Miroslav Klose 'more than just goals'
The German media has paid tribute to World Cup record-breaking striker Mirsolav Klose after he announced his retirement from international football on Monday.
- Brewin: Comparing Ronaldo and Klose
The 36-year-old's decision -- which had been expected after the 2014 tournament, in which he took his World Cup tally to 16 goals as Germany won the trophy -- sparked fond coverage of a man national boss Joachim Low called "one of the greatest attackers to ever play the game."
The Heute Journal, the main news show of German TV network ZDF, looked back at Klose's first international appearance against Albania in March 2001, when he came on as a substitute to score the first of his 71 Nationalmannschaft goals.
The programme described Poland-born Klose as humble and gentle, showing every one of his World Cup goals, spliced with interviews spanning his Germany career.
"It could go on like this forever -- he is not only a great footballer but also a good chap, as one of my colleagues wrote today," anchorman Christian Sievers said, refereeing to a Der Spiegel article.
The Der Spiegel piece went on to rank Klose alongside legendary Germany attackers Helmut Rahn, Uwe Seeler and Gerd Muller.
"The older Klose got, the more tournaments he played, the more he looked like a footballer fallen out of time," it said. "One from the good old days when national team players, with the help of their agents, did not tweet meaningless things into the world, when football stars played football and were not brand ambassadors."
Kicker commented that Klose had found an appropriate way to leave the big stage, saying: "It's fitting with the life of this great and always remarkably modest sportsman that he did not seek the big stage for his farewell but made an unspectacular announcement through the [German football] association.
"It will be huge challenge for the future generation of strikers to measure themselves against Miroslav Klose."
Broadsheet FAZ commented that a career such as that of Klose, who worked his way up the ranks from the seventh tier of German football to the pinnacle, would be almost impossible today.
Football magazine 11 Freunde compared Klose to a good wine, saying he "got better with every year, with a tasty finish" and added: "You will be missed -- not only because you helped Germany win the World Cup but also because you were like a good friend. You bolstered, gave hope and we could always rely on you."
He played 137 matches for his country over 13 years, and told the official German FA (DFB) website: "With the [World Cup] 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."
His tally of 71 Germany goals put 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."
Low said Klose was "someone you can always rely on, an international star and one of the greatest strikers" and added: "I am happy and grateful that I was able to work with Miroslav Klose."