Poland will host the FIFA World Cup U-20 which is first ever FIFA tournament held in this country. However, Poland has decent football traditions in hosting important events as they co organized UEFA EURO 2012 with Ukraine and organized UEFA EURO U21 in 2017.
Origins and geography
Poland is located in Central Europe covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, with a population around 38 million people. Poland's capital and largest city is Warsaw.
The establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to A.D. 966, when ruler Mieszko I converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025. Throught the centuries Poland has had its ups and downs. More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany followed by Soviet Union attack. More than six million Polish citizens perished in the war. After war the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In 1989, thanks to Solidarity movement, the sovereign state of Poland reestablished itself.
Poland has borders with Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.
Climate and tourism
Summers are generally warm, with average temperatures between 18 and 30°C depending on the region. Winters are rather cold, with average temperatures around 3°C in the northwest and −6°C in the northeast.
Tourist attractions in Poland vary, from the mountains in the south to the sandy beaches in the north. The most visited city is Kraków, which was the former capital of Poland. Among other notable sites in is Wrocław, one of the oldest cities in Poland. The Polish capital Warsaw and its historical Old Town were reconstructed after wartime destruction. Other cities attracting tourists include Gdańsk, Poznań, Lublin, Toruń and the historic site of the German Auschwitz concentration camp in Oświęcim.
Tourist destinations include the Baltic Sea coast in the north; the Masurian Lake District and Białowieża Forest in the east; on the south Tatra Mountains and The Pieniny and Bieszczady Mountains in the extreme south-east. There are over 100 castles in the country.
Economy and currency
Poland's economy is one of the fastest growing within the EU. The privatization of state-owned companies and a law on establishing new firms have allowed the development of the private business. The Polish banking sector is the largest in the Central and Eastern European region, Poland has a large number of private farms in its agricultural sector.
Poland is one of the world's biggest producers of copper and coal.
Polish currency is złoty. 3,70 Zloty are 1 USD and 4,30 Zloty are 1 EUR
Football in Poland
Football is the most popular sport in Poland. The first professional clubs were founded in the early 1900s, and the Polish national football team played its first international match in 1921.Poland have participated in three UEFA European Championships so far: Euro 2008, Euro 2012 (co hosts) and Euro 2016.
Poland national football team have qualified for World Cup finals on eight occasions, the last time in 2018. They played epic game in their first World Cup campaign ever, in 1938, losing 5-6 to Brasil after extra time with legendary Ernest Wilimowski scoring 4 goals in that dramatic match.
Their biggest success in this competition was third place twice (in 1974 and 1982). Such names like Grzegorz Lato (top scorer of World Cup in Germany in 1974 with 7 goals), Andrzej Szarmach (vice top scorer with 5), legendary goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski and amazing playmaker Kazimierz Deyna were the core of golden generation of 1974. Then younger ones like Zbigniew Boniek, current president of Polish FA, also showed their class in World Cup 1982, repeating the success of 1974. Boniek joined Juventus Turin after that tournament and became one of the greatest players in Polish history. When speaking about football legends, also Włodzimierz Lubański is worth to be mentioned. For many years he was the top scorer of Polish national team with 48 goals and recently Robert Lewandowski – the symbol of Polish national team rennaissance in last years – overjumped him getting top spot.