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Lukas Podolski captained the Germany national team for the first time in his career on Wednesday in their friendly against England as he retires from international football.
Poldolski was given his last international appearance for Die Nationalmannschaft against England where he scored the winning goal, and he made the pitch his playground with a lot of support from the stands.
Germany coach Joachim Low had said of ‘Poldi’ before the match: “It will definitely be a nice moment but also a sad moment for me. We have come a long way together, overcome many hurdles.
“We experienced many disappointments but also the greatest triumph that you can experience as a player or coach, the World Cup win in 2014.”
World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaeus and all-time top-scorer Miroslav Klose have exceed the number of appearance he has made for Germany.
Podolski held his debut for Germany on 6 June 2004 at age 19 with a late substitute appearance.
The former Arsenal striker has notched up 48 international goals and according to Low, he was an integral part of the team’s success, his cheerful nature responsible for the boosted morale and high spirit of his teammates.
“For him, hearts are rightfully beating everywhere because he has an incredible empathy for people. He always gave everyone the feeling he is incredibly important. We will miss such a player, such a person as Lukas,” Low said.
Podolski was amazed when Low asked him to lead the team following captain Manuel Neuer’s injury, saying: “Sensational. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. It can’t be any better for the last game than to run out as captain. I can only say thanks.”
Podolski, a Gliwice born, moved to West Germany with his family at the age of 2 in the 1987. His talent was first noticed at hometown club FC Köln where he where he scored 46 goals in 81 league before he joined Bayern Munich in 2006.
The 31-year-old received less playing time at Bayern and he was unable to break into the team’s regular first choice line-up. He only managed to find the net 15 times in three seasons before returning to former club FC Köln in 2009.
Podolski moved on to Arsenal for three season after Cologne’s 2012 relegation, he also had an half-season loan spell at Inter Milan in 2015. He afterwards moved to Galatasaray in 2015. He recently announced he would be joining Japanese club Vissel Kobe at the completion of the European season.
His skill cannot diminish no matter where he plays at and he would always be prominent goal scorer.
“Football is simple. Put the thing in and go home,” Podolski has said.