Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Josef Klose (German: [ˈmiːʁoslaf ˈkloːzə] (listen), Polish: Mirosław Józef Klose; born 9 June 1978)[4] is a German former professional footballer who played as a striker. Klose is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation and holds the record for the most goals scored in FIFA World Cup tournaments.[5]

Miroslav Klose
Klose in 2016
Personal information
Full name Miroslav Josef Klose[1]
Date of birth (1978-06-09) 9 June 1978[2]
Place of birth Opole, Poland
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[3]
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1987–1998 SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 FC 08 Homburg II 15 (10)
1998–1999 FC 08 Homburg 18 (1)
1999–2001 1. FC Kaiserslautern II 50 (26)
1999–2004 1. FC Kaiserslautern 120 (44)
2004–2007 Werder Bremen 89 (53)
2007–2011 Bayern Munich 98 (24)
2011–2016 Lazio 139 (54)
Total 529 (212)
National team
2001–2014 Germany 137 (71)
Teams managed
2016–2018 Germany (assistant)
2018–2020 Bayern Munich U17
2020–2021 Bayern Munich (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team. He was part of the squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup, having previously finished second (2002) and third (2006, 2010) in the competition, and as runner-up at UEFA Euro 2008 and joint-third place at UEFA Euro 2012. Klose is the men's top goalscorer of the FIFA World Cup with 16 goals,[6] having scored five goals in his debut World Cup in 2002 and having won the Golden Boot at the 2006 World Cup in Germany by again scoring five times. He also scored four times in the 2010 World Cup and twice at the 2014 World Cup, in the latter tournament overtaking Ronaldo's then-record of 15 goals to top the all-time list.[7] Klose is also the all-time top scorer for Germany, which never lost a game in which Klose scored,[8] and one of the very few players ever to have won gold, silver and bronze medals in the World Cup. He retired from the national team on 11 August 2014, shortly after Germany's victory at the 2014 World Cup.[9]

At club level, Klose has been a less prolific but usually reliable goalscorer. Starting his career at FC 08 Homburg, he played in the Bundesliga for Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich, and in Serie A for Lazio where he finished his playing career in 2016 after five years at the club. He won two league titles with Bayern, along with cup competitions at Bayern, Werder Bremen and Lazio.

Background and personal life

Klose was born in the Silesian city of Opole, Poland. Both of his parents were professional athletes.[10] His father, Josef Klose, was also a professional footballer who played for Odra Opole, before leaving Poland in 1978 to play for French club Auxerre.[11] His mother, Barbara Jeż, was a member of the Poland women's national handball team. As an ethnic German and German national, Josef Klose was an Aussiedler whose family had remained behind when Silesia was ceded to Poland after World War II.[4] In 1986, then eight-year-old Miroslav joined his father in Kusel, West Germany, knowing only two words of German.[12] Klose developed his footballing skill and passion with local club SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf, which at the time was in the West-German seventh division. He was also an apprentice carpenter.[13][14]

Klose and his wife Sylwia have twin sons, Luan and Noah.[15][16] In a 2007 interview with Der Spiegel, he stated that at home, he and his wife speak Polish to their children, who learn German in school.[17] Klose relinquished Polish citizenship at age 18, opting to keep his German passport.[18]

Klose is Roman Catholic.[19][20]

Club career

Miroslav Klose at Werder Bremen


In 1998, Klose's professional career began at age 20 with a switch to the reserves at former Bundesliga outfit FC Homburg. Twelve months later, he moved to 1. FC Kaiserslautern.[21] He played for the second team and made his first appearance in the Bundesliga in April 2000. He scored 16 goals in 2001–02 season[22] and was shy of only two goals to become the top scorer.[23]

Werder Bremen

In March 2004, Klose signed a four-year contract with Werder Bremen for a €5 million ($6.2 million) transfer fee.[24][25] He made his league debut on 6 August 2004 as a substitute for Paraguayan striker Nelson Valdez in a 1–0 home win against Schalke 04.[26][27] On 29 August 2004, Klose scored his first goal, an equaliser, but the Bremen team lost 2–1 at home against VfL Wolfsburg.[28][29]

