World Cup - Klose ties Ronaldo's all-time scoring record

Miroslav Klose has become the joint top goalscorer in World Cup history after scoring against Ghana during their Group G clash in Brazil.

Reuters
World Cup - Mild-mannered Klose might let 'party animal' out if Germany win
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Miroslav Klose

Equalling the record held by former Brazil striker Ronaldo with his 71st minute strike, Klose has quietly put his name into the history books with a remarkable lack of drama.

Famous for performing mid-air somersaults to celebrate scoring important goals earlier in his career, he changed to mostly raising a clenched fist and giving a quick smile before putting his serious game face back on and getting back to work.

But on Saturday the somersault was back after he scored the equaliser from close range with his first touch less than two minutes after coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw in Group G.

"I don't know how long its been since I did a somersault. but at least it worked out," he said after the match.

"You come in and want to turn the game around. Twenty (World Cup) matches and 15 goals isn't bad at all."

His goal against Ghana also moved Klose one ahead in the World Cup scoring list of compatriot Gerd Mueller, who led West Germany to the 1974 World Cup title.

Klose had shared second place with Mueller since scoring twice in a 4-0 quarter-final win over Argentina on July 3, 2010.

The best German striker of his generation, Klose is also his country's all-time leading scorer with 70 goals in 133 games.

The soft-spoken Klose is the antithesis of flamboyant and in many ways the epitome of Germany's star-less World Cup teams.

"There's no shame in falling down - the only shame is not getting back up on your feet again," Klose said in his profile on the German FA's website (www.dfb.de).

Tall and strong in the air, Klose is known for his superb timing and leaping ability. He has been consistently lethal in front of goal in the last three World Cups helped by the fact that Germany reached the final and semi-finals twice.

In 2002 Klose scored five headed goals as underdogs Germany made it to the final, where they lost 2-0 to Brazil with Ronaldo scoring twice to register eight for the tournament.

Four years later with Germany as hosts, Klose won the Golden Boot when he scored another five goals in leading Germany to the semi-finals. In 2010 he scored four more in South Africa.

Klose has also been the beneficiary of outstanding crops of attacking midfielders who have set up many of his 70 goals for Germany. He has seen off challenges from a number of younger strikers eager to replace him, including Mario Gomez.

In fact, Klose is the only specialised striker in Germany coach Joachim Loew's squad in Brazil after Gomez was dropped.

Klose moved with his Polish family to Germany in 1986 at the age of eight when he spoke only a few words of German.

He broke into the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern in 1999 and five years later moved to Werder Bremen before joining Bayern Munich in 2007. He was transferred to Lazio three years ago.

Klose headed the winner on his Germany debut to earn a 2-1 victory over Albania in 2001 to avoid an embarrassing draw.

Alongside his record-breaking goal tally, Klose will long be remembered for his sportsmanship with his acts of fair play making headline news in Germany.

He told a referee in Italy in 2012 to disallow a goal he had just scored because he used his hand. Seven years earlier, playing for Werder Bremen, he declined to accept a penalty kick because he did not think he had been fouled.

The top 10

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T1. Miroslav Klose (Germany) 15 goals, 20 matches, 3 tournaments

At the ripe old age of 36, the Germany legend got goal number 15 to move clear of his childhood idol Mueller and still has the rest of the tournament to score number 16. The Lazio striker has said he will retire from the international scene after this summer in Brazil and what a way that would be to go out.

T1. Ronaldo (Brazil) 15 goals, 19 matches, 4 tournaments

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When he rounded goalkeeper Richard Kingson and slotted home after just five minutes of Brazil's last-16 tie against Ghana on June 27 2006, Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima, the 'original Ronaldo', became the highest scorer in World Cup history. It was his 15th goal on football's biggest stage and was a fitting reward for a player who possessed strength, power, pace and technique in abundance. Even more remarkable is that 11 of those 15 goals came after two career-threatening knee injuries led one doctor to write his career off.

3. Gerd Mueller (West Germany) 14 goals, 13 matches, 2 tournaments

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The record Ronaldo surpassed on that night in Dortmund had previously belonged to Gerd Mueller, another of the game's greats. And while Ronaldo took four editions of the World Cup to reach his mark, 'Der Bomber' set the bar at 14 after just two. Incredibly, the Germany striker bagged 10 in 1970, during what is widely regarded as one of the best World Cups ever seen. And four years later he added a further four, his last one, in the final against Holland, proving the most memorable - not only did it take him past Just Fontaine's record of 13, but it won the World Cup for Germany too. It also proved to be his last goal for his country, as he brought the curtain down on his international career after the game.

