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Podolski dispatches native Poland, hopes to give it some help at Euro 2008

Podolski dispatches native Poland, hopes to give it some help at Euro 2008

Having dispatched Poland with two goals, Lukas Podolski would now like to do the same to Croatia and achieve two objectives _ get both Germany and Poland into the quarterfinals of the European Championship.
Podolski, who was born in Poland but plays for his adopted nation, scored both goals for Germany in a 2-0 win Sunday.
Germany next plays Croatia in Group B on Thursday and it will all but make sure of advancing if it wins. Croatia also has three points after edging co-host Austria 1-0.
"I expect a good performance and our victory," Podolski said in an interview posted on the German football federation's Web site.
Federation spokesman Harald Stenger said Podolski had asked not to be brought before the press again Monday.
"It would be super if the circumstances were such that we qualify for the quarterfinals. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Poland and that they also reach the quarters. With a win against Croatia, we could help them a little," Podolski said.
Podolski was subdued after scoring both goals, without any of the football's usual celebration routines. He was also voted man of the match.
"I didn't celebrate very much because I was born in Poland, I have a big family there, and you have to have some respect for the land," he said.
After the match, when most of the players were long in the locker rooms, Podolski was still talking to his father, his uncle and other relatives in the stands.
"They were happy for me and they congratulated me, although they had been supporting Poland," he said. "We are a large family, many of us live in Poland. It's natural that such a match is something special and exciting. I've said often enough that I have Polish blood. But I've grown as a player in Germany and that's where I became known and that's why there is only one goal for me _ to win.
"The game was just the start. We are of course happy with the win but we have to put it behind us quickly. We'll be facing a new challenge against Croatia already on Thursday and we have to concentrate on that from now on," Podolski added.
Podolski will be playing his 50th game for Germany against Croatia, although he turned 23 only last week. His two goals against Poland brought his total to 27, and many think he could surpass Gerd Mueller's record of 68.
"What we have in our sights now is the title here. All personal marks are not so important," Podolski said. "But of course my target is to play many games for the national team and score many goals."
Podolski had a low-key season at Bayern Munich, where he scored five goals in 25 games, coming off the bench in 17 of them. Although struggling at Bayern, Podolski has enjoyed the trust of Loew and has paid back with goals.
Podolski is nominally a striker. Although Loew decided to go with Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez as his starting forwards, he inserted Podolski in left midfield and the move paid off.
"When he is in perpetual motion like that, he is a constant threat," Loew said. "He can play in both positions. I saw in training that he was very active, that he has a lot of speed and stamina."


Updated : 2021-07-29 08:47 GMT+08:00