Klose still "incredibly important" for Germany - Loew

Sat Sep 7, 2013 2:30pm IST

Germany's coach Joachim Loew (L) comforts Miroslav Klose during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Austria in Munich September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Germany's coach Joachim Loew (L) comforts Miroslav Klose during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Austria in Munich September 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Dalder

REUTERS - Miroslav Klose will have just turned 36 when the World Cup kicks off in Brazil next year yet there is every sign that, barring injury or a dramatic loss of form, he will be Germany's lone striker in the competition.

The only clue that Klose gave to his age in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Austria came when avoided celebrating Friday's record-equalling goal for Germany with his trademark somersault.

But he still managed to get in front of Emanuel Pogatetz to turn in Thomas Mueller's cross just after the half hour to set Germany on their way to a 3-0 win, pulling him level with Gerd Mueller's total of 68 international goals.

"You know how old I am. It's been a while since I did a somersault, and I prefer it like that," Klose said after the game, his 129th for Germany.

"The goal means an awful lot, but I do not want to put myself on the same level as Gerd."

Loew's faith in Klose is so strong that he often kept the prolific Mario Gomez on the bench and has not even given a chance to Bayer Leverkusen forward Stefan Kiessling, last season's Bundesliga top-scorer with 25 goals.

Kiessling, who many argue is more mobile and versatile than Klose, became so exasperated with the situation that he last month announced he would not play for Germany again while Loew was in charge.

"In this form, Miro is incredibly important for the team," Loew, who habitually fields a lone striker, told the post-match news conference.

"Klose's secrets are his professionalism and his head. His great strength is his determination to keep up this standard and not relax."

Next year's World Cup would be a fourth for Klose, who made his international debut in 2001 after choosing Germany over Poland, where he was born.

Klose, who last season hit five goals in a Serie A game for Lazio against Bologna, has scored 14 goals in World Cup finals, one short of the record held by Brazil forward Ronaldo.

"If he can maintain his physical fitness and train without injuries, Miro is always a player who can produce goals, quality runs and good passing combinations, an extraordinary striker," Loew added.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by John O'Brien)

Cricket

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Indian Soccer

Indian Soccer

India's two leagues to merge within five years - FA official.  Full Article 

The Right Man

The Right Man

Wenger will turn Arsenal's fortunes around, says Ramsey.  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

INTERVIEW - Williams have Mercedes in their sights.  Full Article 

Must Take Blame

Must Take Blame

Mignolet still a weak link for Liverpool, says Grobbelaar.  Full Article 

Struggling to Connect

Struggling to Connect

Spurs trying to make Pochettino connection, says Eriksen.  Full Article 

Golf Update

Golf Update

Rory McIlroy has Georgia on his mind Down Under.  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage