Miroslav Klose, finally a World Cup winner at the fourth time of asking, will decide in the next three days whether he wants to continue playing for Germany.
The 36-year-old, who experienced defeat in the 2002 final in Yokohama, took home his first World Cup winner’s medal on Sunday evening after Germany beat Argentina 1-0.
Klose played 88 minutes of the showpiece, held at the Maracana before making way for match-winner, Mario Götze in what could have been his last game for Germany.
The Polish-born striker who currently plays for Serie A outfit, Lazio, made his début for Germany in 2001 and has since gone on to win 137 caps during a 13-year period filled with ups and downs.
Having become the leading World Cup scorer of all time in Brazil, after scoring two goals to break Ronaldo’s long-standing record, the time seems right for Klose to bring the curtain down on his international career.
However, with the former Bayern Munich striker only needing 14 more caps to overtake Lothar Matthӓus in becoming the all-time appearance holder for Germany, Klose may decide to carry on.
“I do not know yet if I will go on with the national team. I’ll take a couple of nights to sleep on it and then make the right decision,” said the striker who scored his 16th World Cup goal in the 7-1 thumping of Brazil.
If he was to force an extraordinary U-turn on his decision to end his international career in the aftermath of the World Cup, he would be in line to play in front of a jubilant home crowd as Germany welcome Argentina to Dusseldorf in a friendly on 3rd September.
The National Eleven then embark on their next quest of winning their first European crown since 1996 as they play host to Scotland in their first qualifier in Dortmund four days later.
With strikers already being porous in the Germany side, Löw would be keen to use Klose’s wealth of international experience, whilst also portraying him as a role model to starlets Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Kevin Volland.
Post match celebrations
For the time being at least, Klose took part in a series of frantic post-match celebrations with the rest of his team which lasted well into the night, whilst pop-star Rihanna also got involved in the action as she posed for a selfie with the long-standing Germany hero.
On Tuesday a gigantic party will be held for the Germany team in Berlin when the squad touch down on home soil, with thousands of ecstatic fans expected to attend.
After coming so close to World Cup glory in the past, Klose deserves his moment of glory the most, having at times dragged his team within inches of greatness.
The 36-year-old made his first World Cup appearance in Japan and Korea, where he reached the final before suffering heartache as Ronaldo scored a brace to award Brazil her fifth international crown.
Four years later, he won the Golden Boot after scoring five goals, but Germany only made the semi-finals on home-soil, after conceding two goals in the last minute of extra-time against Italy.
And in 2010 for all of Germany’s youth and charisma they repeated the same feat set four years earlier as they once again finished in third place in South Africa.
Having secured two bronze medals and a silver, Klose can now add a gleaming gold to his final collection of four World Cup honours.
This means if Klose was to end his international career in the next few days, he would depart the world of Germany football without having any regrets.
He said: “This is outstanding, it crowns everything. We finished second once, third twice but this is world-class.”
The Opole born frontman went on to say: “I can hardly comprehend it. It was always a dream to be up there (getting the trophy) and not just having to stand around and have to applaud others.”
For a striker who is the epitome of calm and German ruthlessness, Klose admitted that Argentina pushed them to the limit, meaning that they had to take their chances carefully.
He said: “The team’s performances were important, we wanted to keep our calm because we knew had the better quality to win it.”
Just like coach Joachim Low, Germany’s all-time record goal-scorer knew that Mario Götze had the ability to prove the difference, as the rest of his team-mates were chasing a match which was in balance before the Bayern Munich midfielder grabbed a dramatic winner.
He said: “Before Mario came on for me, I said to him ‘you can make it happen.’”
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