Belo Horizonte: Germany striker Miroslav Klose became the World Cup’s all-time record scorer with his 16th goal during their semi-final against Brazil on Tuesday, eclipsing former Brazil striker Ronaldo in the record books with his 23rd minute strike.
The 36-year-old, playing in his fourth World Cup, had already equalled Ronaldo on 15 goals with his dramatic strike in Germany’s 2-2 draw against Ghana in the group stage before moving ahead on Tuesday in the match in Belo Horizonte.
The goal was his first in a World Cup semi-final and one of his most important because it put Germany 2-0 ahead.
“I don’t think I can really measure what it all means just yet,” said Klose, who said he was only doing his job. “I’m a striker and strikers want to score goals. And naturally I want to stay on top of the scorers list as long as possible.”
But his work was not complete here. “Now we have to keep pushing, give full power. Now we must get the Cup,” he said. His coach Joachim Loew, who used Klose sparingly in the first four matches, was full of praise for the achievement.
“It really means a lot to all of us,” said Loew. “It is something really great. If you have scored the most goals in the history of the World Cup, it’s more than sensational. He really deserves it.”
As well as being the World Cup record scorer Klose — who often brings his nine-year-old twin boys to train with the team at their World Cup training ground in northeastern Brazil — is also Germany’s all-time leading scorer with 71 in 136 games.
Brazil’s emotional reaction to Neymar’s injury played into Germany’s hands, coach Loew said. He said Brazil lost their cool, which allowed Germany to score five goals in an incredible first 30 minutes of the game to put them in the final. “It was important to meet this passion and these emotions calmly, with courage and our own strength,” said Loew.
“They were shocked by our goals and it made the game easier for us. Everyone did his job incredibly well and with total concentration. We played well going forward and combined superbly.”
But Loew reminded the Germans to stay humble despite a victory of such magnitude. “A bit of humility would also be very good and we need to be careful about remaining concentrated on Sunday,” said the 54-year-old.
Toni Kroos and Andre Schuerrle scored twice each for the three-time champions.
Kroos, named Man of the Match, said: “We are here to become world champions, but no one becomes so in the semi-finalů We still have one more match to go. We have to deliver another top-class performance or else, we will lose the finalů Nevertheless, I am convinced we will win.
“I’m in a great mood and I’m feeling fit — that’s why I was able to come up with a performance like this,” he said after the match.