in the Eredivisie during his time at Ajax.
Milik was at Napoli between 2016 and 2022, where he made 93 Serie A appearances, with 38 goals. He was also very successful for Poland, scoring 16 goals in 62 international matches.
9- Jerzy Dudek
Jerzy Dudek is a former professional footballer who played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. He began his career in his home country before moving to the Netherlands and England.
Dudek, regarded as one of the best Polish footballers of all time,
has the distinction of winning the Champions League title with Liverpool in 2005. He made 186 appearances for the Reds during his six years at Anfield. The 49-year-old also played four years at Real Madrid but remained on the fringes of the squad there.
Dudek also represented his country at the 2002 World Cup. He has played 60 international matches for Poland.
10- Wojciech Szczęsny
Wojciech Szczesny is still active in football, unlike most of the names mentioned above. He currently plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A giants Juventus.
The Polish footballer has spent most of his career at Arsenal, where he made 181 appearances across all competitions. He also had loan spells at Brentford and Roma.
Szczesny has earned 64 caps for Poland so far and has represented his country at several prestigious tournaments.