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Miro’s milestone

Exclusive: Klose’s decade in the Bundesliga

Miroslav Klose made his Bundesliga debut exactly 10 years ago, coming on as a sub for the home team a quarter of an hour from the end of Kaiserslautern’s meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt on 15 April 2000. The Germany regular spoke to the Bayern-Magazin club journal about his milestone in the German top flight, and why he remains happy he and Jürgen Kohler’s paths only crossed for a couple of seasons.

Interview: Miroslav Klose

Congratulations on ten years in the Bundesliga Miro. Do you remember your debut on 15 April 2000?
Miroslav Klose: “Of course! I was with Kaiserslautern, and we played Eintracht Frankfurt. I replaced Jörgen Pettersson 15 minutes from time, and we won 1-0 courtesy of a Marco Reich goal. It was a tight game, but we protected the lead through to the end. The Betzenberg stadium erupted, it was unbelievable – and you never forget that!”

You describe it as if it were only yesterday…
“Indeed, I can’t remember every game in my career, but you dream of your first Bundesliga game as a kid, and you absorb everything around you. I made the team once more that season, away to Wolfsburg, although I only played a couple of minutes. What I remember best of all is my first Bundesliga start, it was the following season at home to VfB Stuttgart. I was marked by Pablo Thiam, and coach Otto Rehhagel put me through a thorough video analysis beforehand, his strengths and weaknesses in attack and defence. I knew all there was to know about him (laughs).”

A decade later, you have 284 Bundesliga matches and 119 goals under your belt. Do you have a specially memorable goal?
“I’d say a goal I scored at the Weser stadium for Bremen against FC Köln. It was a left-foot volley into the far top corner. It was certainly my best goal in the Bundesliga.”

Do you happen to know how many Bundesliga hat-tricks you’ve scored?
“Mmm, I’d say three or four.”

That’s right, it’s four in the Bundesliga. How does it feel?
“Scoring early doors always releases a lot of tension – or that’s how it is for me. If you stop being nervous and don’t think too hard, it normally all falls into place by itself.”