KRYNICA, Poland (AFP) - Polish-born German international Lukas Podolski's hometown club Gornik Zabrze dreams of tapping his talents, its boss Lukasz Mazur says.
"Lukas Podolski was born in Silesia. He's a big fan of Gornik Zabrze. And maybe some day he'll come and play for us," Mazur told a football-themed panel at the Krynica Economic Forum, an annual gathering in Poland of politicians and business leaders dubbed the "Davos of the East".
Podolski, who now uses the German spelling of his first name, was born in 1985 in Gliwice, near Zabrze, in Poland's southern industrial belt of Silesia.
He and his parents emigrated to Germany when he was a toddler, and he started his career as a youngster at his current club FC Cologne.
He has stuck by his Polish heritage, however, and communicates with fellow Polish-born Germany player Miroslav Klose in their native tongue to confuse opponents.
As a teenager, Podolski even considered playing for Poland, but has said he was given the brush-off by the Polish football association.
Gornik Zabrze, founded as a team of coalminers in 1948, won a 14 Polish league titles from the late 1950s to the 1980s
They also flourished the European stage, making it to the final of the 1970 Cup Winners' Cup.
They fell on hard times recently, however, and were relegated in 2009.
Having made it back into the Polish top-tier Ekstraklasa this season, they now stand sixth in the 16-club division.
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