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Mancini, Ronaldo sway Inter switch for Podolski


MILAN, Italy, January 8 – Roberto Mancini’s powers of persuasion and some tidbits of advice from Brazilian icon Ronaldo swayed Lukas Podolski in his decision to join Inter Milan on loan from Arsenal, the German World Cup winner said Thursday.

Podolski, who scored 31 goals in 82 appearances for Arsenal after arriving from Cologne in the summer of 2012, was officially unveiled by the Italian giants on Thursday days after completing his loan deal until the end of the season when he could move to the club permanently.

The 29-year-old said he can’t wait to help the struggling Serie A giants, currently 11th in Italy’s top flight, achieve their objective of qualifying for next season’s Champions League after a three-year absence.

But he admitted Mancini’s powers of persuasion, as well as a telephone call with former Inter striker Ronaldo, was decisive.

“I had three of four options on the table but Mancini being here was decisive for me,” Podolski told reporters.

“Inter are a top club. The welcome I’ve had since I came here has been unbelievable.”

He added: “Everyone knows Ronaldo… he’s my idol, of course I asked him a bit about Inter.

“Now I am here and my aim is to help the club. It’s crucial to focus on the challenge that lies ahead: Champions League football.

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“Obviously it’ll be a disappointment if we don’t qualify. We know the situation now is not good. We have to fight in every single game to make sure we finish in third place.”

Podolski had recently been given scant playing time by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, but thanked the Premier League club for giving him the chance to get back to playing regularly again.

“I want to thank Arsenal,” added Podolski. “I decided to make the switch because Inter offered me the chance. I’m feeling great about the move.”

If all goes well, Podolski’s time at Inter — where he could soon team up with Bayern Munich forward Xherdan Shaqiri, if his loan deal is confirmed — could also boost his chances of cementing a place in Joachim Loew’s German national team.

“I spoke with Joachim Loew about my move to Inter and we think it could help my job for National Team,” added Podolski.

Podolski made his debut for Inter after coming off the bench Tuesday to help secure a 1-1 draw away to champions Juventus.

He is expected to make his San Siro debut when Inter host high-flying Genoa on Sunday.

The signing of Podolski as well as the possible arrival of Shaqiri could, meanwhile, prompt the departure of Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, according to reports.

Osvaldo, on loan from Southampton after a largely fruitless five-month loan spell with Juventus last season, has struggled for playing time under Mancini and former Inter coach Walter Mazzarri since arriving at the club in the summer.

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An incident during a 1-1 draw with Juventus on Tuesday — when he made rude gestures at teammate Mauro Icardi and Mancini — has led to speculation the Argentine-born player could be on his way out of the club.

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  1. Anonymous

    January 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

    The civil society groups should lead by example, they are not that ‘clean’ after all, recently we witnessed their behavior in one DCJ

    • Oludavin

      January 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      DCJ is not yet guilty so stop character assasination.

  2. Annenjoroge_2001

    January 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

     YES INDEED.   They should show us an example.  they are not clean either,      and who is clean anyway if we go into details????…..wish i could talk my personal bitter truth with one of these people who is always in the front page talking about human rights…….mpake leo ninamdai pesa!!!   

  3. Matunday

    January 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Am I missing something here? Is this statement really true? That ”
    There is growing anxiety amongst Kenyans since last week as the date nears for the suspects to know their fate.”! Really? Why shoulder there be anxiety among Kenyans? Kenya is not on trial neither are all Kenyans. 6 kenyans are. So if anyone is to be anxious, the 6 should.

    If you told me that Kenyans are anxious because of war in Somali, then I would understand because Kenya is at war. Our soldiers are in Somali. Not at the ICC. No I am not anxious at all. 

    I hate hypocracy. We are crucifying DCJ for a demeanour, yet we want to protect alleged crimes against humanity? Where is our collective sense of responsibility.
    Let everyone carry their respective crosses.
    Good day.

  4. victor oluoch

    January 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Uncertain future?….It’s simple they needed to resign till they are cleared but since they belong to the communities that rule this country even the president preferred to protect them than allow them to resign.

  5. Oludavin

    January 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    They should have quit long time ago, someo of them like Muthaura are old enough to have retired long time ago…Let the wait for public humiliations next week.

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