Legia Warsaw

Poland's Most Successful Club – Legia Warsaw In Profile

Fifteen-time Polish champions Legia Warsaw are next up for Leicester City in Group C of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening.

While the Foxes were held to a 2-2 draw by Napoli on Filbert Way on matchday one, Wojskowi secured a commendable 1-0 win over Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital to open up an early advantage at the top of their European pool.

Ahead of Thursday's 5:45pm kick-off in Warsaw, Leicester's first-ever competitive encounter with a Polish side, LCFC.com provides a rundown of our hosts...

Czesław Michniewicz – A winner in Poland

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Czesław Michniewicz
Czesław Michniewicz

Czesław Michniewicz is hoping to add to Legia's rich European heritage in 2021/22.

Former goalkeeper Czesław Michniewicz has been in charge at Stadion Wojska Polskiego since 2020, winning the Ekstraklasa by a five-point margin at the conclusion of his maiden campaign as manager.

As a player, Michniewicz lifted the Polish Cup twice and enjoyed success in the Polish Super Cup with Amica Wronki in the late 20th century, before taking his first managerial post at Lech Poznań in 2004. It wouldn't be long before further silverware was added to the Byarozawka-born manager's CV.

League title glory and a triumph in the Polish Super Cup followed in his next posting as well, at Zagłebie Lubin, before spells with Arka Gdynia, Widzew Łódź, Jagiellonia Białystok, Polonia Warsaw, Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała, Pogoń Szczecin and Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza. 

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Czesław Michniewicz
Czesław Michniewicz

A spell as Poland Under-21s manager preceded Czesław Michniewicz's move to Legia.

In 2017, on the other hand, Michniewicz turned his hand to international duties, overseeing Poland's Under-21s national team, beating Portugal in the play-offs to earn a first qualification for the UEFA U21 European Championships since 1994. Last year, though, he switched to Legia. 

With Michniewicz scooping Manager of the Month prizes in November and March, his side won their 15th Ekstraklasa in some style, but further success was to come. This summer, after five years away, the Warsaw club returned to group-stage European football with a play-off win over Slavia Prague. 

The European record – Regulars on the continent 

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Facing Real Madrid
Facing Real Madrid

Although heavily beaten at the Santiago Bernabéu, Legia secured a 3-3 draw on home soil against Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2016.

Legia Warsaw have played over 200 matches in European football across their 105-year history. While the qualifying rounds in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League have often been their limit in recent seasons, Wojskowi have an intriguing European pedigree. 

In just the club's third European Cup campaign, in 1969/70, Legia reached the semi-finals with victories over Arad, Saint-Étienne and Galatasaray, although a 3-1 aggregate defeat by Feyenoord denied them the chance to play Celtic in the showpiece at the San Siro in Milan.

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Losing out to Man Utd
Losing out to Man Utd

Manchester United halted their intrepid run during the 1990/91 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

They were also beaten semi-finalists in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, losing out to Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, after wins over Swift Hesperange, Aberdeen and Sampdoria. 

Their best showing in the Champions League format, on the other hand, came in 1995/96 and included triumphs over Göteborg, Rosenborg, Spartak Moscow and Blackburn Rovers. Panathinaikos, though, were victors in the quarter-finals.

Legia's last UCL group stage appearance came in 2016/17, although a pool including Real Madrid, Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund proved too strong. The 2021/22 campaign is their first UEL group stage outing since 2014/15, when they topped a group including Metalist Kharkiv, Trabzonspor and Lokeren.

The squad – A side used to winning

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Artur Boruc
Artur Boruc

Artur Boruc, 41, kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win at Spartak Moscow on matchday one this season.

The goals of former Tottenham Hotspur striker Tomáš Pekhart were particularly useful to Legia last season as the Czech Republic international struck 23 times during his debut campaign with the club. There's a familiar face in the Warsaw squad, too – former Foxes midfielder Bartosz Kapustka. 

Last term, the Poland international made 25 appearances for Czesław Michniewicz's side, netting on three occasions.

Legia have added more international experience to their ranks this summer, with the signings of Azerbaijan striker Mahir Emreli, Sweden right-back Mattias Johansson, Mauritius centre-back Lindsay Rose and Kosovo winger Lirim Kastrati. German-born Poland Under-21s defender Maik Nawrocki also joined the club.

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Bartosz Kaputska
Bartosz Kaputska

Former Leicester City midfielder Bartosz Kapustka is among the ranks at the Polish champions.

Followers of the British game will also recognise former Celtic, Southampton and AFC Bournemouth shot-stopper Artur Boruc, who is now 41, but nonetheless made 29 appearances in all competitions last term. 

Defender Artur Jędrzejczyk, capped 40 times for Poland, is Legia's captain and is into his second spell at Stadion Wojska Polskiego. Czesław Michniewicz's side, as a result, are an experienced outfit with plenty of experience both at home and on the continent. 

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