Germany striker Miroslav Klose has overtaken Ronaldo as the top scorer in World Cup, but says the Brazilian is football's most complete player. Humble that he is, Klose’s feat of 16 goals, and counting, is no less impressive. Here’s a look at 16 facets of his achievement:
1. His goals have come in four World Cups – 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.
2. All his goals have come from a distance of 12 yards or closer. Critics often call him a ‘poacher’, one who happens to be at the right place at the right time.
3. A goal in the final against Argentina would have swelled his tally to 17, the same as the England team have managed in the last four World Cups.
4. He has scored the most goals from headers in a single edition of the World Cup — 5 in 2002. Seven of his 16 World Cup goals have come from headers.
5. He is the third player to score in four editions of the World Cup. The others to achieve this feat are Brazilian legend Pele and German star Uwe Seeler.
Klose celebrates after scoring his 16th World Cup goal (REUTERS photo)
6. He is Germany’s all-time record scorer, with 71 goals in 137 matches.
7. He is Germany’s second most capped player, only behind Lothar Matthäus.
8. He is a model European citizen. He was born in Poland and stayed in France till the age of 8. In an interview in 2008, he said that he did not wish to be known as either Polish or German, but as European. He and his wife speak to their twin sons in Polish at home.
9. His father Joseph played football for AJ Auxerre, while his mother Barbara was a member of the Polish national handball team.
10. Klose trained as a carpenter before moving to Kaiserslautern at the age of 20, where he played football part-time in the German lower league.
11. Polish coach Jerzy Engel went to see him at his club Kaiserslautem. He tried to convince Klose to play for Poland, an offer which Klose declined saying “I have a German passport, and if things are still running this way, I have a chance to play for Rudi Voeller."
12. This was Germany’s fourth consecutive semi-final appearance in World Cups and Klose is the only player to have been a part of all 4 squads.
13. He became the first Lazio player to score five Serie A goals in one match when they mauled Bologna 6-0 in 2013. The record still stands.
14. Klose was named the German footballer of the year in 2006, when he scored 25 goals in the Bundesliga and 5 in the World Cup.
15. Klose made a rare sporting gesture in September 2012 when Lazio played Napoli. He scored a ‘goal’ which came off his hand. He admitted to his foul, and the goal was discounted. Napoli won the game 3-0.
16. Here the last one, something that Argentina would have been beware of — Germany have never lost a game in which Klose has scored.