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World Cup Heroes: Miroslav Klose

Last weekend we witnessed German talisman Miroslav Klose equal Brazilian Ronaldo’s record of 15 goals overall in the World Cup as he scored the equaliser in Germany’s 2-2 draw with Ghana. The 36-year-old has featured in four consecutive World Cup competitions including the competitions in Japan/South Korea (2002), Germany (2006), South Africa (2010) and now Brazil (2014). Let’s take a look back at the role he has played for Germany in the World Cup through his magnificent goal scoring record in the competition.

Miroslav Klose was born in Poland in 1978 but moved to Germany in 1986 when he was just eight years old. The youngster had a passion for football at an early age and began his professional career at FC 08 Homburg in 1999 where he only spent a year before moving to Kaiserslautern.

Klose started his career in the Kaiserslautern reserves before playing for the first team for 5 years where managed to score 44 goals in 120 games. In 2004, he moved on to Werder Bremen where he had a fantastic scoring record as his he played in 89 games and scored 53 goals in 3 seasons.

The striker made a big move to Bayern Munich in 2007 where he didn’t manage to recreate his amazing scoring tally as he only managed 24 goals in his four seasons for the club. Klose then moved to Lazio in 2011 where he still currently plays his football and has so far racked up 35 goals in 80 games. During his career, Klose achieved 2 Bundesliga titles, a Champions League title, a Coppa Italia and 2 German cups.

Klose’s consistent goal-scoring record at club level resulted in him being called up the German squad in March 2001 as he made his international debut in a World Cup qualifier against Albania where he also scored late in the game which resulted in a 2-1 win for Germany. This was the beginning of an amazing international goal scoring record for the striker as he is currently Germany’s all-time top goal scorer with 70 goals and the most important of these goals occurred in the four consecutive World Cup competitions he has played in for his country.

2002 World Cup (Japan/South Korea)

Germany were drawn into Group E in the 2002 competition alongside Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Cameroon. The group stage of this competition was when Klose put himself into the spotlight on an international level as he scored all of his five goals.

Klose opened his World Cup debut in style as he scored a hat trick against Saudi Arabia in an 8-0 trashing with three magnificent headers.

Klose rose to the occasion again in Germany’s next game against Ireland, heading home a Ballack cross but Robbie Keane broke German hearts late in the game to gain a point for the Irish. Klose went on to score again in Germany’s final group game as he headed home against Cameroon in a 2-0 win to help the Germans top the group.

Klose may have racked up five goals in the group stage but he failed to score again in the competition as Germany went on to the final after beating Paraguay, USA and South Korea all 1-0 but unfortunately they lost 2-0 to Brazil after striker Ronaldo proved to be too much to handle.

2006 World Cup (Germany)

Germany were the home nation for the World Cup competition in 2006 and were drawn against Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador in Group A. Klose played a huge role in Germany’s opening game as he netted twice in their 4-2 win over Costa Rica after being granted two close range chances.

Germany scraped a 1-0 win against Poland and then Klose rose to the occasion in their final group game by scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Ecuador where he scored a close range volley and cleverly played the ball past the keeper to slot home for his second goal of the game and 4th goal of the competition.

Germany faced Sweden in the second round where two Podolski goals was enough to go on to the quarter finals which faced Germany with the difficult prospect of Argentina. It was a very close game which finished 1-1 and another Klose header which resulted in a goal but Germany went on to win 4-2 on penalties as Ayala and Cambiasso missed their spot kicks.

Germany were knocked out in the semi-finals by Italy after Grosso and Del Piero scored in extra time but Klose finished the competition with the golden boot as his five goals made him the competition’s top goal scorer.

2010 World Cup (South Africa)

Germany were drawn against Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D in the 2010 competition. Klose opened the scoring for Germany with another brilliant header in their opening game against Austraila which they went on to win 4-0. The Germans surprisingly lost to Serbia 1-0 after a 38th minute goal from Milan Jovanovic but the Germans recovered by beating Ghana 1-0 in their next game after Mesut Ozil slotted home.

Germany faced England in the second round and they defeated the English 4-1 after goals from Podolski, Klose and two from Muller. Klose’s goal came about after he was able to out-muscle the English defence to win a long ball which he put past the keeper. Klose had a massive role to play in Germany’s 4-0 win over Argentina in the quarter-finals as his brilliant runs allowed him to slot home two close range chances for his country. The Germans were beginning to look very strong in this competition but unfortunately they were eliminated in the semi-finals by Spain after a 73rd minute Puyol goal was enough to send the Spaniards to the final.

2014 World Cup (Brazil)

Germany were in Group G this summer alongside Portugal, Ghana and the USA. Germany unexpectedly drew 2-2 with Ghana in their second game where we witnessed Klose tap home an equaliser and celebrate equalling Ronaldo’s goal scoring record in the World Cup with his famous back flip. The Germans have qualified for the last sixteen and it is possible that we may see Klose become the World Cup’s all time overall top goal scorer this summer.

Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena.

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