“If Bonek scored, it means that socialism is good.”
Zbigniew Bonek – born March 3, 1956 in the city of Bydgoszcz (Poland).
The nickname is “the handsome night” (according to one version, it was nicknamed Bonek
ostensibly because he was the best football player in matches with artificial lighting).Clubs are Zavisha (1966-197), Vidzev (1975-1982), Juventus (1982-1985), Roma (1985-1988).
He played 80 matches in the Polish team, scored 24 goals (1976-1987).
• Champion of Poland: 1981, 1982
• Champion of Italy: 1983/84
• Winner of the Italian Cup: 1982/83, 1985/1986.
• Winner of the European Cup: 1984/85.
• Winners Cup Winners Cup: 1983/84
• Winner of the European Super Cup: 1984
In the national team:
• Bronze medalist of the World Championship: 1982
• Silver medalist of the Olympic Games: 1976
• The best football player of Poland (2 times): 1978, 1980
Zbigniew Bonek – one of the best players in the history of Polish football.
Bonek is the only Pole who made the FIFA 100 list – the rating of the best football players of the century.
In the first half of the 80s, Zbigniew Bonek was one of the best footballers in Europe and, perhaps, the best player from the socialist countries.
“If Bonek scored, the authorities said it was because socialism was good,” the legendary football player recalled with a smile.
The peak of Bonek’s career fell on 1982-1985. Bronze World Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup, European Cup – these are only the most important trophies that the legendary Pole put in his piggy bank for these four “golden years”.
A bright and virtuosic game of the Polish midfielder can now be remembered by fans with great experience, and even that is not all. Unless those who watched matches between Poland and the USSR at that time.
Club championship games at that time were not broadcast, except for short football reviews. The same applies to European Cup fights. And not only Soviet, but also Polish fans joined this problem.
“I remember the victory over Aston Villa with a score of 2: 1,” says Bonek. – I scored one goal in this match. The victory then for us, the players of Juventus, was important not only because we reached the next round, but also because we finally broke the unbeaten series of English clubs in our field. So, one Polish journalist calls me after the match and asks at the beginning of the conversation: “Excuse me, please, but first, tell me, did you win today or not? And then we didn’t broadcast this match in Poland.” And so it was, unfortunately, not once.
Zbigniew Bonek began his football career in the little-known Polish club Zavisha from Bydgoszcz. In 1975, when he was 20 years old, he moved to Vidzev. The club from Lodz at that time was one of the best in Poland. Bonek quickly won a place in the first team Vidzeva and a year later he received an invitation to the national team of Poland, for which he played 80 matches and scored 24 goals.
Bonek – the participant of three final tournaments of the World Cup on football – 1978, 1982 and 1986. Although the award was only obtained in one tournament, the performance of the Poles at the 1978 World Championships was also bright and colorful.
“After the match with Argentina, I was sitting in the locker room and crying,” recalls Bonek. – It was very disappointing. We played no worse than the Argentines, but we could not win. After many years, I realized that even if we were stronger than the opponent, we still would have won the tournament hosts – the Argentines. The country in which the rules of the junta, like the air needed a victory in the home world championship. And everything was done for this.
And yet, in Argentina, the Poles were able to surprise. In the first group round, the Polish team won first place in their group, ahead of the FRG team – at the time the current world champion.
In the second group round the teams of Argentina, Brazil and Peru fell into the hands of the Poles. Given that the tournament was held in Argentina, the chances of competing for medals from Poland were indeed not enough. In order to play the match for the bronze medals, it was necessary to take second place in the group. But still the Poles made a very worthy. Initially, the Peruvians won. But then gave way to the Argentines (2: 0) and the Brazilians (3: 1). In the match with Argentina, the Poles in the first half did not realize a penalty and thus missed the chance to change the course of the match.
But after four years, the Polish national team, the leader of which was Bonek, realized itself in full. The Poles scored bronze and this is their highest achievement in the history of football. Bonek scored 4 goals in this tournament. Everyone remembered his hat-trick in the match against Belgium.
However, it was not without annoying moments – in the match against SCCS, Bonek received a yellow card, which was second in the tournament, and so he missed the semifinal match against Italy. The Poles, without their leader, gave the Italians 2-0.