|Birth Day:||June 4, 1985|
|Birth Place:||Gliwice, Poland|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He started his junior career in 1991 with FC 07 Bergheim.
Lukas Podolski plays for the team Antalyaspor
In 1987, when Podolski was two years old, his family emigrated from Poland to West Germany and were given Aussiedler status as a result of his paternal grandparents having German citizenship prior to World War II (Gliwice was a part of Germany until 1945 as Gleiwitz). Podolski grew up in Bergheim, North Rhine-Westphalia, and later in Pulheim, both near Cologne.
Podolski began playing football at the age of six in the youth team of FC 07 Bergheim, where he played until he joined 1. FC Köln at the age of ten. It was there that Podolski's talents were first noticed. In 2003, at the age of 18, Podolski was still part of the club's youth side. At this time the club found itself in dire straits battling to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga. First team boss Marcel Koller, working on a shoestring budget, invited Podolski to train with the senior players and he made his top flight debut shortly afterwards on 22 November 2003. Even though Köln failed to avoid a drop to the 2nd division, Podolski had shown what he could do, scoring 10 goals in his first 19 senior appearances. This was the best tally by an 18-year-old in the history of the Bundesliga.
In late 2003, after several impressive performances in his first few Bundesliga games, Polish media suggested then-Polish national team coach Paweł Janas should check Podolski out, as he was still eligible to play for Poland. Janas ignored the request stating in one of the press interviews that "as for 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." By that time Podolski was still interested in representing Poland, but as the season progressed German media increasingly highlighted his performances to suggest he should be called up to the German national team. When his full potential was finally unveiled, he had already decided to represent Germany. At the end of the season Köln were relegated, but Podolski impressed so much, that he held his debut for Rudi Völler's Germany on 6 June 2004, at age 19, in Kaiserslautern against Hungary with a late substitute appearance. He had become the first second-division player since 1975 to break into the national team.
In 2006, clubs such as Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, and Real Madrid manifested their interest in Podolski, even though he had a contract with 1. FC Köln through 2007. On 1 June 2006, Podolski announced that a transfer agreement had been reached with Bayern Munich, allowing him to join the Bavarian side for the 2006–07 season. Financial details of the deal were not immediately available, but the transfer fee was speculated to be around €10 million. He made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern on 11 August 2006, coming on as a substitute in the 88th minute of a 2–0 victory against Borussia Dortmund. On 9 September 2006, he came on as a second-half substitute in a DFB-Pokal game versus FC St. Pauli. Only 26 seconds after the second half started, he scored the equaliser, levelling the match at 1–1. On 14 October 2006, with his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern, Podolski helped to secure the club's 4–2 win over Hertha BSC. On 26 October 2006, Podolski suffered a serious injury to his right ankle joint caused by teammate, Mark van Bommel, during a training session. Consequently, Podolski missed more than five match weeks. He returned from this injury and scored against Alemannia Aachen.
In a Euro 2008 qualifying game against San Marino in Serravalle Podolski netted four goals in Germany's record 13–0 thrashing. He is one of only four German players to score four goals in an international match. He was the third after Gerd Müller and Michael Ballack, and since this, Mario Gómez has accomplished this feat. In Germany's 4–1 win against Slovakia in Bratislava on 11 October 2006, he scored the first and the last German goal, both on assists by Miroslav Klose. He has continued to score goals at an astonishing rate. On 17 November 2007, in a Euro qualifier match against Cyprus, Podolski was involved in every goal in Germany's 4–0 victory. This was one of Podolski's best performances for the national team. Even though he played out of his natural position, playing at left midfield, he netted one goal himself and was voted Man of the Match.
After Bayern bought in Italian striker Luca Toni in 2007, Podolski received less playing time due to coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's preference to partner Miroslav Klose and Toni together instead. However, Bayern ended the 2007–08 season by winning a league and cup double, giving Podolski the first major silverware of his career.
On 8 June 2008, Podolski made his Euro 2008 entrance against debutants Poland in a Group B match in Klagenfurt, Austria. He scored both goals in a 2–0 victory. He avoided celebrating his goals, however, to show respect for his country of birth. After the game he gave an emotional interview on Polish television. The goals put him in the lead in the Euro 2008 goal-scoring list for two days until David Villa scored a hat-trick for Spain against Russia.
On 12 June, Germany played Croatia in their second Group B match, again in Klagenfurt. Podolski scored the German team's only goal of the game in the 79th minute, by which time the Croatians were already leading 2–0. He did not celebrate this goal either despite it putting him joint first on the Euro 2008 goal-scoring list with David Villa. Podolski's goal was not enough to snatch a draw, with Croatia holding out for a 2–1 victory over Germany. On 19 June, Germany played Portugal in the quarterfinal in Basel, Podolski was instrumental in the first goal, whipping a cross into the penalty box that was slotted home by Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 22nd minute to give Germany a 1–0 lead.
