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Polish export Klose set for emotional homecoming

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04 Sep 2011 18:30:19

Polish export Klose set for emotional homecoming

Germany striker Miroslav Klose admits Tuesday's friendly against Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland will be an emotional homecoming as the veteran prepares to play his first international in his mother country.

The 33-year-old forward, who now plays for Lazio in the Italian league, was born in Opole, south Poland, and still refers to Tuesday's opponents as 'my country'.

He is not the only Polish export in the Germany squad: Cologne's Lukas Podolski was also born in Poland.

Germany have never lost to Poland in 16 meetings with 12 wins and four draws.

"I am very excited," said Klose at Sunday's press conference having played Poland twice before in group stage games at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.

"It's a special game for me and a special trip. It will be very emotional."

The match in Gdansk, one of the Euro 2012 host cities, will see Klose win his 112th cap for Germany.

"It's been almost five years since I was last in Poland," he said.

"That is very unfortunate, but that's the life of a professional footballer."

Klose is closing on 1970s legend Gerd 'The Bomber' Mueller's record of 68 goals in 62 matches as Germany's top all-time goal-scorer.

Having scored the first goal in Friday's 6-2 hammering of Austria, which confirmed Germany's place at Euro 2012 to be hosted by Poland and the Ukraine next year, Klose now has 62 goals to his name.

"I have told 'The Bomber' personally that I don't want to scratch out his record," said ex-Bayern Munich star Klose.

"For me, he will always be number one."

With fellow striker Mario Gomez out injured, Klose says he is profiting from Germany's all-out attack.

"I am benefiting immensely from our style of play," said Klose.

"We have an incredible quality, this is the best national team I have ever played in."

Klose made his debut in March 2001 and is by far the longest-serving member of the national squad, but says there is no secret to his longevity.

"I have no special cream that keeps me fit," he said.

"I'm mentally strong and I just focus on playing well each game.

"If I'm fit, then I play. I can not imagine things any other way."


AFP

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