Szczęsny was born in Warsaw. He is the son of Maciej Szczęsny, who was also a professional goalkeeper, having played for Legia Warszawa, Widzew Łódź, Polonia Warsaw and Wisła Kraków, along with seven games for the Poland national team. In October 2009, new manager Franciszek Smuda sent Szczęsny his first call up to the full national side, for the friendly matches against Romania and Canada. He made his debut against Canada on 18 November, coming on as a half-time substitute for Tomasz Kuszczak in a 1–0 victory at the Zdzislawa Krzyszkowiaka Stadium in Bydgoszcz. He earned his second cap and his first full match on 9 February 2011, in another friendly win of the same score, against Norway at the Estádio Algarve. Szczęsny had a strong performance against Germany on 6 September 2011, making eight critical saves in a 2–2 draw; this earned him praise from former German international goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. He was sent off in the opening game of Poland’s co-hosting of UEFA Euro 2012 against Greece, for a professional foul on Dimitris Salpingidis, costing Poland a penalty which was saved by Przemysław Tytoń in a 1–1 draw. Szczęsny failed to play again for the rest of the tournament as Tytoń played the remainder as Poland finished bottom of Group A with two points. On 12 October 2014, Szczęsny was pivotal in securing his country’s historic first victory over Germany in a Euro 2016 qualifier. He played in his nation’s opening game of the tournament against Northern Ireland. He kept a clean sheet in his nation’s first ever win at a European Championship, but suffered an injury, which kept him out of the rest of their campaign. Poland nonetheless made it to the quarter-finals, with former Arsenal teammate Łukasz Fabiański in goal.