“Spicy? No spicy?” is what you normally hear from kebab shop owners in Eastern Europe when you’re buying the “food of connoisseurs” – the gyros! But in Germany – a country which has a significant population of Turkish ancestry – you might rather hear something like “Wurzig Gyros? Funf Euro bitte, mein Freund.” (Spicy gyros? Five Euros please, my friend.) Well, now you can also get a kebab, gyros, lachmacun or any other authentic Turkish meal in Germany from none other than World Cup winner Lukas Podolski, if you happen to find yourself in his kebab shop in Cologne.
Istanbul was Podolski’s home for two years
When asked how he came up with the idea to open up his very own kebab shop in his hometown, the 32-year-old responded, “Ideas just come – I don’t even really have a business plan right now.” His spokesperson Sebastian Lange commented that people have gone crazy over his kebabs – a fact that some pictures on his social media can attest to, as one of them shows a crowd of people waiting in line just to get a taste of his kebabs. (If you know what I mean…)
“The euphoria is very, very great, contrary to expectations, and Podolski is very happy with the launch,” said Lange, of the footballer’s kebab shop.
Podolski – or “Poldi” as he is affectionately referred to – is no stranger to Turkish food, having spent two full seasons with Super Lig side Galatasary, between 2015 and 2017. He joined the Yellow Reds from Arsenal in the summer of 2015, having spent the previous half of the season that year on loan with Inter Milan. Despite enjoying great form in front of goal, Poldi wasn’t successful in clinching the Turkish championship during his time with the club, as they were beaten by Istanbul rivals Besiktas in both of the two seasons (2015/16 and 2016/17). However, for this season online sportsbooks in Turkey rank Galatasaray as favourites for the title 3.00 (2/1), per Bet365 Sportsbook.
(For more info check out our review about Bet365 Sportsbook.)
Will his kebab shop be sustainable in the long run? Let’s think about that for a second…
In his debut campaign, Poldi struck the back of the net 17 times across all competitions, and he matched that same record the following season, although he scored less goals in the league relative to the cup. Although the former German international left for Japan last summer without lifting the Super Lig title even once, his time with the Turkish giants wasn’t entirely without silverware. He helped Gatasaray win two Super Cups (2015 and 2016), but more importantly they won the Turkish Cup (Turkiye Kupasi) in 2015/16 with him in their side. Now he plies his trade in J1 League with Vissel Kobe, and after 15 appearances Poldi has managed to bag 5 goals.
How far can Germany reach in the 2018 World Cup in Russia?
Podolski played for the German national team for a total of 13 years, between 2004 and 2017, making an impressive 130 appearances and scoring 49 goals in the process. He’s third on the list of most capped German players, with only Miroslav Klose (137) and Lothar Matthaus (150) being ahead of him on the table. Miroslav Klose has bagged 71 goals for Germany while Gerd Muller has 68 goals to his name, which puts Poldi once again third on the top goalscorers list, with his 49 goals.
Poldi is no longer part of the German national team, however head manager Joachim Low still has an abundance of other talented players at his disposal to count on. Providers of internet betting in Germany believe their nation will be able to defend the World Cup title they’ve won in Brazil four years ago, with their odds being a cool 5.50 (9/2), while Brazil are second favourite 6.00 (5/1). France 6.50 (11/2) are third on the list, while Span 8.00 (7/1) and Argentina 10.00 (9/1) are heavy underdogs.