What a World Cup it has already been for Miroslav Klose. He may have only appeared, very fleetingly, in one game but he has already made the tournament very memorable and even historic.
Having found the goal to equal Brazilian legend Ronaldo's record of 15 goals at World Cups - and having overtaken Gerd Mueller as Germany's greatest ever goalscorer - he now has his place in history firmly established.
Klose scored with his first touch of the ball, 112 seconds after coming on as a sub, and he became only the third player in World Cup history to score in four different editions of the competition (after Pele and Uwe Seeler).
If he can continue to score at the same rate he usually does during World Cups (he notched five goals in both 2002 and 2006, and four more in 2010) then he should comfortably surpass Ronaldo's record by the time the tournament is out.
Klose is a fine footballer. He might not be the type of figure to earn global fame in the manner of a Messi, a Ronaldo or an Ibrahimovic, but his solid record over 15 years for Kaiserslauten, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and, most recently, Lazio, have earned him a reputation that is quietly solid, if not spectacular.
As soon as the Polish-born star slips on his Germany shirt, however, all that changes: he becomes something of a monster, and one who has earned the right to rub shoulders with the greatest ever at international level.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 21, 2014
> Ronaldo scored 8 of his 15 World Cup goals with one touch. > Klose has scored 13 of his 15 World Cup goals with one touch.
— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) June 21, 2014
He has 70 goals in 133 appearances spanning 13 years with his national team - and has now clinched a share of one of the biggest records in the game, as the joint highest-scoring player in World Cup history.
Klose turned 36 three days before the World Cup kicked off in Brazil on June 12, but despite his age he is still a regular for his country. And still able to celebrate goals with his absurd front flip, of course.
Germany boss Jogi Loew is a huge fan, has had him in all his squads since he took over the national side, and barring injury he is certain to continue making appearances as Die Mannschaft's campaign progresses in Brazil.
As the graphic above demonstrates, Klose really is the classic poacher in and around the six-yard box, so it is little surprise that he is still able to play the way he does at the age of 36, becoming the oldest German to score at a World Cup.
While some players are unable to convert their club form on the international stage, Klose appears born to play for his country, constantly struggling to do the reverse and perform at club level.
It is one of the more remarkable careers and will have frustrated most, if not all, of his club managers. If he can do it on the biggest stage for Germany, can he just not motivate himself to replicate such form in domestic football?
Perhaps it is just because he is able to convert chances provided for him by very high-quality team-mates, but nothing should take away from the fact that his goalscoring record when it really matters is truly outstanding.
When you can make this kind of impact on international football, why bother at club level? Klose's name will forever be in the history books.
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