On 7 June 2007, Klose confirmed that he would leave Werder Bremen for Bayern Munich either before the 2007–08 season or upon the expiration of his contract with the Bremen team at the end of the 2007–08 season.[30]

Bayern Munich

Luca Toni and Klose (18), Olympiastadion, Hertha BSC vs. Bayern Munich, 2009

On 26 June 2007, Bayern Munich club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed his team had reached an agreement with Werder Bremen regarding the transfer of Klose. Klose completed his medical with Bayern on 28 June 2007 before signing a four-year contract.[23][31]

Klose won the first major honours of his club career at the end of his first season with Bayern, as they won the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal in 2007–08. In 2010, he won the 2010 DFL-Supercup, scoring a goal in the 81st minute.[32]

On 7 June 2011, with his contract about to expire, Klose did not reach an agreement with Bayern, thus leaving the club at the end of the 2010–11 season.[33] He had scored one Bundesliga goal in 20 matches in his final season.[34]

2011–12 season

Klose's No.11 Lazio shirt

Klose signed a three-year contract with Italian Serie A club Lazio on 9 June 2011.[35] He scored his first goal for Lazio in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League play-offs and also assisted four other goals. Lazio won that match 6–0 and won the play-off 9–1 on aggregate against Rabotnički.[36] On 9 September 2011, he made his Serie A debut in a 2–2 draw against Milan and scored a goal in the 12th minute, which was the first Serie A goal of the season. Despite having been at the club for only a few months, Lazio coach Edoardo Reja underlined his importance to the team.[37] On 16 October 2011, Klose scored in the 93rd minute to win the Rome derby against Roma for Lazio, 2–1. However, the occasion was tainted by a small section of radical Lazio fans holding a sign adapted from a motto used by the Nazis. The sign read "Klose Mit Uns", which means "Klose with us". It was intended by those fans as praise for Klose, however the Nazis used the motto "God with us" and the Lazio fans' sign featured the S's in the same font as the logo of Adolf Hitler's Schutzstaffel (SS). Klose had explicitly condemned the sign, saying, "[P]olitics should stay out of the stadium."[38][39][40]

On 10 December 2011, Klose scored twice and assisted one for Lazio in an away game against Lecce, including an 87-minute goal that gave Lazio a 3–2 victory.[41]

2012–13 season

On 2 September 2012, Klose scored his first Serie A goal of the season, scoring a brace in Lazio's 3–0 home win against Palermo.[42] On 26 September, Klose accidentally scored a goal with his hand against Napoli for Lazio, unseen by the referee. However, Klose showed great sportsmanship by informing the referee and asking to discount the goal. The referee then reversed the decision and the goal was discounted.[43]

On 2 December, Klose scored his ninth goal of the season, securing a 2–1 victory over Parma, lifting Lazio into fourth place in Serie A.[44] Two weeks later, on 15 December, he scored a late goal to send his side to a 1–0 victory over second-placed Internazionale, reducing the gap between the two sides in the league table to one point.[45] On 5 May 2013, he scored five goals against Bologna before being substituted for Louis Saha in the 68th minute.[46] It was the first time since the 1984–85 season that a player scored five goals in the same game in Serie A.[47]

On 26 May, Klose won the Coppa Italia, beating Lazio's city rivals Roma 1–0, the sixth in Lazio's history and the first time in the history of the tournament to see a Lazio–Roma derby in the final.[48]

2013–14 season

Klose captaining Lazio in the UEFA Europa League match against Dnipro in 2015.

