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Ryan Bailey

Lukas Podolski carries a pacifier, eats pizza and beer

On Sunday evening, Lukas Podolksi did something that he struggled to do for most of last season with FC Köln: he scored a goal. "I have always been convinced of his qualities," said Jogi Löw after the demolition of Australia, smugly letting everyone know that he made the right choice in selecting the out-of-form forward.

Poldi's rediscovery of his talents, however, isn't down to the national manager and his ‘I would fit in as a parent on The OC' good looks. According to Bild, it's down to the fact that the Polish-born star has taken a pacifier to the tournament with him. More specifically, it's the pacifier shown in the picture above, which he proudly displayed to the German media after the match. It belongs to his son Louis, and it complements a bracelet that his ladyfriend Monika gave him two days before leaving for the tournament, which is inscribed with junior's name. Awww.

Shortly after displaying the lucky pacifier, Poldi joined the rest of his team on a chartered flight back to Pretoria, where they were rewarded with pizza and beer upon their arrival at 3.30am. That's right, they stayed up late into the night and enjoyed junk food and alcohol - hardly the behavior of a team concentrating fully on their next match, but perhaps such bonding activities are the reason for Die Mannschaft's famous team spirit. Either way, at training the following morning, Löw seemed to suggest that the game and extra-curricular activities had taken their toll: "The reserves had more energy than the guys who played," he said.

Image: Bild

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