Kolkata: Lukas Podolski, netted his last International goal for Germany last night against a comparatively stronger England squad at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. It was a dream swansong for the fans and Podolski himself where he turned out to be the protagonist of the game who drove his team to a victory, a dream which not all legends are lucky to live.
Only 1990 World Cup winning captain Lothar Matthaeus and all time highest scorer for Germany Mirosav Klose have played more games than the 31 year old Podolski, who is set for a move to Japanese club Vissel Kobe this summer.
The fans, who were singing choruses for Podolski and cheering him distracted England heavily which in turn helped Germany to snatch away the momentum of the game. Had this not been the scenario, the game was clearly in the hands of the Englishmen.
Yesterday’s game was always going to be a Podolski match over a thrilling encounter between Germany and England. The first half of the game showed some other pictures. England were dangerously close on a number of occasions to net the ball into the German goal. They looked quite comfortable and surprisingly, with ease were tearing the defence of the Germans. It took some brilliant efforts from Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to keep alive the World Champions. But the latter half saw a decline in the sporting relevance of the game as it was all about Podolski.
Post-match, nobody including German coach Joachim Low said much about the poor display of performances from his side and nobody even asked much about it. We can say that the farewell of Podolski and the his hammering strike at the finishing moments of the game provided perfect cover for this disappointing performance.
Of course this was a friendly match and yes Germany managed to win the game somehow, but that’s not what a football fan expects from the current and 4 times World Champions. Players like Ter Stegen and Toni Kroos displayed their class as usual, but as a team, much more was expected from Joachim’s men. This match highlights the leaks in the defence of the Germans and also points out the areas where they need to work on, in order to maintain their dominance in World football.
(with inputs from the Indian Express)