Miroslav Klose

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Miroslav Klose
FIFA WC-qualification 2014 - Austria vs. Germany 2012-09-11 - Miroslav Klose 01.JPG
Klose playing for Germany in 2012
Personal information
Full name Miroslav Josef Klose[1]
Date of birth (1978-06-09) 9 June 1978 (age 36)[2]
Place of birth Opole, Poland
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)[3]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Lazio
Number 11
Youth career
1987–1997 SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1998 SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf
1998–1999 FC 08 Homburg II 15 (10)
1998–1999 FC 08 Homburg 18 (1)
1999–2001 1. FC Kaiserslautern II 50 (26)
1999–2004 1. FC Kaiserslautern 120 (44)
2004–2007 Werder Bremen 89 (53)
2007–2011 Bayern Munich 98 (24)
2011– Lazio 82 (35)
National team
2001–2014 Germany 137 (71)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 August 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

Miroslav Josef Klose (German pronunciation: [ˈmɪʁoslaf ˈkloːzə] ( ); born on 9 June 1978)[4] is a German professional footballer who plays as a striker for Lazio in the Italian Serie A.

Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team, for which he is the all-time top scorer with 71 goals. He has excelled at the FIFA World Cup, where he is the overall top scorer in its history with 16 goals. He was part of the 2014 World Cup winning German squad, having previously finished second (2002) and third (2006, 2010) in the competition. Klose scored five goals in his debut World Cup in 2002 and won the Golden Boot at the 2006 World Cup in Germany by again scoring five times,[5] Klose also scored four times in the 2010 World Cup and scored twice at the 2014 World Cup, including one in the 7–1 semi-final victory against Brazil, which put him ahead of Ronaldo with 16 goals.[6] By scoring in the 2014 tournament, Klose equalled his compatriot Uwe Seeler and Brazilian Pelé's achievements in being the only players to have scored in four different World Cups,[7] as well as the only player to have scored at least four in three different tournaments.[8] The German national team has never lost a game in which Klose has scored.[9] Klose retired from international football on 11 August 2014.

At club level, Klose has been a less prolific but usually reliable goalscorer. Starting his career at FC 08 Homburg, he has played in the Bundesliga for Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich, and in Serie A for Lazio. He won two league titles with Bayern, and has won cup competitions at Bayern, Werder Bremen and Lazio.

Background and personal life[edit]

Klose was born in the Silesian city of Opole, Poland. Both of his parents were professional athletes.[10] His father, Josef Klose, was a professional footballer who played for Odra Opole, before leaving communist Poland in 1978 to play for French team AJ Auxerre.[11] His mother, Barbara Jeż, was a member of the Poland women's national handball team. As an ethnic German and German national, Josef Klose was an Aussiedler whose family had remained behind when Silesia was awarded to Poland after World War II and decided to bring his family to Germany.[4] In 1986, then eight-year-old Miroslav joined his father in Kusel Rhineland-Palatinate and knew only two words of German.[12] Klose developed his skill and passion in football from the village club, SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf, which at the time was in the German seventh division. He was also trained as an apprentice to become a carpenter.[13][14]

Klose and his wife Sylwia have twin sons, Luan and Noah.[15][16] In a 2007 interview with Der Spiegel, he stated that he and his wife speak Polish to their children at home, while the children learn German in school.[17]

Klose is a Roman Catholic and met Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.[18][19]

Club career[edit]

Kaiserslautern[edit]

In 1998, his career in the professional game began when he was 20 with a switch to the reserves at former Bundesliga outfit FC Homburg. Twelve months later, he moved to FC Kaiserslautern.[20] He played for the second team, and made his first appearance in Bundesliga in April 2000. He scored 16 goals in 2001–02 season and was shy of only two goals to become the top scorer.[21]

Werder Bremen[edit]

