KEIR RADNEDGE in BELO HORIZONTE: Germany coach Joachim Low paid tribute to Miroslav Klose after the veteran Lazio striker became the all-time leading scorer in World Cup history.
Klose’s goal in the 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semi-final in the Estadio Mineirao was his 16th in four tournaments and edged him one goal of former Brazilian World Cup-winner Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old who was born in Opole, Poland, is one of only four players to score in four World Cups along with fellow German Uwe Seeler and Pele.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary-general Jerome Valcke were in the crowd to see Klose make history.
Low, who recalled Klose to lead the line in a tactical reshuffle before the quarter-final victory over France, said: “That record means a lot to us because I think there is only Thomas Muller now who might beat it one day. It’s something great and Miroslav Klose really deserves it because of the way he is still, at his age, playing at the highest level and is still dangerous around goal.”
Low praised the “courage” of his team in taking the game to Brazil early on but admitted that the evental outcome “was not to be expected.”
He said: “Three goals in four minutes was a great shock for the hosts and, even after we made it 2-0, you could see they were confused and never regained their organisation. We took our chances very coolly and we realised they were cracking up . . . They were
Low said he empathised with the Brazilians because he remembered the pain of defeat by Italy in the last minute of extra time in the 2006 semi-final when Germany were hosts and he was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann.
He said: “I don’t remember whether there has ever been a similar result to this but lets put it into context and say that the hosts were unable to deal with the pressure.
“We had a loss against Italy in the 119th min in 2006 so we know how Luis Felipe Scolari and the Brazilian team feel and also the Brazilian people.
“They will find this defeat difficult to digest but until now Brazil had played a magnificent World Cup and has organised it in a sensational way.
“What Brazil has delivered here is fantastic with lots of friendly people and with their fascination and passion for football I understand this will be a painful defeat and difficult to digest.”
Now it was crucial that his own team realised the task had not been completed.
Low said: “It will be important to recover and remain calm. This is a team that is perfectly rooted. There was no euphoria in the dressing room.
“The players were satisfied and happy but we know both Argentina and Holand have played an exclloent World Cup so far. Both have magnificent players. Argentina have a strong defence and they have Messi while Holland have also played extremely well with players such as Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben who can, at any moment, decide any match.”
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