Lukas Podolski is a Germany international football player who currently features for the English and European giants Arsenal. He plays as a forward and is renowned for his shooting powers, technique and attacking moves from the left.
Podolski was born to Polish parents in the Silesian industrial town of Gliwice. When he was just two years of age, his family emigrated from Poland to West Germany and were given Aussiedler status as a result of his paternal grandparents having German citizenship prior to World War II.
Podolski commenced his professional club football career at his hometown club of Koln and played for the team’s second team between 2002 and 2004. He then made the breakthrough into the first team and was a huge success at a personal level until 2006, scoring 46 goals in 81 league matches and helping his side win the 2. Bundesliga title in 2004-05.
His knack of scoring goals earned him a €10 million move to Bayern Munich. At the Bavarian giants, Podolski struggled for regular playing time especially after the arrival of Italian striker Luca Toni and eventually rejoined Koln in 2009. Podolski was on the Bundesliga with Bayern in 2007-08, the DFB-Pokal in 2008 and the DFB-Ligapokal in 2007.
Back at Koln, Podolski regained his form and once again established himself as one of the best forwards in Europe, scoring 33 goals in 88 league matches, although the 2009-10 campaign was a disappointing one for him.
His form and class attracted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who snapped up ‘Poldi’ following Koln’s relegation from the German top flight at the end of the 2011-12 campaign. He has struggled on occasions since joining the Gunners because of injuries, but he still remains a very important part of Arsenal.
Podolski made his international debut for Germany on June 2004 against Hungary. He was just 19 at the time and became the first second-division player since 1975 to break into the Germany national team.
‘Poldi’ played for Germany at Euro 2004, 2006 World Cup finals, Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup finals and Euro 2012.