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Prolific Klose radiates influence and authority

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Prolific Klose radiates influence and authority

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:24 am

26.10.2007

Bayern approached Thursday’s trip to face Red Star Belgrade with some trepidation, as the absence of a string of players including star attackers Franck Ribéry and Luca Toni meant enforced changes to the side which has made such an impressive start to the campaign. Furthermore, the appalling turf at the Marakana stadium was hardly conducive to flowing football.

The Bundesliga leaders still came away with a narrow but ultimately deserved victory, in which Miroslav Klose played a central role. Making a first European start for Bayern, the 29-year-old Germany hitman’s double took him to eleven goals in competitive matches this term, but he also confirmed his status as one of the most influential players in Ottmar Hitzfeld’s squad.

<b>Nose for goal</b>

“Miro’s attitude is an example to us all, regardless of the state of the pitch,” the General enthused after Klose’s twin equalisers. “He contributes a huge amount to the team. He’s already one of our most respected players, and he’s not afraid to raise his voice in the dressing room.“

Klose’s 20th-minute strike to level the scores at 1-1 was a classic example of his striker’s intuition, as he anticipated Belgrade keeper Randjelovic’s fumble from the outstanding Lucio’s long-range effort and coolly netted the loose ball from ten yards. “It wasn’t as easy as it looked,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge pointed out afterwards, praising the former Bremen man’s killer instinct: “He has a nose for goal, and he goes looking for goals. That’s why he’s here, and we’re delighted to have him here.“

<b>Kroos picks out Klose</b>

Klose’s second equaliser with just five minutes remaining provided yet more evidence of his aerial prowess. “Last season we scored very few headed goals from set plays, but that definitely won’t be the last goal he scores from a similar situation,” Rummenigge commented.

The World Cup top scorer benefited from the precise delivery provided by burgeoning talent and 80th-minute substitute Toni Kroos. It was the second occasion that the combination has borne fruit: Kroos twice conjured up assists for Klose in Bayern’s 5-0 demolition of Cottbus three weeks ago. Kroos himself bagged the dramatic stoppage time winner on Thursday with a carbon-copy of his previous free-kick, this time threading the ball through a crowd scene in the box and over the line.

<b>Hard work in training</b>

“I don’t know how I’d have got on away to Red Star at the age of 17. Hats off to him, he’s a very good lad,” a visibly impressed Klose declared. Hitzfeld had always planned to introduce the talented youth at some stage in the game, the coach revealed: “He laid on three goals for the reserves last week and made a strong case in training.“

Hitzfeld described Kroos as “highly intelligent“ and “technically perfect.“ The fact that the 17-year-old was prepared to accept responsibility for the set plays in the hectic closing phase of the match, rather than leave it to seasoned stars like Zé Roberto or Bastian Schweinsteiger, speaks volumes for the Rostock-born youth’s maturity. “It’s not about age, it’s about ability. He’s the best we have at taking set pieces,“ Hitzfeld stated.
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