Striker Miroslav Klose is poised to break Gerd Mueller's 39-year-old record as Germany's top goalscorer in Sunday's friendly against the USA, but the 'Bomber of the Nation' has said he hopes the Lazio hot-shot betters his landmark.
With 67 goals in 126 appearances for Germany, Klose, who turns 35 on June 9, is one short of Mueller's record as he joined up with the Germany squad for their two-match tour of the USA after helping Lazio win the Italian Cup last Sunday.
Germany take on Jurgen Klinsmann's USA team in Washington DC on Sunday, after Wednesday's 4-2 friendly win over Ecuador, and Mueller expects Klose to break his record of 68 goals in 62 games, the last of which gave West Germany the 1974 World Cup title.
"It has long since just been a matter of time before he breaks my record, I am pleased for him," the 67-year-old Mueller has told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
"Miro is a great striker and a great guy, who I met a few times when he played for Bayern Munich. He's deserved it."
Having made his debut back in 2001, Klose has needed almost double the matches Mueller took to net his tally and the former Werder Bremen and Bayern star is embarrassed to even be compared to Mueller.
"It is a total joke to compare me to him," Klose has previously said on the subject.
"You can't compare him to anyone, what he has achieved, in terms of goals and numbers of matches, is unique. I have told him that personally.
"Perhaps when I hang up my boots it will make me proud, but my journey is not over yet."
Klose, a firm favourite of Germany coach Joachim Loew, has said he wants to go onto Brazil 2014, which could see him break Brazil striker Ronaldo's mark of 15 goals in World Cup tournaments with the German's current tally on 14.
Sunday's friendly will be Klose's first international since scoring twice in Germany's 4-4 draw with Sweden in a World Cup qualifier last October when the Germans allowed a four goal lead to slip in Berlin.
His main rival for the Germany shirt, Mario Gomez, has had to spend most of this season on the bench at Bayern Munich behind Croatia's Mario Mandzukic.
"As long as my old bones keep working, I'll put myself in the competition for a place," said Klose, who is approaching Lothar Matthaeus' record of 150 for the most appearances for Germany.