• World Cup

Welcome to the club, Ronaldo tells Klose

ESPN staff
June 21, 2014
Miroslav Klose came off the bench to make it 2-2 against Ghana © Getty Images

Brazil legend Ronaldo has congratulated Miroslav Klose on equalling his World Cup scoring record after the German grabbed his 15th goal in the 2-2 draw against Ghana.

Klose, 36, pulled level with Ronaldo when he scored in the 71st minute in Fortaleza. The veteran forward also overtook legendary striker Gerd Muller as the leading goalscorer for Germany in World Cups.

Ronaldo quickly took to Twitter to show there were no hard feelings, saying "Welcome to the club", and even offered a German translation.

He added: "I imagine your happiness! What a beautiful World Cup!"

Ronaldo, who also scored his 15th goal against Ghana in 2006, had tried to maintain his record ahead of the World Cup when he asked fans in Brazil to "cast a tiny spell on Miroslav Klose."

"That would be good, so that Klose scores no goals here," he had added.

Going into the tournament following a difficult season at Lazio, Klose was only used as a substitute, but managed to score with his first touch 112 seconds after coming off the bench when he put the ball past Fatau Dauda.

Following the goal, Klose performed an acrobatic somersault - his former trademark celebration.

"I don't know how long it's been since I did a somersault. But at least it worked out," Klose said after the match.

"You come in and want to turn the game around. Twenty [World Cup] matches and 15 goals isn't bad at all."

"I'm awfully happy for Miroslav Klose," Germany manager Joachim Loew told his post-match news conference. "He was only on the pitch for two minutes and this is sensational for his career.

"We know that he has had a difficult season and has been injured a few times. For me as a coach, it is sensational to know that I have this kind of player on the bench and he can make a decisive move anytime.

"He is precisely the kind of man who is ready for the physical aspect of the game. It is a great feeling for me and the team as well."

Despite his lack of recent game time with Germany, who have changed to a 4-3-3 system without a recognised striker, Klose never lost sight of the record.

"I don't like speaking about records, but anyone who knows me knows that this is an important goal of mine and it is something that keeps me going at this level," Klose said before the World Cup.

Muller scored 14 goals in only two tournaments, grabbing 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup and adding a further four in 1974, when his goal in the final against Netherlands sealed Germany's second title.

Muller, who quit Germany after the 1974 World Cup triumph, scored 68 goals in 62 matches for his country, a record that was broken by Klose in a friendly against Armenia earlier this month.

"Please don't compare me to Gerd Muller, I will never be mentioned in the same breath," Klose said ahead of the World Cup after scoring his 69th goal Germany goal.

Klose's 15th goal came in his 20th World Cup appearance and he has now scored at four consecutive tournaments - only the third player to achieve that feat after Brazil legend Pele and West Germany's Uwe Seeler.

In 2002, Klose scored five goals, all of them headers as an ageing Germany side progressed to the final. He added another five on home soil in 2006, where he also won the Golden Boot, before netting four more in South Africa in 2010.

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