NEW YORK: The fake news website Breitbart has apologised to Lukas Podolski after using a picture of the German World Cup-winning veteran to illustrate an item about human trafficking.

Podolski, now playing in Japan with Vissel Kobe, is unimpressed.

Agent Nassim Touihri said that the German striker “would not let his image be exploited [and] his his lawyer was studying the next step.”

The player’s mainstream career included spells with Bayern Munich (2006-09) and Arsenal (2012-15).

Breitbart changed the picture with the item and stated: “This image appeared as an illustration of a person on a jet ski. Breitbart London [the London branch of the Los Angeles site] wishes to apologise to Mr Podolski. There is no evidence that Mr. Podolski is a member of a gang of migrants or trafficking in human beings.”