Podolski focussed on Poland

2014-10-09 18:01
Lukas Podolski

Berlin - Lukas Podolski is looking to put his Arsenal frustrations behind him as he prepares for Germany's Euro 2016 qualifier against his native Poland on Saturday.

The 29-year-old was born in Poland, but grew up near Cologne, and is looking to add to his 118 appearances and 47 goals for Germany at Warsaw's National Stadium.

Podolski is enduring a frustrating time at Arsenal, where he is under contract until 2016, having made only a handful of appearances far this season and notching up just 36 minutes playing time in the Premier League.

He has struggled to hold down a regular role throughout his two seasons in England and the German international has hinted that he may leave Arsenal during the January transfer window.

But with Euro 2016 qualifiers coming up against Poland, then the Republic of Ireland in Gelsenkirchen next Tuesday, Podolski is focused on proving what he can do for world champions Germany.

"Joined up with the national team. It always makes me happy and proud. Preparing for double-action in Euro qualifiers," he wrote on his Facebook page.

"I was smiling yesterday, I smile today and I will smile tomorrow," he cheerfully told reporters on the way to training in Frankfurt this week.

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said he understands the player's frustrations.

"'Poldi' is a unique bloke, he is an incredibly important aspect for the team, even when he is not on the pitch," said Bierhoff.

"We know all about his situation, just as we know his qualities. We've known what we have in Lukas for the last ten years.

"I hope he'll go to a club where he will get the continuity which he hasn't had recently at either Arsenal or the national team."

Having scored twice against Poland in a Euro 2008 group stage match, Podolski insists he will be just as respectful if he hits the net again in Warsaw.

"Matches against Poland are very special for me," he told Polish daily Super Express.

"Of course, the most memorable one was at Euro 2008 when we won 2-0 and I scored both goals.

"I did not celebrate them because I wanted to show respect to the country where I was born.

"If I play on Saturday and score, I will do the same. I think my family will be crossing one finger for me, one for Poland."


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