Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Poland confident they can win Euro 2024 opener without Lewandowski

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jun 2024

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Poland believe they have what it takes to beat the Netherlands on Sunday, even without their talisman, Robert Lewandowski.

The striker is Poland’s all-time top scorer with 82 goals in his 150 appearances for the national side.

Seven of those goals have come at major tournaments (two at World Cups and five at European Championships), and he scored three goals in their qualifying campaign to help them into the tournament.

However, Lewandowski has been ruled out of the Eagles’ opener after sustaining a hamstring injury in their final warm-up friendly against Turkiye on Monday.

They are also missing striker Karol Swiderski due to an ankle injury, while Arkadiusz Milik withdrew from the squad as well.

Zielinski, who will wear the captain’s armband in Lewandowski’s absence, remained confident Poland have the players to get a victory.

“It is a great pity Robert Lewandowski cannot help us in this match,” said Zielinski.

“He is a world-class player, and we will miss him. But whether it is me or the team-mates, we will add something extra to achieve the goal, which is to win.”

“The qualifications were not exactly what we would have expected. The most important thing is that we are here, and we will do whatever we can.”

Lewandowski is in contention to feature in Poland’s other two Group D matches, with Austria and France also lying in wait.

Probierz will manage just his third game without the 35-year-old in the side, but echoed Zielinski’s optimism ahead of a stern test against the Netherlands.

“There’s nothing to hide, we will miss him. But other players will have to do what they can to get a result. I hope he will have other opportunities to play,” he said.

“We have to change this team generationally. We will do whatever we have to do as a team to play well. We will not step back, we will progress.

“Everyone is saying we are going to lose. Everyone is writing us off. But we have a team that wants to fight for each other.”

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