Polish FA chief's dig at domestic players after Celtic sign Patryk Klimala

By David Walton

January 15, 2020

Head of the Polish FA, Zbigniew Boniek, has taken a bizarre dig at Polish players for showing a lack of ambition.

The dig comes just a day after Celtic confirmed the signing of Patryk Klimala from Jagiellonia Bialystok for £3.5million (Scottish Sun).

The deal is the second-most expensive departure from Poland this January. Adam Buska’s move from Pognon Szczecin to New England Revolution is the highest after raking in just under £3.8m for his former club (Transfermarkt).

Celtic forward Patryk Klimala (Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Boniek didn’t label Klimala personally, but he did state that players departing Poland are choosing money over ambition. Speaking in comments picked up by the Scottish Sun, Boniek said the following:

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“When I look at some of the recent transfer moves from the Ekstraklasa I see zero ambition and plans or any vision. It seems only money counts.”

Boniek also played abroad

Boniek only actually needs to glance at his own career if he wants to find a player who decided to leave Poland. He decided to move to Italy and played with Juventus and Roma. He’ll defend that and say he showed ambition, but Klimala has done the same.

Polish FA chief Zbigniew Boniek (Photo by Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Leaving Jagiellonia, a club sitting ninth in the Ekstraklasa, to join Celtic is a massive step-up. It shows clear ambition and drive. When it comes to European football, Poland is hardly the utopia for footballers with ambition.

What Klimala has swapped is mid-table mediocrity for a chance at history. He arrives at a club who are into the last-32 of the Europa League and gunning for nine league titles in a row. Nobody can have a go at our new man for making the move from Poland to Scotland.

You would think that Boniek is perhaps having a pop at the likes of Buska as he heads for the MLS. However, considering the remark comes a day after Klimala’s high-profile move, the timing isn’t great.

Celtic’s Patryk Klimala (Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The truth is that Celtic are bigger than anything Poland has to offer. We play in an environment that the Ekstraklasa clubs could only dream of having. It’s a market we could delve into regularly if we wanted to.

The likes of Artur Boruc and Maciej Zurawski were also recruited from Poland – look at what Celtic did for both of them. So hopefully Boniek’s dig wasn’t at Klimala. Our new recruit has taken a massive step-up with his decision to come to Parkhead.