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Man United players celebrate

The Toe Poke
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 By Chris Wright

Lukas Podolski 'cow heart' advert angers animal rights campaigners

A new, rather gory Adidas advert campaign for the World Cup starring the likes of Davi Alves, Diego Costa, Arjen Robben and Lukas Podolksi has been heavily criticised by animal rights groups.

The adverts show various players clutching bloody, disembodied cow hearts along with the tag-line "My heart for my country."

As well as being just the wrong side of gory for many people's taste, the adverts have been admonished in Adidas' native Germany by animal rights campaign group Four Paws, who criticised Podolski for his involvement.

According to the Daily Mail a spokesperson for Four Paws said:

"[Podolski] says he'd give his heart but it wasn't his heart was it? It was the heart of an innocent animal. If this was supposed to be some sort of PR stunt, then it misses the point. It's bad enough that animals are slaughtered for food but to parade a heart, dripping blood and gore, is hardly a good way to advertise a sporting goods firm."

However, Podolski has defended the adverts and the message he was attempting to put across.

"I don't find it disgusting," Podolski said. "It just shows my promise to give my heart in our bid to win the World Cup. I and the rest of the team will give it all for Germany."

Okay, just promise us you'll try to keep your visceral organs on the inside during the World Cup, eh Lukas?

There's a good fellow.