Just about a month after winning the World Cup and, oh yeah, setting the record for the most goals scored in World Cup history, Germany’s Miroslav Klose, announced he is retiring from international competition. The 36-year-old told the German team’s official Web site (via The Daily Mail):
“With the win in Brazil, a childhood dream came true, I am proud and happy that I was able to help this great success. I had a unique and wonderful time and many memorable moments with the national team.”
Klose, who was born in Poland, joined the German team in 2001 and played in the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, where he’s tallied up a total of 16 goals — a tournament record. His last record-breaking goal came during Germany’s 7-1 trouncing of Brazil in the semi-finals of this year’s competition.
Counting Klose’s World Cup victories, the striker’s racked up 71 goals in his 137 caps. That’s a lot of flips — Klose’s signature goal celebration.
But Klose noted his individual achievements would mean little without his team’s support. He continues on the German team’s Web site (via The Daily Mail):
“The team’s success was and is always the top priority for me. …The job of a striker is to score goals and it never occurred to me about records. As a striker I am always dependent on my teammates and I give them a big ‘thank you.’ “
Klose will remain a professional soccer player, however, for at least one more season with Italy’s Lazio Serie A club.
Likewise, Ivory Coast stalwart Didier Drogba will continue to play for Chelsea, despite that he retired from international competition with the Ivorian national team over the weekend. The Ivorians are hoping the 36-year-old will change his mind, however. Via the Associated Press:
Didier Drogba’s decision to retire from international soccer has caught the Ivory Coast federation by surprise.
The federation wants to talk to the 36-year-old striker before giving its “official position” on the end of his career.
Drogba announced his decision Friday after 12 years with his national team, eight as captain. Drogba has played in all three of Ivory Coast’s World Cup appearances.
Klose and Drogba’s announcements of their international retirement follow those of other World Cup stars, including Germany’s captain Philipp Lahm and Spain’s Xavi.
Additionally, Landon Donovan, who did not play in this year’s World Cup, but has been integral to Team USA in past tournaments, also announced his retirement recently. Unlike the others, however, Donovan no longer plans to play internationally or in his club, the L.A. Galaxy.