Low pulls out all the stops for Podolski
If sporting careers, like political ones, tend to end in failure then nobody told Germany's Lukas Podolski, who was afforded a hero's farewell in Dortmund yesterday.
Having announced his retirement after Euro 2016, the 31-year-old was ready to end his long association with the national side on a low-key note before heading to Japan to play out his autumn years.
But Joachim Low had no intention of letting the country's third-highest goalscorer - he has netted 48 times in 129 appearances - depart without a lap of honour and summoned him for one last cap against old rivals England tonight.
Podolski took his place beside Low at a pre-match press conference at the German Football Museum, an adieu as respectful and good-humoured as any player could hope for, and looked on in surprise as a big screen beamed a tribute montage in his honour to a packed auditorium.
"It's been 13 wonderful and awesome years.
"I'm very proud," he said bashfully, after watching the compilation.
"It's hard not to get into a melancholy mood when I think about going into the dressing room for the last time, seeing my kit for the last time, warming up for the last time. But I look back with pride having come to Germany from Poland at two-and-a-half. It's a fantastic thing to happen to anyone."
There was more.
Asked by a journalist if Podolski would be honoured with the captain's armband at a sold out Westfalenstadion, Low nodded his assent before adding, "no question".