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Lukas Podolski

Lukas Podolski

Lukas Podolski is a forward playing for the German national team. Generally playing on the left of an attacking three, with occasional appearances through the middle, the attacker is a consistent threat on goal. Full of hard running and enthusiasm to complement his venomous left foot, Lukas quickly became a favourite on and off the pitch.

A mainstay of Germany’s national team, he has appeared in three European Championships and two World Cups, and passed the 100-cap mark during Euro 2012, aged 27 – the youngest-ever European to do so. He is now the third most capped player appearing for Germany.

Podolski made his debut for Rudi Völler’s Germany on 6 June 2004, at age 19, in Kaiserslautern against Hungary with a late substitute appearance. He had become the first second-division player since 1975 to break into the national team.

Podolski was selected in the Germany squad for the 2006 World Cup, where he partnered Miroslav Klose as the attack duo in the starting lineup. He scored his first ever World Cup goal in Germany’s third group match against Ecuador, and both goals in the 2–0 win over Sweden in the round of 16. Podolski was named the World Cup’s Best Young Player ahead of players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Podolski made his Euro 2008 entrance against debutants Poland in a Group B match in Klagenfurt, Austria. He scored both goals in a 2–0 victory. He avoided celebrating his goals, however, to show respect for his country of birth. Germany played Croatia in their second Group B match, again in Klagenfurt. Podolski scored the German team’s only goal of the game in the 79th minute, by which time the Croatians were already leading 2–0. Podolski’s goal was not enough to snatch a draw, with Croatia holding out for a 2–1 victory over Germany. Germany went on to play Portugal in the quarterfinal in Basel and Podolski was instrumental in the first goal, putting in a cross that was slotted home by Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 22nd minute to give Germany a 1–0 lead.

Podolski, who had become accustomed to his position as a winger scored the first goal in Germany’s 2010 World Cup opening game in a 4–0 win against Australia, before assisting teammate Thomas Müller for the third goal. In the knockout stage, Podolski managed to score against England in the last 16, giving Germany a 2–0 advantage in the first half. They went on to beat England 4–1. In the quarter-final against Argentina, Podolski provided the assist for the first of Klose’s two goals, bringing the score to 2–0. The Germans won the match 4–0.

Stengths: Deadly left foot capable of strong shots, probing attacks from the left side

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