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Kazimierz Deyna (October 23, 1947 in Starogard Gdańskimarker – September 1, 1989 in San Diego, Californiamarker) was a Polishmarker football player, one of the best marksmen in the history of world football. He was a playmaker or deep lying forward famed for his finishing, vision and elegant way of playing.

He began playing youth football in 1958 with the local Włókniarz Starogard Gdański Football Club. He briefly appeared in 1966 for ŁKS Łódź, but he was quickly snapped by Legia Warszawa. In communist Poland each team had its own "sponsor". Warsaw club was much more powerful as it was a military club. Moreover it was a favourite club of the authorities. Talented player was called-up into the army and in this way he had to play for Legia Warszawa. His career really got on well there, and yet in next season he was playing regularly.

In 1969 and 1970 his team won the Polish Championship. On April 24, 1968, he also played for the national team of Poland for the first time in a match against Turkeymarker in Chorzówmarker. Together with his team he won the gold medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munichmarker, and the bronze in Football World Cup 1974, after a match against Brazilmarker. In 1972 he was also the Top Goalscorer of the Olympic Games, with a total of nine goals. In 1976 Summer Olympics his team yet again reached the finals and won the silver medal. Additionally, he was ranked third in the European Footballer of the Year for 1974, behind Johann Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer respectively.

Deyna played for Poland on 97 (84 after the deduction of Olympic Football Tournament competition games) occasions, scoring 41 goals, and often captained the side. He had the ability to score from unusual positions, e.g. directly from a corner. Thanks to his skills, he was chosen several times the Football Player of the Year by Polish fans. In 1978 he captained Poland at the Football World Cup in Argentinamarker, where the team reached the second phase.

Soon afterwards Deyna was transferred to English club Manchester City, making his debut in November 1978, and being one of the first wave of overseas players to play in the English league. His time in England was marred by a series of injuries, and he left in January 1981, shortly after a change in team manager, having made only 38 appearances in all competitions. However, he was regarded as an exceptionally gifted playmaker and became a cult figure with City fans. He scored thirteen goals in his time with the club. Especially first 7goals in last 8games of 1978/79 season where crucial for MC fighting to avoid relegation.

He appeared in the 1981 film Escape to Victory as Paul Wolcheck. In the same year, he emigrated to the USAmarker, where he played for San Diego Sockers - for whom he had signed in January 1981 - and then the Legends San Diego. He died in a car accident while driving a 1974 Dodge Colt on September 1, 1989, in San Diego, Californiamarker.

In 1994 he was chosen by the Polish Football Association (PZPN) and the readers of all Polish sports-related newspapers as the Polish Football Player of All Time.

His number 10 is retired by Legia Warszawa.

Career statistics



External links

1966-67 ŁKS Łódź Ekstraklasa 1 0
1966-67 Legia Warsaw Ekstraklasa 12 6
1967-68 23 6
1968-69 26 12
1969-70 23 5
1970-71 23 3
1971-72 26 10
1972-73 25 8
1973-74 27 8
1974-75 26 5
1975-76 26 11
1976-77 28 9
1977-78 28 9
1978-79 11 2

1978-79 Manchester City First Division 13 6 2 0 1 0 1 1 17 7
1979-80 22 6 0 0 1 0 - - 23 6
1980-81 3 0 0 0 0 0 - - 3 0

1981 San Diego Sockers North American Soccer League 39 15
1982 26 11
1983 18 15
1984 23 8

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