|Miroslav Klose with his sons, after Germany’s World Cup win
Munich: Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who capped a record-breaking career with the national team by winning the World Cup last month, has retired from international football. Poland-born Klose, who scored twice in the tournament in Brazil to become the competition’s record goal scorer of all time with 16 goals, said on Monday the time was right to end a 13-year career with the German national team.
The forward is the second member of Germany’s World Cup winning team to quit after the tournament following captain Philipp Lahm last month.
“Winning the title in Brazil was a childhood dream come true,” the 36-year-old Lazio striker said in a statement released by the German football Association.
“I’m proud and happy to have been able to contribute to such a great achievement for German football. I had a unique and wonderful time with the national team and enjoyed many unforgettable moments. I’ve used the past few weeks to let all those moments sink in once more and to savour them. I cannot think of a better time to bring the international chapter of my career to a close,” said Klose.
“The team’s success is and has always been my highest priority,” Klose explained. “I and the rest of the national side achieved our greatest aim — an aim we shared as a team — but I’ve also reached other targets I set myself along the way. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m very ambitious. I’m a striker, and a striker’s job is to score goals.
“I was always focused on giving my best for the team rather than setting records. As a striker, I’m also extremely dependent upon my teammates, which is why I want to give a huge thank you to my colleagues on the national team, without whose passes I would never have been this successful,” said the player.
“I’d also like to thank the DFB, its president, every single member of the national side’s support staff, all our fans and of course the three national team coaches I’ve been able to work with over the past 13 years — particularly Joachim Loew, who has always had total belief in me. I felt this complete mutual respect and appreciation once more during our discussions over the past few days. It’s fantastic that we were able to end our collaboration by winning the World Cup title.”
Germany’s second most-capped player behind Lothar Matthaeus made the first of his 137 international appearances in 2001 and went on to become the top German scorer of all time with 71 international goals.
He broke Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record of 68 goals in June. Germany’s only out-and-out striker in the World Cup squad, Klose was initially benched in the tournament but earned back his starting spot and scored once against Ghana in the group stage and then again in their 7-1 semi-final demolition of hosts Brazil in the semi-final.
The latter goal also meant he overtook former Brazil striker Ronaldo on the World Cup scorers list.
“When I met up with Miro last week he told he me he had thought long about it and talked to his family,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “I immediately sensed that his decision was irreversible and that I cannot convince him otherwise. You can always count on Miro to keep his word and that was the case in Brazil as well. I have a lot of respect for Miro’s decision as well as for his unbelievable national team career that is all but impossible to trump.
“As a player and a human being, we will be missing Miro and I am happy and grateful to have been allowed to work with Miroslav Klose.”
Tall and strong in the air, Klose is known for his superb timing and leaping ability and has been consistently efficient in front of goal, helping Germany reach two finals and two semi-finals in his four World Cup participations.
A lethal finisher, Klose was a relatively late starter for Germany after playing no role in any of the country’s national youth squads.
He then went on to play in four World Cups starting in 2002 and also competed in three European championships.
Klose and Lahm will be honoured before Germany’s friendly game against World Cup finalists Argentina on September 3 but neither will feature in that game as per their own requests, DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said.