Klose – who was born in Poland – made his Germany debut in 2001 and has since played in four World Cups, scoring at all of them. His goal in the incredible 7-1 semi-final win over Brazil took him past Ronaldo’s 15 in the competition to make him the most prolific striker in World Cup history.
The Lazio striker, though, prefers to put the team ahead of his own achievements. “The team’s success was and is always the top priority for me,” he added. “I’ve achieved our goal with the national team but I have achieved goals I set personally too. Anyone who knows me knows I am very ambitious. The job of a striker is to score goals and it never occurred to me about records. As a striker I am always dependent on my team-mates and I give them a big thank you.”
Klose bows out of the international arena with Germany having never lost whenever he has scored. With 137 caps to his name, only Lothar Matthaus has won more, and coach Joachim Low cannot speak highly enough of him. “Miro Klose is an international star. He is one of the greatest strikers there have been,” he said.
“His footballing qualities; his aerial ability, his goal threat, his understanding and his tireless commitment are second to none, and yet I have barely seen a player who is so much about modesty and team spirit. For Miro it was always an honour to play for the national team and he has given everything to Germany. He will be missed as a footballer and a person and I am happy and grateful I was able to work with him.”
Klose follows Germany captain Phillipp Lahm into international retirement, with the 30-year-old having done so in the immediate aftermath of the World Cup. “We gave him (Klose) and Philipp Lahm a worthy farewell,” DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said.