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Poland forward Piszczek surprised at call up, says he's ready to play

Poland forward Piszczek surprised at call up, says he's ready to play

Lukasz Piszczek was lounging at the hotel pool with his fiancee on the Greek island of Rhodes when the phone rang. Twenty-four hours later, he was in shorts and football boots preparing for Poland's European Championship opener against Germany on Sunday.
Poland coach Leo Beenhakker called on the 23-year-old Piszczek to replace Jakub Blaszczykowski, who left the Polish camp after aggravating a lingering hamstring injury. The loss of Blaszczykowski, who was a key player in Poland's qualification campaign, is a blow to Poland's attack at Euro 2008.
But Piszczek, who said he was shocked by the turn of events, assured he was ready to help a Poland side appearing in its first European Championship.
"I sure wasn't counting on anyone calling," the Hertha Berlin player said shortly after arriving at the Polish camp Friday. "But I'm an athlete, so even when I'm not playing football, I'm playing volleyball or tennis, so I'm ready."
Piszczek, who can play in the midfield or up front, passed a physical Friday morning in Vienna before joining his teammates in Austria. He said he had no regrets about cutting his vacation short.
"The first match will be very hard, but if I make it on the field for even a minute of this tournament I'll be very happy," he said.
Perhaps more importantly, neither did his fiancee.
"We were with friends, and she stayed on with them, but she's happy that I'm here and she's not mad at all," Piszczek said.


Updated : 2020-12-04 23:20 GMT+08:00