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Vissel Kobe selects Lukas Podolski as captain for upcoming season

Kyodo

Former Germany national team striker Lukas Podolski will take the reins as captain of Vissel Kobe this coming season, members of the J. League eam announced Friday.

“It’s a heavy responsibility to be appointed captain by any team, in any country,” Podolski said after a practice in Okinawa Prefecture, speaking in German. “The top priority is to bring results to the team.”

The former Arsenal fan favorite was acquired by the J1 side from Turkish club Galatasaray last March and debuted in style with a brace in his opening match in July.

He had five goals in 15 appearances last season for Vissel, which finished ninth in the division.

The 32-year-old, who gave instructions to his teammates through physical gestures, said he has met various leaders but has his own style.

“I’ll share my experiences with everyone, including things other than soccer,” he said.

Podolski, who has played in the last three World Cups, was in Germany to undergo treatment to a left thigh injury and was unable to take part in December’s Emperor’s Cup, where Vissel lost to Cerezo Osaka in the semifinals.