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Aug 11, 2014

Miroslav Klose ends Germany career

The World Cup goal-scoring record holder, Miroslav Klose, has announced his expected retirement from international football.

All-time World Cup leading goal-scorer Miroslav Klose has announced his retirement from international football after winning the tournament with Germany last month.

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Klose, who broke Brazil star Ronaldo's World Cup record when he netted his 15th and 16th goals in the competition in Brazil this summer, said bowing out after the Germans had lifted the trophy was the right thing to do.

The 36-year-old, who played 137 matches for his country over 13 years, told the official German FA (DFB) website: "With the title in Brazil, a childhood dream came true.

"I am proud and happy that I was able to help shape this great success for German football."

Klose said he had enjoyed "a unique and wonderful time and so many unforgettable moments with Die Nationalmannschaft."

After the World Cup victory, he had hinted that he could soon bring down the curtain on his international career to enable him to concentrate on club football at Lazio.

"For me, there can be no better time to close the international chapter," he said.

Klose's tally of 71 Germany goals puts him three ahead of Gerd Muller as the country's highest-ever scorer.

But he stressed: "Team success stood, and stands, above everything for me. I have reached a huge goal [the World Cup] -- a goal that we shared as a team. But I have also reached goals I set myself personally. Whoever knows me knows that I am very ambitious. I am an attacker, and an attacker's job is to score goals."

He thanked the players and coaches he had worked with, saying current boss Joachim Low "always gave me complete confidence" and adding: "That our cooperation ended with winning the [World Cup] title is great."

Low returned the compliment, saying Klose -- whose first Germany cap came as a substitute against Albania in 2001 -- was "someone you can always rely on, an international star and one of the greatest strikers."

"When I joined the DFB as the assistant coach in 2004, Klose was already there," he said. "I am happy and grateful that I was able to work with Miroslav Klose."

DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said Klose was "not only an outstanding player but also an absolute role model."

Team manager Oliver Bierhoff added: "It's a strange thought that Miro won't be with the Nationalmannchaft in the future.

"He was a teammate of mine in 2002, and from 2004 I have witnessed him from the perspective of an official. All I can say is: 'Thanks for everything, Miro.'"

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