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22.01.2013, 17:45
Poland's long-time international Lijewski retires
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35-year-old bids farewell after 251 matches for his country
 

Poland's long-time international Lijewski retires

Poland will have to go into the remaining four matches of their EHF EURO 2014 qualification campaign without experienced right back Marcin Lijewski.

After 16 years in the national team, in which he scored more than 700 goals in more than 250 matches, the 35-year-old right back announced his retirement from the national team.

"I won't play anymore in the national team. It was a great time for me but this book is closed now," Lijewski said to Polish TV channel TVP Sport following Poland's 19:27 loss against Hungary in the Round of the last 16 on Monday (21 January) at the 2013 World Championship in Spain.

Lijewski didn't hide his emotions when he made the announcement.

"I want to thank all the fans for their support over the years. Keep supporting this team, they deserve it."

Lijewski made his debut on 29 January 1997 against Austria and scored six goals in the match.

He went on to represent Poland a record 251 times before deciding to finally bid farewell to the national team.

He was part of the Polish team that won silver at the 2007 World Championship in Germany and bronze two years later at the 2009 World Championship in Croatia.

On both occasions he was also voted into the tournaments' All Star Team.

Currently with HSV Hamburg, he also played in the EHF Champions League final in 2004 and 2007 with German side SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

In the EHF EURO 2014 qualification, Poland are currently top of Group 5 ahead of Sweden, Netherlands and Ukraine with two wins from two matches.

The next matches (4 and 7 April 2013) will be against Sweden that have also four points on their account and are arguably Poland's fiercest rival for the top spot in that group.


TEXT: Maciej Firlej / ts
 
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