After scoring twice to help Germany stretch their UEFA EURO 2012 Group A lead to eight points with a comfortable 4-0 defeat of Kazakhstan, Miroslav Klose reflected on a fitting venue to score his 60th and 61st international goals.
Playing before a sell-out crowd at the Fritz-Walter Stadion, Klose bookended Thomas Müller's first-half double with goals after three and 88 minutes to make it a happy return to the city where he burst onto the Bundesliga stage eleven years ago.
"Of course, you always want to score goals," said Klose, who started out at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1999, scoring 44 times in 120 league matches before joining SV Werder Bremen. "But I had not expected to score here in the first and final minutes. Here in Kaiserslautern, this is my home, this is my family; I enjoy coming back here."
Not only has Klose moved to the top of the scorers' charts in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, alongside Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of the Netherlands, with eight goals, but the FC Bayern München striker is now just seven shy of Germany's all-time international goals' record, held by Gerd Müller, after registering his 61st strike in 107 outings.
It is an astounding return that defender Dennis Aogo believes will soon take the 32-year-old past the legendary Müller's tally. "It is almost business as usual when Miro scores for the national team and I am totally convinced that he will break [Gerd Müller's] record."
Another Müller who has had little trouble in scoring for Germany is Bayern's Thomas, who seems to have rediscovered the form that earned him the Golden Boot at last summer's FIFA World Cup, although the 21-year-old, who has now managed seven goals in 14 internationals, felt Germany should have made more of their supremacy. "We are happy that we scored four goals but in the second half there was a lot of slow passing. The opposition prevented a spectacle tonight."
Bastian Schweinsteiger, who set up Klose's first goals, echoed the sentiment, saying: "The fans always want a spectacle, but it is not easy playing a team that drops back to within 30 metres of their goal. With such a lead, you can try different things, we tried different ways of passing the ball but it didn't work out.
"The important thing was putting the match beyond doubt in the first half. We now have an eight-point lead and we are in a very good position. Our goal is to qualify as soon as possible. And we have shown in the past that we can put in top performances in a World Cup or European Championship."
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