Scotland welcome Poland to Hampden Park tonight in what is likely to be a crucial game in the race for Euro 2016 places.
It will be the tenth meeting between the two countries, with Scotland unbeaten in the last four. Gordon’s team drew 2-2 in the previous Group D game and have lost just once in their last five games at the National Stadium.
The history of Scottish and Polish football has intertwined on numerous occasions throughout history and thrown up some interesting back-stories.
From Celtic’s Polish connections in the 2000s to the Highland League player who shares a name with Poland’s top goalscorer, here are our top seven football links between the two countries:
1 | Celtic’s Polish connection
Artur Boruc and Maciej Zurawski arrived at Celtic in the summer of 2005 as part of new manager Gordon Strachan’s recruitment drive. Both players enjoyed some memorable moments in Glasgow but it was Boruc who left the biggest impression. The goalkeeper’s finest minutes arguably came during the Champions League third-round qualifier against Spartak Moscow in 2007, when he saved two penalties during the shoot out to ensure Celtic’s passage into the group stages. Combined, the two men made over 300 appearances for Celtic.
2 | Premiership Poles
There are two Polish players currently plying their trade in the Scottish Premiership. Hearts defender Blazej Augustyn arrived in Scotland during the summer after signing from Gornik Zabrze while goalkeeper Michal Szromnik joined Dundee United from Arka Gdynia in 2014. There are also a number of players of Polish descent in Scotland including Hamilton’s Ziggy Gordon and Kevin Rutkiewicz of East Fife, whose Grandfather was born in Warsaw.
3 | Poland to Hamilton, for the price of some Washing Machines
In 1971 Hamilton Academical exchanged a shipment of washing machines for three Poland internationals. They were the first players to move direct from an Eastern European club to the UK. Uncover the full story HERE
4 | Scot in Poznan
In May 2013 Barry Douglas joined Lech Poznan from Dundee United, becoming the first Scot to play in the Polish Ekstraklasa. The left-back has gone on to make 50 appearances for Poznan and has scored three times for the club. In 2015 Douglas helped his side win their seventh Polish league title and also lifted the 2015 Super Cup.
5 | Two Robert Lewandowskis
Opponents of Highland League side Fort William FC could be forgiven for taking a second look at the team-sheets when they see ‘Robert Lewandowski’ named in the line-ups. The Bayern Munich and Poland striker hasn’t opted for a move to the Highlands (just yet) but he does share a name with Fort William’s 41-year old goalkeeper.
6 | Dariusz Adamczuk
Polish international Dariusz Adamczuk arrived in Dundee in 1993 where he played 11 games before leaving for Udinese. The midfielder returned for a more prolific spell at Dens Park in 1996 and helped the club achieve promotion to the top-flight in 1998. He became the first Polish player to play for Rangers a year later and made 14 appearances at the Ibrox side.
7 | FC Polonia
Polish football clubs can be found all over Scotland. Inverness and District League side Polonia FC were founded through the help of a local priest in July 2015 and have won their first two games of the season. There’s also a FC Polonia in Glasgow and a Futsal side of the same name in Dundee.