There is a never-ending argument over who the greatest footballer of all time is.
It all depends on your perspective. People talk about Pele, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo being candidates for the accolade.
However, there is a group of players who get less press and accolades, while still making a big mark on the beautiful game. A classic example of that is former Germany international Miroslav Klose.
The 38-year-old has finally called time on his playing career, having enjoyed a glittering career at both club and international level. He deserves more accolades, so I wrote this article. A tribute to Klose if you like!
Just a goal poacher
Klose would sniff out a goal if there was one to be scored. He had this fantastic ability of being in the right place at the right time. The striker was not incredibly gifted technically. However, what made him a great striker was his football intelligence.
Klose movement and cunning made him one of the best goal poachers of his generation. He also worked hard for every team he represented and always came across as a humble guy.
However, that humble guy was Germany’s highest ever goalscorer, having netted 71 times in 137 international appearances for his country.
At club level, he played for Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich scoring 121 goals in 307 games in the Bundesliga. He joined Lazio in 2011 at 33-years-old and plundered 68 goals in 173 appearances for the Italian side.
It was his performances at World Cup finals that defined Klose’s career, though. The striker scored 16 goals at World Cup finals to surpass Brazilian Ronaldo for most goals scored at a finals tournament.
The pinnacle of Klose’s career came two years ago when the striker helped Die Mannschaft win the World Cup with an extra-time victory over Argentina. The final against the South American’s was Klose’s final international appearance.
Less prolific at club level
Klose’s career is maybe slightly understated as he was not as prolific in club football as he was in the international game. He was in his mid-twenties before he really hit his peak at Werder Bremen. This came after enjoying varying degrees of success in the Kaiserslautern first team and reserves.
His record is still decent at club level, especially in Serie A when he was well into his thirties. He was always a player that would grab a goal but was never a prolific goal-getter on the club stage.
Joining the German coaching staff
Klose is now set to join the German national team’s coaching set-up. Talking about his next move he told the press: “I celebrated my biggest successes in the national team, the time was wonderful and remains unforgettable so I am happy to be able to return to the DFB,”
“The idea has been growing in the last few months to stay on the pitch, but with a new perspective, mainly as a coach.
“To be able to read a game, to prepare myself meticulously, to develop strategies and tactics — that had already really interested me as a player.
“I am very grateful to Jogi Low and (DFB director) Hansi Flick for this opportunity and chance to sharpen my practical skills.”
Klose was highly successful as a striker and hopefully, he will be as a coach. The former-Lazio striker is the sort of guy who deserves success. He did not seek publicity, cause trouble or talk himself up.
Instead, the striker just got on with his job quiet and efficiently and made a very massive mark on the world of football. Klose is a role model and an example to everybody of what can be achieved by working hard.
Football no longer has enough solid characters like Klose. Hopefully he can pass some of his qualities on to the next generation of German players.
What was Miroslav Klose’s most memorable moment in football?