SportSoccer
2014 World Cup

Welcome to the club, Ronaldo tells 'old guy' Klose

Germany hails veteran striker after he equals Brazilian great's record in 2-2 draw with Ghana

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 10:32pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 10:32pm
 

Germany hailed its evergreen hero Miroslav Klose after he equalled Ronaldo's record of 15 goals at World Cup finals with one of his most important strikes.

The 36-year-old tapped in a crucial equaliser against Ghana two minutes after coming on as substitute. Klose performed his trademark celebratory flip and the tributes came flooding in.

"Welcome to the club," Brazilian great Ronaldo Tweeted. "I can only imagine your happiness!!! What a beautiful Cup!!!"

I'm incredibly pleased for [Klose]. That is another high point in his unparalleled career
Germany coach Joachim Loew

Germany coach Joachim Loew and the country's media also paid tribute to the Lazio striker, now at his fourth World Cup finals, whose goal even overshadowed a brilliant Lionel Messi strike against Iran that saw Argentina into the second round.

"Thanks, Old Guy!" headlined the Bild am Sonntag tabloid on its front page, showing a photo of Germany's all-time record scorer doing his flip jump.

"Klose rescues Germany," said the broadsheet Welt am Sonntag highlighting his role in the dramatic game which finished 2-2.

The Berliner Morgenpost proclaimed it's "world class to have a striker like Klose".

"I'm incredibly pleased for him. That is another high point in his unparalleled career," said Loew.

"It has not been an easy season for him, but he has done it again and got himself in top shape for a tournament. For a coach it is of course great to have options like him on the bench."

Klose has said next year will be his last in Germany's white shirt. But he could yet break Lothar Matthaeus' record of 150 caps.

He has so far played in 133 internationals and scored 70 goals. Klose sat out Germany's 4-0 thumping of Portugal last Monday when Thomas Mueller claimed a hat-trick in his place.

"You really want to come in when the team is winning," admitted Klose.

"It doesn't matter whether I play from the start or come off the bench: all games are important and 15 goals in 20 World Cup games isn't bad."

The result left Germany on top of group G with four points. Ghana, beaten by the United States in their first game, have one point heading into their final match with Portugal.

Messi curled in a brilliant shot in the first minute of injury time as Argentina overcame Iran 1-0 in group F to enter the second round.

The result broke Iranian hearts.

Argentina's captain was largely anonymous for much of the match as Iran frustrated the South American giants at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao Stadium.

Iranian media lamented the "injustice" of Serbian referee Milorad Mazic's rejection of a penalty appeal that could have turned the game.

"Argentina + the referee 1, Iran 0," read the headline by Jam-e-Jam newspaper. "Messi was fantastic, but the referee wasn't," fumed Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz.

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