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'Incredible' Klose breaks Ronaldo's record

ESPN staff
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Miroslav Klose put Germany into a 2-0 lead against Brazil © Getty Images
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Miroslav Klose has made World Cup history after becoming the competition's all-time leading goalscorer with 16 strikes.

The 36-year-old had already pulled level with Brazilian legend Ronaldo's haul of 15 when he scored in the 71st minute of Germany's clash with Ghana. Ronaldo had congratulated Klose with a tweet, saying: "Welcome to the club".

Now Klose, who became the first player to ever appear in four World Cup semi-finals, has gone one better in Belo Horizonte after putting Joachim Low's side into a 2-0 lead with a 23rd-minute strike.

There was no trademark back-flip celebration, however, as he had done to mark his record-equalling 15th goal. This time an injury saw him stay on his feet.

''I got hit in my left foot while attempting a shot and I was not able to do the flip,'' Klose said.

Miroslav Klose celebrates making World Cup history © Getty Images
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Germany went on to win the game 7-1 and Klose played down his achievement. "We are a team and it shows on the field," Klose added.

"It's also important that our set pieces bring results. You saw it again today. Toni [Kroos] puts the ball where it has to go every time and that's a big strength."

Germany coach Joachim Loew was not as conservative, though. ''Miro is incredible," he said.

"To set the record and to do it in Brazil is a great performance. It really means a lot to all of us. This is a record. This is a record that could be beaten only by [Thomas] Mueller.

''We believe that he really deserves it. Because at his age, he is still playing at the highest possible level.''

Klose's 15th goal came in his 20th World Cup appearance against Ghana and, after failing to score against the USA or make an appearance against Algeria in the round of 16, his 16th goal came in his 23rd. He has now scored at four consecutive tournaments - only the third player to achieve that feat after Brazil legend Pele and West Germany's Uwe Seeler.

In 2002, Klose scored five goals, all of them headers as an ageing Germany side progressed to the final. He added another five on home soil in 2006, where he also won the Golden Boot, before netting four more in South Africa in 2010.

Klose is Germany's all-time top scorer with 70 goals in 134 matches, having beaten the record previously held by Gerd Mueller.

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