Miroslav Klose, the top scorer in World Cup history, has retired from Germany’s national squad a month after the team won the title for the fourth time.
The 36-year-old scored two goals in Brazil, making him the highest-scoring player in the tournament’s history with 16, one ahead of Brazil’s Ronaldo. With a career total of 71 goals, Klose is also the highest-scoring player for Germany. He is also the second most capped Germany player with 137 games.
“The title in Brazil fulfilled a childhood dream of mine,” Klose said in a statement posted on the German national team’s website Monday.
“I am proud and happy that I could contribute to this great success for the German football. There is no better time to close the national team chapter,” Klose said.
Klose is the second member of the World Cup winning side to step down after captain Philipp Lahm. While Lahm’s retirement came as a surprise, Klose’s move was expected.
The pair’s retirement will be marked at a ceremony before the Sept. 3 friendly against Argentina, the rival Germany beat 1-0 in the World Cup final. Neither will play at their own wish, the German federation said.
Germany coach Joachim Loew praised Klose a “world star,” and as “one of the greatest strikers in football.”
Born on Poland, Klose moved with his family to Germany at an early age and always played for his adopted homeland.
Klose made his debut as a substitute for Germany in a World Cup qualifier against Albania on March 24, 2001 and scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.
He played for Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga before moving to Lazio Rome in 2011.