1.FC Köln legend Lukas Podolski has returned to the city where he began his career to give something back to the people, who helped launch him to stardom- a kebab shop.
Yes the World Cup winner and darling of the Rhein-Energie Stadion is now the co-owner of a kebab restaurant called Mangal Döner in his home city and more than a thousand fans queued up on Saturday for its grand opening with some reportedly waiting five hours to be served a slice of finest Döner meat by their hero.
32-year-old Podolski, who currently plays in Japan for Vissel Kobe is no stranger to the food business having already opened an ice-cream parlour in Köln called Ice Cream United and he also has a clothing boutique called Street Kicker.
After signing autographs and serving customers the German striker admitted: “Ideas just come — I don’t even really have a business plan right now.” He also countered any arguments that he was setting a bad example as an athlete with his choice of nutrition, “As an athlete, you’ll burn a kebab in around 10 minutes.”
Prinz Poldi, made his debut for the Geißböcke back in 2003 and made 81 appearances scoring 46 goals before moving to Bayern Munich. He returned to Köln in 2009 and made another 88 appearances before switching to Arsenal and then moving to Galatasaray (seemingly where his love for the Döner arose).
While obviously wanting his new venture to be successful, Podolski also has the highest optimism for his former club Köln, who had a disastrous Hinrunde and face a massive fight to avoid relegation.
“I believe in miracles,” he said. “It’s too early to talk about the second division. I’m calling on all the fans and the city to support the team as long as it’s possible”.
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