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Back to the roots

Prodigal son Klose thrilled by homecoming

Miroslav Klose used to be a regular on the terraces at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion, informally but widely known as the Betzenberg, in football-mad Kaiserslautern. “Block 11, sometimes wearing my Olaf Marschall replica shirt,” the 30-year-old revealed to The striker joined the FC Kaiserslautern reserves in 1999, dreaming of a career in the Bundesliga. Ten years later, he is an established Bayern and Germany star. Monday sees Klose make an emotional return to his roots when the German champions meet Kaiserslautern in a friendly, kicking off at 7 pm.

“This is where I grew up, and this is where I had my first taste of the Bundesliga,” he recalls, “my parents and most of my relatives still live locally.” The player had a house built for his family in Blaubach, 40 kilometres to the north-west of Kaiserslautern, the town where he played for SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf as a youth.

Keen to see new stadium

While in Kaiserslautern, Klose advanced from the reserves to the German national set-up, spending five years with the FCK reserve and first teams. He made his Bundesliga debut at the Betzenberg in April 2000, scoring his first top flight goal there the following October. He finished with 44 goals in 120 league appearances for Lautern.