Miroslav Klose at Werder Bremen

In March 2004, Klose signed a four-year contract with German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen for a fee of €5 million ($6.2 million).[22][23] He made his league debut on 6 August 2004, as a substitute for Paraguayan striker Nelson Valdez in a 1–0 home win against Schalke 04.[24][25] On 29 August 2004, Klose scored his first goal, an equaliser, but the Bremen team lost 2–1 at home against Wolfsburg.[26][27]

On 7 June 2007, Klose confirmed that he would leave Werder Bremen for Bayern Munich either before the 2007–08 season or upon the expiration of his contract with the Bremen team at the end of the 2007–08 season.[28]

Bayern Munich[edit]

Luca Toni and Klose (18), Olympiastadion, Hertha BSC vs. Bayern Munich, 2009

On 26 June 2007, FC Bayern Munich's club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed that his team had reached an agreement with Werder Bremen regarding the transfer of Klose to the Munich team. Klose completed his medical with Bayern on 28 June 2007 before signing a four-year contract.[21][29]

Klose won the 2010 German Super Cup; scoring a goal in the 81st minute.[30]

On 7 June 2011, with his contract about to expire, Klose did not reach an agreement with Bayern Munich, thus leaving the club at the end of the 2010–11 season.[31] He had scored one Bundesliga goal in 20 matches in his final season.[32]

Lazio[edit]

2011–12 season[edit]

Klose signed a three-year contract with Lazio on 9 June 2011.[33] He scored his first goal for Lazio in UEFA Europa League 2012 Play-offs and also assisted four other goals. Lazio won that game 6–0 and won the play-offs 9–1 on aggregate against Rabotnički.[34] On 9 September 2011, he made his league debut in a 2–2 draw against Milan and scored a goal in the 12th minute, which was the first Serie A goal of the season. Despite having been at the club for only a few months his coach Edy Reja already underlined his importance to the team.[35] On 16 October 2011, Klose scored in the 93rd minute to win the Rome derby 2–1 for Lazio. However, the occasion was tainted by a small section of radical Lazio fans holding a sign adapted from a motto used by the Nazis. The sign read 'Klose Mit Uns', which means 'Klose with us'. It was intended by those fans as praise for Klose; however, the Nazis used the motto 'God with us' and the Lazio fans' sign featured the 'S's in the same font as the logo of Hitler's SS. Klose has explicitly condemned the sign, adding 'politics should stay out of the stadium'.[36][37][38]

On 10 December 2011, Klose scored twice and assisted one for Lazio in an away game against Lecce, including an 87-minute goal that gave Lazio a 2–3 victory.[39]

2012–13 season[edit]

On 2 September 2012, Klose scored his first Serie A goal of the season, scoring a brace in Lazio's 3–0 home defeat of Palermo.[40] On 26 September, Klose accidentally scored a goal with his hand against Napoli for Lazio, not seen by the referee. However, Klose showed great sportsmanship by informing the referee and asking to discount the goal. The referee then reversed the decision and the goal was discounted.[41]

On 2 December, Klose scored his ninth goal of the season, securing a 2–1 victory over Parma, lifting Lazio into fourth place in Serie A.[42] Two weeks later on 15 December, he scored a late goal to send his side to a 1–0 victory over second place Internazionale, reducing the gap between the two sides to one point.[43] On 5 May 2013, he scored five goals against Bologna before being substituted for Louis Saha in the 68th minute.[44] It was the first time since the 1984–85 season that a player scored five goals in the same game in Serie A.[45]

On 26 May, he won the Coppa Italia beating Lazio's city rivals Roma 1–0, the sixth in Lazio's history and the first time in the history of the tournament to see a Lazio-Roma derby in the final.[46]

International career[edit]

Klose during the 2006 FIFA World Cup

Klose's consistency as a goal-scorer in his first Bundesliga season at Kaiserslautern earned him attention. In January 2001, the then coach of the Polish national team, Jerzy Engel, travelled to Germany to persuade Klose to choose to play for Poland. This request was declined by Klose, who said that "I have a German passport, and if things are still running this way, I have a chance to play for Rudi Völler." Klose's hopes were justified, as he would soon score for Germany.[47]

