Player of the day: Lukas Podolski

German Football
By German Football June 6, 2008 04:09

Player of the day: Lukas Podolski

Born in Poland but raised in Germany, Lukas Podolski certainly started early, playing for the youth club of FC Bergheim at 6, and moving to FC Cologne (FC Köln) when he was 10. It was at FC Cologne that he first emerged into the limelight, scoring 10 goals in his first 19 senior appearances, the best tally by an 18 year old in the history of the Bundesliga. While this garnered interest from other top clubs, Podolski chose to stay at Cologne. Eventually however, he moved to FC Bayern Munich in 2006.

Having been born in Poland, Podolski was initially eligible to play for Poland, but then-Polish national coach Pawal Janas refused the call to consider him, claiming that Poland had “much better strikers” and there was no need for Podolski. Eventually, Podolski was won over by the German side, and since his inclusion in the starting line-up for the German Euro 2004 team, he has proven himself to be an indispensable player.

Paired with Miroslav Klose for the 2006 World Cup, Podolski netted 3 goals in his first World Cup appearance, his impressive tally tying with football greats such as Ronaldo and Thierry Henry. Although Podolski has shown himself to be a brilliant attacker, it seems that his position as striker is likely to change, as German coach Joachim Loew faces a burgeoning demand for Mario Gomez to be featured instead. Podolski may instead find himself in the position of left midfielder, a position he played in the Germany – Cyprus Euro Qualifier in November 2007 as well as the recent friendly against Serbia.

However, there have been doubts expressed in placing Podolski as a left winger, mainly because it would leave the central midfield with a great deal of defensive work. Concerns have been expressed that midfielder Michael Ballack has been overstretched by placing too many responsibilities on him, including a lot of the defensive work. Additionally, it is no secret that Germany’s defence, once impenetrable, is now their weakest link. As such, Loew may be taking a big risk in placing Podolski in the left midfield.

The Gillette Best Young Player of 2006 has always shown himself to be an excellent player; Will coach Löw be willing to take the risk of playing him as a left winger or will he be placed in his traditional position of striker up front? If he is placed in midfield, how will he adapt to this new role and how would that affect the team as a whole? All these questions will be answered once the Euro kicks off and we’re sure all German football fans will be interested in the answers. Whatever it is, we’re sure this young German star will shine brightly in Austria and Switzerland this month.

German Football
By German Football June 6, 2008 04:09
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