WASHINGTON, May 30, 2013 — Germany’s game against the United States at the soldout RFK Stadium on Sunday may just be an exhibition game, but for two German players, its all about making goalscoring history.
Miroslav Klose is looking to become Germany’s greatest goal scorer, while teammate Lukas Podolski is just two goals shy of claiming the sole third spot on the scoring table.
The two players will also be going up against their old German coach Jurgen Klinsmann (now the U.S. team coach) who paired the strikers on his 2006 World Cup team.
Klose is on a mission to break Gerd Muelller’s goal scoring record of 68 goals for the German team. The 34-year-old striker, who is coming off winning the Italian Cup with Lazio against Roma last Sunday, is one goal shy of equalling Mueller’s 68 goals, a record that has stood for 38 years. Mueller played 62 games for the German team between 1966-1974. Klose has 67 goals in 126 games for Germany since 2001.
Podolski, who plays for Arsenal in the Premier League, has scored 46 goals in 109 games, and needs two goals to leapfrog Rudi Voller and Klinsmann, who are tied for the third spot on the table with 47 goals. Podolski wil be eager to tie Klinsmann’s record with the former German ace standing on the sidelines at RFK.
Podolski, 27, scored two goals in Germany’s 4-2 win over Ecuador on Wednesday night in Boca Raton, Fla., and made a little news by scoring the fastest goal in the Germany’s national team history. He put the Germans in the lead within nine seconds of kick-off after taking advantage of a defensive breakdown.
Both Klose and Podolski were born in Poland to Polish parents and grew up in Germany. They both played together at Bayern Munich and became one of Germany’s best scoring duos.
Klose’s scoring achievements at the World Cup are amazing. He was the Golden Boot winner at the 2006 World Cup with five goals. In his debut World Cup in 2002 he notched five goals and in 2010 in South Africa he scored four times for a total of 14 goals making him joint second with Mueller behind Brazil’s Ronaldo (15 goals) on the list of all-time World Cup goal scorers.
If Klose doesn’t get to see action against the Americans he will still get a chance at the record when Germany plays Paraguay in August and Austria in a World Cup qualifier in September.
Last month, Klose scored five goals in only 40 minutes as Lazio beat Bologna 6-0 in Serie A. He became the the first Lazio player to score five goals in a match.
American midfielder Michael Bradley, who was on the Roma’s losing team in the Italian Cup, will be hoping to get a little payback against Klose at RFK.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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