In an interview given to Przegląd Sportowy on 9 June 2008, Klose stated that the decision to play for Germany instead of Poland was not an easy one, and if Polish officials had been faster, he would be playing for Poland. Furthermore, he added that he does not regret the choice, as with Germany he has won medals in the World Cup tournaments.[48]

2002 World Cup[edit]

Klose's international debut came on 24 March 2001 in a World Cup qualifier against Albania, in the 73rd minute coach Rudi Völler put him in as a substitute. Two minutes from time he headed home the 2–1 winner for Germany and celebrated with a front-flip.[49] Four days later in his second match Klose helped Germany temporarily lead their qualification group, he came on in the 67th minute and scored the 3–2 against Greece in the 82nd minute, making it two crucial goals in only 33 minutes on the pitch. Two hat-tricks against Israel and Austria in friendlies prior to the upcoming World Cup were enough to establish him in Germany's starting line-up for the tournament.[50]

Klose came to international prominence at the 2002 World Cup in Korea-Japan, because he scored five headed goals for Germany, finishing joint second highest goal scorer along with Rivaldo. He became the first player ever to score five headers in a World Cup, and he celebrated two of his goals with his trademark front-flip, earning him the nickname "Salto-Klose" (German: Salto = somersault).[51] His goal tally included a hat-trick in Germany's 8–0 hammering of Saudi Arabia, as well as one goal each against Ireland and Cameroon.[52]

Euro 2004[edit]

Klose also participated in Euro 2004 and came on as a substitute in two games, against Latvia and the Czech Republic, but was not completely fit, since he just recovered from a knee injury. He was not able to score and Germany went out in the first round.[53]

2006 World Cup[edit]

Klose playing in the 2006 World Cup

In the opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Klose scored two close-range goals in a 4–2 win over Costa Rica,[54] and added a similar brace in the final group game to defeat Ecuador 3–0 and make Germany the group winners.[55]

He scored an 80th-minute headed equaliser against Argentina in the quarter-finals, and Germany won the resulting penalty shootout.[56] With five goals, he finished as the top scorer of the tournament.[57]

Euro 2008[edit]

In the main tournament, Klose started the opening group game against Poland and assisted Lukas Podolski's two goals in a 2–0 victory. He played the remaining two group games against Croatia and Austria with no goals of his own. He finally broke his duck during the knockout stages, scoring for Germany in the quarter-final and the semi-final against Portugal and Turkey respectively. In both games he scored Germany's second goal, and both games were won by 3–2. He was, however, unable to score during the final against Spain, which Germany lost 1–0.[58][59]

2010 World Cup[edit]

Klose was selected in Germany's final 23-man squad, and for his third successive World Cup campaign. On 13 June, Klose scored the second goal against Australia in their opening group game, a 4–0 victory. This goal put him level in World Cup goals with his former coach Jürgen Klinsmann.[60]

He opened the scoring in the Round of 16 match against England on 27 June 2010 with his 12th World Cup goal, equalling Pelé for fourth on the all time list, and also notching up his 50th international goal in his 99th international game, as Germany won the game 4–1.[61]

Klose made his 100th international appearance in the quarter-final match against Argentina, becoming only the sixth German player to reach the landmark. He then scored the second and fourth goals against Argentina (Germany winning 4–0), pulling him level with Gerd Müller's all-time German World Cup goalscoring record.[62]

Euro 2012[edit]

During the Euro 2012 qualifiers, Klose scored at least one goal in every single game he played, striking against all of Germany's opponents: Belgium, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Austria. Gaining only six caps during the qualification campaign, he scored nine goals and provided two assists, making him Europe's second-most-successful striker for this period, behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who scored 12 times in eight matches.[63] At the end of the qualifying campaign he had achieved 21 assists and 63 goals while playing for Germany, trailing Gerd Müller's German goalscoring record by five (albeit playing almost twice as many internationals compared to Müller).[64]

