GERMANY’S Lukas Podolski will receive an appropriate farewell when the world champion plays England in a high-quality friendly today with the winger having become one of the country’s all-time greats Dede Westbrook Youth Jersey , coach Joachim Loew said yesterday.
Podolski, who is hugely popular among German fans, is set to earn his 130th and final cap and start as captain for the first time.
Germany will be missing several players through injury with Loew looking towards Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan with his side top after four straight wins.
The 31-year-old Podolski, who made his debut back in 2004, is his country’s third most-capped player and is also fourth in the all-time scorers’ list with 48 goals.
“He is a unique specimen, no one can really replace him,” Loew told reporters. “For me it will be a beautiful moment but a sad one because he was one of the greatest players ever to come out of Germany.
“Lukas and myself have gone a long road together,” said Loew, who has coached Podolski for all of his 13 years with the national team as assistant coach and then head coach since 2006. “We have gone over many hurdles, many tournaments, disappointments but also the biggest joy as coach and player with the World Cup victory in 2014. So the stage tomorrow is appropriate. Germany against England is the right atmosphere.”
Asked what made Germany so successful over the years, Podolski said it may have been sticking with the same coach over a decade.
“Maybe the main reason is that we have a good coach for more than ten years and after 2004 we started a road which maybe other nations did not start,” he said.
England have had six coaches over the same period.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A flying man, driven by a few powerful water jets at his feet, flew up after emerging from a swimming pool and mounting on a float.
In another moment of the show, a large drone decorated as a flying saucer soared above the dancers, adding fun and splendidness to Sambadrome, Rio's internationally famous parade performance during carnival which ended on Tuesday night.
The performance of Portela samba school, along with other schools, stunned the 72,500 spectators in Rio, with creativeness involving various tricks. The performers also added a touch of magic and amazement to win judges' heart at Sambadrome, also a competition.
Performers from Salgueiro samba school dressed up as typical rascal characters in the city's most traditional neighborhoods, depicting prostitution, illegal betting and nightclubs in their dance.
As always, Salgueiro made an effort to put together a happy and catchy song, performed by dancers in the 70-minute-long show.
The highlight of Villa Isabel school's performance was its "drum queen," a well-known local television presenter Sabrina Sato, who wore a stunning gold costume that caught sunlight while she was dancing.
The Sao Clemente school dedicated their performance to clowns, with various colors, games and surprises for the public.
However, it suffered a mishap when their "drum queen" slipped and fell close to the judges.
For the competition, slight differences in the points could decide between winning and losing the championship title. For a small school like Sao Clemente, the slippage could mean relegation to the second division if the judges deemed it necessary.
The champion will be announced after the 36 judges have graded each performance based on criteria such as costumes, floats, music and themes.
Sambadrome choreographer and designer Paulo Barros, famous in the Rio carnival for his special effects, choreography, costume and carriage design, has become one of the biggest award winners in recent years.
The star likes to involve vehicles and lots of people in his choreography but is also criticized by traditional audiences for deemphasizing samba dance.
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