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Poland hires Paulo Sousa of Portugal as national team coach

January 21, 2021 GMT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland hired Paulo Sousa as its national team coach Thursday to replace the fired Jerzy Brzeczek.

The appointment was announced by Polish soccer federation president Zbigniew Boniek, three days after Brzeczek was surprisingly dismissed despite leading the team to the 2020 European Championship, which was delayed to this summer.

The 50-year-old Sousa, a former Portugal international, has previously coached clubs including Basel and Fiorentina.

He takes over a Poland team that includes Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, FIFA’s world player of the year for 2020, but has just two months to prepare for the start of World Cup qualifying.

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His assistants will be fellow Portuguese Manuel Julio Cordeiro da Silva and Spaniard Victor Manuel Sanchez Llado.

Poland will face Spain, Slovakia and Sweden at Euro 2020 in a group being played in Dublin and Bilbao, Spain. In World Cup qualifying, Poland was drawn into a six-team group that includes England and Hungary.

Boniek said the decision to fire Brzeczek was a “very difficult” one but that he didn’t expect the team to improve without a coaching change.

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