In 2003 during what was one of Fc Kolna��s worst seasons, the manager decided to bring up an exciting youth player who happened to be only 18 years old at the time. The club had financial and relegation problems and it seemed that their youth team were the only solution. Even though the club failed to avoid relegation, it seems that the 18 year old born in Poland was a hit. He scored 10 goals in 19 appearances, the best tally by an 18 year old in the Bundesliga. His name was Lukas Podolski.
During this opening season with Koln he impressed a lot of people, including the Polish media who were extremely pleased with Podolskia��s performances. They asked then Polish national coach Pawel Janas to select the then eligible Podolski for the national team. He said and I quote a�?as of today we have much better strikers in Poland and I don’t see a reason to call up a player just because he played one or two good matches in the Bundesliga. He’s not even a regular starter at his club.a��
Poldi was however extremely interested in playing for the Polish national team but Rudi Voller had other ideas and Lukas Podolski made his German debut at 19 against Hungary. He then played in the 2004 Euro making him Germanya��s youngest player, although he only made one appearance for Die Mannschaft.
The 2006 World Cup however was a different story. Now as a 21 year old, Podolski was partnered up with Miroslav Klose and the duo led Germany to a third place finish. A golden year and one of the best world cup finishes in a while for the Germans, and that too at home. Podolski though, went on to win the World Cupa��s Best Young player, ahead of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (making him only the second player to beat them to an individual trophy). Amazing isna��t it??
With a 129 appearances, 48 goals, 7 major tournaments, one Best Young player at the 2006 World Cup, Youngest German to complete a 100 caps, fastest goal for Germany ever and one World Cup medal Lukas Podolski has drawn the curtain on his international career. “I am proud of what I have experienced with the DFB,” Podolski said. “Nothing can replace what the national team has given me in joy, passion and team spirit. From the two-year-old Polish boy who arrived in Germany with virtually nothing but a ball under his arm to lifting the World Cup. It’s more than I could have dreamed of.”