Miroslav Klose: 71 goals wins us over
The Local · 14 Aug 2014, 11:48
Published: 14 Aug 2014 11:48 GMT+02:00
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Okay, so he was born in Poland, but Miroslav Klose moved to Germany when he was eight years old, supposedly with only two words of German at the time.
Ja and Tor (goal), perhaps? Dad was a professional footballer, after all, and surely helped instil a deep love of the game in his son.
"Taking the title in Brazil has fulfilled my childhood dream," Klose told the Deutscher Fussball Bund after Germany brought home the World Cup trophy last month.
His boots were also brought a magic touch for the national team, which never lost a game in which he played.
"Thank God it worked," he said of his initial foray into professional play.
The striker started his club career with FC Homburg in 1998 and currently plays in the Series A ltalian league for Lazio. As well as for the Italian team, he has also helped win league titles with Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen.
And it seems his team mates and trainer will miss him not only for his scoring skills but as a well-rounded person too.
Fair play player
Klose cemented his reputation for decency in 2012 when he won a fair play award after telling the referee that a goal he had scored was invalid because the ball touched his hand first.
In 2005, he won a similar prize in a game against Bielefeld, when he declined to take a penalty awarded for a yellow card against the opposing goalkeeper. The keeper had touched the ball first, Klose insisted, and the yellow was revoked and the penalty annulled.
But the devoted Catholic still appears to have a cheeky side (phew!): he continues to celebrate goals with his signature flip, despite FIFA's attempts to reduce over-the-top celebrations.
Nor was he able to resist responding to Ronaldo's "Klose - welcome in the club of 15 [goals]" Tweet in Brazil by announcing his own "club of 16 - and everyone's welcome to join" after his final goal of the tournament.
The no-alcohol rule likely flew into touch too after Germany's 1:0 victory over Argentina. Before the game, Klose told reporters that "if we do win the trophy, I can imagine that I will relax and there is a party beast, even in me."
Klose with his twin sons, Noah and Luan.