Podolski to join Japan's Vissel Kobe in June

Football Soccer - Germany v France - EURO 2016 - Semi Final - Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France - 7/7/16 Germany's Lukas Podolski before the game REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

TOKYO (Reuters) - World Cup winning German striker Lukas Podolski announced he will be joining Japanese club Vissel Kobe from Galatasaray at the end of the Turkish season.

The 31-year-old former Bayern Munich and Arsenal forward brought down the curtain on his 12-year international career last August, having played 129 matches and scored 48 goals for Germany.

"I can confirm that at the end of this season I will join Vissel Kobe from the J-League in Japan," Podolski wrote on his Instagram page.

"It's not a decision against Galatasaray, it's a decision I made for a new challenge, and I will explain more when the time is right."

While Chinese clubs has been spending huge amounts of money to lure top footballing talent to their Super League, Podolski is a rare high-profile foreign signing for a J League club.

Vissel Kobe, owned by online retailing giant Rakuten, finished runners-up in the second stage of the J League last year but failed to make it to the championship phase.

"We are very excited to have a world-class striker join the Vissel Kobe team," Rakuten co-founder Hiroshi Mikitani said in a news release.

"We have very high expectations of Podolski's ability to take the Vissel Kobe team to victory in the J League."

The current Turkish championship campaign runs until the end of May. The 2017 J League season started last weekend.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes