Former German international Lukas Podolski joins Kobe

Former German international Lukas Podolski joins Kobe

Vissel Kobe on Thursday announced that striker Lukas Podolski will join the club on a full transfer from Galatasaray.

After making his pro debut with Koln in 2003, the 31-year-old went on to play for Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Inter before joining the Turkish side in 2015.

Following last summer’s Euro 2016 tournament, Podolski retired from Germany’s national team with 48 goals from 129 senior caps.

And the forward has now teamed up with Nelsinho’s Vissel to drive them forward in their quest for silverware this season.

“I'm incredibly happy to bring this world-class striker to Vissel Kobe,” club owner Hiroshi Mikitani said. 

“Podolski is a world-class player who has won many titles. We expect he will be a huge addition to our squad as we look to win the J.League.

“Including Rakuten's recent sponsorship agreement with Barcelona, we hope to create more opportunities for the J.League and Japanese football to expand with a more global vision in mind.”

“I can confirm that at the end of this season I will join Vissel Kobe,” Podolski wrote on his official Instagram account. 

“[This is] a decision I made for a new challenge, and I will explain more when the time is right. But right now my only focus is helping Galatasaray and our fantastic fans!”