After 136 appearances and 71 goals for Miroslav Klose’s Germany career has come full circle – a World Cup finalist at the age of 24 in 2002, so he is again in 2014 a whole 12 years older.
There could be no better way to end a glorious career than by winning the biggest trophy of them all, a feat Die Mannschaft are 13/20 to achieve by hook or by crook.
Joachim Low’s side are eminently likeable favourites – Argentina are priced up at 7/5 – after their 7-1 humbling of Brazil, yet, at not a lot shorter price, backing Klose to hang up his international boots after the game whatever the result is a much shrewder bet.
Back in 2011 he said he’d do not just that, but retire from the game completely in 2014, telling Kicker Magazine:
If everything goes well, I hope to play until 2014 with Lazio, appear in the World Cup and then end my career.
We’ve heard it all before of course and, like so many old heavyweights before him, he could be tempted back into the ring – after all he has a year left on his contract at Stadio Olimpico.
While Klose may play out his deal with the Romans, with four years until the next World Cup and half as long to the next European Championships, it must rate extremely unlikely that he’ll wish to continue, win or lose.
Given the victory expected by the bookmakers the Maracana would rate the perfect setting for a swansong he is 17/10 to mark with his 72nd goal for his adopted homeland.
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