Podolski is one of the key strikers of Germany’s dominant World Cup roster as a veteran and leading goalscorer for the European powerhouse. Watch the video above to see highlights of his goals on Arsenal.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. He is the Fifth Highest Goalscorer in History For Germany
Podolski is one of many players in the World Cup who had to choose between two countries he could have played for thanks to his dual citizenship. Podolski chose Germany, where he has lived since the age of two, over Poland because of the lack of interest Poland showed until much later.
Podolski joined the German national team in 2004 and has the 3rd most appearances for the national team in history for Germany. Along with the 3rd highest caps, he holds the position as tied for the 5th highest goalscorer ever next to Jurgen Klinsmann and Rudi Voller (previous German national team coaches) with 47 goals and counting.
As a striker for Germany, Podolski made history when he scored a goal in 9 seconds in a game for the national team against Ecuador in a friendly (the second fastest in history) in May 2013 along with the first goal of the tournament for Germany in the 2010 World Cup.
2. His Annual Salary is $12 Million
He reportedly makes $12 million annually since starting at Arsenal in 2012.
Podolski is still a huge fan of F.C. Koln, the first team he ever signed with (2003) in his pro career. He still attends games and hoped to one day return to the club. FC Koln even promised Podolski that they would retire his number, but went back on that promise a few days before the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup.
We will assign the number 10 to Patrick Helmes. We know that we had Lukas Podolski promised at that time that we retain the number in his honour. We have decided to award the new number, because all Bundesliga clubs accrue with a number 10.
Our president Werner Spinner has informed Poldi in a letter. We hope to have an understanding of Lukas.”
3. He is Sponsored By Adidas and Pepsi
As one of the top players in Germany, Podolski signed huge endorsement deals with Adidas and Pepsi. Watch the video above to see his Adidas commercial.
4. He Started the Lukas Podolski Foundation
Podolski started a foundation that aims to support those who are limited in opportunity to pursue sports and a proper education because of his background as a poor Polish immigrant who moved with his family to West Germany when he was just 2 years old.
Podolski’s mission statement for the foundation says:
I HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING PROJECTS THAT I BELIEVE IN FOR SEVERAL YEARS. MY AIM IS TO GIVE SOMETHING IN RETURN FOR EVERYTHING FOOTBALL AND THE GOOD FORTUNE OF A PROFESSIONAL CAREER HAS BEEN GIVEN ME.”
5. He Had a Child With His Wife 3 Years Before They Married
Lukas and Monika Podolski got married in the summer of 2011 after 7 years of dating. The happy couple had their first child in 2008 named Louis Gabriel Podolski.
Monika is also originally from Poland where the couple met when she was 17 years old and he was just 18.
When Podolski remained in Germany after transferring to Bayern Munich, she traveled between the two countries, but finally decided to move in with him. She attended college at Berufsbildungszentrum in Weaterstadt, Germany after making the move.