Arsenal legend Lukas Podolski has spoken about “the most beautiful feeling in the world” as he became a dad for the third time.
The 2014 World Cup champion revealed via social media the birth of a girl called Ella yesterday (24th January).
According to German media, Ella was born last Friday (20th January).
The birth took place in Zabrze, southern Poland, where the 37-year-old has played for top-flight side Gornik Zabrze for 18 months.
The striker told German daily Bild: “Becoming a dad is always something very, very special.
“Actually, it’s the most beautiful feeling! We are delighted about welcoming the fifth member of our family.”
Podolski – who spent three seasons at the Emirates until 2015 – added: “Everyone who knows me is well aware that my kids and my family mean everything to me. They are the reason that I am where I am today.”
While Bild called the occasion “Poldi’s sweetest hat-trick,” the image showing the footballer looking into the eyes of his baby girl as he holds Ella in his arms gathered around 145,000 likes on Instagram.
Podolski commented on the photograph saying: “Already Daddy’s girl. Welcome Podolski Nr. 5 #prouddaddy #family”
A Polish supporter commented “Happy birthday to the whole family of this beautiful angel”
One of his German fans joked: ” Congrats! Your pension’s secured.”
Podolski – who was born in the Polish city of Gliwice – relocated with his family to Bergheim near Cologne at the age of two in 1987. He earned 130 caps and scored 49 goals for the German national team between 2004 and 2017.
Podolski has a 14-year-old son called Louis. His daughter Maya is six. He tied the knot with Monika in April 2011. They started dating in 2004.
Their elder children were not born in Poland where his family originates from.
The former Bayern Munich star told Bild: “The fact that Ella has been born in Poland means a lot to us as parents.”
Upon joining Gornik Zabrze, Podolski posted a message on Instagram saying “#BackHome.”
He revealed at that time: “It has been my dream to retire at Gornik.”
According to online research from 2013, his Arsenal jersey was among the 10 most popular merchandise items of the Premier League.
The Gunners won the FA Cup twice during Podolski’s spell with the club.