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‘Great day out’

Poldi thrilled by first double strike for Reds

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Lukas Podolski unquestionably enjoyed his Whitsun holiday weekend. Following Bayern’s victory in Duisburg, the Bayern striker made the short journey to the Rhineland to call on his parents and childhood friends, before watching his former club 1. FC Köln win promotion back to the top flight at home to Mainz on Sunday. Even more than that, the foundation for a profitable couple of days was his first two-goal haul in a Bayern jersey.

Podolski’s brace at the MSV Arena took just two minutes to complete. The first on 18 minutes was a header, his first such goal for Bayern, before he slotted home with his favoured left foot some 120 seconds later. “I’ve scored twice, and that makes it a great day,” he summed up concisely afterwards.

Personal highlight in Duisburg

The 22-year-old topped the stats on Saturday with seven shots at goal, and was a trifle unlucky not to add to his personal tally in the second half. “I’m annoyed at not scoring one or two more,” he confessed, although he had no reason to be dissatisfied. “Lukas is getting better and better,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld recently stated. Duisburg certainly represents the highlight of his season to date.

After getting his name on the scoresheet at home to Bielefeld in midweek, the Germany striker took his league total for the season to five on Saturday during a fifth Bundesliga start in the last seven fixtures. The 22-year-old has benefited from injuries to first-choice duo Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose, but has made sure to seize the chance put his way.

Targeting a regular berth

He is keen to continue the positive trend. “My clear goal is to start next season as a regular,” he declared more emphatically than ever before via his homepage. Goals are the best argument in his favour. “His confidence has taken a real boost recently,” Germany boss Joachim Löw commented recently.

Just as his form was beginning to pick up in mid-April, Podolski became a father for the first time. Starting a family with his partner Monica may well represent an important step on the way to the Cologne lad settling once and for all in Bavaria. “I have the feeling Lukas is slowly but surely at home in Munich, and Cologne is moving a little further away all the time,” Uli Hoeneß remarked in late February – although a holiday weekend visit to his former stamping ground cannot have done any harm.