Miroslav Klose needs to score only one more World Cup goal to equal the mark of Juergen Klinsmann.
The Germany coach is hoping his striker will get it soon. The World Cup hosts play Italy on Tuesday in Dortmund in the semifinals. And with 10 goals over two World Cups, the 28-year-old Klose needs only one more to equal the 11 Klinsmann scored from 1990-98.
And another goal from the Polish-born striker would go a long way to helping his team beat Italy and put Germany in its second straight final, which will be played Sunday in Berlin. "He has to overtake me," Klinsmann said. "It would mean we would have a good chance of being here on Sunday night. He knows he has not reached his final destination yet. He must find a way to get past me.
"I wish he would overtake me as quickly as possible." Klose leads the tournament with five goals. His equalizer in the quarterfinals against Argentina allowed Germany to later win the match 4-2 on penalties. He is tied for seventh on the all-time World Cup goal scoring list.
Klose moved past Portugal's Eusebio, who scored all nine of his World Cup goals at the 1966 tournament, and Italy's Paolo Rossi. Ronaldo tops the all-time table, scoring his 15th during Brazil's 3-0 second round victory over Ghana. Germany's Gerd Mueller is second on 14.
"I'm very ambitious. I have great goals in front of me," Klose said.
Klose plays for Werder Bremen, which finished second in the German league and will go to the Champions League thanks mainly to his scoring talent.
He led Bundesliga scoring last season with 25 goals in 26 games. He overcame several injuries, including a cheek bone fracture. He required surgery that left him with two small metal plates his cheek, which will be removed after the World Cup. There are reports that bigger clubs are interested in him and Klose hasn't hidden the fact he'd like to move on. Bremen, understandably, wants to keep him.
Klose was born in Poland and came to Germany with his parents when he was 8. His partner on Germany's strike force, Lukas Podolski, also was born in Poland. The two have combined for eight of Germany's 11 goals so far.
Though Michael Ballack remains the team's leader, Klose has assumed a bigger role.
Klose scored five goals at the last World Cup in 2002, and has five so far this time.
But Klose had to leave Saturday's quarterfinal match with severe leg cramps. He was replaced after scoring the equalizer in the 80th minute with a bruised calf. His has also been battling tendinitis in his foot.
Assistant coach Joachim Loew said he would be fit to play Tuesday, but Germany's staff has often downplayed injuries. Klose, Mueller, Klinsmann and West Germany's 1954 World Cup star Helmut Rahn are the only Germans to have scored at least 10 World Cup goals.
Klose is only the second player in history to score five goals in two separate editions of the tournament. Peru's Teofilo Cubillas was the first, scoring five in both the 1970 and 1974 World Cups. Klinsmann scored five times in 1994, but did not get more than three goals in his other appearances.
But Klose is still missing something Mueller, Klinsmann and Rahn each have: A World Cup title.