FIFA World Cup: Miroslav Klose one goal away from making history
Berlin: Veteran German international striker Miroslav Klose heads into his fourth World Cup finals not content just with having become the all-time record national goalscorer but determined to leave Brazil as the record marksman in World Cup history.
Miroslav Klose. Pic/AFP
Klose, Poland-born but whose father moved to France and where he lived till he was eight before joining his footballing dad in Germany, became Germany's all-time top-scorer on Friday when he netted his 69th goal in his 132nd appearance in their 6-1 friendly thrashing of Armenia.
He bettered the previous record set by Gerd Mueller, who scored the winner in the 1974 World Cup final to claim his 68th goal in 62 appearances for West Germany.
Klose, who in an interview with a Polish newspaper in 2008 said he preferred to be called European rather than German or Polish, could return from Brazil as the all-time top scorer at World Cup finals as his 14 goals leaves him one short of retired Brazilian star Ronaldo's record of 15.
Klose was the top-scorer at the 2006 World Cup in Germany with five goals, having finished second with another five at the 2002 tournament, while he scored four in South Africa four years ago.
Targeting the record
"I hope to have the chance to score one or two goals, and anyone who knows me is aware that the World Cup scoring record is a target of mine," said Klose.
His longevity — he has been a constant presence since making his debut in 2001 — is remarkable and saw him celebrate his 36th birthday at the German base in Brazil on Monday which was feted in unusual fashion.
About 20 members of the local Indian tribe the Pataxos dressed in traditional grass skirts, feather head dresses and bows danced round Klose and sang to him.
While that should remain a memory etched in Klose's mind forever and the photograph of it one to show his twin boys Luan and Noah he has he still believes a future in the game post World Cup.
The number of goals striker Miroslav Klose has scored for Germany in 132 games
2002 (Korea & Japan)
Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia
> Klose scores a diving header on 20 minutes to make it 1-0 and five minutes later heads in his second for 2-0. He then heads in his third in the 69th minute.
Germany 1-1 Ireland
> Klose heads in the opener in the 19th minute.
Germany 2-0 Cameroon
> Michael Ballack sends in a perfect cross for Klose to head in for 2-0.
Germany 4-2 Costa Rica
> Klose restores Germany’s lead after 17 minutes. He then doubles his tally around the hour mark.
Germany 3-0 Ecuador
> Klose gives Germany an early lead in the 4th minute. He then rounds off the goalie to slot home his second minutes before half time.
Germany 1-1 Argentina
> Klose scores the equaliser in the dying minutes.
2010 (South Africa)
Germany 4-0 Australia
> Klose gets to the aerial ball before the Australian goalie to make it 2-0.
Germany 4-1 England
> Klose receives a long ball and calmly finishes it off.
Germany 4-0 Argentina
> Klose taps in from close range to make it 2-0. In the dying seconds of the match, he then finishes off a Mesut Ozil cross for his 14th World Cup goal.