4. Just Fontaine (France) 13 goals, 6 matches, 1 tournament

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The legendary French centre-forward may have shone for just one summer, but what a crazy, goal-laden summer it was. The tournament in Sweden was positively dripping with Fontaine goals in 1958 - four against West Germany, a hat-trick against Paraguay, a pair of braces against Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland, and strikes against Scotland and Brazil - and he remains to this day the player who has scored the most in a single edition of a World Cup. That record, in these days of cannier defences, is showing no signs of being beaten any time soon.

5. Pele (Brazil) 12 goals, 14 matches, 4 tournaments

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At the tender age of 17, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, usually shortened to Pele, already had six goals and a World Cup title to his name. What came next was hardly prolific, but nevertheless helped cement his reputation as one of, if not the, greatest player of all time. He managed to add just two more goals over the next two editions before the touch paper was eventually lit once more in 1970 as his four goals helped him and Brazil to a third World Cup success in Mexico.

6. Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) 11 goals, 5 matches, 1 tournament

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It's difficult to imagine a more emphatic way to begin a World Cup career than Sandor Kocsis' blistering debut against South Korea in Hungary's opening match at the 1954 World Cup. The Magical Magyars' frontman claimed a hat-trick in a 9-0 win and it was clear that a star had been delivered to the world stage. Kocsis was not finished there, though, and he went on to find the back of the net four times against West Germany in his next game, before claiming another two against Brazil and two more against Uruguay in the semis. Kocsis had not only beaten the previous record set by Brazilian Ademir four years earlier, he had smashed it.

T7. Helmut Rahn (West Germany) 10 goals, 10 matches, 2 tournaments

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Over the course of two tournaments, Helmut Rahn, the Gerd Mueller of the 1950s if you will, ensured people sat up and took notice thanks to his formidable feats in front of goal. It might never have been that way though, as the Rot-Weiss Essen striker, nicknamed 'Der Boss', was not included in the original German party set for Switzerland. Having left Germany with his club for a tour of Uruguay, he was eventually recalled to the squad, fortunately for the Germans as he was soon to become the hero of the 'Miracle of Bern', scoring twice, including the winner, in the 3-2 upset of Hungary to lift the World Cup.

T7. Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina) 10 goals, 12 matches, 3 tournaments

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Regarded at one of the greatest goal-getters of the 1990s, Gabriel Batistuta's reputation was partly forged and then cemented at World Cup tournaments. In 1994, 'Batigol' scored four, including a hat-trick against Greece in Argentina's opening match, before he added five more to his tally in France four years later, with another hat-trick, this time against Jamaica in Paris, helping bolster his impressive figures. Just one more in the win over Nigeria in 2002 took Batistuta to 10 - ahead of his fellow Argentines Guillermo Stabile, Diego Maradona and Mario Kempes.

T7. Teofilo Cubillas (Peru) 10 goals, 13 matches, 3 tournaments

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Peru are not currently a force to be reckoned with in world football, but back in the 1970s when they had Teofilo Cubillas in their line-up, they were. The forward, one of the best South American players ever to grace a pitch, boasts an incredible strike rate at World Cups. In 1970, he was one of the major players in an entertaining tournament in Mexico, scoring five times in four games, one against West Germany and another against Brazil. A star was born. Cubillas missed out on the tournament in 1974 as Peru failed to qualify but he and his team returned in Argentina four years down the track and he repeated his feat of scoring five times, including a hat-trick against Iran. Cubillas was then given a glorious opportunity to add to his tally in 1982, but his 33 years finally caught up with him and was left on 10.

T7. Grzegorz Lato (Poland) 10 goals, 20 matches, 3 tournaments

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1974 was a good year for football romantics, particularly if they were watching Poland at the World Cup. Goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski, captain Kazimierz Deyna and perhaps most of all the attacking trio of Grzegorz Lato, Robert Gadocha and Anderzej Szarmach all captured the public's imagination in Germany. Lato, with seven goals, took home the golden boot and it was his solitary goal against Brazil that gave Poland a remarkable third-place finish. He went one better four years later, scoring twice more against Brazil before reaching his final tally of 10 with an effort against Peru in 1982 as Poland again reached the semi-finals.

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