German legend Lukas Podolski today made a dream debut for new club Vissel Kobe, scoring twice in his side’s 3-1 victory over Omiya Ardija.
Having lined out for the likes of Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Inter Milan over the course of his career, 130-time capped German international Podolski announced his surprise decision to join Japanese J-League side Vissel Kobe this past March, following a 2-year stint with Turkish giants Galatasaray.
And today, following weeks of marketing campaigns and media frenzy surrounding the 32-year-old in Japan, Podolski made his first appearance for his new side one to remember.
Having started up-front alongside Kazuma Watanabe for Vissel, the Die Mannschaft veteran didn’t take long to show his class, looking sharp and lively throughout the opening 45 minutes.
With Vissel and Omiya having come back out for the second-half with proceedings still goalless, a moment of magic looked needed to separate the sides, a moment which was dully provided by debutant Podolski.
Having picked the ball up 25 yards out in the 50th minute, the former Gunner smashed an unstoppable effort into the far right corner of Nobuhiro Kato’s net, leaving the Omiya goalkeeper with no chance.
Following a Marcelo Toscano equaliser for the away side less than ten minutes later, Podolski sent the Noevir Stadium Kobe into raptures with his second of the match just past the hour mark, nodding home a towering header over a pair of opposing defenders.