Jan Tomaszewski
(Poland)



     When talk comes to great goalkeepers of the past, Jan Tomaszewski of Poland very often seems to be mentioned. His heroic match at Wembley made him famous world wide. Jan and his teammates knocked out England in the qualification and secured a place in the 1974 World Cup. The Wembley match was no fluke. Jan impressed in West Germany as well. Poland secured bronzemedals in their first World Cup appearance since 1938, beating countries like Argentina, Italy and Brazil on their way.

     Tomaszewski made history as being the first goalkeeper to save two penalties in a World Cup when he shut out attempts from Sweden’s Tapper and West Germany’s Hoeness during the 1974 World Cup. Poland did not allow players to move abroad until the age of 30 at that time, so Jan continued to play in the Polish league with LKS Lodz after the finals even though he was more than good enough to sign for top clubs on the continent.

     He helped Poland win silvermedals in the 1976 Olympics and two years later Poland qualified for the World Cup once again. Poland won their first round group which contained defending champions West Germany and looked good enough to go far again, but host country Argentina with Kempes won 2-0 in a decisive second phase match. In his two World Cups, Tomaszewski managed to keep a clean sheet in five of the eleven matches he played. Jan moved abroad after the 1978 World Cup to play for Beerschot in Belgium and later Hercules in Spain before he retired in 1982.

     Today he is often seen as commentator on TV or as soccer journalist in newspapers.

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