Thursday, May 7, 2015

Polish diaspora Greatest All-Time Team

This is my all-time team for Polish diaspora (ethnic Polish players capped by other countries).  If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.

The Polish diaspora is also known as Polonia in modern Polish language.  I noticed that there are a number of great Poles capped by other national teams. 

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

GK: Peter Schmeichel  (Denmark)
He was regarded as one of the greatest keeper of all-time. He was voted the "World's Best Goalkeeper" in 1992 and 1993. He is best remembered for his most successful years at Manchester United, whom he captained to the 1999 UEFA Champions League to complete the Treble.  He is also the most capped player for the Denmark national team, with 129 games between 1987 and 2001. In addition to Euro 92, he played for his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and three additional European Championship tournaments. His father is Polish.
Peter Schmeichel 

GK: Ladislao Mazurkiewicz (Uruguay)
He is considered one of the greatest keepers from South America.  He was the starting keeper for Uruguay at WC 1970. He was elected the best goalkeeper of that tournament.He was widely considered to be one of the greatest keepers from South America.

GK: Brad Guzan (USA)
Guzan was second overall pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, signing for Chivas USA, with whom he was the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In July 2008, he joined Aston Villa for a fee of $1 million, where he has made over 100 Premier League. appearances.  Since 2006, he has been capped by the USA.  He is mainly a backup to Tim Howard. He went to South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

RB: Laurent Koscielny (France)
He started his career in the lower division in France before moving to Lorient in 2009.  He moved to Arsenal in 2010.  Less than a season later, he was called up to the French national team.  He had also considered playing for Poland.  The French centerback had played on the rightback for Arsenal.

CB: Lukas Sinkiewicz (Germany)

He was born in Poland, but capped by Germany for 3 times since 2005.  He is listed as a Silesian German. He played for bayer Leverkusen, Koln, Augsburg, etc. 

DF: Juan Carlos Masnik (Uruguay)
Masnik played for Club Nacional de Football and featured in the 1971 Intercontinental Cup. He played in Argentina for Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata. He also had two short stints in the United States. The first was in 1967 with the New York Skyliners of the United Soccer Association and in the second in 1975 with New York Cosmos of the NASL. Masnik made 26 appearances for the Uruguay national football team from 1967 to 1974.  He played in West Germany 1974.

DF: Vladislao Cap (Argentina)
Nicknamed El Polaco (The Pole), Cap played for Argentine club sides Arsenal de Llavallol (1952) Quilmes (1953), Racing Club (1954–1960), Club Atlético Huracán (1961), River Plate (1962–1965) and Vélez Sársfield (1966). He played 11 matches with the national team, scoring one goal, and won the 1959 Copa América.  He went to the WC Finals in 1962.

CB: Phil Jagielka (England) 
He born in Manchester of Polish descent.  He played for Sheffield Wednesday before joining Everton in 2007.  At the time of writing, he has over 36 caps for England.  He went to Euro 2012 and WC Finals in 2014.
Phil Jagielka 

LB: Filipe Luís Kasmirski (Brazil) 
Filipe Luis started his career with Figueirense.  He moved to Europe where he played for many clubs, including Ajax, Real Madrid B and Deportivo La Coruna.  He was the starting leftback or Atletico Madrid when they won La Liga in 2013-2014. He joined Chelsea in 2014, but only spent a season there.  His surname is Kasmirski, but better known as just Filipe Luis.  Since 2009, he plays for Brazil. 

LB: Paul Konchesky (England)
He has previously played for Charlton Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Fulham, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers, and Leicester City. Konchesky made 15 appearances for the England under-21 team and was capped twice for England.

DM: Tim Borowski (Germany)

He spent 11 years of his 12-year professional career with Werder Bremen, amassing Bundesliga totals of 236 games and 32 goals and winning three major titles, including the 2004 national championship. Borowski played 33 times for the German national team, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.

CM: Théodore Szkudlapski (France)
Born in France of Polish ancestry, he was better know as Theo.   In 1953 , he played for RC Lens until 1958 when he left for Stade Rennes . Two years later, he joined the AS Monaco, where he won the French league twice.  Capped twice for France.

CM: Horst Szymaniak (Germany)
He was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  He went to the WC Finals in 1959 and 1962.  He played for SpVgg Erkenschwick, Wuppertaler SV, Karlsruher SC, Calcio Catania, F.C. Internazionale Milano, A.S. Varese 1910, and Tasmania 1900 Berlin. He joined Inter Milan in 1962 at a time when Serie A clubs seldom signed German players.

RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski  (Germany)
Littibarski was a major star in the 1980's.  He played in three WC Finals with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times. He first made his name playing as a young payer at Spain 1982. He won his final cup in 1990.  He spent most of his career with Koln. He also played in France and Japan.

RW: Jurgen Grabowski (Germany)
Grabowski played his entire career with Eintracht Frankfrut.  He was capped 44 times.  He went to three WC Finals: 1966, 1970 and 1974.  He won Euro 1972 and the WC in 1974.  
Jurgen Grabowski 

LW: Piotr Trochowski (Germany)
He started at Bayern Munich, he spent six-and-a-half seasons at Hamburger SV before transferring to Sevilla in 2011 and to he  FC Augsburg. Trochowski earned 35 caps over four years. He was part of their squads which reached the UEFA Euro 2008 Final and the semi-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

AM: Dariusz Wosz (Germany)
Born in Poland, he started his career in East Germany. He started with Chemie Halle in 1984.  Wosz was transferred to VfL Bochum in toward the end of the 1991–92 season. As captain, he led Bochum to its biggest success yet: the third round of the 1997–98 UEFA Cup which was lost 4–6 on aggregate to Ajax Amsterdam.  He also played for Hertha Berlin.  Capped 7 times for East Germany and 17 times for Germany.  He went to Euro 2000.

AM/RW: Raymond Kopa  (France)
His full name was Raymond Kopaszewsk.   He was considered to be "Les Bleus"'s greatest player before the emerge of Platini. He won the the European Footballer of the Year in 1958 and three European Cups with Real Madrid in the 1950's.  He also played with Stade de Reims before joining the legendary Real Madrid team of the 1950's.  was probably one of the best French players ever. 
Raymond Kopa
FW: Tadeusz Kraus (Czechoslovakia)
He started with Siła Trzyniec.  In 1951 he left the club and went to the university in Prague. He played for several clubs and from 1955 played for Dukla Prague. in 1956, Kraus joined Sparta Prague where he played for another 10 years, serving as the team captain for 4 years.  Tadeusz Kraus played for Czechoslovakia national team (scoring 6 goals in 23 matches) and was a participant at the two World Cups, 1954 FIFA World Cup and 1958 FIFA World Cup.

FW: Laszlo Kubala (Hungry, Spain, Czechoslovakia) 
Born in Hungary of a multi-cultural background.  He was known as one of the greatest Barcelona players ever.  He still managed to win 4 Li Liga titles in the 1950's in an era dominated by Real Madrid.  In 1961, Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the European Cup, the first ever loss by Real Madrid at the tournament.

FW: Lukas Podolski (Germany)
He made 81 appearances for Koln before moving to Bayern Munich. With Bayern, Podolski won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in 2008. Podolski returned to 1. FC Köln in 2009. He later signed for Premier League club Arsenal in 2012, with whom he won the FA Cup in 2014. He moved on loan to Italian club Inter Milan in January 2015, then permanently to Galatasaray six months after.  Capped over 120 times.  He is a regular member of the national team from 2003 to 2016.  He was a part of the team that won the WC in 2014.

ST: Hernán Crespo (Argentina)
Started with River Plate, he went on to play for many big clubs in both Italy and England.  He won three Serie A scudetti, a Copa Libertadores, a Premier League title and an Olympic Games silver medal. At international level, Crespo's career was limited by playing with Gabriel Batistuta, but he still managed to score 35 goals and is Argentina's third highest goalscorer. He played in three FIFA World Cups: 1998, 2002, 2006.
Hernán Crespo 

ST: Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team. He was part of the German squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  He is the top goalscorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup, having scored 16 goals. Klose is also the top scorer of all time for Germany.

Miroslav Klose 

Honorable Mention:
Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark), Dag Szepanski (Sweden), Janusz Michallik (USA), Tomasz Radzinski (Canada), Paulo Dybala (Argentina), Diego Klimowicz (Argentina), Paul Freier (Germany), Dick Krzywicki (Wales).

Squad Explanation
-- The selection is based upon ethnicity, but I am including Polish-born players who are not of Polish ethnicity.

-- Miroslav Klose was born in Poland, but his family was ethnic German. His father Josef was a professional footballer capped by Poland.  He returned to Germany as an Aussiedler. 
-- Peter Schmeichel's father is Polish.  He held Polish citizenship until 1970.  That made Kasper Schmeichel a Polish too.
-- I have question mark regarding Littibarski's Polish roots.  the internet both listed him as a German Pole and not of a German Pole.
-- Ernst Wilimowski is excluded because he has played for Poland.