Lukas Podolski was born in Poland, but was ignored by the national team of his home country, and is one of of two prominent Polish players that made the pilgrimage to represent Germany in the quadrennial Euro tournament.
The Pole chipped in both goals in his foster nation’s 2-0 win over his homeland.
From YAHOO! NEWS:
Having turned 23 last Wednesday, Podolski combined with Germany’s other Polish-born forward Miroslav Klose for his first goal on 20 minutes and followed up with an unstoppable volley on 72 minutes.
After Group B rivals Croatia had earlier got off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over co-hosts Austria in Vienna, the result puts the Germans top of their group.
The last time Germany had won a European Championship game was way back in June 30, 1996 when they beat the Czech Republic to win Euro 1996 at London’s Wembley Stadium.
WIKIPEDIA comes through yet again in explaining how Podolski made his way to Germany:
In late 2003 after couple of impressive performances in his first few Bundesliga games, Polish media suggested then-Polish national team coach Paweł Janas to check Podolski out, as he was still eligible to play for Poland. Janas ignored the request stating in one of the press interviews that “as for today we have much better strikers in Poland and I don’t see a reason to call up a player just because he played one or two good matches in the Bundesliga. He’s not even a regular starter at his club.”
When his full potential was finally unveiled, he had already been persuaded to represent Germany. At the end of the season Cologne were relegated, but Podolski impressed so much, that he celebrated his debut for Rudi Völler’s Germany on 6 June 2004 in Kaiserslautern against Hungary with a late substitute appearance. He had become the first second-division player since 1975 to break into the national team.
Like Becky Hammon said: you go where you wanted.