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Klose honored

September 12, 2014

Germany's all-time top-scorer Miroslav Klose has been awarded with the "Goldene Victoria" integration prize, handed over by Angela Merkel in Berlin. Merkel said that Klose had "played his way into the nation's heart."

Klose wins Goldene Victoria prize, presented by
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

German striker Miroslav Klose has been awarded Germany's integration prize, the "Goldene Victoria," in Berlin. The German chancellor herself, Angela Merkel, held the speech celebrating Klose at the prizegiving ceremony.

"Your life story tells us a lot about our country," Merkel said in her speech. "Your team, which went on to win the World Cup, is one of the best calling cards our country could wish for."

Klose, who spent the first eight years of his life in Poland as a child before moving to Germany, said that football helped him to settle into life in his new home.

"This means a lot to me," Klose said assembled journalists and dignitaries in Berlin. "The national team is the best example that integration can work."

"The national team was like a second family for me," he added. "I will always carry those 13 years of my life in my heart."

Klose also used the opportunity to give some details about his ongoing football career, after his national team retirement.

"I hope that I can remain injury free, because I plan to play at the top level for another two years," the 36-year-old Lazio player said. "Then my main goal is to become qualified as a coach. Then we'll just have to see what happens."

Earlier in the week Germany's national coach Joachim Löw was also honored in his home city of Freiburg, some two months after his team's World Cup victory in Brazil. The 54-year-old signed the city's golden book and was received by thousands of screaming fans on Freiburg's main square.

al/msh (dpa, SID)