March 2, 2024

Arsenal cult hero now worth £178m thanks to his empire of kebab shops | Football | Sport


Arsenal fans will remember Lukas Podolski as the striker who helped them to FA Cup glory, but the former German international is now renowned in his homeland for his chain of kebab shops. Podolski, 38, is still active in professional football with Polish side Gornik Zabrze, but it’s his off-field venture that is providing the most intrigue.

Podloski arrived in north London from FC Koln ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, and would go on to score 31 goals in 82 appearances for the Gunners. And his second season in England culminated in a Wembley appearance, with Arsene Wenger’s men beating Hull to end a period of nine years without silverware.

A loan move to Inter Milan cut short Podolski’s third season at Arsenal, but it was the subsequent two years in Turkey with Galatasaray that has seemingly inspired his new business empire. On social media, Euro Foot posted snaps of the star next to two of his outlets.

“Lukas Podolski owns 30 Kebab restaurants in Germany!” read the caption. “The kebab shops have helped raised his net worth to a reported £177.5m, as well as other businesses. The main inspiration was from experience in Istanbul with Galatasaray, where he played from 2015-2017.”

His menu includes the ‘Podolski Sadwich’, which comes with a heap of doner meat and salad. Indeed, it appears a vast contrast to promoting healthy lifestyle and physical fitness that many professional sportspersons embrace post-career.

And football fans appeared suitably impressed, with @SucreMamito replying “A real business man who planned for life after football.” @6godMikhey added “He’s turning defenders into customers!”

@dannybolton23 added “He also has big screens in them that just plays his goal highlights on repeat, absolute legend.” And referring to his three-year stint at Vissel Kobe between 2017 and 2020, @TommyNguyen96 asked “What are the chances of his kebab restaurants opening in England and Japan (he used to play there)?”

The entrepreneurial skills of the 2014 World Cup winner delve beyond the kebab shops. He also runs an ice cream parlour in Cologne, and has organised events such as football tournaments and music festivals.

In June 2021, the forward was also announced as a surprise judge for the 15th season of Das Supertalent, the German version of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. He was the first professional footballer to ever be employed in the role by Simon Cowell. 



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