Bogusław Leśnodorski: Czerczesow? I see him in the role of the president of Legia

In the years 2012-17, at Łazienkowska Street, he was the number one character. First as a president, then also as a co-owner. He left the club voluntarily as a result of a conflict with Dariusz Mioduski, previously one of his business associates.

He is still a fan of Legia. Observes and makes forecasts. If the newest ones also prove themselves, a great revolution may await the Polish champion’s team. Or just as well – a quick catastrophe.

Łukasz Żurek, Interia: Legia is gaining momentum, they won two matches in a row. You mean that reports of her sports demise were greatly exaggerated?

Bogusław Leśnodorski: – It is known so. What else to add? You just have to remember that in the end one thing matters – the table at the end of the tournament. I’m not a hyperoptimist, but there’s not much to talk about right now. A few matches remain until the end of the round. Legia will not be easy. Everyone is already going on fumes there.

In the last few weeks it was so bad with the band that at times it took a lot of effort to see where is the line between agony and crisis …

– Yes, that is a good comparison. It was not looking good, everyone could see. Only I don’t like settlements or summaries during the season. It looks bleak, but that’s not what happened in football. In spring it often happened that everything started from the beginning. I am not saying that it will also be the case this time. Legia can forget about the championship. Now the Polish Cup is the way to Europe that you need to focus on.

In the 1/8 finals, the legionnaires won with the 2nd league Motor Lublin 2-1. If a match and rematch were played in this phase, the question of promotion would remain open.

– That’s true. It looked very optimistic when it comes to Motor. I am glad because Marek Saganowski as a coach has had a difficult period recently. It was evident in the match with Legia that there was an idea and that the players in this team knew what they were doing. It was a good game to watch. In my opinion, the level of Ekstraklasa.

We know more or less when Motor will play with Legia for league points? You mentioned somewhere that it was a matter of 3-5 years.

– I will say this: if I did it, it would be probably in three years. Oh yes, I don’t know. More seriously – I cannot make such a forecast. And I don’t even really want to try. You would have to talk about it with Zbyszek Jakubas (owner of the Motorbike – editor’s note).

Let’s go back to the capital then. Kadrowo is the weakest Legion in this century? Or is someone just lost in the scattered bricks and not sure how to put them back together?

– It’s too early to judge it properly. It seems to me that the potential of this team is greater than the position in the table indicates. There have been some bad seasons, mostly in the first decade of this century, but in the last 10 years it’s definitely the weakest Legion I’ve ever seen.

The plan for leaving the hole is ready – Marek Papszun comes and Legia sweeps everything that moves off the board.

– It will never happen.

Why such a categorical judgment?

– First of all – I cannot clearly see a scenario that it actually comes. Secondly, when it comes, it will only be a beautiful disaster. You can make a note of it. I know a bit about it, because I’ve been doing it for years. I know under what conditions Papszun functions in Raków and I know that he will never have such conditions in Legia. I don’t want to compare it now. Please do not use these words as criticisms. It just won’t work, that’s it.

We are talking about a coach who – as the well-informed say – is to earn 250,000 at Łazienkowska Street. PLN per month. No other trainer has ever been so highly rewarded in Poland.

– I’ve heard of such an amount, but it’s already slightly funny. After all, the financial possibilities of Michał Świerczewski (the owner of Raków – ed.) Are some – let’s say so – twenty times greater than that of Darek Mioduski. If Michał wants to, he will pay the coach every money. You can burn money in every fireplace. I just don’t know if it’s entirely wise. I wonder how this will turn out. I don’t know Mark Papshun that well. I appreciate him very much for the work he does. I think he was put in a very stupid situation today.

President Mioduski announced his readiness to hire him in an interview published shortly before the Europa League match against Leicester. At Jasna Góra, they say that this is a manifestation of open contempt for Raków.

– It wasn’t elegant. Everyone has already commented on it. Haven’t heard a single positive opinion. It was strange, surprising and even a little grotesque.

