Roman Korynt spends more time in his garden these days than following football but there was a period when the 83-year-old's main occupation was taking on the likes of Alfredo Di Stéfano and Paco Gento with Poland.
A big name himself at Lechia Gdańsk, Korynt – who still lives in the city – was given the honour of leading his former side out against KKS Lech Poznań in a league game three years ago and many who were there felt the club's former defender displayed enough energy to have featured in the match itself. It is the two-legged 1960 UEFA European Championship qualifier against Spain, however, that Korynt, also a boxing champion in his heyday, remembers with particular fondness.
"It's nice to browse through press clippings from that time," he told UEFA.com. "One of the headlines reads 'Korynt versus the five million attack' in relation to the value put on the Spanish strikers back then." Poland duly suffered against one of the most celebrated sides in Spain's history, eventually losing the tie 7-2 on aggregate.
"The match report from the first leg at home – in which we were defeated 4-2 – reads, 'Only two players deserve this newspaper's maximum rating of five, Korynt and Di Stéfano.'" Korynt added: "I was in the form of my life back then."
That game – played on 28 June 1958 – is still regarded as one of the best to have graced the Stadion Śląski in Chorzow, where Ernest Pohl gave the hosts the lead. Luis Suárez and Di Stéfano each scored twice either side of the break, however, before Lucjan Brychczy gave his team hope ahead of the return fixture in Madrid.
"It was a good game," said Korynt, whose side went down 3-0 in the sequel. "We certainly didn't disgrace ourselves but we couldn't get the ball off them most of the time. You have to remember that the bulk of their team was from the famous Real Madrid CF side that won all those European Cups between 1956 and 1960."
Nowadays, the ex-defender still finds time to frequent the spectacular Arena Gdansk to keep tabs on his old team. "I go to Lechia Gdańsk league games from time to time in the beautiful new stadium. It's unbelievable we have such a football ground and that UEFA EURO 2012 games are being played here."
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