Miroslav Klose: "That was a really great sign"
Joachim Löw's silence does not express any disrespect. Nor is it true that the coach does not want to talk about Miroslav Klose. He is not sick and tired of it, nor does he consider it a tiresome burden. But anyone who still has not recognized the qualities of Miroslav Klose, so the national team coach seems to think, is beyond help.
But eventually Löw says something: "We do not need to talk about Klose." Well, not about him, but certainly with him. About the start of the second half of the season with Lazio, about right-wing tendencies shown by fans and about his goals for club and country. In this DFB.de interview with editor Steffen Lüdeke, the 34-year-old forward gives readers a few insights into his life in Italy.
DFB.de: Mr Klose, the winter break was short. How did you spend Christmas and New Year?
Miroslav Klose: I took my family to relax and enjoy in the snow, it was very nice and has done us the world of good.
DFB.de: Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
Klose: Actually, they are the same intentions as every year. I always try to achieve the maximum sporting success for the national team and the club. First of all I hope to stay healthy, I think this is the precondition for everything else. I may be over thirty already, but I still want to improve myself and learn something.
DFB.de: You are placed second in the league table after a fantastic first half of the season with Lazio in the Serie A. How great is the enthusiasm of the people in Rome? And how great is the sense of anticipation for the second half of the season?
Klose: Yes, I agree we're on a roll. We have stabilized and have become more consistant in our performance. It's a great atmosphere in the city, at least for the Lazio fans. And that is exactly what I wish: to continue inspiring people with our efforts.
DFB.de: Euphoria about you in Rome reached new dimensions again. Do all those accolades still flatter you, or is the sheer amount of attention becoming a source of irritation?
Klose: Not at all, on the contrary. It is really incredible, how loving and how enthusiastic the people I meet here are. That's just very, very nice and not annoying at all.
DFB.de: Led by Kevin Boateng, AC Milan have recently abandoned a test match, because the dark-skinned players have been were racially insulted by fans. Boateng and Milan have received a lot of encouragement. How do you rate their action?
Klose: That was a really great gesture and just the right thing to do.
DFB.de: You said your personal goal for the sports year 2013, would be, to be in with the chance for the championship. Can you be more specific – would you fancy winning the title as well? Or are Juve too consistant and the three point gap is simply too wide?
Klose: Juve are a great team and clearly the number one favorite for the title. We need to try to stabilize our performances and to become more effective. We'll try to get as many points as possible and stay at the top as long as possible. And then we will see what comes out of it in the end.
DFB.de: What value has the "Scudetto" for you compared to the German league and German FA Cup victories with Bayern?
Klose: I'd rather not talk about things that are still far away and which I have not reached yet.
DFB.de: In the past season Lazio played a long time for the Champions League places, but then ran out of steam at the end of the season and, "only" reached the Europe League. Was that just because you were sidelined with an injury?
Klose: I am not the only player in the team, so that's nonsense. I just think that we lacked the consistency and efficiency - and thats exactly what we have to work on every day. That's what makes great teams.
DFB.de: Many people say Lazio depend on your goals for success. How do you deal with that pressure?
Klose: This is not pressure, that is positive motivation. Also, it is my job to score goals and help the team. At Lazio - and in the national team.
DFB.de: In the Europa League you will play against Borussia Mönchengladbach. How strong do you think are Gladbach?
Klose: Gladbach are a great club with a great coach, I appreciate him a lot for his tactical skills. I believe Gladbach are a tough nut to crack that quite a few Bundesliga teams will have problems playing against.
DFB.de: Your "national team year" begins in February with an international friendly match against France in Paris. At first sight, a match like many others, but actually, something unusual could happen: goal number 68 scored by Miroslav Klose, the attitude of Gerd Müller's record. You have said repeatedly that you reject being compared with Müller. But why? Only because of his matches-to-goals ratio?
Klose: We are different types of forwards in different times in other systems. Gerd Müller remains unique in his way.
DFB.de: But you are not going to shoot the ball deliberately past the target, just to avoid cracking the record...
Klose: Probably not.
DFB.de: Joachim Löw has declared 2013 as the year of concentration. What would be your 2013 heading for the national team?
Klose: I do not have a headline. For us, the objective must be finding the right balance between creativity and efficiency.