Football: 'Prince' Podolski looking to become Malaysian Super League royalty

Top: Vissel Kobe forward Lukas Podolski attempting to get the better of Kashima Antlers defender Tomoya Inukai in the Emperor's Cup final in Tokyo earlier this month. Vissel Kobe won 2-0 even though a Podolski goal was ruled out. Above: Podolski posi
Vissel Kobe forward Lukas Podolski attempting to get the better of Kashima Antlers defender Tomoya Inukai in the Emperor's Cup final in Tokyo earlier this month. Vissel Kobe won 2-0 even though a Podolski goal was ruled out.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Top: Vissel Kobe forward Lukas Podolski attempting to get the better of Kashima Antlers defender Tomoya Inukai in the Emperor's Cup final in Tokyo earlier this month. Vissel Kobe won 2-0 even though a Podolski goal was ruled out. Above: Podolski posi
Podolski posing with Johor Darul Takzim owner and Crown Price of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, at the club. The 2014 World Cup winner posted the photo on his Twitter account on Wednesday.PHOTO: TWITTER/PODOLSKI10

JOHOR BARU • Pablo Aimar, Bosko Balaban, George Boateng and Luciano Figueroa - the list of top-level footballers to ply their trade in the Malaysia Super League may yet have a new addition.

Social media was abuzz yesterday after reigning league champions Johor Darul Takzim appeared to close in on the signing of Lukas Podolski.

The 2014 World Cup winner with Germany posted a picture which showed him posing with the club's owner and Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, with the caption "Prince meets Prince".

Johor posted multiple pictures of the forward at their Sultan Ibrahim Stadium ground on their Facebook page, with the headline: "Podolski in the house!"

The prince also mentioned their meeting on his Instagram video story.

However, it remains to be seen if the 34-year-old player will join the club's ranks as Johor already have a full foreign contingent (five) for the upcoming season, including Lions captain Hariss Harun.

Tunku Ismail told local website Semuanya Bola: "Yes, he contacted me expressing his interest in joining. There are still some hurdles left. At the moment, we can't make a decision... It's possible we will work together in another way."

Podolski, who is contracted to the J-League's Vissel Kobe, will be the biggest name to play in Malaysia if he moves to Johor.

Known for having a hammer of a left peg, the former Cologne youth-team product has starred for the likes of Bundesliga powerhouses Bayern Munich and Arsenal in the Premier League.

 
 

The forward won a Bundesliga title and the German League Cup with Bayern. He was also part of the 2013/14 Gunners side that lifted the FA Cup.

Prior to joining Vissel Kobe in 2017, Podolski spent two seasons with Turkish giants Galatasaray.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2020, with the headline ''Prince' Poldolski looking to become MSL royalty'. Print Edition | Subscribe