On July 29, Lukas Podolski made his long awaited J-League debut, scoring a pair of goals to lead his Vissel Kobe side to victory over Omiya Ardija of Saitama.
His remarkable performance made waves not just in Japan, but also in his native Germany. Here is a quick round-up of the major headlines.
“Many German and Cologne flags were visible in the crowd. It seems support for the ‘Boy from Cologne’ is certain in his new home.”
“Thanks to Poldi’s tremendous debut, Kobe now has 29 points and the chance to come in third in their division – which would qualify them for the Asian Champions League.”
“The Rhenish optimist with the heart of a fighter is keen to help Kobe go all the way to the Asian Champions League. With his first two goals in the J-League, Podolski made the first steps there, even if the task for the club remains challenging.”
“In the first half of the season, Podolski was wearing shoes adorned with a picture of the hero from ‘Captain Tsubasa,’ the famous Japanese manga.”
“The football-world champion stole Japanese fans’ hearts in his J-League debut. He scored two goals in his first match for Vissel Kobe – that’s as good as it gets!”
SZ-Online – World Champion warrior with manga shoes
“A tough left footer from 20 meters out, a header from inside the box, and it’s two goals for Lukas Podolski – that’s what they call a dream debut!”