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Grzegorz Lato

( football player)

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Biography Grzegorz Lato
photo Grzegorz Lato
Born April 8, 1950.
Country Poland
. Position Striker
. Clubs: "Stal Mielec (Poland) (1966-1979), . "Lokeren (Belgium) (1980-1982, . This transition was resolved the country's leadership in the successful performance of Lato in the World Cup-78), . Atlanta "(Mexico) (1982-1983), . Toronto Nacional (Canada) (1983-1985).,
. He worked as a trainer in Canada and Poland
. Titles: Champion of Olympic Games 1972, vice-Olympic champion 1976, 3rd prize-winner of 1974 FIFA World Cup (the best scorer of the tournament - 7 goals) and 1982, Member of the World Cup 1978, Polish Champion 1973, 1976, the best footballer in Poland 1974, 1977
Team 1971-1984: Held 104 matches and scored 45 goals.
The first match for the national team on Nov. 10, 1971 Turkey (5:1) in Krakow.
Last match for the team April 17, 1984 against Belgium (0:1) in Warsaw.

In a remarkable Polish films "Va-Bank" is one episode, nothing speaks to those indifferent to football, but interesting for the initiated. Noble crooks gentlemen Quinto and Dane just provernuli sverhvirtuoznuyu and lucrative fraud and discuss what to do with money. "I probably I will go to World Championships (this was in 1934, the eve of the Italian Mundialya)", - says Dane. "Why?" Our there still will not. We have to wait for forty years, until they achieve something, "- should be the answer.

Amazingly, I may say, "prophecy": exactly forty years and had to wait. In 1974, the Poles broke into the elite of world football, as a fresh breeze in the open window, taking third place, though we could qualify and more. Among them appeared Grzegorz Lato, who could not overcome the defensive orders rivals with the same ease with which Quinto revealed the intricate safes.



Lucky (if that word applies here) the case for Grzegorz has been injured Wlodzimierz Lubanski
. The undoubted leader of the assault team of Poland, what was then the LubaL, could not go to the World Cup in Germany, and thanks to this circumstance Lato out of the shadow of his powerful partner.

. He debuted in the national team for three years before Mundialya, and in 1972 he received the Olympic gold in Munich
. But at that early period of his outs on the field was still very anecdotal. For the entire Olympic tournament he spent in just 45 minutes, and the tone was asked if Dein, Gadoha and LubaL.

Lato became the turning point for a friendly match with Bulgaria in Warsaw in 1973, in which he scored both goals (2:0). Since then, Kazimierz Grski was to determine the basis for his constant. Including the famous test match against England at Wembley, where the Poles kept rage attack hosts and, having achieved the desired draw (1:1), they pulled out a pass to the World Cup.

. At the extreme right-wing jet balding Poles all noticed already in the first match of the final tournament-74 World Cup with Argentina
. Lato took only six minutes to open an account. It took another two minutes, and Sharm doubled by. In the middle of the second half scoring twice Grzegorz, and Argentina was defeated - 3:2. After the match, one newspaper called Lato "Hawk", and since then it has become his most famous nickname. While Lato ran for stometrovku 10,8. Obviously, at this speed, it was not difficult to run away from defenders. His attacks on the right flank turned into is disastrous for any opponent, and this despite the fact that on the left Gadoha worked effectively, and in the center of a young tormented opponents Szarmach. So this was not only in the attack, all the lines of the Poles played a great master. It was the strongest team in the history of Poland. It just was not lucky in the fact that its highest flowering coincided with a similar peak at two other big footballing nations - Germany and Holland.

In the first five matches of the Poles scored five wins. The sixth was solved, they will come to the finals or not. To do this it was necessary to defeat the hosts of the championship, who had a better goals difference. But the sky itself seemed to be set against them. Above Frankfurt "Waldstadion" broke a downpour, . that the beginning of the game was delayed for an hour: the water pumped from the lawn pumps, . and still it left so much, . that the ball stuck in the puddles, . and play fast, . combinative Football, . peculiar Poles, . was impossible,
. Weather conditions prevail clearly on hand tune in to draw the Germans, who eventually won - 1:0.

Poland settled for "consolation" finale in Brazil. In one of the counter Lato said that the Brazilians are going to make an artificial offside. Showing that makes the transfer, he was forwarding the ball himself on the course, ran one on one and scored the winning goal (1:0), his seventh of the tournament. What is interesting, since Lato best scorers mundialey (and they from that time there were six) always stayed in the six remis.

. At the World Championships-74 at Lato and its partners was a fun tradition: almost every goal they noted a factor of three kisses.


Duel with QUIROGA

Once at the Olympics in 1976 in Montreal, the Poles were unable to defend the title, giving way to the finals of the GDR (1:3), Kazimierz Grski went to work in Greece, and his successor was Gmoh
. Unlucky LubaL was again below the national team - this time for reasons not established relationships with Gmohom: coach could not forgive Wlodzimierz that he was "damned capitalist, rowing money hand over fist in the Belgian" Lokerene ". The team, which retained the core of four years ago, is still high quality, but clearly lost the freshness, reached the second group stage and won the general classification in the fifth place.

