2014 World Cup winner in Brazil, Podolski making a fortune in kebabs

From a successful World Cup in Brazil to a flourishing kebab chain in Germany, the footballer's entrepreneurial journey
Martín O'Donnell
2024-03-02 08:07:51

World champion in 2014 with Germany, Lukas Podolski has had a brilliant football career. But it’s in a completely different field that the forward has proven to be a true winner.

Indeed, during the World Cup in Brazil, Podolski could see how popular kebabs were on the streets of the host cities. Fascinated by this thriving market, he decided to venture into fast food upon his return. Instead of retiring from sports, he opened his first restaurant in Cologne, his hometown, in 2015.


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Instant success

The success was immediate, partly thanks to the notoriety of the German international. The recipe and quality of the products captivated consumers. Podolski then decided to expand his business and opened several other branches in the following years. Today, his “Mangal Döner” chain has over 30 restaurants spread throughout Germany.

A rapid expansion that has brought huge profits to the former player. According to some estimates, his personal fortune has reached 210 million euros, far ahead of the salaries he earned during his sports career. Leveraging his celebrity status, Podolski has managed to develop a true empire in the restaurant industry.

Still active on the field at nearly 40 years old with the Polish club Gornik Zabrze, he seems to have successfully anticipated his life after sports. It was finally after his World Cup victory in 2014 that he hit the jackpot… in kebabs!