Lech Poznań advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa Conference League after defeating Swedish Djurgarden 5:0 on aggregate, becoming the first Polish club to reach this stage in the European competition in 27 years. Their next rival is the Italian Fiorentina club.
Yet Lech Poznan's adventure in the European cups began with a harsh loss in the 1st round of the Champions League qualifying stage against Qarabağ FK, after which they ended up in the Conference League qualifiers.
On their way to the Conference League group stage, they knocked out Dinamo Batumi, Vikingur Reykjavik and F91 Dudelange. Lech finished second in Group C, only behind Villarreal and ahead of Hapoel Beer Sheva and Austria Vienna.
In the play-off round, the Polish champions faced Bodo/Glimt. After a goalless draw in Norway, Lech’s captain Mikael Ishak sent his team to the Round of 16 phase, in front of the home crowd when scoring the only goal of the duel.
After two superb displays against Djurgarden, Lech will now head to Italy, where they will play against Fiorentina, who had an easy defeat over Sivasspor (5:1 on aggregate).
Only twice in the entire history of European cups have Polish clubs managed to get through two rounds during spring. So far, only Górnik Zabrze in 1970 achieved that feat.
The team led first knocked out Levski Sofia (2:3 and 2:1 - better away goals ratio) and then AS Roma (1:1, 2:2, 1:1 - promotion after a coin toss draw) then cruised into the Cup Winners' Cup final, where they lost against Manchester City.
Polish fans would have to wait 27 long years for another promotion to the quarterfinals of European cups. Back in the 1995/1996 season, Legia Warsaw had made it to the top eight of the Champions League, but the then Polish champions got knocked out by Panathinaikos Athens.
Huge jump in the ranking
This season, Polish clubs scored a record number of points for the UEFA national ranking.
Currently, Poland's index, covering the last five seasons, is 20,250. That puts it in 26th place, behind Romania. In order to go level in points with that country, all Lech needs to do is record at least one draw in the quarterfinals
As for the club’s ranking, Lech has already earned 12 points this season, bringing its tally from the last five years to 17. It was reflected in a massive jump in UEFA rankings. Lech finished the previous season in 208th place, and now they are already in 90th position, overtaking 14 clubs just with their first match against Djurgarden
Lech Poznań's impressive form has been noticed by the Polish national team manager Fernando Santos.
Winger of the Polish champions - Michal Skóraś - has been called up for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Albania, on March 24 and March 27 respectively.