The starting eleven at Poland’s first World Cup 2018 game (vs. Senegal)
Poland’s FIFA World Ranking in 2018: 8th
Poland national football (soccer) team at World Cup 2018
Racial stock of the Poland-2018 World Cup team:
— 100% European ancestry [23.0/23.0],
—– of which 95%+ Polish ancestry; minor known non-Polish ancestry includes German and Southern European
Birthplaces of players, by political status of hometown regions before Polish independence in 1919
— one player born outside of Poland (in Brazil; Thiago Cionek)
— two players from Warsaw [9% of the Poland-born players]
— five players from places in the Russian Empire through 1918 (excl. Warsaw) [23%]
— two players from places in the Austrian Empire through 1918 [9%]
— thirteen players from places in the German Empire before 1919 [59%] [see Former eastern territories of Germany]
—– of which, six born in areas that were part of Germany through 1945 and not part of interwar Poland (i.e., the territories lost by Germany via the creation of the Oder-Neisse boundary by Stalin in 1945) [27%]
For an in-depth, player-by-player racial-ancestry analysis, see below. For an analysis of the possible political significance of the racial-cultural dynamics seen in Poland’s 2018 World Cup team, see here (below).
Race and Europe’s ‘National’ Teams, World Cup 2018
Introduction to Series of World Cup Posts
This year’s World Cup (June-July 2018), as a politicized sporting event, gives us the opportunity to reflect on the racial situation in Europe as it stands, as it has evolved over the past twenty years (using World Cup teams as fixed comparison points). The trajectory of changes in the racial stock of teams may point to wider racial prospects for the 2020s, 2030s, and beyond.
Rarely discussed in its own terms, but on millions (perhaps billions) of minds, is the fact that Western Europe’s World Cup squads of recent years have not been very European but are largely multi-racial teams, sometimes White-minority teams, and thus symbolically in line with Europe’s shakily reigning “Multicultacracy” ideology.
The goal of these posts is to quantify this year’s Western European national teams’ racial-ancestral(-cultural) origins in some depth. Which European teams are the ‘least’ and which are the ‘most’ European?
Are there political implications to the racial balance of World Cup national teams? I would propose that there are, as follows:
Some countries, notably France, have received criticism for being top-heavy with non-European ‘mercenary’ players, men of recognized individual talent but with oftentimes less-than-solid ties to, and often being resentful of, the country they are representing. Will such racial ‘mercenary’ teams overperform in 2018, as they would presumably be expected to if team play is a summation of individual talents, or underperform, perhaps due to a relative lack of national-patriotic feeling?
Europe’s World Cup 2018 teams analyzed so far:
— Belgium: 70% White, 22% Black, 17% Muslim
— Croatia: 100% White, no Muslims (with racial-anthropology analysis)
— Denmark: 90% White/Scandinavian
— England: 63% White, No Muslims
— France: 33% White, African Majority
— Germany: 83% White, 11% Muslim
— Iceland: 100% White, 98% Icelandic (feat. racial-anthropological analysis)
— Poland: 100% White (This Post), disproportionately from western Poland
— Portugal: 77% White, heavy African-colonial element
— Russia: 84% White with the remainder from the Caucuses and Central Asian/Turkic
— Serbia: 94% White, 4% Muslim, 4% Gypsy[?]
— Spain: 92% White
— Switzerland: 70% White, but only 44% White-Christian
— Sweden: 91% White, No Muslims
Player-by-Player Racial-Ancestral-Cultural Origins
(Method of classification: The twenty-three men on the POLAND World Cup 2018 squad are individually evaluated by national-ancestral origin, birthplace, and place raised until adolescence, where such data is available, with a historical focus on the political affiliation of their hometowns in the periods  before 1919,  1919-1939, and  1939-1945)
(Any corrections or additional information is welcome in the comments.)
Player years of birth range from 1985 to 1997.
Note: The Poland national team is 100% ‘White’ and all players are of Polish ancestry unless otherwise noted, and all but one (Brazil-born Thiago Cionek) were born in Poland. Because there is nothing to offer in terms of a ‘White’ vs. ‘non-White’ breakdown, as with the West European national teams, this analysis will try to determine the percentage of the Poland team from former Russian Poland and former German Poland before the revival of Polish independence in 1918-9, and also those from former German areas until the territorial realignment following the loss of the war in 1945.
