Having become a Friend of UEFA EURO 2012 at a ceremony in Wroclaw last week, 28-year-old Manchester United FC goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak is eager for the world to learn about the city where he started his career. He also told UEFA.com that he was determined to fulfil two footballing ambitions: being No1 at Old Trafford and playing for Poland at UEFA EURO 2012.
UEFA.com: What did it mean for you to become a Friend of UEFA EURO 2012 in Wroclaw?
Tomasz Kuszczak: I feel honoured as Wroclaw is my beloved city. I spent many years here; I started my career at Śląsk Wrocław. It means a lot to me that I can show my gratitude to the city now. EURO 2012 is a huge opportunity to promote our cities and our country.
UEFA.com: What would you tell potential visitors about Wroclaw?
Kuszczak: First of all, EURO 2012 is a football event, and Wroclaw is building a fantastic stadium. I know football fans adore watching games at new stadiums with new facilities. Wroclaw will definitely offer that. It is nice to see how the stadium is developing. I was here at the start of construction; we buried a box underground as a cornerstone. There are some items inside, including two balls. I donated a UEFA Champions League ball with my signature. And at the same place the EURO will be played soon. Fantastic!
UEFA.com: What else is there to see in the city?
Kuszczak: This is not a boring city. It's not very original, but the Rynek [Old Market] is my favourite place here; when I'm in Wroclaw I adore walking through it. There are fantastic cafes and restaurants in amazing surroundings. Wroclaw is not very well known abroad and I will work to change that, as there is more than just the Rynek; visitors can go to some fantastic parks and there is also a famous zoo here. For those who love art, the famous Panorama Raclawicka is a must; it is huge panoramic painting depicting one of the big battles in Polish history.
UEFA.com: What about food?
Kuszczak: Polish cuisine has plenty to offer. Fans will have a big choice. During the EURO you have to try the famous polish 'pierogi' dumplings. They have always been good but are now becoming popular outside Poland too. They really deserve to be.
UEFA.com: How do you rate your chances of playing at the finals?
Kuszczak: I think that will only be decided just before the tournament. Of course, I want to play more than I do right now. This is a very important time in my career.
UEFA.com: Have you ever considered changing club?
If it was journalists that sold players I would have left Manchester three years ago. Since then, the papers have had me being sold many times, but as far as I know it's Sir Alex Ferguson who determines transfers at United.
All I can say is that I'm ready at any moment to jump into goal and stay there for good.
I have already proved something to myself by playing over 60 matches for United, but I would also like to prove to others that I can be Edwin van der Sar's successor [when the Dutchman retires in the summer]. My goal remains the same: to be No1. It is one of my two big football dreams. The second, of course, is to play for Poland at UEFA EURO 2012.
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