Podolski was born in Poland to his two Polish parents and moved to near Cologne when he was a boy. When he was 10-years-old, he joined Cologne, and when he was 18-years-old he became a part of the first team squad, playing 20 games for them after making his début in November 2003.
When he was 19-years-old, he made his début for the German national team, although claimed that he had “two hearts beating in his chest”.
Over his entire career, Podolski spent 14 years at Cologne, which is more than half his life, yet left the club twice when a better opportunity was presented to him. After winning nothing with Cologne he signed for the biggest team in Germany, Bayern Munich. His decision was justified because he won the league and two cups in his short time there. However, he returned to Cologne a few years later but signed for Arsenal, doubling his salary, after three more seasons with his boyhood club, having won nothing again.
February 13th 2006: “There is no pre-contract of any sort with Bayern. The first club I will be talking to is and always has been Cologne. It’s not my fault that my future is the subject of so much speculation. I am fully concentrating on my season with Cologne and our fight to avoid relegation.”
May 8th 2006: “I have told the club’s bosses that I want to join Bayern Munich. I’m convinced I have made the right choice.”
June 1st 2006: Podolski signs for Bayern Munich
October 25th 2006: Ruled out for a month with an ankle injury. Didn’t play again until December 9th.
April 2007: Ruled out for 3 months following an operation on his knee.
December 2007: Suffered a slipped disc injury. Didn’t play again until February 10th 2008.
June 9th 2008: Podolski scored two goals against Poland for Germany at Euro 2008. “I had some family in the stands and they were driving back home after the game, so I ran to them at the end of the game. I didn’t really celebrate after the first goal as a mark of respect, I have a big family in Poland and was born there.”
November 24th 2008: Podolski handed in a transfer request
January 19th 2009: Podolski agreed to rejoin Cologne at the end of the season.
July 17th 2010: “Now I’m on holiday. Then I go full throttle for Cologne! “Of course there are enquiries from other clubs. But I’m not interested. I want to take a big step with my club. Perhaps we will even surprise and qualify for the Europa League. Our wonderful fans deserve that.”
April 24th 2011: “Being at Cologne does me good. It’s my club, it’s my town. If it’s just up to me, I’ll still be here next season.”
June 11th 2011: “I still have two years left to run on my deal and my ambition is to see it out. I have strong opinions on Wolfgang Overath. He lives and breathes the club, day and night. He is doing everything he can for this club and he is my idol.”
April 30th 2012: Podolski agreed a deal to join Arsenal.
April 13th 2012: “I have felt like a part of Arsenal from the first day and I am very proud to play here and wear the shirt.”