Monday, July 5, 2010

German Is Off Bench and on Verge of Goal Record

It is not all about youth for this revamped and captivating German national team. It is not all about the thrill of newcomers discovering that their talents match up with established figures like Wayne Rooney and John Terry of England or Lionel Messi and Gabriel Heinze of Argentina.

“I told my young players that they were faster than Argentina,” Germany Coach Joachim Löw said after his team’s 4-0 victory Saturday. “I told them that if they put players like Heinze under pressure, the Argentines would struggle because they are not as young as they were.”

But Miroslav Klose, 32, is hardly as young as he was, either. Reduced to reserve duty at his German club, Bayern Munich, he scored just three goals in a disappointing, injury-interrupted Bundesliga season and was nothing more than a bit player in the Champions League final defeat against Inter Milan in May.

Fans could have questioned whether Klose was in Germany’s World Cup lineup more because of a sense of gratitude for services rendered than because he was still the best center forward in his country.

But that was before Germany coalesced with startling speed into the team to beat in South Africa, with Klose continuing to do what he always has done in three World Cups: score and score some more.

With 52 goals in 100 appearances for Germany, the Polish-born Klose has a world-class strike rate and has four goals in four matches here.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/sports/soccer/05klose.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a23


Source photo: http://team.dfb.de/

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