Miroslav Klose: We must focus on final
BELO HORIZONTE -- Record-breaker Miroslav Klose has brushed off the personal plaudits and reminded Germany their World Cup mission is still far from complete.
Klose, 36, wrote himself into the record books on Tuesday night with the second goal in Die Nationalmannschaft's 7-1 annihilation of Brazil taking his all-time tally to 16, putting him one clear of the previous top scorer Ronaldo.
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The former Brazil striker, Germany coach Joachim Low, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter were among the first people to congratulate Klose on his milestone -- but the forward only has success in the final on his mind.
"As a team we have an even bigger objective -- to win one more game,'' Klose said when asked about his record-breaking feat.
"You don't experience things like a 7-1 win over Brazil very often and it's not easy to put in a performance like that in a World Cup semifinal."
The message of calm reflection delivered by Klose, whose first World Cup goal came 12 years ago, was echoed by other members of Germany's triumphant squad.
Thomas Muller, who is just six goals shy of Klose's record despite this being only his second tournament, was the next player to emerge from the dressing room with a call for composure.
"We need to let this all sink in now and then shift our focus to the final," said the Bayern Munich striker, who kicked off the rout after 11 minutes. "We want to win the trophy and we're going to give everything to make that happen."
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had a quieter night than expected, echoed Muller's sentiments, saying: "Now it's very important for us to keep calm.
"It's important for us to not just think that we can beat every team in the world easily, especially as the next game is the final, when we will come up against the best in the world.
"We have to start again. We need to work hard. We must remember that it is not important what we did in the semifinal."
Although Germany have made the semifinals at the last four World Cups, some 24 years have passed since they lifted the trophy for the third time.
The side came close eight years ago when they reached the last four, but just like Brazil, they buckled under the pressure of being the host nation -- and Muller thinks the expectation that comes with hosting the tournament had a big impact on Brazil's display in the Estadio Mineirao.
"They were under a lot of pressure in their own country and in front of so many fans," Muller added.
"It got to the point where I felt sorry for them because they've got so many fantastic players who didn't deserve to lose like that.
"Things like this only happen in football."