BILLY McNEILL was informed he had signed the “Polish George Best” when he introduced Jacki Dziekanowski to Celtic in 1989.

The Hoops legend brought in the flamboyant frontman from Legia Warsaw for £750,000 to add goals to his attack.

But the hitman’s playboy image followed him to Scotland and Dziekanowski earned a bit of a reputation on the Glasgow social scene.

However, his fellow-countryman Patryk Klimala, who sealed his £3.5million deal to the champions earlier this week, insists he will attempt to emulate the frontman, now 57, on the pitch – but has no intention of following his example off the field.

The 21-year-old new Bhoy was given the boot at Legia Warsaw when he was 16 after being caught on a night on the town with team-mates.

But the lessons have been learned and he’s now is happy to live the quiet life and is determined to hit the headlines for all the right reasons at the Hoops.

Klimala, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “The young life is behind me. For the last five years I have been with my fiancee Milena, we have a dog called Lambo and we are planning a family.

“There will be no discotheques. I’m not planning any late-night drinking sessions, that is for sure.

“I’m not sure how long it’s going to take to get in to the team, but I feel I’m ready for it.

“I’m prepared for gradual progress to the main team. I’m ready to fight for a spot in the team. I don’t expect to be in the first team after three days.

“However, I would love to be in the first team and I will do my best to fight for my place.

“At the end of the day, it is the coach’s decision.”

Klimala is aware of the impact the aforementioned Dziekanowski had on the team as well as defender Dariusz Wdowczky in McNeill’s side as well as Artur Boruc and Maciej Zurowski in Gordon Strachan’s line-up during his four years in charge at Parkhead when he arrived in May 2005 to replace Martin O’Neill.

He said: “I must admit I don’t really remember Artur Boruc and Maciej Zurawski, but I can watch them on the internet and I know they were good players.

“I’m planning to try and get in touch with them if I can to help me acclimatise, learn more about Celtic and Scotland.

“I only started learning English maybe two or three months ago. I understand maybe 80-90 percent of what is being said, but in terms of communication, hopefully, I will overcome it soon.

“Polish players are good at going to foreign countries.

“Since I arrived, everybody has been so nice to me and I can feel that support. Hopefully, in another two or three months when I do interviews, I will be able to answer the questions on my own without an interpreter.”

The speedy raider also confessed he didn’t know much about his new team and added: “The only player I knew before I came to Celtic was Scott Brown.

“When I told my teammates at Jagiellonia that I was coming to Celtic, there was a lot of talk in the changing room about it.

“Some of the players showed me some clips of Brown and how aggressive his tackles were.

“They warned me and asked if I was sure I knew what I was doing!

“Thankfully, I wasn’t his team in training, so he hasn’t tackled me yet!”



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

Loading ...