From Mundialya-78 memorable episode Match Poland - Peru. The Poles are 1:0, the Peruvians are desperately trying to win back. Their goalkeeper Quiroga (the one who is suspected of collusion with the Argentines when they won 6:0) run to the center line, and there with him, nose to nose meet Lato, just catching the ball. Grzegorz, expecting, as usual, its speed, probrasyvaet the ball past the goalkeeper and includes the acceleration. Then Quiroga wrestling Seizure knocks him to the ground. While such an offense punishable by a liberal - a maximum of a yellow card.

The most interesting is that the situation was repeated one to one to the next World Cup in Italy, where the path of Poland and Peru again crossed. And again came the moment when the Poles were the bill, and Quiroga stood in the way of Lato far outside his own penalty area. Grzegorz well learned lesson from four years ago: he did not trace the Quiroga, but instead to stab the ball past the trajectory sent it to the grid. It was his 10 th and last goal at the World Championships. The Poles, already with a new generation of players have achieved success similar to the eight-year-old - came to the 3rd place. It was already in spirit to a completely different team - a more pragmatic (what is shameful holding the ball at the corner flag to kill time in the match with the USSR), and it does not cause such sympathy, like the one sample in 1974. True, . what were some objective reasons - because of the military situation, . existed in the country in the early 80's, . Poland refused to play friendlies strong competitors, . had to be content with second-class sparring, . that benefit the cause, . naturally, . not gone.,

. But in the address Lato, one of the few relics of the team-74, no reproach can not pronounce
. In its 32 years he, . almost completely parted with hair, . Championship played powerfully and convincingly, . although during the preparation of a coach Pehnicheka were some doubts about it, . related to, . he has played abroad - out of sight of a mentor,
. But after checking in Lato, Pehnichek convinced that he is still able to remain the soul of the team (sharing the role with the leader of a new wave Zbigniew Bonekom).

Over the decade with its tail in the big football Lato has come a long evolutionary path. In the early 70's his directness has been a constant target for mockery. In the Polish press called it "Headless Horseman", and once, after the match youth teams of the USSR and Poland in Gdansk, he was given just a murderous response: "This horse can, perhaps, to do everything. But do not play football ". In 1982, he was already a very intelligent player who makes the best decision in each situation, the brain commands. Lato left the position at the forefront of attack for younger partners, and went to the middle line.


Club career Lato flowed long enough to "become" the city of Mielec. This unimportant, it would seem, the team (now she lives somewhere on the outskirts of the Polish football) in those years played a very prominent role, twice winning the league title. During her were two pillars of Polish national team - Sharma and Kasperchak. If desired, Grzegorz could move to a more illustrious club - such as the Warsaw Legia Warszawa, but need to do so was not: in the "Steel" had money, and wages that they pay, remembers Lato, she at least not inferior to anyone .

. Lato With the greatest hunters would accept the offer from abroad (and from such post-74 World Cup was not all-clear: he was called to his Cologne and the New York Cosmos, where he could play alongside Pele himself) but the times on the court were aware what
. The communist authorities, not wanting to send their athletes to the camp of "class enemies", have decided for themselves that question Lato. "We do not need" - and point.

He had to wait until 1979, only chiefs graciously opened for him the way to the western clubs. Proposals from the "Cologne" and "Cosmos" still remained in force, and they added others - from the Belgian "Lokeren," French "Metz". "Space" without Pele is not suited Grzegorz - stay in a far away from the homeland would mean the loss of certain places in the team. A European option he preferred "Lokeren, because there are already several years played LubaL, which helped to adapt to someone completely new to him the realities of the capitalist world.

. In 1982, seeing that Lato is still in force, it heaves a Mexican club Atlante "
. "Lokeren" not going to part with the veteran, but did not resist the money offered by Mexicans. Grzegorz country like the Aztecs, especially the fact that he gave it a two-month vacation, but in 1983, at the beginning of the new season, he tore Achilles tendon. By shifting the two operations, Lato was forced to admit that the return to the big football is no longer possible.

He was at a crossroads: what to do? Going back to Poland? Oh this is not wanted: complete devastation, the products on cards. And then - call a friend from Canada. Polish community residing in Canada, founded in 1976 in Ottawa football club, whose honorary president Grzegorz Lato elected.

. In Canada, Grzegorz helped to establish a business (shop sportswear) and obtain citizenship of that country (this procedure took four years), without losing the Polish
. Work was burdensome, and of idleness, he dwelt more on beer. At the beginning of his new life a little more Lato played for local team, . and when in 1987 in Canada formed a national amateur football league (which lasted until 1992-th), . a couple of years, he coached one of its nine teams - North York Rockets.,

. Lato annually superintending home, and in one of these raids Mielec leaders "were" tracked down and invited him to become coach of the club
. Look, from the words of Lato, happened next: "I thought two days, and then sold the store in Canada and arrived in Mielec. The first year of my work was marked by the fact that our team teetered on the verge of departure in the second division, remained in the first. In the second year we went up to fifth place. And then I went to Poznan Olympia - I was not happy with the situation in the "Steel". At the time of my arrival "Olympia" was the second digit. But nothing we have risen to the elite and there through the year were also the top five. But before the start of next season, the president has sold five of the leading players. I can not tolerate such an attitude to the team and therefore left. "

In 1992, a year after returning to Poland, with Lato had a heart attack and was hospitalized. In the future, such problems did not disturb. In 1994, when he successfully led the "Olympia", the federation invited him to lead the team. But Lato put forward conditions that were unacceptable. In recent years, he took the post of consultant in the federation.

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