Lukas Podolski

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Podolski scores twice in J-League debut as Kobe beats Omiya

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KOBE, Japan (AP) –German striker Lukas Podolski scored twice in his J-League debut on Saturday as Vissel Kobe beat Omiya Ardija 3-1.

Podolski gave Kobe a 1-0 lead four minutes after the break with a left-foot shot from 23 meters. Marcelo Toscano equalized on the hour mark but Podolski gave the hosts the lead for good two minutes later with a header.

Podolski moved from Turkish giant Galatasaray after signing a deal with Kobe estimated to be worth $5.3 million. He is the highest-profile J-League import since Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, who played for Cerezo Osaka from 2014-15.

Hideo Tanaka scored with a long-range effort to complete the win for Kobe with 12 minutes left. Ninth-place Kobe improved to 29 points – 12 behind leaders Cerezo Osaka, who were beaten 3-1 by crosstown rivals Gamba Osaka.

Elsewhere, Ken Tokura and Jay Bothroyd scored to give Consadole Sapporo a 2-0 win over nine-man Urawa Reds. Tokura opened the scoring with a first-half header and Bothroyd sealed victory two minutes from time, heading home a Shinji Ono cross.

Podolski after golazo finale: “This is like a great movie”

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
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Lukas Podolski has won a EURO, a World Cup, and the Bundesliga with two different sides.

Only Lothar Matthaus and Miroslav Klose have been capped more than Germany’s Polish born Podolski, and he received a hero’s send-off from the home crowd at Germany’s 1-0 win over England on Wednesday.

And of course he sent himself off in style with a gorgeous goal.

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Podolski said there were more than 30,000 people from Cologne at the match, where he won one of his two Bundesliga titles.

“That’s when you know where you home is, and that you’ve done a lot of good, also off the pitch,” Podolski said. “That makes me very proud.”

It was a perfect night to say goodbye, and the goal made it almost surreal (Thomas Muller called it “cheesy”).

From Goal.com:

“This is like a great movie,” he told ARD. “We win 1-0 and I score the goal.

“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.”

Feel good hit of the Spring.

Podolski goes out with super goal; Germany tops England

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The highlight of Wednesday’s international friendly docket was Lukas Podolski‘s final match for Germany, and the former Arsenal man did not disappoint his crowd.

But first, Canada plays its first match since unveiling new coach Octavio Zambrano.

[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]

Scotland 1-1 Canada

Zambrano saw plenty to like from his new side, as Canada went ahead early with a goal from former Scottish youth Fraser Aird. Toronto-born, the ex-Rangers and current Falkirk man got his first Canadian goal against the team he represented at U-17 and U-19 levels.

Norwich City’s Steven Naismith redirected Tom Cairney‘s shot to make it 1-1 before the break, but Scotland never found its way back into Canada’s net.

Germany 1-0 England

Lukas Podolski scored his 49th international goal in his final cap for Germany, and it was spectacular.

Joe Hart didn’t stand a chance.

The match saw big stops from both ‘keepers, as Hart thwarted Leroy Sane on a second half break after Marc-Andre Ter Stegen defied Dele Alli in the opening 45.

Podolski subbed off in the 84th minute to wild applause, but it must sting slightly to know you finished an illustrious career one goal short of a nice, round 50. We guess he’ll have to rest on his millions and millions of earnings and loads of on-field honors.

Elsewhere
Vietnam 1-1 Chinese Taipei
Philippines 0-0 Malaysia
Cyprus 3-1 Kazakhstan
Yemen 0-1 Palestine
Cambodia 2-3 India

Podolski displeased with Mourinho’s treatment of Schweinsteiger

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The Jose Mourinho-Bastian Schweinsteiger relationship is a very puzzling situation for Manchester United, and most outsiders appear to be taking the German’s side.

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Former teammate Lukas Podolski has chimed in on the matter, pointing out Schweinsteiger’s decorated career for both club and country.

[ MORE: Lewis Baker stuns Twente with long-distance golazo ]

Since the arrival of Mourinho this summer, the Portuguese manager has made it clear that the 32-year-old isn’t his plans, including dropping Schweinsteiger to United’s reserves.

Podolski recently spoke to Bild about the situation:

“When you look at the career Bastian has had, I can only say that what is happening there is simply not right for a player of his stature,” Podolski said.

“I do not know what Mourinho has discussed with Bastian. But is clear that it is not okay to drop someone like Basti to the reserves.

“A coach should always keep his door open to all players, and especially to players like Schweini.”

While Schweinsteiger’s contract doesn’t run out until 2018, the volatile relationship between the Red Devils midfielder and Mourinho certainly looks to be one that won’t last much longer.

Lukas Podolski retires from Germany national team

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BERLIN (AP) Veteran forward Lukas Podolski announced his retirement from Germany’s national team on Monday, ending a 12-year international career.

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Podolski said in an Instagram post he had informed Germany coach Joachim Loew that he is retiring from international football with immediate effect.

The 31-year-old Galatasaray player, who was born in Poland, has played 129 games for Germany, scoring 48 goals and winning the World Cup two years ago.

“The decision was very, very difficult for me,” he said. “The national team was always close to my heart, and it will always stay that way. But after the Euro/vacation I felt that my focus had shifted. Everything has its time – and my time with the DFB (German national federation) is over.”

Podolski added that he wants to spend more time on other things, particularly his family.

He follows veteran midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in quitting the national team after the European Championship, where Germany lost 2-0 to France in the semifinals.

Podolski made his Germany debut in June 2004 under then-coach Rudi Voeller. He hasn’t missed a tournament since, although he wasn’t in Loew’s starting team at Euro 2016.

His final Germany appearance was as a substitute in Germany’s 3-0 second-round win against Slovakia.