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Lukas Podolski
Gender Male
Ethnic German
Job German Footballer
Desc Prinz Poldi became a shining light for a new generation of German internationals at World Cup 2006, winning the FIFA Young Player of the Tournament award. On the eve of the competition a move from home-town club Koeln to Bayern Munich for a fee in the region of €10m was agreed. Despite his consistency for Die Nationalmannschaft, Podolski could not replicate his performances at club level and threatened to slip completely off the radar. Three unhappy seasons came to an end last summer when Koeln pieced together enough funds for his return home. Last term was no bowl of cherries for the 25-year-old either, scoring only twice. In fact he has scored only 17 Bundesliga goals in the last four seasons. In the same time frame he has hit the net 25 times for Germany

Affiliation

Org German National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC
  Bayern Munich
  Koeln FC

2008 10 06 Retrieve

Football is like chess, only without the dice

2012 06 18 Retrieve

[When a Polish journalist asked Lukas Podolski to explain what it felt like to return to his native land representing a different country] There are two hearts beating inside me

[He says he once dreamed of playing in Poland, the country he left with his parents when he was 2 years old] But I never did dream I would stand here after playing 100 games for Germany. The fact that I scored with my right foot makes it even better.

2015 01 10 Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski on Arsene Wenger after joining Inter Milan on loan] He said nothing to me. He did not call me or say goodbye. I don’t need flowers or a kiss from him. But it is about respect, about saying goodbye. For me respect is important

2015 03 28 Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski reacts to his critics] What can I do about it? Should I just dig myself into the ground and give up playing football?

2017 03 25 Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski tells about his fairytale farewell defeating England in a friendly playing in his last international match] The way it ended today was like a film. We win 1-0 and I score the thing. I know I have a left foot that was probably gifted to me by God, or someone up there, and I can always rely on it. I am proud of these last 13 years

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[In 2019, it had been thought that he would make a comeback at former club Koln] Why not? I still dare to play in the Bundesliga. I’m healthy and I feel completely fit and I want to play for a few more years

2020 03 30 Retrieve

[Podolski explains why Bayern star Gnabry failed to make the grade at Arsenal] He was unlucky and had a few injuries. He did well in training. Off the pitch we spent a lot of time together, going for dinner. But sometimes football is like that, or you find a manager who gives you more confidence. Serge can shoot with both feet, and he is powerful and quick - a bit like me, only I don’t have a right foot like him! I’m really pleased that he’s doing well at Bayern

2020 03 31 Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski Explains What Went Wrong for Serge Gnabry at Arsenal] He was unlucky and had a few injuries. He did well in training. Off the pitch we spent a lot of time together, going for dinner. But sometimes football is like that, or you find a manager who gives you more confidence.

Serge can shoot with both feet, and he is powerful and quick - a bit like me, only I don’t have a right foot like him! I’m really pleased he’s doing well at Bayern.

2020 04 30 Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski says Arsenal are more of a team under Arteta] Yeah I see it, like you explained, the level going up depends on running, fighting spirit. You see there’s more of a team on the pitch. With the fans, Arsenal is like one of the big five teams in the world. With this potential, we have to play every year Champions League and fight for the title, every year. We have to invest and I hope Mikel with his team around are doing a great job for next season.

I think I have nearly three fantastic years at Arsenal because, for me, it’s always important to connect with the club, the city, the people in the club. Because you are there, you sign the contract, you earn money, but for me, everywhere I’ve played, it’s always important to connect with everything with the staff, the fans, the city. This is what I did because football on the pitch is much more than only the 90 minutes. Of course I like London. It’s a different culture, I’ve been in different countries. But I loved it, it was really nice. It was my first time outside of Germany, before I was only in Cologne and Munich. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it. It was the first time I had to speak English by myself, had to drive on the other side of the road! My time at Arsenal on the pitch, I liked it. Of course, in the end, I didn’t get my minutes but there are always some reasons for that, maybe myself, maybe the coach, maybe something else. But I really enjoyed it and had fantastic games and three years at Arsenal. It’s a special club and playing for a special club like this is always motivating and something special

