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Lukas Podolski wins Puskas Prize 2023

Lukas Podolski has always looked like one of those stubborn, obnoxious young players who, when you’re collecting your pension and limping your way to the bus stop, you’re still running up and down the wings of European stadiums.

So it’s quite surprising to learn that Podolski is actually 37 years old. That’s the same age as Cristiano Ronaldo and older than Lionel Messi. Thankfully, the former Arsenal man doesn’t seem to be missing out on the magic that made him one of Europe’s most exciting players in his prime.

Tackling opposing defenders, lifting the ball into the net from somewhere outside the solar system, and trying tricks just because he can, Podolski treats Polish football like his personal playground.

And he produced his most famous moment in the dying embers of Gornik Zabrze’s match against Pogon Szczecin on a fall night in Central Europe.

At first it seemed like nothing had happened as Podolski was the recipient of thanks for his teammates’ crunch fight; The ball glides harmlessly into no man’s land, and people in the crowd may take a moment to check their phones or eat their sandwiches.

You should know better. We all have to. Because in no time Podolski saw the goalkeeper jump out of the net and fire a fine shot past his head into the net. The goalkeeper’s desperate and desperate attempts to save his dignity only increased the optics of Podolsky’s moment of humiliation. Despite being top of the Premier League, this is the best we’ve seen from someone who has been linked with Arsenal all season. majestic. I do not know. I had a few games where I played really well, scored or played well, and the next game I was back on the bench,” Podolski said of his decision to leave Arsenal in 2020. “So I started thinking, ‘I have to change this situation. that.

“For some reason that sometimes happens in football or sport and that’s why I decided to move.” That’s life, that’s sport, I don’t want to, but I have to because I want to play football. “I want to get on the pitch, but I want to stay at Arsenal for a few more years because I feel really good there.

“The team, the people around the team and everyone at the club are very friendly – ​​like family. Great fans, great city, stadium – everything! I really like it, but in the end it is what it is.

“I had a few conversations with Arsene about my situation and told him: ‘I want to play, I want to arrive early’ and of course he is the coach, he has to decide, he can’t promise players bonuses or always play. coach, so I made the decision to go ahead.”

Since leaving Arsenal in 2015, the German world champions have worked for Inter Milan, Vissel Kobe, Galatasaray and Antalyaspor before joining his current club, Gornik Zabrze.