Polish football hero Włodzimierz Smolarek dies
PR dla Zagranicy
Włodzimierz Smolarek, one of the finest players in the history of Polish football, has died in his home town of Aleksandrów Łódzki. He was 55.
Włodzimierz Smolarek (right) during World Cup 1982: photo - PAP/Adam Hawałej
The peak of his career was in the 1980s, when he played 60 matches for the national team, scoring 13 goals.
Polish fans have fresh in their memory Smolarek’s wonderful performances, both in midfield and down the wings, in the World Cup tournaments in 1982 and 1986.
During the former, in Spain, Poland placed third and Smolared, who scored the opening goal in the victorious game against Peru (5-1 for Poland), was one of the architects of the success. Four years later, in Mexico, he scored the only goal for Poland in the whole tournament. It gave Poland a one nil victory over Portugal and a place in the second round.
Smolarek’s long list of successes also includes two Polish championships (as a member of Widzew Łódz) in 1981 and 1982 and Poland’s Cup in 1985 (also with Widzew).
After the 1986 World Cup, Smolarek continued his career in Germany, playing for Eintrach Frankfurt (1986-88) and the Netherlands, with Feyenoord Rotterman (1988-90) and FC Utrecht (1990-96). He later worked as a coach with Feyenoord’s under-16 team.
In 2009, he ran, unsuccessfully, in the elections for the European Parliament.
His son, Eugeniusz Smolarek, born in 1981, has followed in his father’s footsteps, having played for Feyenoord Rotterman, Borussia Dortmund, Racing Santander, Bolton Wanderers as well as Poland’s national team (47 caps, 20 goals since 2002). (mk)