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Jacek Krzynówek
Jacek Krzynowek.jpg
Krzynówek with Poland in 2007
Personal information
Full name Jacek Krzynówek
Date of birth 15 May 1976 (1976-05-15) (age 45)
Place of birth Kamieńsk, Poland
Height 1.79 m
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1996 RKS Radomsko 9 (1)
1996–1997 Raków Częstochowa 17 (0)
1997–1999 GKS Bełchatów 61 (11)
1999–2004 1. FC Nürnberg 142 (28)
2004–2006 Bayer Leverkusen 52 (9)
2006–2009 VfL Wolfsburg 55 (7)
2009–2010 Hannover 96 25 (2)
Total 361 (58)
National team
1998–2009 Poland 96 (15)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Jacek Kamil Krzynówek ( born 15 May 1976) is a former Polish footballer. One of the most glorious moments of his career was scoring a rocket shot against Real Madrid in the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League.

Early career

Krzynówek's football career started with LZS Chrzanowice. In 1994 he joined RKS Radomsko where he played two seasons and then moved to another Polish club, Raków Częstochowa, in which he made his debut on 28 July 1996 in the Polish Ekstraklasa. After a season with Rakow, he moved to second league club, GKS Bełchatów. In the 1997–98 season, he with his team advanced to the Ekstraklasa. Unfortunately, his club was unable to keep itself in the Polish first league, and was demoted back to the second league. Despite this, his skills and play impressed scouts from other clubs, including 1. FC Nürnberg, as well as the coach of the Polish national team, Janusz Wojcik.

International career and Bundesliga

Still a player for GKS Bełchatów, he made his debut in the Polish national team on 10 November 1998 against Slovakia in a 3–1 Poland win. In 1999, he moved to 1. FC Nürnberg in the 2. Bundesliga. He made his return to the Polish National Team in the beginning of 2000, after Jerzy Engel became coach. Very shortly, he became one of the most important players in the team that qualified for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

In 2002, he contributed to the promotion of 1. FC Nürnberg to the Bundesliga, and was named the best left midfielder in the 2. Bundesliga. Also in 2002, he went to South Korea and Japan for the 2002 World Cup with Poland. Despite a poor performance by Poland, he was praised for his play, and appeared in all three matches.

As a result of an injury, he missed most of the 2002–03 season. In the fall of 2003, he played in crucial UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying matches for Poland. Unfortunately, Poland was unable to qualify and 1. FC Nürnberg was unable to stay in the Bundesliga. As a result of his excellent play, he was transferred to a top Bundesliga club, Bayer Leverkusen. In the 2004–05 season, he was one of the best players for the club, and the trio of Krzynowek, Andriy Voronin, and Dimitar Berbatov drew the attention of many top European clubs. Bayer Leverkusen also played very well in the Champions League, where it eliminated such clubs as Real Madrid and A.S. Roma. Krzynowek scored three goals, one of which was scored versus Real Madrid, which was named one of the most beautiful goals in that year's tournament.

In August 2005, he was part of the national team's triumphant performance at the Valeri Lobanovsky Memorial Tournament 2005. During 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification, he played in the most important games for Poland and contributed to Poland's qualification to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. As a result of another injury during the spring of 2006, he was unable to play regularly at his club, Bayer Leverkusen. This was evident in his poor form during the 2006 FIFA World Cup and was one of the poorest performers in the Polish team as they lost 2–0 to the surprising Ecuador and 1–0 to hosts Germany. After a disappointing 2005–06 season, he moved to VfL Wolfsburg.

He is regarded as one of the best Polish footballers. He has earned many awards and trophies, not only in Poland, but also abroad. He has earned the honour of twice being named the Polish Footballer of the Year by magazine Pilka Nozna in 2003 and 2004. He has appeared in 96 international matches for Poland, scoring 15 goals. He is also a member of the Elite Polish National Team Footballers by the PZPN.

Krzynówek was a key player in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying campaign for Poland where he scored four goals; three against Azerbaijan and an astonishing equalizer in the 87th minute against Portugal. His left-foot strike from 40 yards hit the post and the back of Portuguese keeper Ricardo before squeezing into the back of the net. Thanks to a very successful all around performance he was then picked into Eurosport's dream team as the left midfielder and Poland's squad for UEFA Euro 2008 where the Poles competed for the first time in their history.

On 17 November 2007, Wisła Kraków announced that they were interested in purchasing Krzynówek during the Ekstraklasa transfer window, but after negotiations the Polish club could not agree to terms with VfL Wolfsburg.

On 2 February 2009, Krzynówek moved to Hannover 96 where he stayed until the summer of 2010. On 15 August 2011, Krzynówek officially announced his retirement after 178 matches in the German top-flight.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 February 2001 Larnaca, Cyprus   Switzerland 4–0 Win Friendly
2. 30 April 2003 Brussels, Belgium  Belgium 1–3 Loss Friendly
3. 6 June 2003 Poznań, Poland  Kazakhstan 3–0 Win Friendly
4. 12 November 2003 Warsaw, Poland  Italy 3–1 Win Friendly
5. 4 September 2004 Belfast, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 3–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
6. 9 October 2004 Vienna, Austria  Austria 3–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
7. 13 October 2004 Cardiff, Wales  Wales 3–2 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
8. 26 March 2005 Warsaw, Poland  Azerbaijan 8–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
9. 7 October 2005 Warsaw, Poland  Iceland 3–2 Win Friendly
10. 24 March 2007 Warsaw, Poland  Azerbaijan 5–0 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
11. 2 June 2007 Baku, Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan 3–1 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
12. 2 June 2007 Baku, Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan 3–1 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
13. 22 August 2007 Moscow, Russia  Russia 2–2 Draw Friendly
14. 8 September 2007 Lisbon, Portugal  Portugal 2–2 Draw UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
15. 1 June 2008 Chorzów, Poland  Denmark 1–1 Draw Friendly
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