6 reasons why Miroslav Klose is a genuine bona fide legend

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Legendary Germany striker Miroslav Klose has announced his official retirement from playing professional football.

The 38-year-old will join the German national team as a coach after his contract with Italian club Lazio expired last season.

So why is Klose so legendary? Well, here's why his retirement is such a big deal.

1. He is the World Cup's top scorer

Klose scores for Germany against Brazil in 2014
Klose's final goal for his country was a similar distance out to all of his World Cup goals (Hassan Ammar/AP)

What makes this fact truly remarkable is that not a single one of these goals from Klose was from beyond 12 yards. Klose had being in the right place at the right time down to a fine art.

Klose scoring foot or two out
You don't get much Klose than that (Michael Sohn/AP)

Oh and those goals came from four World Cups, making him only the third ever player to score at four editions of the tournament.

2. He is Germany's top scorer

Klose celebrates scoring
Klose's international career is pretty absurd (Martin Rickett/PA)

After scoring his first as a 22-year-old in 2001 Klose scored 71 goals for his country, his last being at the World Cup finals in 2014 - beating Gerd Muller's record of 68 which had stood since 1974.

3. He has Germany's second highest number of caps

Klose with his sons after winning the World Cup
Klose's two sons must have been pretty happy when they got their hands on their dad's new trophy (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

With 137 caps Klose is seven appearances ahead of third-placed Lukas Podolski - yes you read that right, Lukas Podolski has 130 Germany caps - making him a true German great. He was some way off Lothar Matthaus' 150-cap record, though.

4. He is the only player to have appeared in four World Cup semi-finals

Klose celebrates with his teammates and World Cup
Klose finally won the World Cup in 2014 after a three near misses (Kyodo/AP)

That's right. Ever-consistent, between 2002 to 2014 Germany never finished below third place at the World Cup finals and Klose was the only player to play in each of the four semi-finals they played.

5. He was the first Lazio player ever to score five Serie A goals in one game

Klose in Lazio shirt with team-mate
Klose continued to be prolific well into his 30s (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Klose's career will probably be remembered for his glittering international career, but at club level he has been a special player too. He became Lazio's first player to score five Serie A goals in a game when they hammered Bologna 6-0 in 2013.

6. He became Lazio's 7th highest goalscorer in just five years

Klose points to the crowd
Klose won over Lazio fans in a pretty short period of time (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

He only even joined Lazio when he was 33, the same age England great Michael Owen called time on his career, scoring 64 goals in his time there.