Accordingly, player birthplaces are classified according to the area’s political status pre-1919 and also 1919-1939 — that is, whether a part of independent Poland or always a part of Germany. These “phantom” borders are curiously still visible within today’s mono-ethnic Polish politics (on which, see “Polish Election Map Reveals Old Imperial Border“). Here is the much-publicized map of the 2010 Polish election’s results in which the borders of a century ago seemingly reemerge:
Does something similar exist on Poland’s World Cup team? An exhaustive analysis follows, with results summarized below in the Analysis section. (Executive Summary: Yes, at least with these 23, the western [‘German Empire’] areas are disproportionately represented)
GOALKEEPERS [European ancestry at 3.0/3.0] [two players from pre-1945 German areas, one from pre-1919 Russian Empire (Warsaw)]
— Wojciech Szczesny (born in Warsaw to a professional goalkeeper father [b.1965 in Warsaw]; Warsaw a part of pre-1918 Russian Empire)
— Bartosz Bialkowski (born in Braniewo, on the Baltic coast near the present Kaliningrad border, part of German province of East Prussia before 1945 [German name of town: Braunsberg]; Bialkowsi’s birthplace, despite being politically German before 1945, had a nearly 70% Catholic [presumably all or nearly-all Polish] majority before the expulsions of the Germans in the postwar years)
— Łukasz Fabianski (born in Kostrzyn on the Oder [German name: Küstrin], on the Polish side of the post-1945 [Oder-Neisse river line] German-Polish border; part of Germany pre-1945 and never part of interwar Poland; pre-1945 had a large Protestant majority circa 95%)
DEFENDERS [European ancestry at 7.0/7.0] [of the six players born in Poland, three are from areas that were in pre-1919 Germany, two are from areas that were in pre-1919 Russia, and one is from an area that was in pre-1919 Austria-Hungary]
— Michal Pazdan (born and raised in Krakow, pre-1919 Russian Empire and interwar Poland)
— Artur Jedrzejczyk (born and raised in southeastern Poland; hometown in pre-1918 Russian Empire and interwar Poland)
— Thiago Cionek (apparently fully European ancestry; born in Brazil and either quarter- or half-Polish by ancestry, with remainder presumably at least partly Southern European; mother named Elizabeth Bueno; family pictured here — left to right, Thiago, father Mario, grandmother, brother, and mother; “His [paternal] great-grandparents, Agata Sykulska and Franciszek Cionek, were Poles who left the homeland before World War I and settled in Curitiba, [Brazil]. In September 2009 [at age 23], he applied for the Polish citizenship, which he received on October 3, 2011 [at age 25]” [wiki]]; Curitiba is “a southern-city known for its population of German and Polish descendants in addition to its characteristically European character and cold weather” according to this profile of Cionek; apparently a resident of Poland from 2008)
— Jan Bednarek (born and raised in Slupca, central Poland, between Poznan [Posen] and Lodz; raised around Lodz; hometown was part of pre-1919 Germany although very close to the Russian frontier, became part of independent Poland 1919-1939, annexed to German Reich 1939-45; Jan Bednarek is primarily of the Nordid type with distinct Alpinid/Baltid tendencies, possibly
Sub-Nordid type; see picture)
— Kamil Glik (partial German ancestry; born near the current Polish-Czech-Slovak border in Upper Silesia, hometown a part of pre-1919 Germany and then interwar Poland as residents voted in the plebiscite of 1921 to join Poland [i.e., in the dark-shared area of Upper Silesia in this map]; his hometown a town characterized by a 2016 profile of Glik as “a Silesian coalmine estate where alcohol was a common problem and police intervention and domestic violence was all too regular”; “Kamil Glik’s grandfather was Upper Silesian and a German citizen, who after World War II stayed in what then became Poland. Glik therefore, too, holds German citizenship in addition to his Polish citizenship. In his German documents his surname is written out in the original German version Glück instead of the polonized version Glik. Despite this, Glik has repeatedly said that he does not feel any connection with Germany and considers himself 100% Polish. He has a daughter with his wife Marta, whom he had known since elementary school” [wiki]; ‘Kamil’ is a Polish, Czech, and Slovak given name, equivalent to the Italian Camillo; like Jan Bednarek, also on the Nordid end of typical Poland phenotype range; see picture)
— Bartosz Bereszyński (born and raised in Poznan [Posen]; hometown was in pre-1919 Germany, then interwar Poland; Bartosz Bereszyński is of Alpinid type; see picture)
— Lukasz Piszczek (White; born in Czechowice-Dziedzice, southern Poland, in town quite close [35km] to teammate Kamil Glik’s but with a different political history in that before 1918: Lukasz Piszczek’s hometown was part of the Austrian Empire, before joining Poland from 1919, later annexed by Germany 1939-1945, and reverted to Poland in 1945; his hometown before the emergence of independent Poland in 1919 had a then-rather-typical Austrian-Hapsburg imperial profile, with a politically privileged German-speaking element [<10% identifying as first-language German speakers in early 20th century censuses], though presumably all upwardly mobile persons would have all spoken some German, the imperial lingua franca, and a Catholic majority — unlike German-Empire Germans nearby, who would have been Protestant, only one-quarter as many identified as Protestant as identified as Germanophone in this county [this info from Polish wiki], and — as usual in this region at the time — also a Jewish element (<5%), but ethnoreligiously a large majority Polish-Catholics; Lukasz Piszczek, born several generations later, is married with two daughters; see picture with wife)
MIDFIELDERS [European ancestry at 9.0/9.0] [six are from areas that were in pre-1919 Germany, two are from areas that were in pre-1919 Russia; one is from areas that were in the pre-1919 Austrian Empire]
— Jacek Góralski (primarily Nordid racial type; see picture; born in Bydgoszcz [f.k.a. Bromberg], northern Poland; hometown was in pre-1919 Germany, and fell just on the Polish side of the 1919-1939 German-Polish border; the city had a former German majority and thus was one of the cities disputed between Germany and Poland in the late 1910s to late 1930s in general terms; Bromberg was the site of a massacre of hundreds of German civilians in early September 1939, an event used by NS regime propaganda to justify the then-ongoing invasion of Poland; the pre-1919 population approached 70% Protestant, 25%+ Catholic, <5% Jewish, with 'Protestant' a definite proxy for German identity in this region at this time; as for the player Jacek Goralski's own family-ancestral origin, I find nothing online as whether he has any ancestral connection to the city in 1939, some fifty-plus years before he was born)
— Karol Linetty (born in Znin, north-central Poland, between Bydgoszcz [f.k.a. Bromberg] and Ponznan [f.k.a. Posen]; racial-stock largely of Alpine type, probably best classified as Gorid (also see SNPA account), a common element of the southern reaches of the Polish spectrum; see picture; hometown was in pre-1919 Germany, then interwar Poland; in the 1890s through 1910s, under the then-ascendant German Empire, the area [Kreis Znin, Posen Province, Germany] was steadily, even if not rapidly, Germanizing, with share of Protestants rising from <15% in 1880s to 25% by 1910, and also de-Judaizing, with Jews declining from 3% to 1% of the county population between 1880s and 1910, presumably largely via emigration to America [these numbers per Polish wiki]; reverted to Poland in 1945; Karol Linetty, born several generations later in 1995, played for a Poznan club in his youth career through age 21; Poland national team from age 18)
— Grzegorz Krychowiak (raised in Mrzezyno on the Baltic coast but born in Gryfice [f.k.a. Greifenberg], 25km inland in present-day northwestern Poland; Nordid type; see picture; his hometown was part of pre-1945 Germany and never part of the interwar independent Poland; the town was assigned to Poland following defeat of Germany in 1945; unlike some of the other towns mentioned in this post that has rather mixed German-Polish characters, this town [Gryfice] was unambiguously and essentially totally German by culture, language, religion, and political inclination — in 1925 it was only 1% Catholic and <1% Jewish, with the rest Protestants, which will have been overwhelmingly (German-)Lutheran [see here] — if Grzegorz Krychowiak has roots in this town, they are unlikely to extend before the late 1940s with resettlement)
