61st Minute, Miroslav Klose, Germany v Costa Rica, World Cup 2006 Group Stage
In June 2000 Germany was given the right to host the 2006 World Cup, it was the first time since unification they would host a tournament but at the time German football was facing a real low after exiting Euro 2000 in the group stage. German legend Rudi Völler took over the reins but they then suffered a shocking 5-1 defeat at home to England in 2001 for qualification to the 2002 World Cup but recovered to qualify and go all the way to the World Cup final and it looked like Germany football was on the up again. However in Euro 2004 they repeated their performance from four years earlier and went out at the early again without winning a match which cost Völler his job. Enter Jurgen Klinsmann who decided to inject some more youthful players into his ageing side. Germany had mixed results before the tournament and despite the competition being in Germany expectations weren’t particularly high.
In their opening match they faced Costa Rica and Philipp Lahm struck an unstoppable after just three minutes to put them on their way. Paulo Wanchope silenced the Munich crowd minutes later with a well taken equaliser. Germany responded with Klose converting from close range to put them back into the lead.
Sixteen minutes into the second half Germany’s constant attacking intent pays off…
What Happened Next?
The nation grew with confidence and Germany made it all the way to the semi-finals where they played Italy in one of the most memorable World Cup matches of recent tournaments. It was a tight, enthralling encounter but neither side could find a breakthrough. Extra-time for the second game in succession proved to be too emotionally and physically draining for the Germans and Italy seized the initiative, scoring two goals in the final minutes to knock out the hosts.
Miroslav Klose’s five goals were enough to win the Golden Boot and Germany claimed third place. Klose scored four goals in the South Africa in 2010 which put him second in the all-time list of World Cup goalscorers behind Ronaldo. He needs two more to become top scorer in World Cup history but Germany have a tough task in Brazil and Joachim Löw’s side will meet the USA managed by Klinsmann.