Although he returned to Cologne from Japan the day before, Lukas Podolski had already returned to his hometown on Monday as ambassador for the Handball World Cup. He also spoke with Joachim Schmidt about his future and about the desire to return to the world. FC Köln.
Mr. Podolski, will FC return to the Bundesliga in the summer?
Anything else would be a disappointment. At the moment it seems like you're a little calming. The road only leads to Hamburg and Cologne. In the end, quality prevails.
Where is the strength of the team?
It has a huge quality. In the short term, this is the increase. Everything else must be planned and decided by the managers. I'm not that far in the club now that I have an opinion or say what should be changed in the case of the increase.
Was Modeste's commitment good only for advertising or is it also a sport reinforcement?
I do not have an opinion about it. Responsible people must know this on their own.
The offensive is currently very strong even without him.
Yes, it works, they hit the attackers. It's not a position where there's a need. But he wanted to go back, the club wanted him, they agreed, that's why he's there. If you can help the team now or if you get eligibility only in the new year, you have to see.
At the moment, was your commitment not necessary?
I already said. I have already been brought into conversation without coming to me. The press punctured and asked: what about Poldi? As the FC officials said: on the one hand, it still has a contract in Japan, on the other hand, we are in the position of being overweight and we are not looking for anything. Now you had four strikers and you got another fifth. As you can see in what direction it is.
Toni Schumacher and Alexander Wehrle visited you in Kobe last April. It was about sponsoring the research.
Yes, but it also related to sport. Everyone knows my point about FC and the city of Cologne. It does not change either.
You have a contract of another year. When would a change be questioned?
Usually in January 2020. But there will be talks already next summer. As you can see, what kind of offers, why do you want to know what prospects offer you and ask yourself, what do you want. So make a decision. Whether it's back in Japan or another country, I do not know. I do not want to lie and say, only the Bundesliga should be, and then I go to another country.
Would a change in the summer be conceivable?
Anything can happen When a club arrives and says: We want to have Podolski, what is the state? And when I say, yes, willingly and Kobe agrees, then something like that happens. This is not my plan. I am absolutely satisfied in Japan.
Does the 1st FC in Cologne have priority in a change?
There is still no contact with the FC due to a change or something else. It should not give the impression that I have to offer myself there. I'm in good shape, I know my strengths. Everyone knows the boy and the footballer Lukas Podolski. Of course, you have to be so honest and say that, as the years go by, as you get older, it becomes more difficult. You can not do what was possible ten years ago. But still: as long as the head and legs are participating, the training and the games are fun – and this makes it, especially now in Japan – that's how I'll play football. And if he's back in the shirt of FC, which is my wish, you'll see.
FC officials know my point of view. They were in Japan with me and we were not just talking about Kobe, but also about what I imagine. But first, FC should first resurrect in the Bundesliga, and I still play in Japan. We'll see everything else then.