Lukas Podolski has declared about finishing his football career in the national team at once after 2016 European championship, after very offensive loss in a semi-final. But such great people should not finish their professional career in such a way.
fact was perfectly realized by Joachim Löw and he gave him an
opportunity to tell the last word and to say goodbye to fans for whom
he had been playing for 13 years. Podolski did it very eloquently and
according to a really beautiful scenario. Lukas's goal became the
only one in the match with England, it was victorious and in his
typical style. It was impossible to do anything else that evening.
When he left the field, last time wearing a national team shirt, the
whole “Westfalen” heard the music from the movie "Gladiator",
and fans were crying. The legend had gone. The last player who was
the face of the national team of Germany in the mid 2000s had left.
He was a boy when he was invited in the national team in 2004 to play in the European championship which became the absolute failure for the national team of Germany and Podolski had played only one half there. But that was an important event for the German football because Lukas became one of those representatives of a new generation of the German football that will bring the country to success later. Since then he became an integral part of the national team on any large tournament and in any friendly match. He always was the person on whom you could rely at any time. Lukas didn’t demonstrate good physical fit in club, didn’t score in tens of matches, but he was regularly invited to the national team because you couldn’t imagine the national team without him.
The national team is not only 90 minutes in the field but the proper inner atmosphere and team spirit without which it is not possible to achieve big victories. Poldi, as nobody else, was the brightest figure of the team, its soul and heart. He was loved and appreciated by all, and he returned the love. And he always did well at the field as "love to football is like love to the woman and a family, it is always present" , - Lukas says. In his eyes it is easy to read that football for him is something bigger, than just a profession. And, despite the fact that Podolski was born in Poland about which he never forgets, he grew up and matured in Germany and he is grateful to this country for this and does everything he can in order to wear the football shirt of this country.
Over the past 13 years in the national team Podolski has participated in 8 large tournaments: 2005 Confederations Cup, 3 World Cups and 4 European championships. Each history was in its own way very good, but special emotions are caused by 2006 World Cup, the first for Lukas, the home one: " I have never experienced such atmosphere and euphoria since that time in Germany. All was faultless – full stadiums of our fans, the fantastic atmosphere all over the country ". But undoubtedly, the main achievement was the victorious 2014 WC. And despite the fact that Podolski wasn't first-team regular player and had played only the little part of all matches on that tournament, his merits can't be underestimated; we remember how important he is for his team. Not by accident, Podolski was invited to the national team 97 times when the head coach of the team was Joachim Löw – may be the most successful modern coach.
Lukas had finally finished his career in the national team being 31 years old with exactly 130 matches behind him and 49 scored goals. It is a pity that he wasn't able to round off the column "goals". But till yesterday evening there were 48 goals, but Podolski couldn't leave the field without scoring a goal for which the whole stadium was waited. Having scored improbable kick, Lukas as if couldn't believe in what he did, had clutched himself at the head. Such scored ball had caused admiration even of the opponents who had realized that this evening can't be spoiled as it was written especially for Lukas Podolski. Even Joe Hart, right after the goal, greeted Lukas, understanding how delightful and significant it was.
To confirm our words about Podolski's greatness, it is enough to demonstrate the figures which are speaking for themselves:
- Only two football players had played more matches for the national team of Germany than Lukas (130) who overtook on Bastian Schweinsteiger (121) and Philipp Lahm (113): Lothar Matthäus (150) and Miroslav Klose (137).
- Only 3 football players had scored for the national team more than Lukas: Miroslv Klose (71 goals), Gerd Müller (68) and Joachim Streich (59).
- 130 different players replaced each other in the national team during Podolski's performances for Germany.
- 4672 days had passed between the first and last match of Lukas for the national team.
All this history didn’t leave anybody indifferent. Many fell in love with the national team of Germany of the mid 2000s which last embodiment was Podolski. All its other representatives have already finished their performances in the national team and not everyone had such a warm goodbye match. After the final whistle of the match with England, the stands were full of fans for more than 30 minutes, people were singing songs, and Lukas said goodbye to all of them as if he shared this special day with everyone on the stands. He was trying to fight back his tears, and many fans even didn't try to do this as it was useless. The great football player and personality, a role model was leaving the national team of Germany. Lukas Podolski was going away.