Lazio Legends: Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Klose can likely be named the greatest signing Sporting Director Igli Tare has ever made; the German arrived at Lazio on 9 June 2011 on a free transfer, thanks to manager Louis Van Gaal who inexplicably relegated the German to the bench at Bayern Munich.
Klose arrived in the capital with a desire for revenge, to prove to everyone that he was not yet finished. And he did exactly this, immediately succeeding: he netted a goal for the Biancocelesti in both his debut in the Serie A TIM and UEFA Europa League. At the point that he had transferred to Le Aquile, perhaps he was not as fresh as he had been in previous years, but he provided Lazio with a load of experience that resulted in goals. Miro finished his first year with 12 strikes, but Laziali will remember him above all for the goal in the 93′ that decided the Derby della Capitale, bringing Lazio back to win the match against Roma. Consequently, the Giallorossi became one of his favorite teams to play against, as the German would often score in this clash. At the end of the season, Klose was included in the list of the final 50 players for the Golden Ball award.
The following campaign, Klose started well scoring against Roma, but got hurt in January and was out for an extended period of time. He returned to the field at the end of the season where he scored five of the six goals put up against Bologna in a 6-0 victory. However, above all, he was available for the Coppa Italia final against his favorites Roma. Although he didn’t score this time around, he helped Lazio to win a trophy that will go down in history, like himself.
Klose is the example for everyone, always the first to start training always the last to leave: during a training session with the Primavera, while all the boys decided to leave the field, Klose remained, collected all the balls, and brought them back to the warehouse. The German is a champion outside and inside the field, a silent leader but above all a winner. He knew what needed to be done to win and brought this mentality to Lazio. With him, the team won the Coppa Italia and qualified for the UEFA Champions League. And lastly, before retiring from the German national team, he would also go on to win the World Cup, breaking the record for goals scored in the competition.
When Stefano Pioli become manager of the club, Klose began to play less, as the Italian preferred Serbian striker Filip Djordjevic. The German, however, did not protest and trained as usual like a true professional. The following year, when Lazio was struggling, Pioli was sacked and Simone Inzaghi arrived to manage the side. But President Claudio Lotito surprisingly decided not to renew Klose’s contract – a decision that fans and the German alike did not appreciate, and he decided to quit football for good.
Lazio fans gave him a proper farewell; he was their savior in time of need, and one of the last players they would truly be able to admire up close, playing in the blue and white colors.