RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Miroslav Klose has had a good week.
Tuesday: Become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer.
Sunday: Win the World Cup.
If the 36-year-old Klose does choose to retire now, it’ll be with those two very big achievements.
It didn’t even matter to Klose that he was substituted in the 1-0 win over Argentina in the final at the Maracana Stadium. Klose came off for Mario Goetze, who went on to score Germany’s title-clinching goal in extra time.
That meant Klose, playing at his fourth World Cup, finally got to lift the trophy after losing in the final in 2002 and the semifinals in 2010. He also got to be a World Cup winner five days after he scored his 16th goal at the tournament in the 7-1 semifinal victory over Brazil, overtaking Brazil’s Ronaldo as the most successful striker at football’s main event.
“It’s simply overwhelming. This was the icing on the cake,” Klose said soon after parading the glittering World Cup trophy around the Maracana with his teammates. “Simply world class. It was always my dream to get on the summit and look down. Incredible.”
The Poland-born Klose is Germany’s all-time leading scorer and has shone at every World Cup he’s played.
He was the top scorer and Golden Boot winner at the 2006 World Cup in Germany with five goals. Klose also scored five goals in his first World Cup, in 2002. He scored four at South Africa in 2010 and two this year in Brazil.
He may now call it quits with the German national team after a 13-year international career. But coach Joachim Loew did warn everyone not to jump to conclusions about the veteran forward giving up.
“Perhaps he will also be playing in four years’ time. Everything is possible with him,” Loew said.
Because there is another record Klose is on the brink of: Sunday’s final was his 24th World Cup game, just one short of fellow German Lothar Matthaeus’ all-time tournament appearance record.
How about Russia 2018, Miroslav?