Klose runs himself into ground for German cause
Miroslav Klose may not have secured himself the all-time World Cup record scorer mantle but his selfless running made Germany coach Joachim Loew's decision to hand him a start worthwhile as the Germans reached a record fourth successive World Cup semi-final after a 1-0 win over France.
The 36-year-old, appearing in his 22nd World Cup match, did not threaten to score but his presence gave Germany a focal point in attack, and provided France's centre-backs with something else to think about besides the dangerous runs into the area from Thomas Mueller.
If anyone is ready to take on Klose's mantle it is the 24-year-old Bayern Munich star, who arguably represents the future of this German team and already has nine World Cup goals.
His threat on the counter-attack, allied to the fresh legs of Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze, meant Germany remained the more likely side to score in the closing minutes as they inflicted more World Cup pain on the French, whom they beat in the 1982 and 1986 semi-finals.
Klose, who scored a crucial goal just after coming on as a substitute in the 2-2 draw with Ghana in the group game, never got a sniff of goal but appeared to have genuine claims for a penalty in the first-half when he was pulled back by Mathieu Debuchy.
However, the referee waved his appeals away and it summed up a frustrating 135th appearance for the Poland-born striker.
He completed just eight passes and failed to muster a single shot on goal to remain level with retired Brazil great Ronaldo on 15 goals in the World Cup.
Indeed his contribution in the greater scheme of things paled in comparison to another player who was restored to the starting line-up Mats Hummels, who had missed the 2-1 win over Algeria because of flu.
His header and his outstanding defensive display took the eye but Klose should still get another chance to reach the landmark.
Germany are assured of another two matches regardless of the result in the semi-final which will be against the winner of the second quarter-final on Friday between hosts Brazil and Colombia.