— Kamil Grosicki (born in Szczecin [f.k.a. Stettin], northwestern corner of Poland; raised in Szczecin and played on a local club through age 17; his grandfather was a member of the Polish Free Forces and participated in the Italian campaign in 1944; Grosicki’s hometown of Stettin, on the west bank of the Oder River, is another region of present-day Poland that was much more fully German before 1945; pre-1945 it was <4% Catholic, 1% Jewish, and the rest German-Protestant; Stettin was also Germanic for most of the past three thousand years, and anthropologists classify it as an area of proto-Germanic culture already before 750 BC (see here); though Szczecin was Polish for several generations in 11th and early 12th centuries, its 800 years of history from then until 1945 were German)
— Maciej Rybus (born in Lowicz, central Poland, between Warsaw and Lodz; part of pre-1919 Russian Empire, then interwar Poland (1919-1939), then wartime Polish ‘General-Government’ under German military control [i.e., never annexed to German Reich]; Nordid type; played football for a Grozny club, at which time he met an Ossetian woman, whom he married in early 2018; see picture of Maciej Rybus with his Ossetian wife)
— Jakub Błaszczykowski (born in Truskolasy, south-central Poland, and apparently raised in Czestochowa, the city nearby; this area was part of the pre-1919 Russian Empire, then interwar Poland (1919-1939), then the ‘General-Govenment’ (1939-1945) under German military control [i.e., never annexed to the German Reich]; racially, has a Nordid and Cro-Magnid phenotype [likely Baltid influence] physical type; see picture)
— Slawomir Peszko (born in Jaslo, Poland, where he was raised, but moved to Plock, central Poland, to play for a club at age 15; hometown of Jaslo a part of pre-1918 Austrian Empire, then interwar Poland [1919-1939], then Polish General-Government [1939-1945], then in the southeast of postwar Poland; the city in 1918 was one-quarter Jewish)
— Piotr Zielinski (born in Zabkowice Slaskie [f.k.a. Frankenstein in Schlesien], southwest Poland, between Wroclaw and the Czech border; his hometown was already heavily ethnoculturally Polish before 1945 — at two-thirds Catholic — but politically German before 1945, and was not subject the the Upper Silesian referendum of 1921 as it was in Lower Silesia)
— Rafal Kurzawa (“He comes from the village of Swiba near Kepno, where his family runs a farm” [Polish wiki]; see picture; home region is halfway between Wroclaw and Lodz in central Poland; political status over last century was: German before 1919, but just a few kilometers from the Russian frontier; part of interwar Poland [1919-39], annexed to Germany during the war [1939-5], then back to Poland)
STRIKERS [European ancestry at 4.0/4.0] [two are from areas that were in pre-1919 Germany and two are from areas that were in pre-1919 Russia (of which one is Warsaw)]
— Arkadiusz Milik (born in Tychy [f.k.a. Tichau], southern Poland due west of Krakow; hometown German before 1919, but 83% of the citizens of the town voted to join Poland in the 1921 referendum, thus Polish 1921-1939, then annexed to German Reich [1939-1945], then reverted to Poland; played for a nearby city [Katowice]’s club throughout youth career, before moving to Bayer Leverkusen, a German club, at age 18 in 2012; racial stock Pontid with Dinarid influence [see also SNPA account]; see picture)
— Robert Lewandowski [Team Captain] (born in Warsaw to professional athlete parents, and purportedly named ‘Robert’ specifically to make it “easier to travel”; married Polish wife Anna in 2013; see picture of Lewandowski with wife; of primarily Pontid or North Pontid phenotype; see also picture of Robert with his mother)
— Lukasz Teodorczyk (born and raised in Zuromin, north-central Poland, where he played on local clubs through age 18; played for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv from 2014-7; hometown was a part of Russian Empire before 1919 but quite close to the German frontier; part of independent Poland 1919-1939; following the German-Polish war of Sept. 1939, annexed to the German Reich despite overwhelming Polish-Catholic population; phenotype is primarily Nordid with Dinarid influence; see picture)
— Dawid Kownacki (born in Gorzów Wielkopolski [f.k.a. Landsberg], present-day west-central Poland; hometown was German before 1945, never part of interwar Poland; between 1880s and 1920s had a comfortable German-Protestant majority [85-95%], a declining Jewish population [2% to <1%], reflecting the rough orientation of the region from the 13th century until 1945; Dawid Kownacki is the youngest player on Poland in 2018, having just turned 21, and was trained from a young age with a club in Poznan)
Comparison with past POLAND squads
Poland did not qualify for the World Cup in 2014.
