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By ESPN Staff

Klose voted first-half best by Bundesliga peers

BERLIN, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen striker Miroslav Klose has been named the best outfield player of the first half of the season in Kicker magazine's poll of Bundesliga professionals published on Monday.

Germany striker Klose, who scored 16 goals in the first 17 matches for Bremen, got 38.3 percent of the votes of 249 players in the German first division to finish well ahead of Hamburg SV playmaker Rafael van der Vaart, who got 22.5 percent.

Werder Bremen team mate Tim Borowski was third with 13 percent.

Hanover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke, who was named best goalkeeper of the full 2004/05 season in Kicker's May poll, remained number one in the first half of this season, winning 22.9 percent. Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn was second with 21.6.

For the full 2004/05 season, Hertha Berlin's Brazilian forward Marcelinho was voted best outfield player.

Bayern Munich, who had the best first-half record in the 42-year history of the Bundesliga, were the overwhelming choice of the German professionals to retain their title this season.

Eight out of 10 said they expect Bayern to win the championship. Werder Bremen were picked by 10.2 percent and Hamburg got 8.6 percent.

Bayern are six points clear with 44 points from 17 matches. Hamburg, the only side to beat Bayern in the league this season, are second on 38 points and Bremen two points further back in third.

The German players also overwhelmingly expect MSV Duisburg, Kaiserslautern and Cologne to be relegated.

Hamburg coach Thomas Doll got 57.5 percent to be voted best coach of the first half.

The Bundesliga resumes after a six-week break on January 27.