(AFP) – Jun 6, 2008
TENERO, Switzerland (AFP) — Germany's Polish-born striker Lukas Podolski says he will treat Sunday's Euro 2008 game against Poland with the same fierce desire to see his side win in style.
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.
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 Loew 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 Loew 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 to win it."
Poland have been strengthened by Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker and are expected to present Germany with a tough test as Loew'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% and work hard I am sure we will win," he said.
Podolski is one of three players in the squad, alongside striker Miroslav Klose and winger Piotr Trochowski, who were born in Poland.
History favours the Germans because in the 15 meetings between the teams since 1933, Poland have yet to win, while Germany have won 11 of them with the other four finishing in draws.
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