His achievement was almost overshadowed by the magnitude of his side's FIFA World Cup semi-final victory against Brazil, but Miroslav Klose walked away from Belo Horizonte with his own personal slice of history.
Having matched Ronaldo's mark by coming off the bench to score his 15th World Cup finals goal in the 2-2 draw against Ghana, the 36-year-old made the record his own as he registered Germany's second in the 7-1 defeat of the finals hosts. "This is an outstanding achievement," Germany coach Joachim Löw. "I am extremely pleased for him."
The SS Lazio striker seemed a little nonplussed when asked to elaborate on his record. "That's not the important thing," he maintained.
The figures speak for themselves. Klose had already matched Pelé and Uwe Seeler in scoring at four separate World Cup final tournaments, as well as becoming the first German to reach 70 international goals – and now 71.
UEFA.com takes his World Cup tally goal by goal.
1,2,3: Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia, group stage
In his first World Cup - little more than a year after his debut for Germany – Klose nodded the first two goals against a totally overwhelmed Saudi Arabia. In the second half Klose was on target for the third time, again with a header.
4: Germany 1-1 Republic of Ireland, group stage
Klose's fourth headed goal after a cross by Michael Ballack was not enough for Germany, who conceded Robbie Keane's equaliser in added time.
5: Cameroon 0-2 Germany, group stage
Klose sealed progress to the last 16 with the second goal of the game after 79 minutes, becoming the only player to head five in a World Cup. Although Germany reached the final, the striker scored no more goals in this tournament.
6,7: Germany 4-2 Costa Rica, group stage
In the opening game of Germany's home World Cup Klose was on target twice. After 17 minutes the striker slid in Bastian Schweinsteiger's pass from close range to make it 2-1. Shortly after the hour mark goalkeeper José Francisco Porras saved Klose's header only to concede the third from the rebound.
8,9: Ecuador 0-3 Germany, group stage
After a 1-0 win against Poland, Klose again scored two goals in the third group match. After four minutes Schweinsteiger set him up and shortly before the break Ballack found Klose, who rounded keeper Cristian Mora to slot the ball into the empty net.
10: Germany 1-1 Argentina (aet, 4-2 pens), quarter-finals
After Roberto Ayala's headed goal shortly after the break Germany desperately attacked to avoid an early elimination and was rewarded with the equaliser ten minutes from time. Tim Borowski flicked on and Klose headed in his tenth World Cup finals goal.
South Africa 2010
11: Germany 4-0 Australia, group stage
In a one-sided game Klose headed the second goal on 26 minutes from a cross by Philipp Lahm.
12: Germany 4-1 England, round of 16
In a memorable last-16 game Klose scored the first goal after 20 minutes, collecting a long ball from keeper Manuel Neuer, shook off Matthew Upson and beat David James.
13, 14: Argentina 0-4 Germany, quarter-finals
In the quarter-finals Germany made short shrift of Argentina and Klose scored two more goals. After Thomas Müller's early strike, Löw's team had to wait until midway through the second half to score the second goal, when Klose exploited Podolski's build-up from close range. Shortly before the end Klose rounded off a convincing performance with the fourth, volleying in Mesut Özil's perfect cross.
15: Germany 2-2 Ghana, group stage
An unused substitute in the first group game against Portugal, when Germany won 4-0, Klose came off the bench to score with his first touch to rescue a draw on matchday two. With nearly 20 minutes to go Toni Kroos' corner was flicked towards goal by Benedikt Höwedes and Klose prodded in at the far post.
16: Brazil 1-7 Germany, semi-finals
On a night when more than one record was broken – Brazil's worst World Cup defeat; the first time any team has scored seven in a World Cup semi-final – Klose made it to 16 finals goals. Kroos and Müller set him up, and though Júlio César parried his first effort, Klose kept cool to tidy away the loose ball.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.