Record-breaker Miroslav Klose brushed off the personal plaudits and reminded Germany their World Cup mission is still far from complete.
Klose wrote himself into the record books on Tuesday night with the second goal in Germany’s 7-1 annihilation of Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
The strike was Klose’s 16th in World Cup history, taking him clear of the previous all-time top scorer Ronaldo.
The former Brazil striker, Germany coach Joachim Low, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter were among the first people to congratulate Klose on his milestone.
But the 36-year-old could not care less about personal accolades at the moment. He has only one thing on his mind – World Cup glory.
“As a team we have an even bigger objective – to win one more game,” Klose said when asked about his record-breaking feat.
“You don’t experience things like a 7-1 win over Brazil very often and it’s not easy to put in a performance like that in a World Cup semi-final.”
The message of calm reflection delivered by Klose, whose first World Cup goal came 12 years ago, was echoed by other members of Germany’s triumphant squad.
Thomas Muller, who is just six goals shy of Klose’s record despite this being only his second tournament, was the next player to emerge from the dressing room with a call for calm. “We need to let this all sink in now and then shift our focus to the final,” said the Bayern Munich striker.
Although Germany have made the semi-finals at the last four World Cups, some 24 years have passed since they lifted the trophy for the third time. The Germans came close eight years ago when they reached the last four, but just like Brazil, they buckled under the pressure of being host nation.
Muller thinks the expectation that comes with hosting the tournament had a big impact on Brazil’s display in the Estadio Mineirao.
“They were under a lot of pressure in their own country and in front of so many fans,” Muller said. “It got to the point where I felt sorry for them.”