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'Like any other big match'

Klose unfazed by reunion with former club

Miroslav Klose has painful memories of his first game for Bayern in Bremen. Klose was brought down on the touchline by a crunching challenge from his former team-mate Naldo just two minutes into the game. The Brazilian opted to repeat the treatment a short time later. Klose could not come back on for the second half and was subsequently sidelined for ten days with a knee ligament injury.

Sunday sees Bremen play the return fixture in Munich, this time without Naldo. The Brazilian is currently serving a three-match ban, but Klose has in any case buried the hatchet. “It’s all done and dusted,” declares the Bayern striker. If he did bear a grudge against Naldo, then he has kept it to himself: “It was all part of the game.” Speaking two days before Sun-day’s fixture, the Germany international remained his usual level-headed self: “Football is not a game of chess, after all,” he said.

Klose relishing Mertesacker tussle

In the build-up to the Bremen game, the former Werder star appears unruffled by the prospect of coming up against his former team-mates. “It’s like any other big match, except that I know some of them that bit better,” commented the 29- year-old Bayern star. He does not have much contact with Bremen these days, except occasional encounters with a couple of Germany internationals such as Per Mertesecker, who this week exchanged views with him during their time together on international duty.

“I had a brief chat with Merte and we agreed that we’ll surely cross paths in the game,” reported Klose who otherwise rarely mentions his time at Bremen. The Bayern striker is focused on a fascinating encounter with Mertesacker, one of the fairest defenders in the Bundesliga. “We’re both looking forward to it,” Miro concluded.