Euro 2012: Poland have Podolski's conditional support

Updated: 16 June 2012 11:48 IST

Polish-born Germany forward Lukas Podolski has said he will be cheering on Poland in their bid to beat the Czech Republic on Saturday, but then hopes to knock them out of Euro 2012.

Euro 2012: Poland have Podolski's conditional support
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Gdansk:

Polish-born Germany forward Lukas Podolski has said he will be cheering on Poland in their bid to beat the Czech Republic on Saturday, but then hopes to knock them out of Euro 2012.

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Co-hosts Poland take on the Czechs in Group A at Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw, with Poland needing to win to reach the quarter-finals.

Likewise, Germany, who have already beaten Portugal and Holland in Group B, need a point against Denmark in Lviv, Ukraine, on Sunday to be sure of reaching the last eight.

Victory over the Danes would confirm Germany as group winners and set up a quarter-final clash in Gdansk against the Group A runners-up and Podolski said he is hoping the Germans meet, then beat, Poland.

"From all the teams, I have watched Poland the most as they are closest to my heart and I want them to go through to the quarter-final stage," said Podolski, who is set to win his 100th cap for Germany against the Danes.

"I saw the Poland v Russia game (which finished 1-1) and it was a superb fight, I will cross my fingers for them in the Czech Republic game.

"They could meet us in the quarter-finals, but that will be their final destination, unfortunately."

Having come to Germany as a child, Podolski's 27th birthday fell on June 4, the day Germany arrived at their Euro 2012 base, and at their first training session in Gdansk, around 8,000 fans sang "Happy Birthday" to him in Polish.

Despite his strong ties to Poland, the Arsenal-bound forward insists he is focused solely on Germany as Joachim Loew's team aim to win their fourth European crown in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev on July 1.

Having lost the Euro 2008 final to champions Spain and finished third at the last two World Cups, Podolski says the Germans need to win a major title to confirm their growing reputation as one of the world's best teams.

"We are amongst the favourites, we have great potential, but there are two or three other teams who could be in the final just as well," he said.

"We have caught up in the last few years to be amongst the top three teams, all we need to confirm this is a title so we can lift the trophy."

Topics : Football Lukas Podolski Denmark Euro 2012 Alou Diarra Lech Poznan Germany Czech Republic Tennis Poland
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