Saturday Jan 23, 2021  
  24/03/2015: Klose: "Baggio told me to keep on playing as much as I can"
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After Djordjevic’s injury Miroslav Klose is living his second youth. Nobody expected that much from the 36-year old German but he showed everyone that he is still capable of playing and scoring important goals for a team in one of the big leagues. Klose gave an interview about his future plans, Lazio’s objectives of the season and much more.

Your form in 2015 is great and that rises some questions about your future. Will you keep on playing?

“I will make this decision after I speak with my family. This is what I always do. There are many things that we have to think about and discuss. One of them is if I keep on playing for a few more years where should I go? I recently spoke to Roberto Baggio and he told me to keep on playing as much as I can”.

Do you still want to play for Lazio or do you want to go back to the Bundesliga?

“Never say never. Everything is possible, even the Bundesliga. For now I have not had any contacts with other clubs”.

Do you receive different treatment after your World Cup triumph?

“No and I want it to stay that way. Sometimes I receive text messages that start with ‘Hello world champion’. But I can’t say it’s not great to be called world champion”.

What comes to your mind when you think of the World Cup?

“The image that stays in your head, or I should say in your heart is the fact that we became world champions and lifted the trophy at a legendary stadium as Maracana. In 2000 I visited Rio and wanted to go to the stadium and take a tour of it but it was closed and I can only peak through the bars”.

How did this change your status at Lazio?

“Now I am the first one to have a massage. My team mates tell the physiotherapist to be careful because he has in his hands a world champion”.

At the start of the season you weren’t happy because Pioli didn’t give you much playing time. You expected to play more?

“At the time I wasn’t in good form. I wanted to play as much as possible. I worked hard at the training ground to get back in good shape. I have always been in a good relationship with the coach although I’ve been critical at the start of the season for the playing time I got”.

You’ve been in Italy for some years now and how do you feel about your decision to leave Germany?

“It’s was the right decision to make. Italy is a completely different country. People are much more relaxed here. The people, the atmosphere, the weather, the food, you live better”.

And yet you still came on time for the interview… not typical for Italians.

“I can’t back down on this. If I have an appointment I go there at the right time. It’s really annoying when you have to wait for a worker to show up on time. This is disrespectful to others”.

How has everything changed for you in terms of football?

“At the begging it was hard for me because the defences here are much more careful. Over time I learned to find some cracks in the defensive lines of our opponents”.

Is Italy still a dream destination for players?

“For experienced players like me it still is”.

So Serie A is a good player for veterans but not for young players?

“Absolutely. Now Italian teams care more about young players. Antonio Conte has some good ideas but it won’t be easy. Italy are doing something close to what Matthians Sammer did for German football as director of the DFB. Italians are just begging to do this”.

What’s the problem with Italian football?

“The ticket prices are too high. Most of the big problems have been identified and this is a step in the right direction”.

You’ve been a professional for over 15 years. What changes do you see in football nowadays?

“In the past you could learn a lot from the older players. Olaf Marshal and Harry Koch are typical examples for Kaiserslautern. Marshall was like a second father to me. I was forced to carry the balls, the cones and everything else we needed on the training ground. Today when you say to a youngster to do this his answer would be ‘you have two hands, don’t you?’ “.

Do you feel sad that your career is coming to an end?

“No, I’m happy about that and I want to say goodbye to football in the best possible way”.

Do you see yourself as a coach after the end of your playing career?

“I want to become a coach as soon as possible and I will start the coaching lessons as soon as I end my playing career”.

As a coach would you look at games more from the eye of an attacker?

“They say that usually if you were a striker during your playing days you try to work more on the defence of your team but others say the opposite. I want to have fast defenders who know how to play the ball”.

How will you act as a coach?

“Just like I play. If I say something I mean it. This is what Hitzfeld taught me. Once Oliver Kahn arrived late for training before a very important game against Dortmund and Hitzfeld told him: ‘With your beautiful cowboy boots you can do straight home’. Me and the whole team were shocked”.

Which team is closer to your philosophy?

“Bayern Munich. The way they move without the ball is fantastic. Each players has to know what to do on the pitch”.

What would you recommend to all the young players?

“To sleep a lot”

Is there a team you always dreamt to play in?

“I was happy in all the teams I played. Kaiserslautern was my home city. In Bremen I evolved as a player thanks to Thomas Schaaf. I worked very well with Micou. In Bayern I learned a lot about football. Then I went to Lazio because I wanted to play at least once in my career abroad”.

Author: Martin Meranzov
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