It has been a rather mixed return to the UEFA Champions League after 21 years for Legia Warszawa but it had a happy ending that received a presidential seal of approval.
Having already conceded a record-equalling 24 goals prior to their final match, Legia delighted the home fans with a 1-0 defeat of Sporting CP on Wednesday which took them above their visitors into Group F third place, earning a UEFA Europa League round of 32 spot. “Polish president Andrzej Duda came to our dressing room after the game, which means we did something special,” said forward Aleksandar Prijovic.
The Swiss striker has been a key man for Legia of late, not least setting up Guilherme’s winner against Sporting and generally proving a menace to the Portuguese club’s defence. “It is a great moment for us,” said Prijovic.
“And the fact that Polish president came to congratulate us means we did something really good. I have never met him before, this was the first time for me. The atmosphere in the dressing room was great, the president was even singing with us.
“Definitely this period is one of the best of my life. I am playing in the Champions League for the first time, I scored twice against Dortmund and now I helped the team to win.
“I am very glad and proud as Legia started this group stage campaign in a very bad way. We conceded lot of goals, we were too scared, we respected our opponents too much.
“But as we started to learn from painful lessons, we grew as a team. When we were hit, we punched back. Game by game, we showed much more potential. The worst game was first one, against Borussia Dortmund: 6-0 at home. It was like a punch in the face. But then we woke up and at the end we survived the group of death. This is really great.”