Lukas Podolski has received an apology from ultra-conservative news website Breitbart, who used an image of the ex-Germany international alongside a story about illegal immigration, with the striker threatening legal action.
The website originally published an article entitled “Spanish Police Crack Gang Moving Migrants on Jet-Skis” with a picture of the ex-Arsenal star on a jet-ski before it was swiftly changed.
The picture showed Podolski on a jet ski which was taken at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where the German team were enjoying a day off.
The 32-year-old Podolski, who now plays for Japanese side Vissel Kobe and made his final international appearance in March, has been in touch with his lawyer.
“It’s a mess. Lukas distances himself from it and won’t let himself be exploited,” Podolski’s manager Nassim Touihri told German daily Bild.
“Our lawyer is already involved.”
The wrongly-used picture was shared widely on social media before the website amended the article.
“A previous version of this story included an image of Lukas Podolski on a jet ski,” read an Editor’s Note.
“This image appeared as an illustration of a person on a jet ski.
“Breitbart London wishes to apologise to Mr. Podolski.
“There is no evidence Mr. Podolski is either a migrant gang member, nor being human trafficked.
“We wish Mr. Podolski well in his recently announced international retirement.”