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Djoković guiding Rzeźniczak to Legia success

Published: Thursday 17 April 2014, 11.15CET
"We're the best team in Poland and I am sure we'll defend the title," clean-living Novak Djoković fan Jakub Rzeźniczak told UEFA.com as Legia Warszawa move in for the kill.
by Piotr Koźmiński
from Warsaw
Djoković guiding Rzeźniczak to Legia success
Jakub Rzeźniczak is on a health kick at Legia ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 17 April 2014, 11.15CET

Djoković guiding Rzeźniczak to Legia success

"We're the best team in Poland and I am sure we'll defend the title," clean-living Novak Djoković fan Jakub Rzeźniczak told UEFA.com as Legia Warszawa move in for the kill.

The Polish Ekstraklasa is moving into its final phase. After 30 games – and for the first time – the table is splitting into title and relegation groups, with all points' totals halved before the last seven matches. Legia Warszawa top the rankings, and right-back Jakub Rzeźniczak is adamant they will continue to do so.

"I like the new regulations as it means we have more games to play and this is very good for a player," the 27-year-old told UEFA.com. "Legia finished the regular season with a ten-point lead over everyone else, but despite our advantage being cut to five points, I am sure we will confirm our supremacy. We are the best team in Poland and I am sure will defend the title."

Rzeźniczak feels he owes some of his good form this term to a new dedication to nutrition inspired by one of the world's best tennis players. "I became very interested in healthy eating a year ago when I was dealing with a serious injury," he explained. "I wanted to do all I could to be as fit as possible. I started to read about healthy food and one of my main inspirations was Novak Djoković, who wrote a book about it. It is wise to follow the example of winners, and 'Djoko' is one of top athletes in the world."

Now, the seven-times capped Rzeźniczak is spreading the good food gospel in Poland through a blog where he shares his thoughts about healthy diet – and he is even considering setting up a health food restaurant. "My dad is a chef so maybe I have it in my DNA," he said with a smile. "I am a fan of the gluten-free diet and I am preparing for a big challenge – to bake gluten-free bread on my own."

Of course, an even greater test lies ahead of that. "It will be a bigger challenge and a bigger effort to defend the title," he said, mindful that Legia will host their main rivals KKS Lech Poznań on the final day of the campaign. "That game could be decisive, but I hope it will be just a 90-minute fiesta for us and our fans. I believe we will secure the title a match or even a few matches before that last week."

The love of a good woman will doubtless help Rzeźniczak as he and Legia begin the final push. The defender famously proposed to his partner, Polish model Edyta Zając, by having a plane fly across a beach at the Florida resort where they were staying carrying a banner reading: "Edytka, I love you. Will you marry me? Kuba."

"It was quite difficult to organise as my fiancee was with me all the time," Rzeźniczak said. "I was scared because the forecast said it was going to rain on the day, but it ended up fine and we had a wonderful time. She said 'yes' so I am extremely happy. She comes to most of our away games and is my lucky charm. I am really glad to have her support." Zając will have her scarf and rattle at the ready as Legia's campaign continues at home to Zawisza Bydgoszcz on 26 April.

Last updated: 18/04/14 9.45CET

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