Portuguese Paulo Sousa named as new Poland national team coach

Shortly after terminating the contract Jerzy Brzeczek, Poland found a replacement with former Portuguese international and Bordeaux coach Paulo Sousa to take over the position. Earlier this week, the Polish Football Association confirmed thatBrzeczek is no longer the head coach of the national team, five months before the Euro 2020 and two months before the start of World Cup qualifying.

“I analyzed a lot of names and finally decided on Paulo Sousa. I was surprised by his knowledge of Polish footballers. He was a fantastic player and as a coach, he quickly rose up. I believe that he is a coach who can help the team. I’m convinced that the players will benefit from this change”, the PZPN’s president Zbigniew Boniek said during a press conference.

The 50-year-old Sousa won the Champions League as a midfielder with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. He has managed several clubs such as Basel of Switzerland, Fiorentinaof Italy, and Tianjin Quanjian of China. In August 2020 he left French side Bordeaux. “I’m very honored and proud to be the new manager of the Polish national football team,” Sousa said.

“For me it’s a great opportunity. Poland is a country of football. I’m sure that with enthusiasm we will fight for success at the European championship. The team has great potential and high-class players with a good mentality, discipline, and the right attitude. We will be strong. Poland will be proud of the national team,” Sousa added.

In a shocking announcement this week, the Polish FA did not specify the reason of terminating Brzeczek’s contract, which will run until after Euro 2020 this summer. The 49-year-old Brzeczek is a former international midfielder who was appointed after Poland finished last in its group at the 2018 World Cup. Heled his country to qualification for this year’s delayed European Championship.

In 2019, Poland faced off against North Macedonia and won 2-0 courtesy of goals from substitutes PrzemyslawFrankowski and Arkadiusz Milik, both set up by Bayern star Robert Lewandowski to clinch their spot in the tournament. Poland finished finished on top of Group G with 25 points. They have never qualified for the Euro finals until 2008 and it will be their fourth appearance in a row.

Poland is set to face Spain, Slovakia and Sweden at Euro 2020 in a group being played in Dublin and Bilbao, Spain, while they were drawn into a six-team group that includes England and Hungary in World Cup qualifying. Meanwhile, the Poles failed to beat Italy and the Netherlands at home and away in Nations League games last year.