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Lukas Podolski Net Worth: How Did the Former Arsenal Star Grew his Fortune?

Lukas Podolski Net Worth: How Did the Former Arsenal Star Grew his Fortune?

If you remember the Arsenal 2012 lineup under the ever-astute Arsene Wenger, you might be familiar with a certain German left-footed player, with an infectious smile, holding the middle of the pitch for the Gunners. Wearing the number 9 on his red jersey, the back of it proudly displayed the name “Podolski”.

Lukas Podolski enjoyed a significant spell with the Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich, featuring in 106 games where he found the net 26 times and provided 20 assists before making his move to an English club in 2012. Subsequently, Podolski spent three years with the Gunners, participating in 82 matches and tallying 31 goals during his tenure.

Arsenal certainly compensated the German midfielder handsomely for his contributions. According to Spotrac, Podolski held the title of the highest-paid athlete within the Arsenal squad and ranked as the third-highest earner in the league, trailing behind only Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney. His annual salary stood at a noteworthy £8,204,000.

Fast forward to 2024, the 38-year-old forward is now playing for Gornik Zabrze in the Polish top-flight after stints at Turkish club Galatasaray and Japanese club Vissel Kobe. Surely, the sharpness on the field may have waned, and the hairline may have receded over the years, but one aspect that has soared high is Lukas Podolski’s net worth.

Per The Sun, Lukas Podolski’s net worth has surged to nearly a staggering £180 million. But this is not just for his prowess on the field but also his entrepreneurial mindset outside of it. Podolski has diversified into various business ventures outside of his playing career, boasting his net worth to unprecedented heights.

To kickstart his business endeavors, the German star has ventured into the food industry, specifically focusing on establishing kebab outlets.

Infact, one of his most prominent ventures is his kebab shop, known as Mangal Doner. This endeavor, which began in 2018 alongside two co-owners, was initially launched in the Belgian district of Cologne, the town of Podolski’s first professional club. Fast forward to February 2024, Podolski has expanded his empire to include 30 Mangal Doner franchises across Germany, with four of them proudly situated in his hometown of Cologne.

And this is not the ceiling for the kebab shop. Speaking to German magazine 11 Freunde, he revealed, “I back this project 100%, and will help where I can help. I want to continue developing this project. I always put my foot to the floor!”

It is surprisingly refreshing that a man with 130 Germany caps to his name and a World Cup winners medal is happy to serve kebabs alongside the rest of his colleagues. But truth be told, Podolski’s kebabs have become quite the sensation. The star attraction is the “Podolski Sandwich,” featuring generous portions of doner meat and salad, all available for a fee of £6.77.

Hundreds of fans eagerly lined up outside Lukas Podolski’s new kebab restaurant, not just for the delectable cuisine but also for the chance to catch a glimpse of their city’s beloved icon.

But kebabs are not the first food outlet opened by the former Galatasaray star in Cologne. The year before in 2017, he opened an ice cream parlor and dessert brand named ‘Ice Cream United’ in the vibrant “Belgisches Viertel” (known as the place to be for eating, drinking, and socializing) in Cologne, Germany.

Since then, the intensely flavored and low-sugar ice cream has also thrilled people in Cologne. The name itself, Ice Cream United, alludes to the wide variety of frozen treats available, spanning from traditional gelato to Speiseeis and Eisbecher. Among its highlights is the renowned “Poldi sandwich,” artfully crafted with homemade brioche, complemented by beloved Italian flavors like chocolate and Tahitian vanilla.

When questioned by the local Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper about whether his ownership of ice cream and kebab businesses set a poor example as a professional athlete, Podolski confidently responded that he had no worries.

“As an athlete, you’ll burn an ice cream for dessert or a kebab in around 10 minutes.”, clarified the footballer.

He added: “Opening a five-star restaurant isn’t my style — I’m not the type that wears a suit.” “Ice cream and doner kebabs – I love it!” exclaimed Podolski.

Talking to 11 Freunde, Podolski revealed his involvement with his new businesses, saying: “Other folks head to the golf course after training and just hang around there all day long. I sell ice cream, kebabs, and clothing, have fun, and everyone can take something home.”

The German international appears to be quietly savoring life off the field.

Besides his culinary ventures, the German international has quite a diverse portfolio, extending from entertainment to clothing lines.

Following his retirement from international duty in 2016, Podolski ventured into the fashion industry by launching his own streetwear-inspired clothing line called Strassenkicker. The collection includes a variety of items such as caps, beanies, T-shirts, tracksuits, hoodies, and accessories, often featuring nods to his German hometown of Cologne. Furthermore, he partnered with sportswear brand hummel to release a clothing collection under the “LP10” line.

Speaking of his foray into the entertainment realm, Podolski also founded the “Glücksgefühle Festival” (meaning “feelings of happiness”) in 2023, a music festival held at the iconic Hockenheimring race track in Germany from September 15th to 17th.

The festival featured both renowned German and international artists, offering attendees four days of music, celebration, and new experiences with the theme “The Happiness is coming home.” Building on its success, the 2024 edition is scheduled for September 12th to 15th at the same venue, boasting a diverse lineup spanning pop, rock, hip hop, and EDM genres, with the Backstreet Boys headlining the event.

Remaining true to his roots, Podolski co-founded the “STRASSENKICKER Base” in collaboration with Rakuten, a sports and entertainment complex situated in Cologne, Germany. This innovative establishment, which opened its doors in July 2023, provides a diverse array of facilities and activities catering to a wide demographic.

From artificial grass pitches to a panna cage and futsal courts, the venue accommodates various sporting interests, including basketball and wheelchair sports. Additionally, for those interested in alternative forms of competition, the STRASSENKICKER Base features an e-gaming area.

Additionally, Podolski organizes the “Schauinsland Reisen Cup”, a charity football competition that brings together influencers, former players, and fans in a round-robin format. This tournament, held on an indoor football pitch (Futsal) at the Schwalbe Arena in Gummersbach, aims to raise funds for charitable causes for the Lukas Podolski Foundation. The foundation supports disadvantaged children and youth by providing access to sports facilities, coaching, and various other initiatives aimed at improving their well-being.

As Lukas Podolski approaches the twilight of his football career, he is gradually shifting his focus to his entrepreneurial endeavors. With time, it’s natural for him to explore a wider array of business ventures, potentially leading to extraordinary net worth figures down the line. Lukas Podolski’s journey serves as a source of inspiration, showcasing how a World Cup winner can transform into a successful business mogul.