Back when he was still a young man playing for SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf in the regional league, few would have guessed that Miroslav Klose was destined for one of the most spectacular and extraordinary careers in German football. The out-and-out striker, who will turn 36 just days before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ kicks off, has more than 130 international appearances to his name and needs just one more goal to overtake Gerd Muller’s strike record for Germany. He will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the show at this summer’s global showpiece in South America.

Klose was born in the Polish town of Opole and moved to Germany with his family at a young age. He began his career at Homburg, switching to Kaiserslautern in 1999 and making his Bundesliga debut the following year. A dynamic and tricky striker with great aerial ability, he was the league’s top scorer at Werder Bremen in 2006 before subsequently joining Bayern Munich in 2007 and Lazio in 2011.

Klose made his international debut in March 2001, heading the winning goal as Germany beat Albania 2-1. A reserved and down-to-earth guy off the pitch, he scored five times in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals and won the adidas Golden Boot at the latter. He also struck four times at the 2010 tournament in South Africa and will be aiming to overtake Ronaldo (15 goals) at the top of the all-time World Cup finals goalscoring charts in Brazil this summer.