Klose started the season by playing in the 2013 Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus, which ended in a 4–0 loss at Stadio Olimpico.[49] Klose started the league season by playing 83 minutes in team's opening league match of the season, a 2–1 home win against Udinese[50] and scored his first goal of the season on 31 August in a 4–1 away defeat to Juventus.[51] He scored his second league goal of the season on 28 October during the 2–0 home victory against Cagliari.[52]

2014–15 season

Klose played his first match of the Serie A season against Milan, in which Lazio was defeated 3–1.[53] He scored three goals and set up two other goals in the first half of the season in 16 appearances in Serie A. He also scored one goal and set up another for Lazio against Bassano in the only 2014–15 Coppa Italia match he played before the winter break.[54] They went on to win the match 7–0.[55] In the second half of the season, he scored 10 goals and set up 5 in 18 appearances, ending the season with 13 goals and 7 assists in Serie A, along with 3 goals and 2 assists in the Coppa Italia in 6 appearances.

2015–16 season

On 15 May, Klose scored his final goal for Lazio from a penalty on his final appearance for the club, on the final matchday of the 2015–16 Serie A season, in a 4–2 home loss to Fiorentina.[56] With his 64th goal for Lazio, he equalled Goran Pandev as the club's highest non-Italian goalscorer of all-time, and ended his Lazio career as the club's seventh-highest all-time goalscorer.[57]

International career

Klose on international duty for Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup

Klose's consistency as a goal-scorer in his first Bundesliga season at 1. FC Kaiserslautern earned him attention. In January 2001, then-head coach of the Poland national team, Jerzy Engel, travelled to Germany to persuade Klose to choose to represent Poland. This request was declined by Klose, who said, "I have a German passport, and if things are still running this way, I have a chance to play for Rudi Völler." Klose's hopes were justified, as he would soon score for Germany.[58]

In an interview given to Przegląd Sportowy on 9 June 2008, Klose stated the decision to play for Germany instead of Poland was not an easy one, and if Polish officials had been faster, he would be playing for Poland. Further, he added he does not regret the choice, as with Germany he has won medals in the World Cup tournaments.[59]

2002 World Cup

Klose's international debut came on 24 March 2001 in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Albania;[60] in the 73rd minute, Germany head coach Rudi Völler put him in as a substitute. Two minutes from time, he headed home the winner in a 2–1 victory for Germany, and celebrated with a front-flip.[61] Four days later, in his second match, Klose helped Germany temporarily lead their qualification group, as he came on in the 67th minute and scored in the 3–2 win against Greece in the 82nd minute, making it two crucial goals in only 33 minutes on the pitch. Two hat-tricks against Israel and Austria in friendlies prior to the upcoming World Cup were enough to establish him in Germany's starting line-up for the tournament.[62]

Klose came to international prominence at the 2002 World Cup in Korea–Japan with five headed goals for Germany, finishing as the joint second-highest goalscorer alongside Rivaldo. Klose also became the first player to score five headers in a FIFA World Cup, and he celebrated two of his goals with his trademark front-flip, earning him the nickname "Salto-Klose" (German: Salto = somersault).[63] His goal tally included a hat-trick in Germany's 8–0 hammering of Saudi Arabia, as well as one goal each against the Republic of Ireland and Cameroon.[64]

Euro 2004

Klose playing in the 2006 World Cup

Klose participated in UEFA Euro 2004 and came on as a substitute in two matches, against Latvia and the Czech Republic, but was not completely fit, since he had just recovered from a knee injury. He was not able to score and Germany was eliminated after the first round.[65]

2006 World Cup

In the opening match of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Klose scored two close-range goals in a 4–2 win over Costa Rica,[66] and added a similar brace in the final group game to defeat Ecuador 3–0 and make Germany the group winners.[67]

Klose scored an 80th-minute headed equaliser against Argentina in the quarter-finals, and Germany won the resulting penalty shootout.[68] With five goals, he finished as the top scorer of the tournament.[69]

Euro 2008

At Euro 2008, Klose started the opening group stage match against Poland and assisted Lukas Podolski's two goals in a 2–0 victory. He played the remaining two group games against Croatia and Austria with no goals of his own. He finally broke his duck during the knockout stages, scoring for Germany in the quarter-final and the semi-final against Portugal and Turkey respectively. In both matches, he scored Germany's second goal, and both games were won 3–2. However, Klose was unable to score during the final against Spain, which Germany lost 1–0.[70][71]

2010 World Cup

Klose was selected in Germany's final 23-man squad, and for his third successive World Cup campaign. On 13 June, Klose scored the second goal against Australia in their opening group match, a 4–0 victory. This goal put him level in World Cup goals with his former coach with Germany, Jürgen Klinsmann.[72] However, Klose was sent off in the 37th minute of Germany's match against Serbia for amassing his second yellow-card foul of the match, and did not play the match against Ghana because of his expulsion.