On 6 September 2008, Podolski scored the opening two goals in Germany's first 2010 World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein in Vaduz; a match that ended in a 6–0 victory for the Germans. He scored the opener in the 2–1 home win over Russia on 11 October, when he turned Vasili Berezutski on the edge of the penalty area, before unleashing a powerful shot past Russia's goalkeeper Akinfeev. He finished the qualification campaign second highest scorer of Group 4 with six goals, behind teammate Miroslav Klose's 7. During one of the qualifying matches, he was involved in a bust-up with team captain Michael Ballack.
Despite former national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann taking charge of Bayern for the 2008–09 season, Podolski again failed to break into the team's regular first choice line-up. After a rather unhappy spell at Bayern, he returned to former club Köln on 1 July 2009.
After Podolski was assured by national team coach Joachim Löw that a return to FC Köln would not harm his chances of international football, an agreement to sign him was agreed between Bayern Munich and Köln in January 2009, although he would not return to Köln until the start of the summer transfer window. On 1 July, Podolski returned to Köln on a four-year contract, at a reported fee of around €10 million, equivalent to the fee Bayern paid to sign him in 2006. Köln created a website where people were able to buy pixels of an image of Podolski for €25 per 8x8 pixel square, in order to gather €1 million to reduce the cost of the transfer; Formula One driver and Köln supporter Michael Schumacher bought several pixels for €875.
On 13 June 2010, Podolski, who had become accustomed to his position as a winger scored the first goal in Germany's World Cup opening game in a 4–0 win against Australia, before assisting teammate Thomas Müller for the third goal. On 18 June, Podolski missed a second-half penalty after a handling infraction committed by Nemanja Vidić in the 1–0 loss to Serbia. The German team had gone down to 10-men after a second yellow was shown to Miroslav Klose in the 36th minute. Even though the Germans played with 10-men throughout the rest of the game, Podolski had numerous chances on goal. However, he was unable to capitalize, and the game ended in a surprise defeat for the Germans. However, he managed to score against England in the last 16, giving Germany a 2–0 advantage in the first half. They went on to beat England 4–1. In the quarter-final against Argentina, Podolski provided the assist for the first of Klose's two goals, bringing the score to 2–0. The Germans won the match 4–0.
In the 2010–11 season, Podolski scored his 50th Bundesliga goal in the match against Hannover 96 in March 2011. Throughout the entire season, Podolski scored 13 goals and made seven assists.
In April 2011, Podolski married his longtime girlfriend Monika Puchalski in Cologne, Germany. They had a church wedding in Kamionna, Węgrów County, Poland in June 2011. They have a son, Louis Gabriel Podolski (born 14 April 2008) and a daughter, Maya (born 6 June 2016).
Podolski was linked with Premier League club Arsenal throughout the 2012 winter transfer window but no deal materialised. However, on 30 April 2012, it was officially announced that Podolski had signed for Arsenal on a long-term deal, for an undisclosed fee. On 12 August 2012, Podolski started for Arsenal in a pre-season match against his former club, Köln, scoring twice, once from a penalty in a 4–0 victory. Podolski took the number 9 from Park Chu-Young, who had been loaned out to Celta Vigo, after the number 10 shirt vacated by Robin van Persie was given to Jack Wilshere. Podolski then started in his first official match for Arsenal against Sunderland on the opening day of the Premier League on 18 August 2012. He played 63 minutes before being subbed off for another 2012 summer signing, Olivier Giroud, in the match which finished 0–0. He scored his first goal for Arsenal on 2 September in a 2–0 win against Liverpool at Anfield whilst also providing the assist for Santi Cazorla to score his first for the Gunners. Podolski scored his second goal for Arsenal in the following game, scoring a free-kick from 25 yards in a 6–1 victory against Southampton.
