When the German national team was announced, the biggest shock, after the exclusion of Marco Reus (before people knew he was injured), was the inclusion of former Arsenal joker, Lukas Podolski.
Still only 30, no-one is quite sure how he manages to keep getting picked by Joachim Loew, with many speculating – not unreasonably – that it must surely be for behind-the-scenes reasons. Even with Free Betting Online, you aren’t going to get many backing him for the Golden Boot in France this summer.
Poldi, however, disagrees.
“It is wonderful as always”, he told the media.
“You knows the DFB. It does everything so that we can achieve what we want, to become European champions.
“I definitely do not come here as a mascot. This is an outrage which I do not deserve. I have an important role.”
I’m not entirely sure that it qualifies as an ‘outrage’ as Poldi claims but Loew must feel he brings something to the party otherwise he wouldn’t be picking him. But is that on or off the field?
The third most-capped German player of all time, behind Miroslav Klose and Gerd Muller, he’s appeared 127 times for his country. You might point to his finishing as the reason he’s there, but if you look at the 10 players who have played the most for Germany, Poldi’s goal-per-game ratio is the worst.
So what is it?
Joachim Loew tries to explain his selection but doesn’t really do a good job. “I know that Lukas can bring the power not that we expect from him.
“I look forward to the European Championship. The aim is to become European champions. Whether he plays or not.”
Podolski played 30 times for Galatasaray in the league last season, scoring 13 goals and grabbing nine assists. He ended the season with a total of 17 goals and 10 assists in 43 games in all competitions.