There is a unique stipulation with soccer at the Olympic games where a country may have three players over the age of the U-21 restrictions. With the summer Olympics slated for Tokyo, Japan in 2020, Germany might roster a player who knows something about winning international competitions and Japan itself: Lukas Podolski.
Podolski, who was a part of the 2014 World Cup-winning side for Germany, currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan’s J1 League and is reportedly under consideration to be one of the three “older” players allowed on the rosters per a report by Express (Germany).
The dream of Olympic Gold 2020 in Tokyo lives with Germany’s U21. Despite the missed title defense in the loss against Spain in European Championship final, the team and coach Stefan Kuntz (56) are already looking forward to the tournament. And now a plan is taking shape: Japan expert Lukas Podolski (34) could become part of the team!
Sport 1 captured a quote (via Express) from Podolski regarding the opportunity:
The Olympics in Japan, the country that I have come to love and appreciate in the last few years, no question: that would of course be a huge honor for me.
Podolski had retired from international competition in March of 2017 after the Euro 2016 championships, but could be a sentimental pick to provide veteran leadership during the Olympics.
With three spots available, it will be interesting if coach Stefan Kuntz sends any feelers to Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels, or Jerome Boateng to compete with the U-21s as well. Per Express, Kuntz “did not want to close any idea.”
In the 2016 Olympics, where Germany secured a silver medal, coach Horst Hrubesch used Lars Bender, Sven Bender, and Nils Petersen as his three choices.