Chelsea manager lauded former PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid striker as the world’s best in the modern era.
Miroslav Klose played his way into the World Cup history books during Germany’s comfortable 7-1 humbling of host nation Brazil in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday evening.
The penalty-box poacher has 16 goals in World Cup competition, eclipsing the record previously set by Brazil superstar Ronaldo who, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has argued, is the best football player to have emerged in the post-Diego Maradona era.
On Klose, the first player to ever compete in four consecutive World Cup semifinals (an extraordinary 16-year feat), Mourinho said in his Yahoo blog: “I like him a lot and I respect his career.”
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When Joachim Low announced his squad for the finals in Brazil, there were question marks over where exactly the goals would come from as experienced spearheading striker Klose, 36, is advanced in years while last tournament’s top scorer Thomas Muller is an attacking midfielder/forward by trade.
Both have stepped up though, with Klose still an undeniably useful player despite his veteran status.
His figures throughout history have impressed Mourinho: “The numbers are absolutely amazing. He’s playing and scoring in World Cup semfinals – full respect.”
However, for Mourinho, losing the record does not take anything away from his legacy.
“After Maradona the best player was Ronaldo and he lost the record today. But it is my opinion that he is the best of the last 20 years.
“For Klose to beat that record… it’s really amazing,” he concluded.