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.”
Neymar starred from beginning to end on his home debut for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring twice in a 6-2 thumping of Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
The Brazilian superstar had a hand in everything else his new side did at the Parc des Princes as they recovered from the shock of falling behind early on to a Max Gradel goal.
Neymar got the equaliser and helped set up Adrien Rabiot for the goal that gave PSG the lead 10 minutes before half-time, but the 222 million-euro ($261 million) man saved the best for the closing stages.
After Marco Verratti had been sent off to leave PSG down to 10 men, the ex-Barcelona forward won a penalty that Edinson Cavani converted for the hosts’ third.
He watched Javier Pastore make it four, set up Layvin Kurzawa for the fifth and scored a stunning goal, his second of the night, at the death to complete the rout.
It was PSG’s third win in as many league games this season and they join reigning champions Monaco and Saint-Etienne in having the maximum nine points to their name.
Saint-Etienne visit the French capital next weekend and will be dreading the prospect after this latest exhibition from PSG’s new superstar.
Neymar had a part in all of his side’s goals in last week’s 3-0 win at Guingamp, scoring one in his first game in French football since his stunning transfer, and he was again involved in everything here.
Gradel, making his first appearance for Toulouse after joining from Bournemouth, volleyed the away side in front in the 18th minute but Neymar had already seen a shot strike the top of the bar before that.
The Brazilian then saw a header tipped onto the post by Alban Lafont before he levelled matters just after the half-hour mark, setting up Rabiot for a shot that was pushed out by the away goalkeeper before following in to convert the loose ball.
The same duo combined as PSG went in front, Rabiot playing a one-two with Neymar before beating Lafont with a low strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
The second half was quieter before coming to life after Verratti was harshly shown a second yellow card for catching Christopher Jullien in the Toulouse area in the 69th minute.
Soon after, the referee gave a harsh decision the other way, awarding a penalty for a foul on Neymar when Toulouse striker Andy Delort appeared to play the ball.
Cavani made no mistake from the spot, the goal his 11th in his last 11 Ligue 1 games, but Toulouse quickly pulled another one back when the giant Jullien headed in from a corner with 12 minutes left to make it 3-2.
Yet there was to be no grandstand finish from the visitors, as instead substitute Pastore – the man who has lost his place to accommodate Neymar – curled in a superb fourth.
Neymar’s corner was then headed in by Kurzawa. But Neymar had to have the last word and somehow engineered himself space in the area before finishing to make it 6-2 and bring the Parc des Princes crowd to its feet.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Marcelo Bielsa suffered a second straight loss as Lille coach as his side crashed to a disappointing 2-0 home defeat against Caen.
Marseille extended their unbeaten league run to 14 matches but were frustrated by Angers in a 1-1 draw at the Stade Velodrome.
Radamel Falcao struck his fifth goal in three games on Friday to guide Monaco to a 1-0 win at Metz, while Saint-Etienne brushed aside newcomers Amiens 3-0 on Saturday.
Paris Saint-Germain’s world record signing Neymar will make his home debut against Toulouse on Sunday.
Over the last 40 seasons, seven Brazilians have made an immediate impact on their home bow for the French giants.
And while other Brazilians have had mixed success for the club, it will be interesting to see how Neymar performs this campaign after his record move from Barcelona.
In the video below, we see how Abel Braga, Vampeta, Cesar, Alex, Nene and other Brazilians performed on their home debuts.
Do you think Neymar will score at Parc des Princes on Sunday?