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12:00 PM UTC Jun 23, 2018
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 By Ben Gladwell

Lukas Podolski drops Cologne hint

Arsenal trio Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski with the World Cup.

Lukas Podolski penned his name in the golden book of the city of Cologne on Wednesday, telling several thousand fans that he had won the World Cup for them.

The Arsenal forward returned to his birth city after Germany's World Cup triumph in Brazil to a hero's welcome. He was greeted by the city mayor in front of approximately 3,000 fans outside the City Hall, where he signed his name in the Goldenes Buch, an honour usually reserved to visiting dignitaries.

His name now appears alongside those of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Neil Armstrong and Pope John Paul II.

"Unfortunately I wasn't able to bring the trophy along with me, but I won it also for FC Cologne and the city," Podolski was reported as saying by Rundschau Online.  "You are also world champions."

Podolski said he had "goosebumps" addressing so many fans in his home town, and he said he hoped he would one day to return to play for Cologne for a third time. He came through their youth ranks before leaving for Bayern Munich in 2006 and had a second, three year spell with Die Geissbocke prior to joining Arsenal in the summer of 2012.

"Only re-joining Cologne would be more amazing than this, but I shouldn't say too much or else I'll get myself into bother," Podolski added. "I've just got to bring myself back down to earth."

The 29-year-old is contracted to the Gunners until 2016.

The forward played in two of Germany's group fixtures at the World Cup, against Portugal and the United States but was an unused sub in all four knockout games as Germany went on to beat Argentina 1-0 in the final.


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