Bayern's Klose hits World Cup form
AFP · 16 Jan 2010, 16:16
Published: 16 Jan 2010 16:16 GMT+01:00
With 48 goals in 93 appearances for Germany, the 31-year-old has a deserved reputation as a lethal finisher having been both the top-scorer at the 2006 World Cup and also in qualification for this year's global tournament.
But Klose has struggled with injury this season which limited him to just eight Bundesliga starts and he began Friday's 2-0 win over Hoffenheim on the bench as third-choice striker for Bayern.
Having scored twice for Munich in the 3-1 friendly win over Basel last Tuesday, Klose then broke his Bundesliga drought with a late goal against Hoffenheim to prove his form to both Bayern coach Louis van Gaal and national handler Joachim Löw.
"My goal was to start 2010 well," said the Poland-born forward. "The warm-up friendly went well, and now I've scored again at last. I'm hoping to recapture my best form."
Klose is battling Germany team-mate Mario Gomez and Croatia forward Ivica Olic for one of the two strikers roles in Munich and Gomez admitted last week: "I always feel Miro breathing down my neck in training."
Bayern face title-rivals Bremen, mid-table Mainz, who beat them earlier this season, and defending champions Wolfsburg in the next few weeks, but van Gaal now has an abundance of strikers who are in form.
"It's very competitive among the forwards, but we all get on very well together," said Klose. "Our rivalry in training is hard but fair, and it's nice for the coach to
have such a great choice. The start to the second half of the season is challenging, but we want to extend our good run."
While Klose has had to prove himself at Bayern, he is without question Germany's number one striker in the eyes of national trainer Löw.
"I do not have any concerns about Miro," Löw told television channel ARD. "I have known him for a long time, he will play for Bayern throughout the rest of the season and will have match fitness under his belt."