In June 2000, Germany were given the right to host the 2006 World Cup. It was the first time after the fall of the Berlin Wall that they would host a tournament, yet at the time German football was facing a real low after exiting Euro 2000 in the group stage — a plan of action was needed.
German legend Rudi Völler took over the reins but they then suffered a shocking 5-1 defeat at home to England in 2001 for qualification to the 2002 World Cup, but recovered to qualify and go all the way to the World Cup final.
It was a kind run to the final. but it was enough for some question if a major overhaul was really needed.
In Euro 2004 they repeated their performance from four years earlier and went out at the group stage again without winning a match, which cost Völler his job. The answer was easier this time.
Enter Jurgen Klinsmann, who decided to inject some youth into this ageing side. Germany had mixed results before the tournament and despite the competition being in Germany expectations weren’t particularly high.
In their opening match they faced Costa Rica, and after just three minutes Philipp Lahm struck an unstoppable shot to put them on their way.
Paulo Wanchope silenced the Munich crowd minutes minutes later with a well taken equaliser. However, Germany responded with Klose converting from close range to put them back into the lead.
Sixteen minutes into the second half Germany’s constant attacking intent pays off as Klose gives them a 3-1 lead…
What Happened Next?
The nation grew with confidence, and Germany made it all the way to the semi-finals where they played Italy in one of the most memorable World Cup matches of recent tournaments. It was a tight, enthralling encounter but neither side could find a breakthrough.
Extra-time for the second game in succession proved to be too emotionally and physically draining for the Germans and Italy seized the initiative, scoring two goals in the final minutes to knock out the hosts.
Klose’s five goals were enough to win the Golden Boot as Germany claimed third place. Klose scored four goals in the South Africa in 2010 and another two in Brazil in 2014 during Germany’s victorious run meant he finished his career with the World Cup goalscoring record and a World Cup winners’ medal.
All of Klose’s World Cup goals – 2002 – 2014