Lukas Podolski says Euro 2012 will hold extra significance for him because it is being co-hosted by his native Poland.
The 27-year-old was born in the industrial town of Gliwice, located 15 miles away from Katowice, before moving to Germany when he was only two.
He has since gone on to win 96 caps for the German national side, scoring 43 goals in the process, and become one of the first names on coach Joachim Loew’s team sheet.
Podolski, who recently joined for Arsenal from Bundesliga side Cologne, said playing in Poland has given him an extra shot of confidence going into the tournament and believes it could work to Germany’s advantage.
“Tournaments are always something special to me. They are very attractive, just like the matches, the stadiums and the atmosphere,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I think I played well in the last couple of tournaments and contributed towards the results. I want to do exactly the same now in Poland and Ukraine.
“(I have even more confidence) because Euro 2012 is staged in Poland, the place of my birth.
“Our first three matches are in Ukraine, but if we finish first in our group then the quarter-final will be staged in Poland.”
Germany last tasted success in a major tournament 16 years ago after emerging victorious from Euro 96 and are being tipped as one of the favourites to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy this time around.
They were beaten finalists four-years ago, losing 1-0 to Spain, but Podolski believes the current squad has ‘evolved’ and will go all out to be crowned kings of Europe.
“I think we have evolved sufficiently to stand a chance. In the past, they said Germany was good, but we didn’t win anything for a few years,” he said.
“This time for Euro 2012 I think we can say we are ready and that we will do everything we can to get into the final in Warsaw.”
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