German striker Miroslav Klose scored the goal that tied Germany and Ghana in their Group G match on June 21. That was Klose’s 15th World Cup goal, which leaves him tied with Brazil’s Ronaldo for the most career World Cup goals. Klose, known for his signature victory flip, will be taking on Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals on July 8.
Here’s what you need to know about Klose:
1. It’s His Fourth World Cup
Klose, shown in a highlights video of the 2010 World Cup above, has played for Germany in the last four World Cups, scoring five goals in his first World Cup in 2002. The 36-year-old striker holds the honor of having scored in four different World Cups, which he shares with fellow German player Uwe Seeler and Brazil’s Pele. The German National Team has never lost a game in which Klose scored, but Klose said he would have played for Poland instead of Germany had Polish officials been quicker to sign him. Klose was born in Poland but holds German nationality.
2. His Current Club Is Lazio
Klose has played for the Italian club S.S. Lazio for the last three seasons. In 2012, he helped the team win the Coppa Italia, beating city rival Roma and earning Lazio its sixth cup win. From the time he first joined Lazio he was called “extraordinary and very important for us” by coach Edy Reja. Before joining Lazio, Klose played for Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen, and started his career at FC Kaiserslautern.
3. He Comes From an Athletic Family
Miroslav Klose’s father, Josef Klose, played for Polish club Odra Opole before joining the French club AJ Auxerre in 1978, the same year Miroslav Klose was born. Klose’s mother, Barbara Jez, was a goalkeeper for the Poland Women’s National Handball team, where she appeared in 82 international matches. Miroslav Klose began his youth career in 1987, playing for SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf until 1997. He started playing professionally when he was 20.
4. He’s Married With Twins
Klose is married to Polish-born Sylwia Klose. The couple have two twin boys, Luan and Noah, and speak with them in Polish at home while the boys learn German in school. Klose is also a devout Catholic and visited Pope Benedict XVI in March 2012.
Klose’s Instagram features adorable shots of his wife and boys. Here are some of the best:
5. He’s a Player With a Conscience
Klose has been recognized for his honesty on the field. While playing for Werder Bremen in 2005, he refused to accept a penalty issued against Arminia Bielefeld because it was incorrect. His actions earned him a fair play award. During September 2012, Klose admitted to scoring a goal against Napoli by using his hand. When he told the referee, he was not issued a yellow card and, instead, the referee shook his hand.