Klose opened the scoring in the round of 16 match against England on 27 June 2010 with his 12th World Cup goal, equalling Pelé for fourth on the all-time list, and also notching up his 50th international goal in his 99th international game, as Germany won the match 4–1.[73]

Klose made his 100th international appearance in the quarter-final match against Argentina, becoming only the sixth German player to reach the landmark. He then scored the second and fourth goals against Argentina (Germany winning 4–0), pulling him level with Gerd Müller's all-time German World Cup goalscoring record.[74]

Euro 2012

Klose before the match against Austria in 2012

During the Euro 2012 qualifiers, Klose scored at least one goal in every single game he played, striking against all of Germany's opponents: Belgium, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Austria. Gaining only six caps during the qualification campaign, he scored nine goals and provided two assists, making him Europe's second-most-successful striker for this period behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who scored 12 times in 8 matches.[75] At the end of the qualifying campaign, Klose had achieved 21 assists and 63 goals while playing for Germany, trailing Gerd Müller's German goalscoring record by five (albeit playing almost twice as many internationals compared to Müller).[76]

At the tournament, Klose came off the bench in all three of Germany's Group B games, but failed to score a goal. In the quarter-final game against Greece, Klose started the match and scored Germany's third goal in a 4–2 win.[77] Klose again had to come off the bench in the semi-final against Italy, but failed to add to his goal tally as Germany were eliminated with a 2–1 loss.

2014 World Cup and retirement

Klose playing in the 2014 World Cup Final

Prior to the tournament, Klose said the 2014 World Cup would be his last one for Germany, stating he wanted one more shot at trying to win the World Cup and having done that, he was content.[78][79][80] On 6 June 2014, in Germany's final friendly before the World Cup against Armenia, Klose scored his 69th international goal, thus breaking Gerd Müller's record of 68 goals and becoming Germany's record goalscorer.[81]

Klose scored his record-equalling 15th World Cup goal to help Germany to a 2–2 draw against Ghana on 21 June 2014, after entering the game as a 69th minute substitute for Mario Götze (who had scored Germany's first goal) with his team trailing 2–1.[82] This tied him with the Brazilian player Ronaldo.[83] With this goal, Klose became the third player in history to score in four different World Cups. On 8 July, Klose scored a record 16th World Cup goal in the 23rd minute against Brazil in the semi-finals, his second goal of the 2014 World Cup. That goal gave Germany a 2–0 lead, en route to a 7–1 win over Brazil, and Klose surpassed Ronaldo's previous record of 15 World Cup goals.[84] Klose set another record by becoming the first player to appear in four consecutive World Cup semi-finals.[85] Klose started in the World Cup final against Argentina, playing until the 88th minute when he was substituted for Mario Götze. Götze would score the 113th-minute goal which held up as the winning goal in Germany's 1–0 victory over Argentina, earning Germany's fourth World Cup title overall and first as a reunited country. Klose announced his retirement from international football one month after the final.[86]

Managerial career

On 1 November 2016, Klose was hired to become part of the coaching staff of the German national team. Klose said, "I celebrated my greatest successes with the national team and it was a wonderful and unforgettable time. That's why I'm delighted to return to the DFB. In the past few months, I have thought a lot about continuing my playing career, but also about pursuing other avenues, namely becoming a coach."[87]

On 11 May 2018, Bayern Munich named Klose as their coach for the U-17 team. Klose signed a two-year contract until the end of June 2020.[88][89]

On 7 May 2020, Klose signed a one-year contract to become the first-team assistant manager under Hans-Dieter Flick.[90] He left Bayern Munich in May 2021.[91]

