Klose to turn 'party animal' if Germany win

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 11 Jul, 2014 Updated Fri 11 Jul 2014 08:43 CEST
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The World Cup's top-scorer Miroslav Klose has threatened to abandon his strict fitness regime and become a "party animal" if Germany win Sunday's final in Brazil against Argentina.

The 36-year-old is the sole survivor from Die Mannschaft's last  World Cup final in 2002 and is eager to taste victory at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium in his fourth World Cup finals.

He scored a record 16th World Cup goal, his 71st for Germany, in Tuesday's 7:1 semi-final rout of Brazil.
The Poland-born striker is poised to win his 137th cap in Rio and says all his focus is on Argentina - but the World Cup title may stir his inner party animal.
"I can't really guarantee anything, but if we do win the trophy, I can imagine that I will relax and there is a party beast, even in me," he quipped on Thursday.

But 12 years after losing the 2002 final, the last thing the veteran wants is to add Rio heartache to the bitter defeat in Yokohama.
"We enjoyed the win against Brazil, but we ticked it off after 24 hours," said Klose.
"In the next game, we have to again play to the best of our abilities. It feels really awful to lose a final, so it's our time to win this one."
A diligent trainer, Klose puts his career longevity down to his daily fitness regime, and has a gym in his home.
Having made his debut in 2001, he equalled, then broke Ronaldo's record of 15 World Cup goals during Brazil 2014. But Klose said it will all count for nothing if Germany lose to Argentina.
"It's a hugely emotional thing for me, but people who know me, know that my focus is already on Argentina - 100 percent," he said.
"Yes, I have overtaken Ronaldo as the best goal-scorer, but that is something to take on board another day.
"If we lose the final, my joy as the top-scorer will be significantly dampened."
Despite having witnessed Brazil's Ronaldo score both goals in their 2:0 victory, Klose said he will not use the 2002 defeat as motivation.
He says the current squad are unified in their desire to become world champions.
"That was 12 years ago and I was really young, then as now, I just try to soak everything up, but you can't compare the two matches," said Klose.
"Each match is unique, especially for a final. The key factor here has been the performances in training. You see the degree of respect and commitment the squad has for each other.
"There is no 'B team' or 'A team', where the first team are sure of their places, and there is little difference between the guys on the bench and those on the pitch.
"'Team spirit' is not an empty expression, no one is begrudging towards the others. They are all very professional and mature, even if some of them are only 25 or 26."

'Fantastic Messi' 
This is the sixth time Germany will meet Argentina at the World Cup and the third time in the final.
Klose scored twice when Germany won the most recent World Cup meeting as Diego Maradona-coached Argentina were routed 4:0 at South Africa 2010.
Germany lost the Mexico 1986 final 3:2 to Argentina, then took revenge four years later by winning the Italia 1990 final 1:0 when Argentina finished with nine men in Rome.
Argentina legend Maradona played in both matches, but Klose insists neither has any relevance now.
"You can't really make comparisons, Maradona was one player, but (Lionel) Messi is just as fantastic and they are absolutely on a par," said Klose.
"We have to come up with a few surprises of our own and I am just looking forward to an exciting game, which will be marked by tactics and a bit of trickery."
100,000 Argentinians 
As many as 100,000 Argentine fans are preparing to descend on Rio for the final, hoping to see Messi lead his team to victory.
Argentina were back at their Belo Horizonte base on Thursday with manager Alejandro Sabella anxious to refresh his weary team in time for the final.
Sabella believes Germany may have an advantage because of their extra day's rest and the fact that their semi against Brazil was effectively won in the incredible first 29 minutes, when they raced into a 5:0 lead.
"The match is extremely difficult and I repeat the fact they haven't played extra time and we've played two, and played one day after Germany," Sabella said.
"The Germany game was decided in the first 45 minutes, so they could ease off in the second half, whereas we had to spend all the effort, and every last drop of sweat to reach the World Cup final."



AFP/The Local 2014/07/11 08:43

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