Blaszczykowski is one of Poland’s most capped and recognisable footballers, yet the fact the ex-Borussia Dortmund winger has enjoyed a stellar career at all is a miracle in itself.
When he was 10 he witnessed his father murder his mother, which led to him turning his back on football.
He was persuaded to return by uncle Jerzy Brzeczek, himself a former Poland captain, and his grandmother, who he credits with his success.
Turning 31 today, Blaszczykowski started his career with Wisla Krakow before joining Dortmund in 2007, scoring 32 goals in 252 games and winning two Bundesligatitles and the DFB-Pokal.
Blaszczykowski was named Polish Footballer of the Year in 2008 and 2010 and has won 89 Polish caps, scoring 18 goals.
He captained them as they co-hosted Euro 2012 and was part of the Euro 2016 squad.
More sport star birthdays on this day:
1946: Stan Smith, former World No1 American tennis player and two-time grand slam singles champion (70).
1956: Hanni Wenzel, former alpine skiier. An Olympic, World Cup and world champion from Liechtenstein (60).
1979: Michael Owen, ex-footballer who played for Liverpool and Man United, and won 89 England caps (37).
1988: Sam Burgess, English rugby league player for NRL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs. Dual code international (28).