I won’t be writing about the match with the Czech team although I knew the recipe for success as a half of Poles. If it wasn’t for the fact that because of some reasons Smuda, not me, was then (still) the selector, the fate of the championships (and of the world) would have been completely different. I won’t be writing about it, because the fate of the Polish team during these championships was a side issue and Poles were still in the game at least to the semi-finals.
Regardless of grumbling of the opponents of Euro, football, beer, fan zones and flags on cars, Poles have achieved a success and they have to fight for more. This success is the fact that Poland is associated with a friendly modern country, which is open to foreigners and where you can have fun. Every minute of a coverage from Polish host-cities is worth more than tens of diplomatic disclaimers about the death camps*.
I’m not counting on, so-called “Barcelona effect”, because Poland doesn’t have values of this city. It won’t suddenly become a tourist tiger. I’m hoping for a permanent association effect – a good image in the eyes of an average European, who doesn’t listen to Chopin or read encyclicals of John Paul II and who hasn’t distinguished Poles from Russians so far. I’m hoping for a permanent effect of improvement of Poles’ physical and mental state, because they lost as football players, but as restaurateurs, hoteliers, shopkeepers, fans – the championships hosts – they duly won.
Poles had a task of maintaining this atmosphere and image till the end of the championships – they were supporting and congratulating these teams who played in the successive phases of the championships. They had fun together, because there won’t be a similar event with tens of thousands of guests from all Europe in Poland for a long time. They tried to be remembered in the best way, because it was their, so-called, 5 minutes and there was no point in wasting it pondering the condition of the Polish football, its coaches, the Polish Football Association (PZPN**), etc.
Now, when we already know the winner of the Kiev final, Poles, don’t go on holidays right away, but influenced by enthusiasm and good self-opinion, improve the reality so as it equals the image. Finish the motorways, improve the competitive tendering act in order to enable people to make investments, get rid of these old executives from PZPN who are in control of Polish football even if it was to cost you FIFA sanctions and problems with your participation in the world championships. These are our next matches which we have to win just after Euro 2012.
Translation: Agnieszka Łysanowicz
*translator’s footnote: reference to Barack Obama’s faux pas; instead of saying “death camps in Poland”, he said “Polish death camps”
**Polish: Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej