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Soccer star Lukas Podolski helps deliver financial assist for German hockey team

Koelner Haie - training

COLOGNE, GERMANY - JANUARY 10: Lukas Podolski during the training at the Rheinenergiestadion on january 10, 2019 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by City-Press via Getty Images)

City-Press via Getty Images

The promise from Lukas Podolski was simple. If fans of German league side Kolner Haie could sell 100,000 virtual tickets, the international soccer star would suit up for the team in the future.

Well, mission accomplished as the money will benefit the club as it experiences the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. No fans are currently allowed in arenas there, which generates about 80% of their revenue, according to the team.

“I am extremely happy for the Haie, that we got the 100.000 tickets. I just want to say thank you to all the people and companies that helped us,” said Podolski, who grew up in Cologne. “Once everything is a little more calm we’ll sit together with the club to see how this continues. Whatever it will look like: I am looking forward to being a Haie player.”

The DEL season will drop the puck Dec. 17 for the first time since March.

Former NHLer Jonathan Matsumoto and current Kolner Haie forward has even offered his No. 10 to Podolski to wear.

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The 35-year-old Podolski is currently playing for Antalyaspor in Turkey after spending time with European powers like Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Galatasaray. Internationally, he represented Germany 130 times and was part of their 2014 World Cup winning team.

This isn’t the first time Podolski has helped out his local team. He also dropped the puck before Kolner Haie’s 2019 outdoor game against Dusseldorfer EG.

Maybe if this all works out we can get a one-on-one showdown between Lukas Podolski and former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, who suited up for the Guildford Phoenix of the United Kingdom’s National Ice Hockey League last year.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.