Miroslav Klose, Germany

Miroslav Klose, Germany

Background
Miroslav Klose was born on June 9, 1978 in Opole, Poland, and was fortunate in that both parents were heavily into team sports. His father was a footballer who played for the local side, Odra Opole, while his mother was a member of the Polish national handball team. The Klose family eventually settled in Kusel, Germany, in 1987 after first moving to France from Poland.

Although somewhat of an introvert, Klose is reputed to be one of the best headers in the game and is also a great finisher with his feet; as proven with fine displays during the 2006 World Cup where he won the Golden Boot for his unbeaten five goals.

Football career
Klose was a relative late starter in the great scheme of things. He learned his football at village club-level, Blaubach-Diedelkopf; which was in the German seventh division.

Although reserved to the amateur wing, Klose eventually got his break on joining FC Kaiserslautern in 1999. It wasnít long before Klose made FC Kaiserslauternís starting line-up, scoring 25 times in his first 62 matches. As a result of his goal-scoring ability he earned himself his first international cap when Germany played Albania in March, 2001. Klose scored the winning goal in the 2-1 match.

The next season (2002-2003) was quiet for Miroslav Klose, who only scored seven times. He transferred to Werder Bremen the following season in 2004 for Ä5 million and hit it off with strike partner Ivan Klasnic, when he scored 15 times in the Bundesliga.

Klose was turning into one of Germany's top strikers by the end of the 2004-2005 season and the following season proved this on scoring 25 goals in 26 games in the Bundesliga.

World Cup history
At his first World Cup - the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea-Japan - Miroslav Klose scored five goals and was one of the top goal scorers behind Brazilís Ronaldo. Three of those goals came in spectacular fashion from a hat trick during Germany's 8-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.

Klose was also one of Germanyís definites for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He scored twice in Germanyís opener against Costa Rica, which Germany eventually won 4-2, and scored another two against Ecuador a few days later. Although he didnít score in the Germany/Sweden last 16 match, Klose set up strike partner Lukas Podolski twice, and scored the equalizer against Argentina in the following quarterfinal match. Germany won that one on penalties but lost 2-0 to Italy in extra time in the semis.

With these five World Cup 2006 goals, Klose won the Golden Boot Award and, to date, he has 10 World Cup goals to his name.

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