Lukas Podolski

2010-05-13 16:27
Age: 24   
Position: Striker
Club: Cologne

A goal-scoring machine for Germany, having racked up 37 goals in 69 internationals, the quick left-footer will be Loew's first choice in attack in South Africa.

Podolski played for Germany at Euro 2004, where he was the squad's youngest player. He made one substitute appearance in the game against the Czech Republic, when he came on for Torsten Frings at half-time.

Podolski was selected in the Germany squad for the 2006 World Cup, where he partnered Miroslav Klose in attack. He scored his first ever World Cup goal in Germany's third group match against Ecuador, and both goals in the 2–0 win over Sweden in the round of 16. By this, he became the first player since 1962 to score two goals in the first 12 minutes of a World Cup match and only the third man ever to accomplish the feat.

In Euro 2008 qualifying game against San Marino in Serravalle he 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.

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 Vasily Berezutsky on the edge of the penalty area, before unleashing a powerful shot past Russia's goalkeeper Akinfeev.

Despite enduring an unhappy domestic 2009-10 season, Podolski still maintained his scoring streak at international level, many times partnering Miroslav Klose to great effect.

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