“Unfortunately”. Dudek is disappointed with him. The star of our team has faded

Jerzy Dudek supported Poles in Hamburg, where he went with his family. How did the legendary goalkeeper like this match? Who is a plus in the Touchstone team and who could give a little more? – Świderski was not fully prepared for this pace – he says.

Although Poland lost to the Netherlands 1:2, most Polish fans appreciated the effort and way of playing shown by our team. The fans liked playing on equal terms with such a strong rival and, above all, trying to play football and not “dig through the bushes”.


How does Jerzy Dudek rate this performance? The former Real Madrid goalkeeper appeared at the stadium, so he had the opportunity to see the first match of the White and Reds with his own eyes. Shortly after the meeting, he shared his impressions with WP SportoweFakty.


Piotr Koźmiński, journalist of WP SportoweFakty: Despite the defeat, most fans believe that it was a good performance of the Polish national team. What did it look like from your perspective? Jerzy Dudek, former player of Sokół Tychy, Feyenoord, Liverpool, Real Madrid, 60 appearances for the Polish national team: 


We have already talked about it earlier that no one will blame the boys if they fight and leave their hearts on the pitch. Our guys fought until the end and showed a lot of ambition. Especially in the first half it was a very even match. Wojtek saved two balls that kept us in the game.

Our guys worked very hard, it was really good to watch. After the change of ends, we went back a little too far and unfortunately the result was goals for the Dutch. But to sum up: it was a really very ambitious game and the players were appreciated for it.

What impressed you the most about the Polish team? I really liked the Zieliński, Zalewski and Urbański triangle. They often played the ball well in a small space, with one or two touches. They caused a lot of confusion on the left side, especially in the first half. This combination game must have been fun. However, it’s a pity that Lewy wasn’t there.

Yes, Buksa had a great goal, a very good jump, a great header, but there were a few situations when, in my opinion, he lacked that “step”, the experience that Robert has… Overall, however, it was clear that there was an idea. We tightened the midfield, most of the players knew what tasks they had to perform.

The best Polish player in this match? In my opinion, Zalewski. Although I also liked “Zielu” at the beginning. Wojtek, as you know, again a very solid performance. He quickly defended two difficult balls. He played at his very high level. However, in the middle of the field, when Zalewski had the ball, he was impossible to catch up in the running duel. Several of his actions were at a very high technical level. He was the player I liked the most. How do you rate Kacper Urbański’s performance? Is this a revelation from the team’s last matches? As long as Kacper was “fresh”, as long as he was close to Zalewski, and as long as he was able to play with Zieliński, he did very well.


It is clear that he also wanted to play combination football in a small space. He wasn’t afraid of it at all. Obviously, he lacked a bit of experience, but it’s hard to expect that from a boy of his age who is just entering the national team. You can see that he has self-confidence, but he still needs time.

Was there anyone in Michał Probierz’s team who performed below expectations? You can always find a player who could have given more, but this is also the specificity of a given match. I think that Karol Świderski was not fully prepared for this pace.

Those few days of rest and that injury he had… I think it took a toll on his game. An average game. Of course, he tried and ran, but he couldn’t find a place around Buksa. I don’t know if this performance came too early.

In the second half, I expected a little more from Piotrowski and Moder. It was obvious that the players wanted to speed up the game by counter-attacking, but it didn’t always work out. After this injury, Moder probably still needs a few good performances to get into the right rhythm. I also want more from Piotrowski, because I have a lot of promises from him, I really liked his playing before. Unfortunately, he has been less visible in the last two or three games. It does not surprise with its dynamics and aggressiveness, as was the case in previous meetings. How do you see the match against Austria? How can Lewandowski’s possible return help? There is no favorite in this match. Because with the Netherlands and France, it’s obvious… it’s simple, we have to win against Austria. As for Robert: this is a question for the coach and for Lewy, who knows himself well enough to be able to assess what it was like for him before with such injuries, whether he needed more time or whether he can take the risk and take up the challenge. But it makes sense provided that he can give 100 percent and is ready for 90 minutes. We have already had cases where players were already recovering, but at the moment of stress, this lack of control over your reactions during the match, when you act instinctively, the injury reoccurred. The team without Robert tried very hard, and in my opinion, Zieliński fulfilled his role as captain one hundred percent. There will probably be doubts about Lewy’s performance until the very end. If he feels ready, he has to play, because I think that Lewy would have stuck it in one of the two or three situations we had against the Netherlands. You watched the match against the Netherlands from the stands. What kind of trip is this? How did you end up in Hamburg? When Poland advanced, we immediately decided to travel, because I also have friends in Hamburg for many years. Besides, my kids wanted to go to the national team’s match at the European Championships. It’s quite close, so we decided to travel by car. Also because I was a little afraid of… fog at the airport in Krakow. The journey went very smoothly. It was part of our football ritual. A trip to the match, a seven-hour drive. And we had comfortable conditions to watch the match. We were invited by UEFA. Cool experiences and good experiences. How do you rate the fans? Did both the Poles and the Dutch contribute? Dutch fans are known for their creativity and good support for their team. Ours too, although… I always miss the fact that when we have a difficult moment, like when we lose 1:2… Our fans seem to be waiting for what will happen on the pitch. And that’s when you have to help the boys, push them, shout with the belief that you can turn the tide of the match. And here I had the impression that the Dutch were having fun, and our players were waiting for one of the players to make a difference. As I say, in such a difficult moment, the fans are very important as the twelfth player. And at such a moment they must feel that they need to additionally encourage the players and show them that the fans believe in them until the very end.

Jerzy Dudek drove seven hours to cheer on the Poles
Jerzy Dudek drove seven hours to cheer on the Poles

Did the Dutch fans recognize you? There were a lot of them, also from Rotterdam, so there were some pleasant shouts towards me. And I arrived at the stadium exactly at the moment when the bus with the Dutch team also showed up. I said hello to Ronald Koeman, then exchanged a few words with Edwin van der Sar (the legendary footballer had a cerebral hemorrhage a year ago – editor’s note) . It was good to talk to him because I had been terrified earlier when I heard about his health problems. But everything is fine, he assured that he is well taken care of. It was good to see him in such form.

What are your future plans for EURO?

We are looking forward to the next match. We are also going to Berlin, then to Dortmund. I hope we will be in a better mood after Berlin. Because here we were obviously a bit unlucky. There was a fragment, around the 80th minute, when the Dutch were happy with the draw. That the 1-1 score wasn’t bad for them, but one individual mistake and we lost a goal. In turn, the great joy of the Dutch, who celebrated it as if they had secured the final of the championship, also shows how much it cost them to defeat Poland.

I think they were a bit surprised by the Poles’ disposition. To sum up: we can of course be a little sad, a little angry, but still proud of how this match went. We are pleased with our good condition. Keep it up. And at some point there will also be victories.