Magnificent Miroslav retires: World Cup record holder Klose steps down

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A guide to the German striker's record-breaking 16 World Cup goals

A guide to the German striker's record-breaking 16 World Cup goals See Gallery

Record-breaking Germany striker Miroslav Klose has announced his retirement from international football, a month after becoming the all-time leading scorer at the World Cup and finally lifting the trophy in Brazil.

The 36-year-old fired his 16th World Cup finals goal against hosts Brazil in the semi-finals to surpass the total set by Brazilian Ronaldo on July 8, 2014, before helping Germany to victory in his 137th and last game in the final against Argentina five days later.

The Lazio forward, Germany's all-time leading scorer, also became only the third player after compatriot Uwe Seeler and Brazil's Pelé to score in four different World Cups.

In celebration of his amazing international career, click or swipe through the images to see all of the striker's World Cup goals.

Christoph Stache/AP Photo
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1: Germany vs. Saudi Arabia, 2002

Klose scored his first World Cup goal on his competition debut at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea, stooping to head home Germany’s first goal against Saudi Arabia.

KAI PFAFFENBACH/Newscom/Reuters
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2: Germany vs. Saudi Arabia, 2002

He added his second in the same game, powerfully heading in Michael Ballack’s cross.

Domenico Stinellis/AP Photo
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3: Germany vs. Saudi Arabia, 2002

He completed his hat-trick and extended Germany’s lead to five goals in the second half with a third headed goal. Germany would go on to win 8-0 – the biggest win at the World Cup for any team for 20 years.

Reinhard Krause/Reuters
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4: Germany vs. Republic of Ireland, 2002

Klose’s scoring continued in Germany’s next group game against the Republic of Ireland, as he headed in a pass from Michael Ballack to put his side into the lead.

Reinhard Krause/Reuters
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5: Germany vs. Cameroon, 2002

The striker’s fifth goal of the tournament was again a header, this time against Cameroon, as he scored Germany’s second goal in a 2-0 victory. Klose would not score again in 2002, despite Germany reaching the final.

DYLAN MARTINEZ/Reuters
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6: Germany vs. Costa Rica, 2006

Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup, and in the first match of the tournament Klose scored against Costa Rica. It was his first World Cup goal that was not a header.

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7: Germany vs. Costa Rica, 2006

He extended his team’s lead in the second half, lifting the ball over Costa Rica goalkeeper José Porras after his headed first attempt was saved.

THOMAS EISENHUTH/EPA
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8: Germany vs. Ecuador, 2006

In Germany’s final group game against Ecuador, Klose scored a goal in the fourth minute from Bastian Schweinsteiger’s pass.

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9: Germany vs. Ecuador, 2006

He added a second just before half time, receiving a pass from Michael Ballack, taking the ball round the goalkeeper and rolling it into the goal.

Thomas Kienzle/AP Photo
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10: Germany vs. Argentina, 2006

His most important goal of the 2006 tournament came in the quarter-final against Argentina. With 10 minutes left to play, Klose headed in an equalising goal and the German team advanced to the semi-finals after winning on penalties. Germany lost in the semi-final to Italy but Klose’s total of five tournament goals earned him the Golden Shoe award for top scorer.

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11: Germany vs. Australia, 2010

Klose began his third World Cup in 2010 as he had the previous two, by scoring in Germany’s first group stage match. The striker bravely headed his team’s second goal against Australia.

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12: Germany vs. England, 2010

In the round of 16, Klose scored a simple goal against England after receiving goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s long pass. Germany won the match 4-1.

Matt Dunham/AP Photo
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13: Germany vs. Argentina, 2010

In his 100th international match, Klose scored in the quarter-final against Argentina, tapping in Germany’s second goal.

Gero Breloer/AP Photo
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14: Germany vs. Argentina, 2010

He scored his second goal in the 89th minute from Mesut Özil’s cross to complete the easy 4-0 win over Argentina. Klose had now scored 14 goals in World Cup finals, one short of Ronaldo’s record, but he could not add to that total before the end of the tournament. Germany lost 1-0 to Spain in the semi-final and Klose did not play in his country's 3-2 victory over Uruguay in the third place play-off.

Eddie Keogh/Reuters
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15: Germany vs. Ghana, 2014

In his first appearance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Klose came off the bench to rescue his side and match Ronaldo's record by scoring the equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Ghana. The striker tapped in at the back post after defender Benedikt Höwedes flicked on a second half corner.

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16: Germany vs. Brazil, 2014

Klose broke the record with his 16th World Cup goal as part of a 7-1 blowout against host team Brazil. In the 23rd minute, Klose got his own rebound and scored on Brazil goalie Júlio César to put his team up 2-0 and help send Germany to the 2014 final.