BYDGOSZCZ, Poland. Nov 17 — Tomasz Radzinski was born in Poznan, Poland. Despite this he represents the colors of Canada at the international level. On Wednesday, in Bydgoszcz, it will be the first time in his life that he will be able to play against the Polish national team.
“I was born in Poznan, but grew up in Inowroclaw, which is even closer to Bydgoszcz. So therefore the midweek match with Poland will be both special for me, and unique. I waited 15 years for this match, ever since when I made my debut in the Canadian national team. There were times that I pressed the Canadian federation officials to make an effort to organize such a match. Luckily they succeeded, right at the time when I began to doubt they would, at the end of my career.” said the 35-year-old striker, during a press conference in Bydgoszcz.
Radzinski was born in the nearby city of Poznan before moving to Canada as a teenager. The veteran striker made his national team debut on 4 June 1995 against Turkey, and has gone on to make 45 appearances for Canada, scoring 10 goals to his name.
“I hope that fans will not boo me, although it is difficult to assume that they would supported me.” he added.
While the Polish-Canadian striker has had a better career abroad then most other Polish players in former years, he admits he was never a topic of interest for the Polish club teams, let alone the national team.
“I realize that for years I was an anonymous player in Poland. I have read and heard about myself that I have Polish roots, but hardly anyone knew that I was born here. In 1994 I played for the Canadian Olympic team, and a year later made I made my debut for the national team. In general, at that time I never thought I could play for the Polish national team. However, I do not regret my decision, although I am sure as a Polish international It would have probably increased my chances of success.” ends Radzinski.
Radzinski in his career played for Germinal Beerschot, RSC Anderlecht, Everton FCl, Fulham FC and Skoda Xanthi. Currently he is now signed with Belgian outfit Lierse SK.
The match against Poland was also another opportunity for ‘Rad’ to be called up to the Canadian national team, a privilege he did not have in quite a while. While Radzinski never officially retired from international duty, his chances to rejoin the national side took a dive due to his age and now playing in the Belgium Second Division.
Luckily, Canadian interim coach Stephen Hart still sees Radzinski as a valuable asset to the team. At the very least enough to call the veteran striker up for one last call of duty against Poland.
“Tomasz has been a big influence for our national team, but more importantly he is an excellent role model for our younger players,” said Hart during the press conference.
“Historically, Canada has not had the strikers of Tomasz’s quality. For me it’s never about the age but more about how the player performs. As long as he continues to perform I will gladly continue to call him.”
Canada will look to rebound from its disappointing 0:3 loss to FYR Macedonia on Saturday as they take on Poland in Bydgoszcz on Wednesday.
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