(Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)
On Thursday afternoon, Czesław Michniewicz named the 26 players he will take to Qatar next week, as he attempts to become the first Poland coach in 36 years to navigate through to the knockout stages of a World Cup.
With the additional three places in the squad, the surprises were perhaps in the form of who missed out on the squad, rather than who got into it. Those big names missing out included the likes of Leeds United’s Mateusz Klich, Torino’s Karol Linetty, and Dynamo Kyiv’s Tomasz Kędziora.
The rumours had swirled over whether Michniewicz would opt to select four goalkeepers, with the healthy rivalry between Bartlomiej Drągowski and Kamil Grabara stemming back to when Michniewicz was in charge of the Poland U21 team. In the end, he opted for three, with Copenhagen’s Grabara missing out.
Despite having not featured under him in the senior team, Krystian Bielik was included after returning to fitness at Birmingham City. Bielik played an important role in Michniewicz’s U21 team at the 2019 European Championship.
The Polish top flight, the Ekstraklasa, was also represented. Legia’s Artur Jędrzejczyk and Pogoń’s Kamil Grosicki were, perhaps the biggest surprise inclusions, but Lech Poznań’s Michał Skóraś seemed to be a shoe-in after his impressive performances in Europe.
Serie A is the most represented league within the squad, with 10 players plying their trade in the Italian top flight. Surprisingly, the Ekstraklasa is second with three; the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga all have two representatives, while the English Championship, Italian Serie B, Saudi Pro League, Dutch Eredivisie, Greek Super League, Spanish La Liga and MLS all have one player each.
POLAND WORLD CUP 2022 SQUAD
Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus)
Łukasz Skorupski (Bologna)
Bartlomiej Drągowski (Spezia)
Kamil Glik (Benevento)
Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria)
Jan Bednarek (Aston Villa)
Artur Jędrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw)
Matty Cash (Aston Villa)
Nicola Zalewski (Roma)
Jakub Kiwior (Spezia)
Robert Gumny (FC Augsburg)
Mateusz Wieteska (Clermont)
Grzegorz Krychowiak (Al-Shabab)
Kamil Grosicki (Pogoń Szczecin)
Piotr Zieliński (Napoli)
Przemysław Frankowski (RC Lens)
Sebastian Szymański (Feyenoord)
Damian Szymański (AEK Athens)
Szymon Żurkowski (Fiorentina)
Krystian Bielik (Birmingham City)
Jakub Kamiński (VfL Wolfsburg)
Michał Skóraś (Lech Poznań)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Arkadiusz Milik (Juventus )
Krzysztof Piątek (Salernitana)
Karol Świderski (Charlotte FC )
Poland begin their Group C campaign against Mexico in 12 days’ time, before facing both Saudi Arabia and Argentina.