Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who passed Brazil’s Ronaldo as the World Cup scoring leader in July, announced Monday that the striker will retire from international play. The 36-year-old steps away from the international game after helping Germany raise the World Cup trophy for the first time since 1990, defeating Argentina 1-0.
The tournament in Brazil this past July was the formidable German striker’s fourth. Winning the World Cup title fulfilled a dream from Klose’s childhood and caps off a brilliant international career. In the 2002 tournament, Klose scored five goals, however, Germany lost to the Ronaldo led Brazilian team 2-0 in the final match. Four years later in Germany, Klose netted another five goals and added four more during the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Klose tied Ronaldo in the second match of group play of the 2014 tournament for the most career goals in World Cup history, finding the net to assist Germany secure a draw with the Ghana Black Star’s. After scoring his first goal of the 2014 tournament, Klose attempted his anticipated front flip celebration. The German did not get a full rotation and came up a bit short, however, he was the hero of the day for Germany. And Klose was not done yet. In Germany’s cataclysmic route of host nation Brazil, Klose netted his record-breaking goal after collecting a rebound off of his own shot for his 16th career World Cup goal.
While the goal against Brazil put the German alone as the career World Cup scoring leader, there was one more goal Miroslav Klose wanted to achieve prior to retiring from international play. The next match against Argentina would provide that final international goal for Klose. However, it was not another goal in the game for the striker. Instead, the goal Klose achieved was when Germany defeated the South American nation to win their first World Cup in 24 years.
While the goal Klose and the German team achieved in that final match of the Brazilian tournament did not add to the striker’s goal total, it was the goal most wanted by the 36-year-old. While becoming the career scoring leader was nice, the record was never a priority. For Klose, it was always about providing his best for the German team. After scoring his first goal of the 2014, Klose joined Brazil’s Pele and fellow German Uwe Seeler as the only players to score in four World Cups. With 71 goals amassed in 137 caps for the national team, Klose retires as Germany’s all time scoring leader.
13 years ago, Klose began his international run with Die Mannschaft against Albania. Although Miroslav Klose is retiring from international play, the World Cup career scoring leader will not walk away from the pitch yet. Fans will still have a chance to watch the striker don the colors of Lazio in the Italian Serie A football premier league this season. When it comes to the National Team, Klose will keep World Cup teammate Philipp Lahm, who retired from the international game a month ago, company in the stands to cheer on a new era for Die Mannschaft.
By Carl Auer