World champion Miroslav Klose, whose contract at Lazio ran out in the summer, is ending his career as a player and returning to the DFB. After consulting with Germany head coach Joachim Löw and sporting director Hansi Flick, the 38-year-old will take part in a training programme with the DFB, with the primary goal being to get his career as a coach underway.
The former world-class striker will now attend a set coaching programme for the national team as well as the required qualifications for an A-license. Klose’s first match as part of the coaching team for the national side will be on 11th November for the World Cup qualifier against San Marino.
The last time that Miroslav Klose wore a Germany shirt in the World Cup was on 13th July 2014 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. He celebrated a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the World Cup final, capping off 137 international appearances and 71 goals for his country, making him the most successful goalscorer ever for Germany and the second most-capped player behind Lothar Matthäus (150 appearances). Even more, Klose holds the record for most goals scored at the World Cup finals, hitting the back of the net 16 times. The 38-year-old took part in a total of four World Cups between 2002 and 2014, and three European Championships.
Miroslav Klose explained that “The greatest achievements in my career came with the national team, it was a wonderful time for me and I will never forget it. That is why I am returning to the DFB. I’ve been thinking over the last few months that I want to stay close to the pitch but in a new role, namely as a coach. Pre-match analysis, meticulous planning and developing strategies and tactics before matches are all things that used to motivate and occupy me as a player. I am really grateful to Jogi Löw and Hansi Flick for the opportunity put views into practice.”
Jogi Löw spoke about why he thinks Klose would make such a good coach, saying that “Miro was always really reliable so I am very pleased that he is going to be part of the coaching team for the first time. He is a great role model, both as a person and a sportsman, who always puts the success of the team first. With his insight and experience, I can see him becoming a fantastic future coach and we will gladly support him here at the DFB. I’m sure that we are going to benefit from his presence as a coach just as much as we did as a player. Not only will he be working with us on the training field, he will also get to put his point of view across in pre-match preparation, during the game itself and in the post-match video analysis. We can’t wait to have him on board.”
Sporting director Hansi Flick was keen to highlight the DFB’s effort to involve and consult players in their decision making. He stressed that “We have always tried to include the perspectives and views of players when taking decisions on the DFB academy, both in terms of practical and conceptual issues. Oliver Bierhoff and I believe it is really important to regularly consult both current and former players. This is because we want to provide the best conditions for the best footballers in the country. It is a win-win situation when somebody like Miroslav Klose decides that he wants to go into coaching and to continue to contribute to the DFB.”
Oliver Bierhoff also gave an insight into why he believes it is crucial to have former players contributing to the development of the national team. He pointed out that “Players in particular identify strongly with the national team because it feels like a second home for them as it is such a familiar environment. It also became clear very quickly in our strategic planning for the academy, that it is really worthwhile bringing in the experience and expertise of our former international players. I welcome the fact that Miro is going down this route to work on his coaching. Not only will he benefit from it, but so will our coaches and many of our young players.”