Four years ago, Miroslav Klose became world champion with the German national team. The key to success lay in the team quarters. There was plenty of room for meeting, but also avoiding each other - when the music was too loud.
They were tears of joy. Of happiness. The relief. With his sons Noah and Luan and wife Sylwia in his arms, Miroslav Klose stood on the lawn of the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on the evening of 13 July 2014 and enjoyed the World Cup triumph.
It was the culmination of the glittering career of the former national striker. Now, four years later, he will again travel to a World Cup tournament, as a member of the coaching staff of national coach Joachim Loew.
WORLD: If we address you directly to the 2014 World Cup: Which image will shoot you in the head right away?
Miroslav Klose: The moment in which I have the cup in my hands for the first time. I remember how shortly after I sat down on a staircase. I was completely alone with myself. I looked at the grass and could not believe it.
WORLD: How overwhelmed you were was immediately after the final whistle. There came the tears.
Klose: I was so happy. There was a lot down. We were so close to it so many times but never made it. And then you stand on the grass in Rio and are world champion. 2002 was my first tournament. At that time we were in the final and lost it. That was bitter. But I could not believe it because everything was so new to me. With the tournaments after that I got a certain routine. So not, as far as missing the title. (laughs) I mean that in terms of the processes. I knew what I had to do better, which is good for me at a tournament and what is not. But you know: I would never have thought that I would become world champion at 36 years old. Although I am always optimistic.
WORLD: What was the decisive factor in 2014?
Klose: I'm convinced that it was the whole squad. I did not play in the beginning. But we have called for the so-called A-team in training so much. The boys had to give everything to win against us. That was good for all competitive games. If you need to really accelerate in training, you're prepared for anything and do not be afraid. I am totally convinced that you have problems in a game when you have no pressure in training. Believe me, if you have all the time in the world in training, you are overwhelmed in the game when you need solutions as the opponent puts pressure on you. We were prepared for anything in Brazil. There was fire in there every day. The longer we were there, the more I thought that this time really is going on.
WORLD: A key experience was the second group game against Ghana. Germany was 1: 2 back. Then you will be a substitute and meet shortly thereafter to the final score.
Klose: Everyone who came from the bank was hot. Me too. At the corner, I was able to prove my good nose and guess where the ball after the extension of Benny (Höwedes - dd R.) go.
WORLD: They responded to the team spirit.
Klose: Yes, because he was really good. Everything was fine, including the good camp. It was great there. There was this courtyard where we always met, played, watched TV or exchanged views. We were almost always somehow together and have really talked a lot. There was talk about opponents, about specific players or situations. That was great.
WORLD: There were four residential communities in Campo Bahia. They were one of four so-called janitors. How did this kind of living together feel like the oldest professional?
Klose: That was really something special. Thank god I was one of the janitors and could choose my roommate - with Roman Weidenfeller, Toni Kroos or Mario Götze. With them, I brought people into the house, which I knew would go to bed early. I had no desire for the loud music and the so-called 'gangsters', such as Mesut (Özil - R. d.) Or Jérôme (Boateng - d. R.). I do not know if I could have slept so quietly if one of them had been in my house. (laughs) Honestly, that was really a great camp. Everyone had his own room, of course, but there were many ways to meet each other.
克洛泽:这真的很特别。谢天谢地，我是宿舍长之一，可以选择我的室友——罗曼·魏登费勒、托尼·克罗斯和马里奥·格策。和他们在一起，我把他们带进了房子，我知道他们会早睡。我不喜欢吵闹的音乐和所谓的“匪帮”（音乐），比如梅苏特(Ozil - R. d)或者热罗姆那种。我不知道如果他们中有人在我的房子里，我是否能睡得这么安静。(笑)老实说，那是个很棒的营地。当然，每个人都有自己的房间，但是见面的方式有很多。
WORLD: Apparently a lot of energy was drawn from the camp. Did you have a good feeling on the day of the finals?
Klose: Yes. But it was not the finale that was in my mind, rather the opponent. We knew we had to bother early and switch quickly. Everything else did not interest me. I have not thought about victory or defeat. I wanted us to play well. It was clear that it would be a close game.
WORLD: Initially, the signs were not so good. Only Sami Khedira answered injured shortly before kick-off. And then Christoph Kramer, who ran aground for him, had to get out injured early.
Klose: That was awesome. Especially since in such a game you never know what is required of you, if you have drunk enough so that you do not get cramps. Everything like that. I have the Basti (Schweinsteiger - d. R.) still in mind. What got all, how it bled - and then it was always there and has continued. Incredible. But in such a game you release forces that you do not even know you have.
克洛泽:这很精彩。尤其是在这样的比赛中，你永远不知道需要你做什么，如果你喝得足够多，你就不会抽筋。所有事都像这样。我还记得巴斯提(Schweinsteiger - d. R.)。所有的一切，他怎么流的血-然后一直流血，一直持续着。这是一种不可思议的力量！但在这样的比赛中，你释放了你甚至不知道的你所拥有的力量。
WORLD: How many days or weeks did it take you to realize the World Cup victory?
Klose: I do not know. All I know is that many nights afterwards I often had the pictures in the evening before falling asleep. These were great feelings. For example, months later I realized that I had played four World Cup semi-finals.
WORLD: Did the World Cup win make a childhood dream come true?
Klose: I wanted to become a footballer as a child, that's all. But when it started with my career, I started setting small goals. I wanted to become cup winner, then champion. Since I was a striker, I have always watched to deliver goals. And sure, at some point I wanted to play and meet for Germany too.
WORLD: Can you remember the first World Cup that you took?
Klose: That's what I recently talked to friends about fishing. Many have spoken since 1990 and 1994. For me, I can still remember the 1998 tournament very well. The tournaments before that I do not really have on the screen.
WORLD: How do you see the chances of defending the title because you are on the other side?
Klose: We have a lot of potential in the team. I also assume that the players will form a really good unit. Still, it's a different tournament. Another land. You have to adapt. You may play one game in Sochi at 35 degrees, the other at 15 degrees in Moscow. But that is not so bad. I hope that the match plan always works and is implemented. Of course it will not be easy as a defending champion. But honestly, I've always preferred to play strong opponents rather than supposedly not so good ones. But we have to know that we are the hunted. Every opponent will go to the limit. There we have to counter and fight.
WORLD: What is your job besides Joachim Löw's work?
Klose: I travel a lot and watch games of the German U-teams. I want to see how the boys move, what they have on it. It is important that I get a regular picture of this.
WORLD: And, what do you say to the offspring?
Klose:I think we have good strikers. But it is not easy to judge everyone well. Because some have different tasks in their clubs. In addition, the club coaches often have a different game philosophy. This makes the task difficult every now and then, because we have different ideas in the national team, but it is not so bad. It's nice that we have something to do.
WORLD: So you do not have to worry about the next generation in Germany?
Klose: No. We have enough quality, but the boys have to be encouraged and even better. It would be bad if they were already top and no potential would be higher.
WORLD: Starting in July, you will be working as a trainer in the youth of FC Bayern. What attracts you to it?
Klose: I had a great time with the national team in the coaching team. But I think, after the World Cup, it's the right time to go for a new, own way. And when the request came from Bayern Munich, I did not have to think twice. I am really looking forward to this new task with the boys, to work out something step by step, which we can hopefully be proud of. But now it's time for the World Cup, only that counts - and I'm happy when it starts.