Why Lukas Podolski Is Still Beloved: Authenticity and Passion for Fans

2023-12-18 08:47:31

What a reception for Lukas Podolski (38)! The 2014 world champion was a guest on Sport1’s “Doppelpass” on Sunday – and the spectators greeted “Poldi” with a standing ovation.

“We only have that very rarely,” said the impressed presenter Florian König (56). Why Podolski is still so popular? Because he has remained authentic throughout his entire career and “speaks as his mouth grows” (Stefan Effenberg, 55) – the panel agreed on that.

Podolski praises German fans: “You won’t find them in other leagues”

For Podolski himself, it is above all the proximity to the fans that has always been important to him and that defines him. “Without fans, football is zero point,” the former Bundesliga striker made clear.

When it came to protests against investors joining the DFL, Podolski showed complete understanding for the fans – even if he was obviously not informed in detail about the deal itself. “The question is what the fans’ worries are, and we have to take a closer look. But if you don’t want something, you have to go through with the protests,” said Podolski.

Compared to other top European leagues, the atmosphere in the German stadiums is “100 percent” better, said Podolski: “These chants, this power, this passion – you won’t find that in England or other leagues.”

Podolski, who played for 1. FC Köln as a teenager, doesn’t want English or Spanish conditions. “At clubs like FC Barcelona, ​​half of the stadiums are filled with tourists. We have to be proud in Germany that we have such fans who support their club and just want to see honest football.”

“I come from the generation that stood in the south curve at FC FC in the old Cologne stadium. I have always accompanied the fans on their journey and they have always been important to me. I can understand that. There are now posters hanging there and tennis balls being thrown and on the 25th match day everything is back to normal,” said Podolski. He doesn’t believe that football will lose its supporters: “They will stand behind their club and come to the stadium.”

After the majority of the 36 first and second division clubs cleared the way for investors to come in, there were protests from fans in numerous Bundesliga stadiums over the weekend. Among other things, the active fans remained silent for the first twelve minutes of the games and threw objects such as tennis balls or chocolate coins onto the lawn.

“It definitely doesn’t work without fans, we also had to experience that during Corona,” said Sport1 expert Effenberg: “The atmosphere is important, the fans are important and proximity to the fans is also important.” The former professional criticized that the DFL did not take the fans on board when communicating. (with dpa)

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