Lonely Planet Writer

From Gunners to doners, Lukas Podolski opens kebab shop in Cologne

Former Arsenal and Bayern Munich star Lukas Podolski has opened a kebab in his hometown of Cologne. Hundreds of fans queued to get a glimpse of the World Cup winner at the opening of the Mangal Doner, where Podolski happily posed for photos, signed autographs, served customers and even had a go at cutting the meat. The footballer was thrilled to receive the support, tweeting his gratitude.

German soccer star Lukas Podolski attends the opening of a doner shop in Cologne. Image by Henning Kaiser/dpa

Podolski has become quite an entrepreneur around Cologne, where he already owns a clothes shop and an ice cream parlour, called ‘Ice Cream United’. When asked what spurred him to open the Mangal Doner, he mused that these ideas just come to him, although he is likely to have developed a taste for the popular meal during his two-year spell with Galatasaray in Istanbul. He will run the shop along with his two fellow co-owners as the forward currently lives in Japan for most of the year, playing for Vissel Kobe.

https://twitter.com/Podolski10/status/950795772521525249

Nicknamed ‘Prinz Poldi’ by his fans, Podolski is much loved in Cologne where he still organises and sometimes attends a summer football camp for children. He is considered a legend there after starting his very successful footballing career at the local club in 2003. The feeling is clearly mutual with Podolski still holding the city and stadium very dear.

Being the third most-capped player in German history and having scored the fastest goal in German national team history, it is likely Germans from far and wide will travel to grab a bite at Podolski’s latest business venture. Why not go and find the Mangal Doner in Cologne’s trendy Chlodwigplatz area in amongst some sightseeing? Who knows, you might catch the famous finisher behind the counter – worst case scenario, you just get a delicious treat!