Lukas Podolski, Rakuten and 20,000 fans celebrate the World Cup in Cologne

With 130 international matches, 49 goals and one remarkable World Cup Championship to his name, Lukas Podolski has more than earned his place in the pantheon of German national team greats.

Now two years since retiring from international play, the man known affectionately as Poldi may be building his legend in new ways: This time as one of Germany’s premier party hosts.

On June 23, the legendary forward traveled from Kobe, Japan, where he plays for the Rakuten-owned J.League squad Vissel Kobe, alongside new recruit and fellow World Cup legend Andres Iniesta, to his hometown of Cologne to host “Poldi’s Public Viewing Party – presented by Rakuten.”

Poldi showed off his famous left foot at a shootout game on the grounds of the event.
Poldi showed off his famous left foot at a shootout game on the grounds of the event.

The live-viewing event saw 20,000 enthusiastic fans show up to cheer on Germany in their World Cup match with Sweden, and, oddly enough, was a first-time experience for Poldi himself.

“Finally I can experience this live. And, what is more, in my hometown Cologne! As a player, I always had to play and only knew of these kinds of parties from TV,” admitted a jubilant Podolski at the event.

Together with fans, he also made the most of Rakuten Germany’s diverse entertainment program, including performances from famous German musicians, a skills demo from Poldi and even a little musical performance from the organizer himself, who sang “Liebe deine Stadt!” (love your city) live on stage.

While the German team was ultimately unable to duplicate their previous World Cup glory, there’s no question that “Poldi’s Public Viewing Party – presented by Rakuten” was a fun fan event to be remembered by all.

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