Miroslav Klose has hung up his boots to embark on a new career as a manager. The man who scored more goals than any other for Germany is now about to enter a training program with Germany's football association.
In a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, the German Football Association (DFB) announced that Miroslav Klose, who last played for Lazio in Serie A, decided to call time on his playing career to start work on gaining his coaching qualifications.
According to the statement, 38-year-old Klose is to work with national team head coach Joachim Löw and sporting director Hansi Flick as part of an individual training program. Klose is to be a trainer in the national team's coaching set up and also be involved with national youth squads. He is to be with die Mannschaft for matches in San Marino and Italy later this month.
"I had my greatest successes (as a player) with the national team," Klose said in the statement. "They were wonderful times that I will never forget. So I am pleased to return to the DFB."
Germany head coach Löw, who just yesterday extended his contract by a further two years, welcomed Klose back into the fold, saying he believed he has what it takes to be successful in his new career.
"With his vision and his experience I can really see him becoming a coach in the future, and we in the DFB are pleased to help him along this path," he said.
Until recently, Klose - whose contract with Lazio expired at the end of last season - had hoped to continue his playing career. However, he said in recent months, that he had warmed up to the idea of hanging up the boots and becoming a coach.
The Polish-born Klose began his Bundesliga career in Kaiserslautern, before moving on to Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, and finally Lazio.
His 71 goals are more than any other player has scored for Germany and his 137 appearances are second only to Lothar Matthäus' 150. He has also scored more goals (16) at the World Cup than any other player, spread over the four tournaments held between 2002 and 2014. He retired from international football after Germany won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.