Player profile

Style of play

A prolific goalscorer, Klose was a large and powerful striker who was known in particular for his ability in the air as a centre-forward, due to his strength, timing, elevation and heading accuracy, as well as his finishing ability.[92] In his prime, he was also a quick player who was known for his turn of pace, movement, and positional sense in the penalty area, which enabled him to lose his markers and get on the end of crosses.[93][94][95][96] In addition to his physical attributes, he possessed good technique[93] and hold-up play with his back to goal, and was capable of creating space for other players,[97][98][99] or setting-up goals for teammates in addition to scoring them himself,[100] due to his tactical intelligence and ability to interpret the game.[101] He was also known for his dedication and correct behaviour on the pitch.[94]

Goal celebrations

Earlier in his career, Klose was known for his acrobatic goalscoring celebrations, which included mid-air somersaults.[92]

Fair play

Klose playing in a charity match in 2016. Klose is known for a strong sense of sportsmanship.

Throughout his career, Klose often stood out for his fair play and honesty in addition to his skill and goalscoring as a footballer.[102] On 30 April 2005, while playing for Werder Bremen, Klose refused to accept a penalty given against Arminia Bielefeld as he felt the decision was incorrect. He was later given a fair play award for his actions,[103] although he had mixed feelings about the award, stating, "It's a big honour for me to receive this award, but I am also a bit irritated. For me, it was something you should always do. I would do it again – always."[104]

At the end of September 2012, Klose scored a goal using his hand for Lazio against Napoli. He admitted this to the referee, who took back his decision to award the goal, spared Klose from a yellow card and shook his hand.[103][104] Later that year, he was once again given a fair play award for his actions by the German Football Association, later commenting, "The referee asked me if I had touched the ball with my hand and it was not a problem for me to answer 'yes'. There are many youngsters who watch football on TV and we are role models for them."[105] In 2016, he was given the Sport Ethics Award for his honesty at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and subsequently added regarding the incident, "Napoli? For me it was easy, it's my character. We need to set an example, ... If I can even help out the referees, I will do so willingly."[106]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other1 Total Ref.
FC 08 Homburg 1998–99 Regionalliga West/Südwest 181181
1. FC Kaiserslautern II 1999–2000 36113611
2000-01 Oberliga Südwest 14151415
Total 5026000000005026
1. FC Kaiserslautern 1999–2000 Bundesliga 2000000020 [107]
2000–01 29920201224511 [108]
2001–02 3116403516 [109]
2002–03 329443613 [110]
2003–04 261011212912 [111]
Total 12044115201430014752
Werder Bremen 2004–05 Bundesliga 32154010824517 [112]
2005–06 26253220944031 [113]
2006–07 311310201324715 [114]
Total 895382503080013263
Bayern Munich 2007–08 Bundesliga 271065211254721 [115]
2008–09 261043873820 [116]
2009–10 2535281386 [117]
2010–11 201432111276 [32][34]
Total 982419132130141114953
Lazio 2011–12 Serie A 271220633515 [118]
2012–13 291520513616 [118]
2013–14 257003110298 [118]
2014–15 3413634016 [118]
2015–16 247104110308 [118]
Total 13954113001862017063
Career total 514202492391923131667258
  • 1.^ Includes German Super Cup and Italian Super Cup.


Klose playing against Greece at UEFA Euro 2012.
Appearances and goals by national team and year[119]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Germany 200172


Werder Bremen[120]

  • DFL-Ligapokal: 2006

Bayern Munich[120]


  • Coppa Italia: 2012–13




Klose celebrating his record-breaking 16th World Cup goal
  • FIFA World Cup men's all-time record goalscorer (16)
  • Germany national team all-time record goalscorer (71)
  • Only player to have had four or more (consecutive) World Cup medals[133]
  • Only men's player to have appeared in four or more (consecutive) semi-finals in World Cups[133]
  • Scored at least five goals in two World Cups,[134] (record shared only with Teófilo Cubillas and Thomas Müller)[135]
  • Record for scoring most goals from headers in a single edition of the men's World Cup[136]
  • One of eight players in Serie A history to score five goals in one match[47]


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