Lukas Podolski (33) has returned home. On Sunday afternoon, the Japanese world champion returned to Cologne, on Monday Poldi as the patron for the Cologne advertising for the Handball World Cup in January, held from 19 to 23 January in Cologne. And he took his time for an EXPRESS interview
What affinity do you have for handball?
I'm really a handball fan, so my patronage is not just a PR action on my part. The joy of playing handball is certainly due to my mother, she put my passion as a successful national player in the cradle. But in the end, my father prevailed. For me, as a child, there was nothing but football.
What can visitors expect from their home?
Cologne has simply a lot to offer. We have the hottest arena, a big city and open people. Unfortunately, I was not in the World Cup triumph in 2007 because I was traveling with Bayern.
On the road is a good idea. They are going to the third year in Kobe. In the end, the team was only tenth. What went wrong?
Sporting things could be better, otherwise I feel very good. The country is fantastic, people are friendly and even in the club there is a lot to do. But it takes time for the changes to take effect and for success to occur. We get a great striker with David Villa. I hope you help me get on the table next year.
Successful cabin of 2007: handball heroes in the living room: "A special experience" (read here)
One year you still have a contract. What happens then?
We'll see. The type Podolski si is known. I'm in shape, I have not suffered injuries and I continue to enjoy football. As long as your head and legs come together, I want to continue the sport.
Maybe in Cologne?
I have always expressed the desire to play once again for the 1st FC in Cologne. But I do not have to decide on my own. Harald Schumacher and Alexander Wehrle were with me in Japan. We have had talks and those responsible know my point of view. Maybe I'll extend it to Japan or I'll go to another country. Now I focus on Kobe.
How do you see the FC? The engagement of Anthony Modeste was the piece of the puzzle for the ascent?
I can not say much about it. But Modeste was free and wanted to return to Cologne and FC wanted him. So everyone was happy. Sportsman is not a must, because the other strikers like Simon Terodde and Jhon Cordoba meet regularly and play well. The decisive factor is that the FC increases. But they have to do it first, because the Second League is not easy.
How do you reflect on the year for the national team?
It was certainly not an easy year. You have a shot in the face of the World Cup. This allows you to re-analyze and change things that were considered natural. A change takes time, because you can not bend and break young players with great potential and then work alone. I firmly believe that Joachim Löw is the right man to start again.
How to celebrate Christmas?
Not unlike many others in Germany. It's a family party in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere with good food from Mom. I do not see the hour for a whole year, she is the best cook in the world.
Have you already bought all the Christmas gifts?
Gifts are not in focus, I prefer to collect donations for my projects and foundations. Obviously my wife and children will receive something from me.
Do children still believe in Santa Claus?
The motto of the carnival session is "Sproch es Heimat". How do you maintain the feeling of being at home abroad?
I have no motto or ritual for this now. I know that Cologne is always there, the cathedral, the arena, the stadium. This is not the case today. It's clear that I miss the cathedral, the city, but it's not like I'm sitting in my room in Japan crying.