At the age of 35, Lukasz Piszczek is entering his eleventh season at Borussia Dortmund and his last as a professional footballer. The Pole joined BVB in the summer of 2010 from Hertha BSC, and won the German league and cup twice each. He also reached the UEFA Champions League final with his team in 2013.
"I am not a native of Dortmund, but this club and these fans have grown so close to my heart over the years, that I have felt like a real Borusse for years and never felt the slightest desire to leave BVB," he said in 2018, announcing: "I want to finish my career in Dortmund." And that's what will happen. "I feel very comfortable here because it just works."
Hans-Joachim Watzke attests that he "has the highest level of identification with Borussia Dortmund": "Lukasz is a truly exceptional character. A player who always wants to win in any situation – even when it gets really difficult. He is an institution on the right-hand side of our defence.
Lukasz Piszczek, born in 1985, learned to play football in his Silesian home at LKS Goczalkowice Zdroj – as a striker. In 2004, Hertha BSC Berlin hired the then 20-year-old, but immediately sent him on loan to the Polish first division team MKS Zaglebie Lubin to gain some more match experience. There, he became a regular starter and celebrated the win of the Polish Championship in 2007. That year, he also made his debut for the national team, and played in three European Championships and one World Cup (2018) for Poland, earning 66 caps.
Piszczek returned to Berlin for the 2007/2008 season. A good first year in the capital with a total of 24 appearances (one goal) as a striker and left-winger was followed by a mixed season in 2008/2009, during which he was often injured and made only 13 appearances. The Pole was frequently used by then Hertha coach Lucien Favre as a right-back. At the beginning of his time in Berlin, he had still wanted to assert himself as a centre-forward. In vain, as Piszczek points out, looking back: "I quickly realised that I didn't have a chance against Marko Pantelic." At first, he wasn't happy about the new position, but then he realised: "Without Favre, I would have been back playing in Poland long ago…"
Piszczek also played on the right-hand side of a back-four in the 2009/2010 season, becoming a fixture in the first-team (40 games) and was among the best in the Berlin team. Nevertheless, at the end of the season, there was a very bitter experience when Hertha were relegated, which was followed one year later by his greatest triumph with BVB. Winning the double (2012) and making it to the Champions League final (2013), he had a highly successful year in Dortmund. In 2017 came another victory in the DFB Cup, to go with five runner-up finishes in the league up to 2020.
Lukasz Piszczek is equally strong defensively and in attacking terms: clever at the back and strong in the tackle, always focused and, thanks to his great engine and strong sprint, he is always willing to help out up the pitch – almost the perfect embodiment of a full-back. In 253 Bundesliga matches for BVB, he committed only 149 fouls (in 2019/20 only 17) and saw only 21 yellow cards. The model professional in the Bundesliga has never missed a game due to suspension!
With the 35-year-old on the pitch, the defence was far better off with him than without him – even in the past season. He was used 29 times in the last Bundesliga season, starting 25 times, and averaged 94 touches per game. The old hand also played in six of the eight matches in the UEFA Champions League.
Off the pitch, in public, Lukasz Piszczek is a rather quiet man. The husband, together with his wife Ewa and his three children Sara, Nela and Patryk, likes to surround himself with people he knows and who are close to him. He is not overly fond of giving interviews. "People want to know a lot, but I also have a private life and want to protect my family.
When it comes to his future, he says: "My wife and I decided long ago to return to Poland. That's where our family lives, that's where my home team is and it's where I built my academy. We have about 60 kids from the region in four year groups from the U8s to the U12s. We want to gradually build up to the U18s, and the boys can come from all over Poland if they are good enough."