2020 05 07 Retrieve

[Podolski: I didn’t want to leave Arsenal but had to in order to get games] There are always some things. You weren’t happy because you’re not playing, maybe the coach isn’t happy because you’re not playing how he wants, maybe he sees another player above you? I don’t know. I had some games I played very well, I scored goals or played well and the next match I was sitting on the bench again. That’s why I started thinking, ‘I’m going to have to change this situation’. I was thinking I was ready for Arsenal, I was thinking I was ready for the starting XI or to come on earlier but it was not like that. For any reason it sometimes happens like that in football or sport and that’s why I decided to move. This is life, this is sport, I didn’t want to but I had to because I wanted to play football. I wanted to be on the pitch but I would have loved to stay at Arsenal for a couple more years because I felt really great there. The team, the stuff around the team and everyone at the club was so friendly - like a family. Great fans, great city, the stadium - everything! I really enjoyed it but in the end it is like it is. I had some talks with Arsene about my situation and I told him, ‘I want to play, I want to come on earlier’ and of course, he’s the coach, he has to decide, he can’t promise players a bonus or to always play. No coach gives you that. So I decided for myself to move forward.

2020 05 19 Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski admits Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could not be blamed for dreaming of a switch to Real Madrid] When you have a fantastic season like he had, many clubs are interested. When a player has a wish to play for a big team or a dream to play in Italy or Spain, or like Aubameyang and his link with Real Madrid. If he has a dream to play for this club when he’s young, then why not? As a player, you have to take this chance to play for a club like that. Of course for Arsenal, it’ll be a big loss if they have to sell him but this is the business of football. My opinion is you lose a big player, he had a fantastic season with a good scoring record, but you can make money on a player, sell him and you can invest in new players. For a player like me or Aubameyang, when a big club is calling, you always want to have this dream

I don’t feel stress when I play any game or training or when I join a club. I’m just confident and this was the same at Arsenal. When I look back at my stats per game, I think it was OK. I had nearly three fantastic years at Arsenal. It was the first time I was out of Germany but I enjoyed playing at such a big club

2020 05 19b Retrieve

[Lukas Podolski says Ozil is a great player & Arteta’s a better fit than Emery] There is no discussion for me, he is a great player. Sometimes there is a problem with a coach or there could be an injury, things that happen in football and you have to deal with this situation sometimes. I think it’s a better fit than before (Ozil and Arteta). They have played together and know each other. Ozil is back on the pitch and the games I have seen he is doing much better than with the former coach. Sometimes you have a coach and you cannot deal with him. He can have a different view of football. Arteta is back at Arsenal and you see the team is much more organised, more fight and discipline. I hope they can build a good team for the next couple of years. They can do it but they have to work together

The potential of what the club has, it has not been good enough. I think they know it themselves. They have the potential, the history, the facilities and I think they have the money as well. A club like Arsenal has to play every year for the Champions League. Of course, the Premier League is hard and even against the smaller teams. It’s not like other leagues with two or three teams fighting for the title

2020 06 12 Retrieve

[Rewind to June 8, 2008, and Germany are playing on the opening day. Their first opponents? Poland. The nation where Podolski was born, and who he would go on to score a memorable double against] It was 12 years ago and the memories are still there, it was a special game against the country I was born. It was special to score two goals, but I didn’t celebrate. The emotion was there and it was a hard moment. This is sport and you have to deal with that but I’ll always remember that game, it was special for me and the Polish fans

[After the strong start, Germany would go on to suffer a shock loss against Croatia in the second game, despite Podolski scoring once again] Pressure can be negative or positive. We knew we were strong since 2005 in the Confederations Cup where we finished third, then third again in the 2006 World Cup, we knew we were strong. We kept the same coach for 15 years and we built something up in the national team, that’s why I was happy to play for 12 years, and the pressure that comes with it, that’s life. People go to work to feed families, work in factories, work to build cars or planes for the public, this is pressure too. You have to deal with the pressure in every situation

[Unfortunately for Podolski, a Xavi pass, and a Fernando Torres chip saw Spain win 1-0 to secure their first Euros in 44 years] What can you do? We lost the game and as you know, the final is just one match, a couple of situations can decide it. Just like in 2014, when Argentina had great chances against us, the one-vs-one chances Manuel Neuer saved. There is key points in every final and you just have to deal with that. It is just one game and sometimes it is the luckiest team who wins

[So what does one of Germany’s greatest players make of the young side?] What we had in our team was a special team spirit and that’s what they’re missing now. We had players like me, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, Jens Lehmann and Michael Ballack - a lot of players like that. But it’s a new generation now, the players are younger but there is a lot of them who have not played a tournament. We’ll see next year in the Euros, hopefully when there isn’t a virus around!