Football

15 goals in World Cup and counting

Veteran German striker equals Brazilian Ronaldo's record

Miroslav who?

The humble 36-year-old Germany striker Klose etched his name into immortality this morning (Singapore time) when he scored his 15th World Cup goal in the 2-2 draw against Ghana.

Equalling the record held by former Brazil striker Ronaldo with his 71st-minute strike, Klose has quietly put his name into the history books with a remarkable lack of drama.

Famous for performing mid-air somersaults to celebrate scoring important goals earlier in his career, he changed to mostly raising a clenched fist and giving a quick smile before putting his serious game face back on and getting back to work.

But, this morning, the somersault was back after he equalised from close range with his first touch less than two minutes after coming off the bench in the Group G clash.

"I don't know how long it's been since I did a somersault. but at least it worked out," he said after the match.

"You come in and want to turn the game around. Twenty (World Cup) matches and 15 goals isn't bad at all."

His goal against Ghana also moved Klose one ahead in the World Cup scoring list of compatriot Gerd Mueller, who led West Germany to the 1974 
World Cup title.

Klose had shared second place with Mueller since scoring twice in a 4-0 quarter-final win over Argentina on 
July 3, 2010.

He also becomes the third man after compatriot Uwe Seeler and Brazil's Pele to score in four World Cups.

The best German striker of his generation, Klose is also his country's all-time leading scorer with 70 goals in 133 games.

GENTLE GIANT

Tall and strong in the air, the soft-spoken striker is known for his superb timing and leaping ability. He has been consistently lethal in front of goal in the last three World Cups, helped by the fact that Germany reached the final and semi-finals twice.

In 2002, Klose scored five headed goals as underdogs Germany made it to the final, where they lost 2-0 to Brazil with Ronaldo scoring twice to register eight for the tournament.

Four years later with Germany as hosts, Klose won the Golden Boot when he scored another five goals in leading Germany to the semi-finals. In 2010, he scored four more in South Africa.

Klose has also been the beneficiary of the outstanding crops of attacking midfielders who have set up many of his 70 goals for Germany.

He has seen off challenges from a number of younger strikers eager to replace him, including Mario Gomez.

In fact, Klose is the only specialised striker in Germany coach Joachim Loew's squad in Brazil after Gomez was dropped.

Klose moved with his Polish family to Germany in 1986 at the age of eight when he spoke only a few words of German.

He broke into the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern in 1999 and, five years later, moved to Werder Bremen before joining Bayern Munich in 2007. He was transferred to Lazio three years ago.

Klose headed the winner on his Germany debut to earn a 2-1 victory over Albania in 2001 to avoid an embarrassing draw.

Alongside his record-breaking goal tally, Klose will long be remembered for his sportsmanship with his acts of fair play making headline news in Germany.

He told a referee in Italy in 2012 to disallow a goal he had just scored because he used his hand.

Seven years earlier, playing for Werder Bremen, he declined to accept a penalty kick because he did not think he had been fouled. - Reuters.


Welcome to the club.

- Brazil legend Ronaldo congratulating Miroslav Klose on his Twitter account

World Cup