On 18 September 2012, he scored his first UEFA Champions League goal for the Gunners in a 2–1 away win against Montpellier. In Arsenal's second game in the Champions League, Podolski scored again as Arsenal defeated Greek champions Olympiacos 3–1 on 3 October. Podolski then scored his first goal in more than a month against Fulham in a thrilling 3–3 draw. On 17 November, Podolski scored his fourth League goal as Arsenal defeated Tottenham 5–2 in the North London derby. He then helped Arsenal qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League by scoring the second goal as Arsenal beat Montpellier 2–0. Podolski then played a pivotal part in an impressive 5–2 win away from home against Reading at the Madejski Stadium, scoring the first goal and assisting 2 more, which had helped teammate Santi Cazorla to score his first ever hat-trick. On 30 December 2012, Podolski played an integral part of the team that beat Newcastle 7–3. His first contribution was an incisive pass to Theo Walcott for Arsenal's first goal. In addition, due to Newcastle's failure to clear the ball off their line, Podolski pounced on a header for his last goal of 2012. He was substituted for Aaron Ramsey to a standing ovation. On 23 January 2013, Podolski produced an impressive performance as Arsenal beat West Ham 5–1, scoring one goal and setting up three others. On 2 February 2013, Podolski scored the only goal via a deflected free-kick to earn the Gunners a 1–0 victory over Stoke City. On 13 April, Podolski sealed a 3–1 win over Norwich City by scoring his first goal since February. After Giroud's three-game ban appeal was rejected, Podolski began playing as a centre forward, starting with the 1–1 draw against Manchester United. Podolski then scored twice in a 4–1 victory over Wigan Athletic, resulting in Wigan's relegation from the Premier League. Podolski ended his first season in Arsenal with a total of 16 goals and 11 assists.
On 24 August 2013, Podolski netted his first goals of the 2013–14 season, scoring twice for Arsenal away at Fulham in a 3–1 win. However, he was injured in his next match in the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahçe and was ruled out for 10 weeks. Podolski returned for Arsenal against West Ham United in a 3–1 win on Boxing Day, scoring the team's third goal in the 79th minute. Podolski netted his first two goals in 2014 with a brace in a 4–0 FA Cup fourth round win over Coventry City. He later scored in a 2–1 FA Cup win over Liverpool in February to send Arsenal through to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Arsenal qualified for the FA Cup final on 12 April following a win against Wigan, in which Podolski was substituted after 68 minutes. He scored twice in Arsenal's next game, a 3–1 win against West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium and followed that display up with another brace in Arsenal's next game, a 3–0 win away to Hull City. He started in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Hull City and left the pitch for Yaya Sanogo after 61 minutes as Hull led Arsenal 1–2. Arsenal went on to win the game 3–2 after extra time, thereby ending the club's nine-year trophy drought.
He is also an ambassador of the Christian Children's Fund the Ark (Die Arche). One of his projects is a community day care centre for children located in a distressed part of Praga-Północ district in Warsaw, Poland, opened in 2014. The facility is run by Arka Fundacja Dzieci sponsored by Podolski's foundation.
On 5 January 2015, Arsenal announced that Podolski had completed a move to Serie A club Inter Milan on loan for the remainder of the 2014–15 season. He joined the side for training after the deal was finalised ahead of their league match away to Juventus on 6 January. In the 1–1 draw at the Juventus Stadium, he came on as a substitute for Zdravko Kuzmanović after 54 minutes. Podolski was not named in Inter's squad list for the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League with coach Roberto Mancini preferring Xherdan Shaqiri over the German international. On 28 April 2015, Podolski scored his only goal with Inter to win the match 2–1 in the 65th minute against Udinese.
Podolski signed a three-year contract with Turkish club Galatasaray on 4 July 2015 for an initial fee of £1.8 million, after which the Süper Lig champions will pay Arsenal £2.1 million for three consecutive seasons thereafter. He instantly won the Turkish Super Cup. In the final of the Turkish Cup on 26 May 2016, he scored the decisive goal for Galatasaray in the 1–0 win over Fenerbahçe.
On 2 March 2017, Podolski announced his transfer to Japanese club Vissel Kobe after the completion of the Turkish season. On 29 July 2017, he played his first match for Vissel Kobe and scored two goals in a 3–1 win over Omiya Ardija in the J1 League. On 11 August 2018, he assisted Andrés Iniesta's first goal in the J1 League in a 2–1 win over Jubilo Iwata.
Podolski was included in the squad for UEFA Euro 2016. He made a substitute appearance against Slovakia during the tournament. After the tournament, on 15 August, he announced his retirement from international football (effective 23 March 2017) saying he wants to shift his focus and spend more time with his family. He was given his last ever international appearance for Germany against England on 22 March 2017 where he scored the winning goal.
On 8 December 2019, he scored a hat-trick in a 4–1 win over Júbilo Iwata. It was his first hat-trick in the J1 League.
On 1 January 2020, Podolski won his first trophy in Japan, starting in Vissel Kobe's 2–0 victory over Kashima Antlers in the final of the 2019 Emperor's Cup; it was also the club's first ever major trophy.
On 23 January 2020, Podolski joined Antalyaspor on a one-and-a-half-year contract.
Currently, Lukas Podolski is 37 years, 0 months and 21 days old. Lukas Podolski will celebrate 38th birthday on a Sunday 4th of June 2023.
Find out about Lukas Podolski birthday activities in timeline view here.