When Poland take to the field today and helps kick-off world cup 2006, I’d like to take a moment to remember Emmaneul Olisedebe.

He’s the Nigerian born striker whose goals helped Poland get into the last world cup in 2002.
Prior to that, like Canada, Poland had last competed in the world cup in 1986.

He was a big part of Poland’s run in 2002, but don’t look for him today. He’s not with the team in Germany because he’s injured.

The BBC reported that he was last playing in England. In the last couple of years they said he’s only played for Poland twice. The new crop of Polish players, led by that guy they call “Magic” from Glasgow Celtic – have picked up the goal production.

So, although he’s no longer Poland’s best striker – he was a big reason why Poland made it last time. And, I would suggest, that that sort of success bodes well as a reason they’re back in 2006.

After all, success is contagious. Look at how Portugal were out of world cup contention for years, and now are back on the world stage.

I keep bringing it back to Canada, but to me there’s a connection. Our current best striker was born in Poland – (Radzinski) – and I’m hoping that it leads to home grown talent taking Canada to greater heights.

We have our own version of Olisedebe in Radzinski. I wonder, who’s going to be Canada’s “Magic”?

For the record, I think Poland’s going to win today.