English Section

Euro 2020: PM praises homebound Poland for showing ambition

24.06.2021 10:00
Poland’s prime minister has praised his country’s football team for "showing ambition and fighting to the end” at the Euro 2020 tournament.
Captain Robert Lewandowski (centre) celebrates scoring for Poland against Sweden on Wednesday.
Captain Robert Lewandowski (centre) celebrates scoring for Poland against Sweden on Wednesday.Photo: EPA/Anatoly Maltsev

Poland have crashed out of the European championships after losing 2-3 to Sweden in their final group-stage game on Wednesday.

The match at Krestovsky Stadium in the Russian city of St. Petersburg saw the Poles fight hard but suffer an early exit from the European tournament after a disappointing 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took to Twitter after the game to "thank the Polish national team for showing ambition and fighting to the end."

"Our adventure with Euro 2020 has come to an end, but we have more football challenges ahead of us," Morawiecki said.

He argued that the clashes against Spain and Sweden witnessed the emergence of "a new, better national team."

Poland, captained by star striker Robert Lewandowski, finished last in their Group E and failed to advance to the knockout stage of the Euro 2020 tournament, with just one point from three group-stage games.

Sweden finished at the top of the group, with seven points, ahead of Spain with five points and Slovakia in third place with three.

The Poles lost 1-2 to lower-ranked Slovakia in their opening game at the Euro 2020 tournament on June 14 and then drew 1-1 against Spain in their second fixture five days later.

'We deserved much more': Poland coach

After Sweden sent Poland packing from the tournament on Wednesday, the Polish squad's Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa told reporters his men lost in large part because they showed a lack of concentration and conceded too many "silly” goals.

Sousa also said he believed Poland deserved more from the tournament, the Reuters news agency reported.

“In the end, we deserved much more than what we got, and hopefully in the future we can achieve better results,” Sousa said, as quoted by Reuters.

Paulo Sousa podczas meczu ze Szwecją Paulo Sousa during the game against Sweden. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa

Zbigniew Boniek, head of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), said last week he would not fire Sousa even if the national squad failed to make it past the group stage of Euro 2020.

The Polish side went into the tournament missing several key players, including strikers Krzysztof Piątek and Arkadiusz Milik, both of whom were ruled out of Euro 2020 by injuries.

The 24-team Euro 2020 tournament, held by the European football governing body UEFA, opened on June 11 and runs until July 11 in 11 cities around Europe after being rescheduled from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Source: TVP Sport, IAR, PAP, Reuters