A „Kölscher Jung“ for the Home World Championship: Lukas Podolski new WCh-ambassador
In 2014 he became Football World Champion in Brazil, he is one of the most popular football players ever and a real Cologne guy – a so called “echte kölsche Jung”. And with immediate effect he is one of the faces of the 2019 Handball World Championship in Germany and Denmark (January 10th until 27th): Lukas Podolski becomes ambassador for the German main round venue Cologne. Thus, the 33 years old Podolski is the second popular ambassador for the matches in the Rhenisch metropolis next to handball legend Heiner Brand.
The football player who played 130 games for the German national team is looking forward to his new role: “Cologne is a sport crazy town. No matter, if the home games of the 1. FC Cologne, the ice hockey team Haie or the international sports events in the LANXESS arena: The atmosphere is always sensational and the audience fair and competent. I appreciate my new role as ambassador and would like to use all my opportunities to spread the enthusiasm about the Handball World Championship in Cologne.” Podolski comes from a sports-mad family. His father Waldemar was football player in the first polish league, and his mother Krystyna Podolski, played in the polish handball national team. “Indeed I grew up with the football but thanks to my mother I always sympathized with handball. I really hope that in the next months the euphoria will grow around the DHB-Team and will carry the German team through the tournament in January. A World Championship at home is something really special”, states Podolski full of anticipation.
“We are so happy to present Lukas Podolski as new WCh-ambassador”, says Mark Schober, chairman of the German Handball Federation. “Not only in Germany he is a popular figure due to his open nature, he also symbolizes the town Cologne like no one else. There is no other ambassador outside of handball suited better for this venue.”
Stefan Löcher, chairman of the LANXESS arena complements: “Through his open nature Lukas carries the Cologne awareness of life out into the world. I am convinced that Poldis worldwide popularity and his commitment for his hometown will help to set up a successful 2019 Handball World Championship.”
The LANXESS arena in Cologne is venue of the German main round group and has a long tradition in terms of handball. Since May 2010 the Final Four of the EHF Champions League takes place in the arena. And also the finals at the 2007 World Championship were played here, where the German team created their “winter’s tale” with the former national coach Heiner Brand.
At the 2019 World Championship the games will take place from 19th until 23th of January in the LANXESS arena holding 19,250 spectators. In case of the qualification the German team with national coach Christian Prokop will play their main round games in Cologne. The game days would be the 19th, 21th and 23th of January. Tickets for the World Championship are available via handball19.com.
About Lukas Podolski:
Lukas Podolski was born on June 4th, 1985 in the polish town Gliwice. When he was two years old his family moved to Bergheim (near Cologne) where he started playing football. In the junior area he changed to the 1. FC Cologne giving his debut as professional in the first German football league in 2003 for the FC. In 2006 the left foot changed to FC Bayern Munich and won the German Championship in 2008. After a return to the 1. FC Cologne and stations at Arsenal London, Inter Milan and Galatasaray Istanbul – including further Championship victories – Podolski changed to the Japanese team Vissel Kobe. He played 130 games for the German national team and scored 49 times. In 2004 he celebrated his first international match, his biggest success with the German team was the victory of the 2014 World Championship in Brazil. In his private life the striker is married and has two children.