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Podolski rules out immediate Cologne return after relegation

Lukas Podolski, President of the "Baller League", stands next to the pitch at Motorworld. Podolski has ruled out an immediate return to the relegated Bundesliga club in a management function even though his name is frequently mentioned in calls for changes in the club leadership. Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa
Lukas Podolski, President of the "Baller League", stands next to the pitch at Motorworld. Podolski has ruled out an immediate return to the relegated Bundesliga club in a management function even though his name is frequently mentioned in calls for changes in the club leadership. Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa

Cologne icon Lukas Podolski has ruled out an immediate return to the relegated Bundesliga club in a management function even though his name is frequently mentioned in calls for changes in the club leadership.

"I'm currently a long way from taking on a position at FC in the short term," Podolski told Friday's Bild paper.

Podolski joined Cologne as a 10-year-old and played for the first team 2003-2006 and 2009-2012, including one year in the second tier. The 2014 World Cup winner is still playing, at Gornik Zabrze in his birth country of Poland which he left with his parents for the Cologne region as an infant.

"I know that my name has come up a lot recently, and I've received a lot of calls myself. But I'm still playing football, I still enjoy it and I want to play for another year. Everything else is not an issue at the moment," he said.

"I've had a few calls, but I haven't joined any board teams. There is also no concrete offer for any position from Cologne."

Podolski, 38, did not rule out a return in the future, even though he has been snubbed by Cologne officials in the past.

For the moment, it is up to the current leadership to draw the right conclusions why the club was relegated from the top flight for a seventh time, beyond the exit of coach Timo Schutz, Podolski said.

"In the long term, I'm always open to helping the club. But then there have to be concrete talks. Not like now, when you're relegated, the mood has hit rock bottom, the euphoria is gone and then they remember that there's still Poldi," he said.

"That's not good enough for me."