Polish-born Podolski banking on German win

Germany's Polish-born striker Lukas Podolski is going to Sunday's Euro 2008 game against Poland determined to help his side clinch victory.

Polish-born Podolski banking on German win
Photo. DPA

The 23-year-old speaks fluent Polish and has been helping his team-mates pronounce the names of the opponents they will face in Klagenfurt, Austria on Sunday.

The Bayern Munich striker still has relatives in Poland and watches Polish television at home, but he is keeping his fingers crossed Germany coach Joachim Löw will name him in the starting line-up to add to his 48 caps.

“Things are going well and I am training as if I will be playing, I’ll find out tomorrow or the day after if I am starting,” said Podolski, who has been used as an attacking midfielder by Löw in the past. “Poland is very important to me, I have a large family in Poland, it is an important game, I really want to play in the game and win it.”

Poland have been strengthened by Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker and are expected to present Germany with a tough challenge as Löw’s side bid to win their fourth European title, but Podolski is convinced Germany will win.

“Poland are a compact team with a good coach, but if we play at 100 percent and work hard I am sure we will win,” Podolski said.

The match is regarded as one of the most sensitive of the tournament given the history between the two countries.

Polish tabloid Super Express did nothing to help the situation by running a doctored picture of Beenhakker holding the heads of Germany coach Löw and captain Michael Ballack under the headline: “Leo, bring us their heads!”

Both Löw and Beenhakker distanced themselves from the controversy with Germany especially keen to end their 12-year wait for a European Championship win – both in terms of a title and games as they are winless since beating the Czech Republic in 1996.

History favours Löw’s side as in the 15 meetings betweeen the teams since 1933, Poland have yet to win, while Germany have won 11 of them with the other four finishing in draws.

“Slowly, but surely we are feeding our players information on Poland, we have a detailed analysis from our chief scout, so the players know what the opposition is capable of,” said Löw. “If we play to our full potential and are physical against Poland, I think we will win.”

Podolski is one of three players in the squad, alongside striker Miroslav Klose and winger Piotr Trochowski, who were born in Poland.


British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.