Germany striker Miroslav Klose on this day 10 years ago made his international debut for Germany in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier as a substitute against Albania in Leverkusen. It was the start of a great international carrier with Klose even scoring the 2-1 winner to enable Germany to go on to qualify for Japan and South Korea.
Klose told German tabloid Bild this week about his debut then, "First cap, first goal, it was like a dream!"
Now it all comes a full cycle on Saturday as Klose will play his 107th international match against Kazakhstan in Kaiserslautern, the city for whose club 1.FC Kaiserslautern he started his professional career over a decade back. Later on he left for SV Werder Bremen and then for FC Bayern Munich to further his career.
And ten years later Miroslav Klose is not only one of Germany's best-ever strikers, but one of the countries top internationals. So far he has played 106 caps, scored 59 goals; only nine goals short of the all-time record of legendary Gerd Mueller. Klose also is now third in Germany's all-time international list behind Lothar Matthaeus (150 caps) and Juergen Klinsmann (108 caps).
But before retiring Klose has one aim left to overtake Gerd Mueller's record though he has said that he shouldn't be compared to someone like Gerd Mueller. He said today about his ambition, "Maybe it will work out at Euro (2012) next year. That is my aim." And the 2012 European Championships in Poland & Ukraine would be a very special tournament for Klose who happens to be of Polish origin.
But maybe Euro2012 might not be his final tournament after all as he might continue to play international football until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Klose has scored 14 goals over three World Cups, joint second with Gerd Mueller only behind Brazilian Ronaldo who has a goal more. Maybe it is another milestone that Klose would like to achieve if he can break Gerd Mueller's record.