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Podolski named captain for Japan’s Vissel Kobe

Tokyo (AFP) – German World Cup winner Lukas Podolski has been named captain of Japan’s Vissel Kobe football club for the coming season, the team announced Friday.

The 32-year-old joined the J-League club in Kobe last year after playing for Turkey’s Galatasaray since 2015.

“It’s a heavy responsibility to be appointed captain by any team, in any country,” Podolski said in German, according to a club spokesman. 

“The top priority is to bring results to the team,” he added.

“I’ll share my experience with everyone.”

Kobe goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa posted a photo of himself and Podolski on Twitter, with the caption: “Master and apprentice. I would like to learn from you.”

Podolski, a veteran of three World Cups and the scorer of 49 goals for Germany, arrived in Japan in early July on a contract reportedly worth $5.3 million a year.

He scored twice in his first game for the team, delighting fans.

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