By Salawudeen Olawale
German World Cup winning striker Lukas Podolski is to leave Istanbul giant Galatasaray and join Japan’s Vissel Kobe when the season ends, the striker confirmed via Instagram today Thursday.
The switch was first revealed in the Turkish press two weeks ago, but Podolski had previously declined to comment.
The 31-year-old, who started out at Cologne, has enjoyed spells at Bayern Munich and Arsenal and racked up 129 games and 48 goals for Germany, while also featuring in three World Cups.
He now follows in the footsteps of England great Gary Lineker, who wound down his career at Nagoya Grampus Eight after spells at Barcelona, Tottenham and Leicester.
“At the end of the season I will join Vissel Kobe from the J-League,” said Podolski, who won young player of the tournament at the 2006 World Cup in his homeland.
“It’s a decision I made for a new challenge,” he explained.
Kobe are currently seventh in Japan and their best ever J-League finish was a runner-up spot in 2012.
Born in Poland, the gifted left-footer became Germany’s top ever international goalscorer before withdrawing from the international scene in August 2016.