Miroslav Klose – The Forgotten Pearl at World Cups

The FIFA World Cup gathers billions of viewers in front of the TV screen nowadays as it is undoubtedly the most intriguing tournament worldwide. With the pressure being enormous, many world-class players fail to live up to the high expectations.

On this page, you’ll encounter many players like Michael Carrick, Warren Barton, and Eric Dier who disappointed soccer fans during the championship. However, there is one German striker who seems to be built for World Cups, as he currently holds the record for most goals on the biggest stage of all.

Poor Childhood and Struggles at an Early Stage

Born in Poland in 1978, Miroslav Klose moved to Germany when he was 8 years old. His childhood was a complex mix of football training and exhausting work as a carpenter apprentice. He had to find the balance between developing his skills and technique and giving it all in order to help and provide for his family.

The talented striker was forced to sacrifice his education for the world of sports. At the age of 20, he signed his first professional contract with FC 08 Homburg. Back then, they were a team in the fourth tier of German football which didn’t sound quite promising for Miroslav Klose.

Success in Kaiserslautern

Klose managed to impress one team from the Bundesliga while he was playing for the reserve squad of FC 08 Homburg. FC Kaiserslautern missed on winning back-to-back titles on home soil in the 1998/99 season and they saw a huge opportunity in the face of Miroslav Klose.

The team has just secured a promotion from the Second Bundesliga just to defeat the entire competition in the top tier during the 1997/98 season. With 5th place the following year, they were looking to strengthen their attacking side. It seemed that Klose had everything they were looking for.

Despite playing most of the first two years with the reserve squad, the young German eventually paved his way to the starting 11 in Bundesliga. He scored 44 goals in 120 matches for the team as he was always some goals away from becoming the top goalscorer for the particular season.

Reaching his Zenith in Werder Bremen

At the age of 25, Miroslav Klose had to make some changes in order to achieve new heights in his football career. Signing a 4-year deal with Werder Bremen who were battling for the title seemed like a smart move as his strength, heading accuracy, and finishing ability would mix well with the squad.

He was part of the “Green-Whites” last golden generation as the team went on to win the DFL-Ligapokal in 2006 and enjoyed several decent stints in the European tournaments. Moreover, they ended up in 2nd place twice as Bayern Munich was their kryptonite on both occasions. Klose finished off his 4-year spell in Bremen with 53 goals in 89 matches which further cemented his spot as one of the most prolific strikers in the world.

Stints in Bayern Munich and Lazio

In 2007, the 29-year-old center-forward finally made a move to a top side in European football as he joined Bayern Munich. Despite struggling to keep up with Bayern’s top goalscorer Luka Toni in his first two years, Klose kept his spot in the squad. Unfortunately, his age further took its toll on him as the younger Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski, and Thomas Muller joined the squad.

He ended up scoring just 24 goals across four years in Munich, winning six titles along the process. He even played in the 2010 UCL Final against Inter as he came off as a substitute in the 63rd minute. His stint as a Bayern Munich player remains controversial, but nobody can take away his team’s achievements.

As the last destination of his career, Miroslav Klose chose Italy as he signed with Lazio in 2011. In the 2012/13 season, he helped “the Eagles” win Coppa Italia which turned out to be the last time he would win a trophy.

International Glory and FIFA World Cup Record

Despite the lack of individual success on a club level, his playing career with Germany’s kit was out-of-this-world. After 137 matches for the national team, Miroslav Klose topped the goalscoring list with 71 goals, most of which came in crucial games.

In his home World Cup in 2006, Klose scored a clinical 80th-minute equalizer in the Quarter-Final against Argentina which helped his team surpass that obstacle. The talented striker would go on to win the Golden Boot of the Tournament with 5 goals, thus increasing his overall record at World Cups to 10 goals.

After scoring 4 goals in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Klose would need to appear twice more on the scoreboard in Brazil four years later. A goal in the Group Stage against Ghana and a goal in the 7-1 victory over Brazil in the Semi-Finals would eventually secure his legacy on the world stage. He officially became the player with the most goals (16) at World Cups surpassing Ronaldo Nazario.