The 2002 FIFA World Cup was Poland’s sixth successful World Cup qualifying campaign. Arriving with high expectations, Poland gave a lacklustre performance in the first round and left early.

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In their debut in 1938, the Poles were also eliminated early on, after a remarkable 6-5 loss to Brazil

in which Ernst Wilimowski scored four times. Poland enjoyed far greater success in 1974, finishing third beating Brazil in Germany with a goal by Lato.

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In 1982, the Polish team matched their 1974 performance. In the semi-finals they came up against the in-form Italians, who clinched a spirited 2-0 victory. Poland went

on to defeat France 3-2 and claim third place overall.