To help mark UEFA’s Jubilee, each national association was asked to nominate its most outstanding player of the past 50 years. Poland selected Wlodzimierz Lubanski.
Wlodzimierz Lubanski was Poland’s record scorer with 50 goals in 80 games. He was his country’s youngest-ever debutant when, at the age of 16, he found the net in a 9-0 win against Norway in September 1963. And despite injuries, he served his national team for 17 seasons. Lubanski spent most of his career with the great Gornik Zabrze where he won seven Polish championships and top-scored in the First Division for four consecutive seasons from 1966-69.
In 1972, he captained the Poland squad that struck gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics, beating Hungary 2-1 in the final. During a 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier against England in Chorzow, Lubanski was seriously injured in a challenge with England’s Roy McFarland which almost ended his career. It took two years before he was fit enough to play again at the top level, and it was not until 1977 that he donned the Poland shirt once more. His final international came in 1980, in a 1-1 draw with Czechoslovakia, bringing to a close a wonderful career which yielded a half-century of goals.