Friday November 16 2012
Klose – the eternal striker

As the media spotlight in Rome focuses on Erik Lamela, Alex Mott explains why there's a man across the capital who is equally worthy of our attention.

People are attracted to the new. Shiny, bright, never-before-seen things are what the general population crave. And football fans are the same. Someone young, someone fresh, someone different are what supporters live for.

Wilfried Zaha has been commanding column inches in England having played quite well in the second tier for Crystal Palace. At 20, he's clearly a prestigious talent, but does he really deserve a call-up from Roy Hodgson for the national team? Probably not.

In Serie A, we've been enjoying the goalscoring exploits of Stephan El Shaarawy and Erik Lamela. The pair of them have been a breath of fresh air this season, dispelling the myth that youngsters can't make it in the cut-throat world of Italian football. But whilst they've been racking them up for Milan and Roma, across the capital one man has been going about his business, scoring important goals and firing his side to fifth in the table.

It's about time someone praised the goalscorers' goalscorerMiroslav Klose.

For a decade now the Polish-born striker has been heading, firing, slotting and weaving his way past goalkeepers. The 2002 World Cup was perhaps his breakthrough for fans outside of Germany. Die Mannschaft reached the Final that year, with the Kaiserslautern forward scoring five goals. A move to Werder Bremen followed producing 63 goals in 132 appearances.

It was the biggest stage of all though, that continued to be Klose Country. The 2006 World Cup in Germany saw the Grun-Weissner man score five goals again, but this time he was named top-scorer.

A move to the mighty Bayern Munich came a year later, and still nets all around Europe rippled. Half a century of strikes came in 150 matches, but it was once more with the national team where he excelled. Joachim Low's side reached the semi-finals of the 2010 South African World Cup, with Klose scoring four this time around – putting him joint-second with Gerd Muller in the tournament's all-time scoring charts.

At 33 some may have thought him over-the-hill, past his best. But in 2011 the front-flipping forward made an unexpected move to Lazio. He could have gone to America, Australia, the Middle East. It could have been one big payday, an extended holiday to round off his career. Miroslav Klose, though, wanted a different challenge, and he got that in the Italian capital.

His first season on the peninsula produced 13 goals, and saw the Biancocelesti finish in fourth place. It would have seen them play Champions League football were it not for the UEFA co-efficient.

The years of poor European performances from Italian clubs may not matter to the Aquile this season however. The German has been in exceptional form, scoring seven League goals so far and striking up a partnership with midfielder Hernanes not seen at the Stadio Olimpico since Marcelo Salas and Christian Vieri were strutting their stuff.

"It was difficult to take him to Rome,” Lazio sporting director Igli Tare revealed to the club's official website. “It relied very much on his willingness to accept a challenge on a technical level, because in economic terms what teams offered elsewhere was not comparable to what we could offer.

“With his experience, his calmness, his desire and his determination for a team like ours, he is critical.”

Vladimir Petkovic's side are currently fifth in the table, and can be considered a genuine contender for that all-important third spot.

With the derby win behind them and Juventus ahead this Saturday, November may turn out to be a crucial month for the club in the race for Europe. And with Miroslav Klose leading the line, who knows how high they could finish?

An eternal striker for the Eternal City.

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Have your say...
May I say KLOSE is a fantastic striker. The WC goals speak for how good he is. I would rather have a seasoned striker than a young immature one. Vito Doria seems like a premier league fan to me taling about the ages of players. Those players from WC 2010 just played badly - nothing to do with age. I suggest he take his premier league views and leave us intelligent fans to watch wounderful Serie A. A league that has produced 4 World Cup winning teams. Ciao Vito.
on the 19th November, 2012 at 12:21pm
Klose is a wonderful striker, and criminally underrated. He is technically brilliant, has exceptional movement, and is very smart. He also has a terrific attitude. Even though I am not a Lazio fan, I am delighted to see him ply his trade in Serie A. Even though he is 34, I believe that he can do a Teddy Sherringham, and play on for many more years.
on the 17th November, 2012 at 11:19am
A good article for once, Mott. Klose has been an excellent purchase for Lazio and he has been a fantastic striker over the years.

Having said that, we need these new stars to come through. The post-calciopoli era in the Serie A saw too many veterans fill club rosters and the Italy's 2010 World Cup disaster was a wake-up call. It's great for veterans like Klose and Di Natale to shine but they have form. When the legs are gone, they need to retire. Most of the WC 2010 team didn't understand that.
on the 17th November, 2012 at 8:03am
Wonderful article about one of the VERY BEST of ALL Time!! K L O S E !!!!
on the 16th November, 2012 at 5:26pm

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