Poland did not qualify for the World Cup in 2010.
Poland-2006 players were born between 1973 and 1985.
Racial-Ancestral Stock: Apparently 100% White, presumably all- or almost-all Polish.
Poland Record in 2006 World Cup
3: Games (finished at 21st)
2: Goals For
4: Goals Against
-0.7: Goal Differential per Game Played
Poland-2002 players were born between 1967 and 1979.
Racial-Ancestral Stock: 96% White. The team appears to be all-European except one Black player. This was Nigeria-born striker Emmanuel Olisadebe [b.1978], who seems to be a very true representative of the concept of ‘mercenary player’: First came to Poland in Oct. 1997, granted citizenship in 2000 ahead of World Cup 2002 qualifying, but spent most of 2001-2012 playing for Greek clubs and has since returned to Nigeria [acc. to Polish Wiki], and married a Polish woman in 2001 whom he has now divorced.
Poland Record in 2002 World Cup
3: Games (finished at 25th place)
3: Goals For
7: Goals Against
-1.3: Goal Differential per Game Played
Poland’s team is unsurprisingly all-White, and nearly all-Polish, which — it should be pointed out — contrasts with some of the West European teams, which even the most unobservant viewer will surely notice.
The overall racial-political situation is suggested by the fact that Poland (and the other Visegrad countries) have been set against the Angel Merkel-led diversity-promotion coalition — a coalition from which Italy has just defected. While all West European teams almost obligatorily have a certain share of Non-European ancestry on their rosters, Poland may well have zero total recent non-European ancestry.
This analysis has attempted something more specific, though, and has focused on intra-Polish differences rather than inter-national or racial; I have classified players by political status of players’ hometowns before 1919 (Polish independence), as a kind of expansion of the much-commented-upon present-day political division between area that were formerly Russian and formerly German.
Players’s origins were classified according to pre-1919 status within the Austrian Empire [9%], Russian Empire [23%], Warsaw [9%] (which I classify separately because a player from Warsaw’s actual family origin could be from anywhere), or German Empire [59%]; the pre-1919 German component has a significant component of players from towns or areas that were “always German,” that is, never a part of interwar Poland, and from which the German inhabitants were expelled in or after 1945 [27%].
How does this compare with the total regional distribution of the Polish population today? (Total population: 38,422,346)
— Pre-1919 German Provinces (roughly): 19,102,219 [49.7%]
—– Greater Poland 3,467,016
—– Silesia 4,593,358
—– Oppole 1,000,858
—– Lower Silesia 2,908,457
—– Lubusz 1,016,652
—– West Pommerania 1,715,431
—— Pommerania 2,302,077
— Warsaw Metro area 3,100,844 [8.1%]
— Pre-1919 Russian Provinces (roughly) 16,219,283 [42.1%]
I believe that current administrative boundaries of Poland today do not exactly align with the pre-1919 borders, and that the above includes some pre-1919 Russian Empire areas (as confirmed by comparing this pre-1919-border map superimposed on the 2010 election results, and this county-level administrative map of present-day Poland), and therefore the German share is here overstated. The actual ‘pre-1919 German’ share will be pushed down closer to 40% of the present-day total national population and so Russian areas accordingly must go up, closer to 50%. Greater Warsaw remains at 8%, and the population of former Austrian Silesia cannot be very large, well under 5%.
The result of this analysis is that the Poland national team’s football players appear to be disproportionately from pre-1919 German areas [60%] compared to the total national population [40%?], and, vice versa, players from pre-1919 Russian areas [23%] are underrepresented compared to the total national population [up to 50%] (excluding Greater Warsaw).
It would be interesting to get a larger N for this analysis using the players from past Polish World Cup teams, to see if the apparent over-representation of the pre-1919 German areas still holds. If it does, one possible finding of this is that despite enormous population turnover, something did hold on of a Western orientation in the old German areas, if football is viewed as a ‘Western’ game (although the Soviet Union did relatively well at some World Cups, finishing 4th to 6th in four consecutive World Cups, 1958 to 1970, of sixteen teams).