He was the last player to leave the dressing room in the Weserstadion and the only one who refused to talk. "He will not answer questions tonight because he would prefer to enjoy this moment alone," explained Werder Bremen's press officer Timo Polster of Miroslav Klose, who had scored twice to break a 907-minute wait for a goal and help guide the Bundesliga side into the UEFA Cup semi-finals with a 4-1 win against AZ Alkmaar.
In truth, the German international did not need to talk. His goals spoke for themselves. Indeed, it was Klose's first strike that made the greatest impact, opening the floodgates for a comprehensive defeat of their Dutch opponents. At that point Moussa Dembélé had silenced the Weserstadion by cancelling out Tim Borowski's opener, yet by putting his team in front again Klose renewed hopes of reaching the last four as well as the Bremen fans' faith in his abilities. That belief was strengthened on 62 minutes when a typical Klose header gave his club a precious two-goal cushion. "Miro has been slapped in the face so many times lately," Torsten Frings told uefa.com. "But tonight he finally rewarded himself."
"It was extremely important for us as a team to celebrate his goals again," added Borowski. "But it was even more important for him. He has had so much pressure on him lately so the whole squad is delighted for him." The club's general manager Klaus Allofs said: "I don't think he'll have any reason to doubt himself any more. These two goals will provide him with self-confidence. I am very happy about that." Klose, the top scorer at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, cuts a shy and retiring figure off the field but when he nodded in his second of the night, the relief was there for all to see. He marked the moment with a somersault reminiscent of his early Bundesliga years with 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
"Now there is a new era with Klose finally having scored again," continued Allofs, who is optimistic that the 28-year-old can fire Bremen to a league and UEFA Cup double. Coach Thomas Schaaf, meanwhile, praised his centre-forward's work-rate: "Miro has always worked very hard and today proved to everybody that he can still score." While Klose was the man stealing the limelight, captain Frings spared a thought for his young strike partner, Aaron Hunt. "We should not forget Aaron," he said. "He was the one who set Miro up and enabled him to score in the first half."
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.