Or is it just a cunning strategy aimed at achieving the goal, i.e. bringing the Pope in winter instead of summer? In Częstochowa, no one will leave the fate of the team in the hands of a man whose thoughts will be elsewhere …

– I do not think so. I consider the Pope a professional. His contract is valid until June. Michał also has balls. Nothing should happen on this topic in winter. But on the other hand – life also surprised me in football, so it’s no use guessing.

Michał Świerczewski is a bit in check. What can he do now to get out of this situation without an image scar?

– He doesn’t have to do anything. He can sit and watch. For now, he is to win the Polish championship. And in May or March, decide whether to extend the contract with the coach. There are good relations between them, they will be able to communicate.

Do you believe that the Pope’s head will withstand what is happening around him now? He was doomed to success in absentia and sees that in Warsaw they started to build him a wardrobe for future trophies.

– He is in an awkward position. It is definitely an interesting experience for him. I think he is surprised by all this himself. But he’s a guy with a strong psyche and a strong backbone. I expect that he will fulfill the contract in Raków by the last day. In this way, he will show his professionalism. Besides, let’s be honest, with his team today he has many times greater chances of winning the Polish championship than Legia. When he wins this title, then he will really enter the country’s coaching elite. For now, we know that he is very talented, but apart from the Polish Cup, he has not won much. To answer your question – yes, he will handle all the fuss about himself.

And how will Wojciech Kowalczyk deal with his former club? He had recently inquired with his sarcasm as to whether they were feeding well in prison. Do you think that he will face more serious consequences for telling about a “drunken group” in Legia?

– It’s one of those stories where someone talks and then people just laugh at it. It’s not gonna happen. I saw Wojtek. He asked if we would help him in case of need. I told him that if necessary, a friend from our office would protect him. Let him not worry. And that in the near future I see him rather free.

There are many voices that the coach that Legia needs most now is Stanisław Czerczesow. Iron discipline in the team is sure.

– I think that if Stasiu wanted to, he would have become this coach in Legia. I don’t know if he wants that much. Apparently not. I see him more as the owner or president of the club.

That sounds sensational. Something’s up?

– I do not exclude such a turn of events. This guy is capable of anything. I like and respect him very much – among other things, for the fact that he is able to make difficult and surprising decisions in a very short time. He has a wise approach to football life. And he is strongly emotionally connected with Legia.

Emotionally – that is, just like you. Is it difficult to be a supporter of Legia at a time when it is managed by a man who publicly offends you?

– He insults me?

He compared you to a hub that clings to a tree and that tree then dies because of it. Why didn’t you come out with a counter for a whole year?

– You know, I don’t take this seriously. I have never felt particularly offended. I will not be blunt about my attitude to these words, because maybe they will be read by young people. And it will turn out not nice. Darek is the last person on the list who bothers me or attracts my attention in any way. I feel sorry for him because he is in a very difficult situation. And that’s it. There are many plans to implement ahead of me – interesting enough that Darek has no way to function in them.

Has he had any botanical metaphors before? You had the right to be surprised by such an ingenious attack by your former partner …

– He can’t surprise me. Maybe he went for a walk in the woods and he was inspired by the hub. I do not know. He has surprised many people many times. That’s not what I saw with him. I did it a long time ago and nothing can surprise me. It was similar with his interview from last year. I read it, finished my beer, and had a little laugh. I was sitting in Kuźnice then. I was on skitouring. I remember the sun was shining nicely. I came back satisfied from the trip.

You do not shy away from physical activity all year round. Wake up at five tomorrow?

– More like 5:30, maybe even closer to six. Honestly, when it’s dark outside, I don’t have that kind of motivation. To go outside and do something sensible now, 6:30 is just right. I take a walk at a brisk pace, I go up the stairs, because before the season I try to prepare my legs for skis. Then I go to the gym or ride my bike. In total, she leaves every day for about two hours, always in the morning. In the evenings, I don’t feel like training anymore.

Four years after your divorce from Legia, the form so far … only complains about her.

– I wake up in the morning younger and younger. And I feel that time is playing to my advantage.

Łukasz Żurek interviewed

Questionnaire – see the latest interviews in the Interia series


About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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