Podolski left fuming over 'mascot' jibes


Lukas Podolski was left angered by criticism of his inclusion in Germany's 23-man squad for the upcoming Euro 2016. 

Social media users were surprised by Podolski's call-up, despite Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus being left out of the tournament due to injury. 

Podolski scored 13 goals for Galatasaray in 2015-16, including the winner in their 1-0 Turkish Cup final win over rivals Fenerbahce. 

The 30-year-old hit back at claims he is only going to France as a "mascot", and believes he can play a big part in Germany's push for a first European Championship in 20 years.

"I'm not going as a mascot as some people have described it," Podolski said. 

"I find it shows a total lack of respect. I've got over 100 caps. To describe me as a mascot, I think that's out of order.

"I've got a lot of experience and had a good season in Turkey."

He added: "I'm fit, injury-free and my goal is to win the Euros."

Podolski has scored 48 goals in 127 appearances for Germany, with his last strike coming in a 2-2 international friendly draw with Australia in March 2015.

Germany have been drawn in Group C for the Euros alongside Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland.