He is a WKS Śląsk Wroclaw legend having played more than 250 matches for the club since joining in 2001. Dariusz Sztylka's career has followed the same upward trajectory as his club, coming from the third division through to the top flight, a rise crowned by the Lower Silesian club winning the Polish title last season. A month after the greatest success of his playing career, the 33-year-old Wroclaw-born midfielder has been enjoying watching UEFA EURO 2012 in his home city.
UEFA.com: How did Wroclaw change in preparation for UEFA EURO 2012?
Dariusz Sztylka: Certainly for Wroclaw and the whole of the country, this tournament is a very positive thing. It's probably one of the best things which could have happened to us. Looking at the infrastructure, roads, stadium, new investment in the city, Wroclaw has benefitted a lot. The whole city felt that we wanted Wroclaw to be the best host city. Everyone was eagerly awaiting the start of the tournament, and did everything to make visitors from abroad feel welcome.
UEFA.com: How do you feel when you see games being played at the Municipal Stadium Wroclaw, a venue you know very well indeed?
Sztylka: It's great that some of the best players in Europe are playing at our stadium. This is very important for us, and we feel proud for this reason.
UEFA.com: What are the benefits for Wroclaw of the new stadium and everything else that has been built?
The most important thing is that all the new buildings, the new roads, and the new stadium will stay here after the tournament. For us, the residents of Wroclaw, it will serve [a purpose] for many years. All of this was built to the highest standards, and if we compare it to our old stadium at Oporowska Street, the difference is unbelievable. It's a place which can stage great concerts or the final of a European competition. I think we will still have a lot of fun with these buildings.
UEFA.com: Can you feel that Wroclaw is living the tournament?
Sztylka: Yes, definitely. There's red and white all over Wroclaw. Cars are decorated with the Polish flag, and flags are hanging in the windows of many houses. Even on my street, some 200 metres from where I live, is a large Polish flag.
UEFA.com: Will you go to a match at UEFA EURO 2012?
Sztylka: Unfortunately, I didn't get any tickets, so during Poland's game against the Czech Republic I'll take my children to the fan zone. We prefer to watch the other games at home. We've created our own fan zone in front of the TV (laughs).
UEFA.com: What do you think about the matches you've seen so far?
Sztylka: I think we've seen that the organisation for the tournament is excellent. The stadiums and the pitches are all in great condition, and we are getting praised for that. With regard to the level of football being played, it's of the very highest standard, so I'm happy to watch the games.
UEFA.com: And is there any team other than Poland who you’ll be supporting?
Sztylka: Anyone who loves beautiful football supports Spain. For me, however, two of the dark horses are France and Germany.
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