Despite an indifferent club career, Lukas Podolski has been a consistently prolific goalscorer for Germany since his introduction as a teenager in 2004. Voted Young Player of the Tournament at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the skilful left-footer agreed to join Arsenal FC from 1. FC Köln in April 2012.
• Like long-time Germany strike partner Miroslav Klose, he was born in Poland (as Łukasz Podolski), but moved to Germany at the age of two, growing up in Cologne.
• A teenage wonder at Köln, where he scored ten goals in his debut Bundesliga campaign, he was drafted into Germany's UEFA EURO 2004 squad, making his international debut two days after his 19th birthday and appearing once, as a substitute, in Portugal.
• Remained with Köln following their relegation from the Bundesliga, propelling the club straight back up with a league-best tally of 24 goals and then scoring a dozen in the top flight in 2005/06 only to suffer relegation for a second time.
• Championed by Germany coach Jürgen Klinsmann, he scored ten goals in a ten-game stretch incorporating the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup before starring at the 2006 World Cup, registering against Ecuador and two versus Sweden − the latter in the Fußball Arena München, which then became his new home after a lucrative transfer to FC Bayern München.
• Struggled to settle in Munich, however, and made only 33 Bundesliga starts in three seasons, as opposed to 38 appearances from the bench, scoring 15 goals, five of them in a 2007/08 title-winning campaign; this led to a 2009 return to Köln.
• While at Bayern he scored 18 goals for Germany, including three at UEFA EURO 2008, and he carried forward that momentum into the 2010 World Cup campaign, registering six times in qualification and twice at the finals; ended 2011 with 95 caps and 43 goals.
UEFA European Championship: runner-up 2008
UEFA EURO 2008: Team of the Tournament
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