sport

Podolski: Build on FA Cup win

Lukas Podolski is hoping that Arsenal's German contingent can build on their FA Cup glory at the World Cup this summer.

Podolski, along will fellow countrymen Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil, helped the Gunners claim their first piece of silverware in nine years as they overcame Hull City to win 3-2 after extra-time at last month.

All three have been named in Joachim Low's 23-man squad for Brazil and Podolski was on the scoresheet in Germany's final warm-up game as they brushed aside Armenia with a 6-1 win.

Arsenal ended the campaign on a seven-game unbeaten run - culminating in their Wembley victory - and Podolski says that could give them an advantage in Brazil.

"Of course it is good to go into the World Cup on the back of this," he told The Sun.

"It was also good for Mesut and Per. Maybe this can help us, as we have the experience of a good season.

"You cannot win the World Cup with a team of 20-year-olds. You need a mix. Our coach has been here for eight years and he knows we need a balance.

"We are one of the favourites to win the World Cup. There are so many strong teams and the decisive moment could be one decision."

Podolski also backed Ozil to shine in Brazil after a mixed debut season at Arsenal following his switch from Real Madrid last summer.

"Mesut will go into the World Cup in good spirits. It was his first season in England. It was difficult at times but he did well," he said.

"He is a great player and will adapt to the Premier League, just you wait and see."

Injury ruled Podolski out for four months in the opening months of the campaign, but he returned to the side after Christmas and was able to take his tally to 12 goals for the season.

The 29-year-old, who is Germany's third most-capped player, is now raring to go this summer and thinks that there could be a few Arsenal fans cheering on his country.

"For me, it was not easy after getting a hamstring injury. When I was fully fit, I think I actually played better than my first season.

"At the end of the season, I came back strong. I played every game and contributed a few assists.

"There are a few Germans at Arsenal and we show the fans respect and they support us really well. Maybe a few will support us - along with England - at the World Cup.

"It is important to have young and old players in an international team. You need a good mix.

"When I was playing for Germany at a young age, it was just me and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Now there are younger players and we are the older ones."