Klose hails new generation

05 July 2010 10:00

Miroslav Klose has admitted German fans did not know where their new heroes were going to come from a couple of years ago.

Germany have lit up the World Cup with a series of brilliant displays. Suddenly the likes of Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer are becoming household names across Europe, after barely being so on German soil a couple of years ago.

"A few years ago people kept saying that it was a shame there weren't any new generations coming through," Klose said. "They said we have no forwards and no creative midfielders. Everybody deplored that. But time has proved these people wrong."

Joachim Low's outfit have scored four goals in three of their five matches in South Africa and on successive weekends sent England and Argentina hurtling out of the tournament.

How much progress Germany have made will be measured in Durban on Wednesday, when Spain provide the barrier to Low's side reaching the final.

Bayern Munich's Muller is suspended, which will mean an introduction for either Piotr Trochowski or 20-year-old Toni Kroos on the right flank.

One of the more experienced members of the Germany side, Klose will keep his place, knowing he only needs one goal to equal the record World Cup finals haul of 15, currently held by Brazilian superstar Ronaldo.

Two of Ronaldo's efforts came in the 2002 final defeat of Germany in Yokohama, an occasion Klose was part of for 74 minutes before he was replaced by Oliver Bierhoff, who is now general manager.

"I spoke with Ronaldo after the final," he recalled. "At the time I would not have dreamed of ever coming this close to him, needing two more goals to surpass him.

"I hope he's not too worried."

Source: PA