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Prodigal son Klose thrilled by homecoming

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Prodigal son Klose thrilled by homecoming

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:45 pm

Miroslav Klose used to be a regular on the terraces at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion, informally but widely known as the Betzenberg, in football-mad Kaiserslautern. "Block 11, sometimes wearing my Olaf Marschall replica shirt," the 30-year-old revealed to The striker joined the FC Kaiserslautern reserves in 1999, dreaming of a career in the Bundesliga. Ten years later, he is an established Bayern and Germany star. Monday sees Klose make an emotional return to his roots when the German champions meet Kaiserslautern in a friendly, kicking off at 7 pm.

"This is where I grew up, and this is where I had my first taste of the Bundesliga," he recalls, "my parents and most of my relatives still live locally." The player had a house built for his family in Blaubach, 40 kilometres to the north-west of Kaiserslautern, the town where he played for SG Blaubach-Diedelkopf as a youth.

Keen to see new stadium

While in Kaiserslautern, Klose advanced from the reserves to the German national set-up, spending five years with the FCK reserve and first teams. He made his Bundesliga debut at the Betzenberg in April 2000, scoring his first top flight goal there the following October. He finished with 44 goals in 120 league appearances for Lautern.testKlose said he has "a good feeling" about Monday's return. "I always enjoy playing at the Betze - and now it's with Bayern." The player is curious to see the stadium after its complete rebuild for the 2006 World Cup. "I've driven past it since then, but the reconstruction along the touchlines and the fact that the players' tunnel emerges at the halfway line will be new to me," he explained.

Going for goal

Miro went back to Kaiserslautern a couple of times with Werder Bremen, "and I've always had a positive reaction from the fans," he reported, although he declined to predict what might happen on Monday when he runs out at the Betzenberg in Munich colours: "Bayern are obviously a different calibre compared to Bremen."

He has no intention of deliberately not scoring against his former club. "It's only a friendly after all," he grinned. Indeed, he would dearly love to add his name to the scoresheet, not because the opposition is Kaiserslautern, "but because scoring at this ground is always very special for me." Should he succeed, the latest generation to stand in Block 11 might well cheer and applaud - just as he himself used to do ten years ago.
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