Arsenal attacker Lukas Podolski has claimed the only feeling better than signing the Cologne ‘Golden Book’ as a World Cup champion was a return to his hometown club in the future.
His former side has been prompted back to the Bundesliga after suffering relegation in his last season with the club, but admits his future lays with Arsenal where he holds a contract.
The newly crowned World Cup champion featured in two of Germany’s group fixtures against Portugal and the USA, but was resided to the bench for the rest of the tournament, sharing in the celebrations with his compatriots as they lifted the illustrious trophy.
He was given a hero’s reception to 3,000 fans when he recently returned to his boyhood city Cologne on Wednesday to sign his name into the Goldenes Buch, alongside the likes John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Neil Armstrong and Pope John Paul II.
According to the city newspaper Koelnische Rundschau the Gunners winger said:
Only re-joining Cologne would be more amazing than this, but I shouldn’t say too much or else I’ll get myself into bother. I’ve just got to bring myself back down to earth.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to bring the trophy along with me, but I won it also for FC Cologne and the city. You are also world champions.
Podolski admitted he would like a return to Cologne in the future, however he still has two more years left on his current terms with Arsenal.
The forward has spent two spells with the club, once between 2003-06 and after three seasons with Bayern Munich he returned from 2009-12. The 29-year-old then made the move to north London but his future was cast in doubt last campaign after he struggled to reproduce some of his earlier, stronger performances.
The German has spoken several times of his desire to return to his boyhood club, and now that they have sealed promotion back to the Bundesliga, a switch may be on the cards sooner than earlier.
I would also like to meet my Arsenal contract, but you never know in football, sometimes it can go very fast.
With his current terms set to expire in 2016 and the club unlikely to extend his deal, Arsene Wenger will be tempted to offload him next summer. The Gunners certainly do not want to lose him this season as he adds plenty of depth, experience and lethal finishing to the squad.
He was very useful during the tail end of last season after he found some form, but will find his gametime heavily restricted this campaign with Alexis Sanchez also added to the mix, and he will not feature in Wenger’s long term plans. If Arsenal can manage to keep him for one more term then we can consider selling him to Cologne next summer while he has some time on his contract left – that would suit all parties.
Congratulations to the German for the outstanding World Cup and his inclusion in Colognes Goldenes Buch.