2014 World Cup[edit]

Klose playing in the 2014 World Cup Final

Klose said that the 2014 World Cup will be his last one for Germany, stating that he would like one more shot at trying to win the World Cup with Germany.[65][66][67] On 6 June 2014, in Germany's final friendly before the World Cup against Armenia, Klose scored his 69th international goal, thus breaking Gerd Müller's record of 68 goals and becoming Germany's record goalscorer.[68] He scored his record-equalling 15th World Cup goal in Germany's 2–2 draw against Ghana on 21 June 2014.[69] This tied him with the Brazilian player Ronaldo, who also scored 15 World Cup goals.[70] With this goal Klose furthermore became the third player in history to score in four different World Cups. On 8 July 2014, Klose scored a record 16th World Cup goal in the 23rd minute against Brazil in the semi-finals, his second goal of the 2014 World Cup. That goal gave Germany a 2–0 lead, en route to a 7–1 win over World Cup host Brazil, and Klose surpassed Ronaldo's previous record of 15 World Cup goals.[71] Klose set another record by becoming the first player to appear in four World Cup semi-finals.[72] He announced his retirement from international football four weeks after the World Cup final.[73]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Germany's goal tally first:

Fair play[edit]

On 30 April 2005, while playing for Werder Bremen, Klose refused to accept a penalty given against Arminia Bielefeld due to it being incorrect. He was later given a fair play award for his actions.[74]

At the end of September 2012, Klose scored a goal using his hand for Lazio against Napoli. Klose admitted this to the referee, who then took back his decision for the goal, spared Klose from a yellow card and shook his hand.[74][75]

Awards and honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Werder Bremen
Bayern Munich
Lazio

National team[edit]

Germany

Individual[edit]

Personal records[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 31 August 2014.
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Other Total Ref.
Club Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany Bundesliga DFB-Pokal DFB-Ligapokal Europe Other1 Total
1. FC Kaiserslautern 1999–2000 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 [81]
2000–01 29 9 2 0 2 0 12 2 45 11 [82]
2001–02 31 16 4 0 35 16 [83]
2002–03 32 9 4 4 36 13 [84]
2003–04 26 10 1 1 2 1 29 12 [85]
1. FC Kaiserslautern totals 120 44 11 5 2 0 14 3 147 52
Werder Bremen 2004–05 32 15 4 0 1 0 8 2 45 17 [86]
2005–06 26 25 3 2 2 0 9 4 40 31 [87]
2006–07 27 10 1 0 2 0 13 2 43 12 [88]
Werder Bremen totals 85 50 8 2 5 0 30 8 128 60
Bayern Munich 2007–08 27 10 6 5 2 1 12 5 47 21 [89]
2008–09 26 10 4 3 8 7 38 20 [90]
2009–10 25 3 5 2 8 1 38 6 [91]
2010–11 20 1 4 3 2 1 1 1 27 6 [32][30]
Bayern Munch totals 98 24 18 13 2 1 30 14 1 1 149 53
Italy Serie A Coppa Italia Europe Other2 Total
Lazio 2011–12 27 13 2 0 6 3 35 16 [92]
2012–13 29 15 2 0 5 1 36 16 [93]
2013–14 25 7 0 0 3 1 1 0 29 8 [94]
2014–15 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 1 [95]
Lazio totals 82 35 5 1 14 5 1 0 102 41
Career totals 385 153 42 21 9 1 88 30 2 1 526 206
  • 1.^ Includes German Super Cup.
  • 2.^ Includes Italian Super Cup.

National[edit]

As of 13 July 2014.
Klose celebrating his record-breaking 16th World Cup goal
Germany national team[96]
Year Apps Goals
2001 7 2
2002 17 12
2003 10 1
2004 11 5
2005 5 0
2006 17 13
2007 5 3
2008 15 8
2009 6 4
2010 12 10
2011 8 5
2012 13 4
2013 4 1
2014 7 3
Total 137 71

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External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Ronaldo
15
FIFA World Cup Highest Goalscorer
8 July 2014–present
Incumbent