What about football (the proper one)? Many countries claim it's their national sport. Poland's one of them, but why?
Our national football team has never had major successes instead of years 1972-1976 (gold the '72 Olympics, bronze at the '74 world cup, silver at the '76 Olympics) while they were trained by the legendary coach Kazimierz Górski. He's responsible for the famous achievement of the Polish team, which was a tie with England in '73.
That time is called the golden years of Polish football and it is a very accurate term, but outside of those years, there's little we could be proud of: bronze at the 1982 World Cup, silver at the 1992 Olympics.
|Jakub Błaszczykowski - current team captain|
phot. Reuters ; source
In the UEFA Euro 2012 we finished third in group A. A tie with Greece, a tie with Russia and a loss with the Czech Republic. It gave us an advance to 54ST place in the FIFA ranking, but wasn't enough to advance to the tournament play-off.
In my opinion our team played better than I have ever seen in my life. They were fast, well organised and very cooperative. Thanks too all of that they were always ahead of their rivals, but suddenly everything changed in every match. Just after the break, they lost what they had. I can't even imagine a reason, that might cause something like that!
But enough about football. My favourite team sport is volleyball. I think it's superior to football in many ways, but this post isn't about that (I may however write about it in the future). Let's start with some facts:
|the Polish team after defeating USA in yesterday's final|
phot. Nikolay Doychinov | source
Poland national men's volleyball team's major achievements:
- Olympic Games: 1976 gold
- World Championships: 1974 gold, 2006 silver
- World Cup: 1965, 2011 silver
- World League: 2012 gold (yesterday!), 2011 bronze
- European Championships: 2009 gold, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983 silver, 1967 and 2011 bronze.
The women's team also does great, but it's a story for another time.
Poles are best at volleyball and not so good at football, but they consider the second one their national sport. Why is it so? Maybe because everyone can play it whenever he wants using a pack of friends, some stones/sticks/anything, a little field and a ball. To play the other one you need a net and something to put it on, which requires a little bit more money and much more effort.
I say volleyball is much more of a sport we should call our national, than football.