He first started playing at Olimpia Poznań, where he played from 1992 until 1994, when he joined Widzew Łódź. He remained there for five and a half years, when he left to join Wisła Kraków in the middle of the 2000/01 season. He helped them to win the championship in his first season, and to two further championships in 2003 and 2004. In January 2005, he joined the Turkish club Trabzonspor.
He has been extremely impressive in his time for Trabzonspor, displaying a level of passion that is not expected from new arrivals in a foreign country. In his first six months at Trabzonspor he scored nine goals in fifteen starts, and integrated himself into the team so well that by the end of the season he was already regarded as a successful signing.
His qualities lie in his wide ranging abilities that enable him to not only operate in a defensive capacity, but to run the play through midfield and to join in the attacking too. He displays an extremely capable passing game but has recently developed into an extremely efficient finisher too.
Szymkowiak finished his career due to health reasons. In an interview for a polish portal he said: "I'm just turning 31, and already I've gone through 8 surgeries! I've got 4 screws in both my knees, one in my ankle. They (doctors) removed one I had in the shoulder, but I also have two titanium nets in my groins. I feel older than my dad, and in a couple of years time I'd like to walk like a normal person." Later, in an interview for Polish newspaper "Super Express", he stated that his withdrawal was mainly attributed to his drug use: he used rofecoxib for his pain problems (related to his injuries), but it was found to cause serious blood and bone marrow problems, resulting in lowering his performance and stamina.
As well as playing for Trabzonspor, Szymkowiak has appeared 31 times and scored three goals for Poland. He was selected to the 23-men squad that competed at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.A lot of fans from different clubs likes him because he was not arrogant.
He has recently announced that he retired from football.
Szymkowiak is working now as a pitch reporter for Canal+ Poland. His debut as a reporter was an Ekstraklasa game between GKS Bełchatów and Zagłębie Lubin on 5 April 2007.. He also owns two beauty salons in Kraków.
In late 2007 he was linked with his old club Widzew Łódź and has been seen training with them, no contract has been signed yet though. Category:1976 births
Category:Association football midfielders
Category:Poland international footballers
Category:Polish expatriate footballers
Category:Widzew Łódź players
Category:Wisła Kraków players
Category:2006 FIFA World Cup players
Category:Süper Lig players
Category:Expatriate footballers in Turkey