Football: Paulo Sousa named Poland’s new coach

The Portuguese Paulo Sousa has been appointed the new coach of the Polish national team by the Polish Football Association’s head Zbigniew Boniek, replacing the recently sacked on Monday manager Jerzy Brzęczek.

Mr Boniek announced the decision at a press conference on Thursday.

During his successful playing career Sousa had spells at several European giants: Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan. He won the Champions League twice in a row in 1996 and 1997.

After hanging up his boots, the Portuguese took over the youth national teams. In 2008, he was appointed the assistant to the head coach of Portugal at EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Sousa took his first steps into managing senior teams in England, where he coached Queens Park Rangers, Swansea and Leicester City. Following his English adventure, Poland’s new coach managed Videoton, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, FC Basel, Fiorentina, Tianjin Quanjian and Girondins Bordeaux - most of which were short spells.

Paulo Sousa will make his official debut as a national team manager in a World Cup 2022 qualifiers on March 25 against Hungary in Budapest.

During the Thursday meeting of the Polish Football Association PZPN board which took place before the press conference, Jerzy Brzęczek, along with his coaching staff, were officially dismissed.

Jerzy Brzęczek took the position of the coach in 2018, when he replaced Adam Nawałka after his debacle at the World Cup in Russia. With a record of 12 wins, 5 draws and 7 losses, he managed to qualify for the postponed Euro 2020 and avoided relegation from the Nations League top division. Yet, he could not win over fans as the vast majority of players were underperforming for the national team, whilst putting in strong performances for their clubs.