Former Polish forward Andrzej Szarmach had an excellent international career in which he scored 32 goals in 61 appearances, and the UEFA EURO 2012 ambassador took time out to speak to UEFA.com and answer a selection of users' tweets. The ex-AJ Auxerre man had his say on the tournament so far, who he thinks will be top scorer, and the positives of co-hosting the finals for his homeland.
UEFA.com: What are your thoughts on UEFA EURO 2012 so far?
Andrzej Szarmach: In the group stage the Netherlands were very disappointing because they didn't manage to get even a point. Sweden played very well in their final game, but unfortunately that did not stop them from going out. There have been a few surprises, like Poland and Russia not qualifying from Group A as they were the teams that had been tipped to go through before the tournament began. Unfortunately football is one of those sports where favourites exist only on paper; on the pitch this is not the case.
All the matches have been very interesting. [Until England–Italy] there had not been any goalless draws and the fact there had been goals in every match is not only important for the players, but also for the supporters. I agree with the majority of the fans that there has been some very good quality at this tournament.
UEFA.com: As a former striker, who do you think will be top scorer at the championship?
Szarmach: Cristiano Ronaldo started poorly and faced criticism, but then scored some goals and I think he will go on to be top scorer.
UEFA.com: How will organising this event influence Poland as a country?
Szarmach: It will be a positive, certainly in terms of how much has been done with the stadiums, roads and hotels. All this creates a very good impression, along with the atmosphere at the finals. I think lots of people from lots of different countries are very pleased with the tournament, and afterwards many people will come to Poland.
UEFA.com: What is your favourite memory from all the games you played in and tournaments you were involved in?
Szarmach: I took part in three [FIFA] World Cups: 1974 in Germany, 1978 in Argentina and 1982 in Spain. I also played at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada. The best memories I have are of that first tournament in 1974, where we went to the tournament as the team to beat. Personally, it was also great for me to get the Golden Boot by scoring five goals – that was the springboard for my career.
UEFA.com: What were your favourite goals?
Szarmach: Some were the most enjoyable and some were the most important. A good goal that I scored, one still shown on TV today, was the goal in the third match of the group stage during the World Cup in Germany against Italy. I scored with a header and it was one of the most important I got in my career. The most important goal was at the Olympics in Montreal, where we were playing a tough team and I scored a late winner that got us into the final.
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