Here’s a look at the list of the candidates who have been nominated for this year’s awards.
At the halfway mark is German predator Miroslav Klose.
The winner of the award has to be above the age of 28 and still playing. Awarded for a footballer’s outstanding sporting achievements, the winner gets to leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade overlooking the seafront at the Principality of Monaco. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, only slightly less cool.
Full Name: Miroslav Josef Klose
DOB: June 09, 1978
Clubs: Blaubach-Diedlkopf, 08 Homburg, Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, Lazio
Why is he on this list?
Miroslav Klose is one of the most prolific strikers at international level with 67 goals to his name, just one behind the legendary Gerd ‘Der Bomber’ Muller.
The Germany striker is known for his excellent predatory abilities, and his role as the fox in the box allows him to pounce on unsuspecting opponents and turn the game on its head.
Although there are those who say that Klose does not deliver the goods as often at club level as he does when representing his country, they are seriously mistaken. It was his consistent goal scoring form with Kaiserslautern that caught the attention of Poland national team coaches at that time (Poland being his country of birth).
Klose is a goal short of his 200th at club level, and is one game away from cap number 500: Good returns for any striker.
Even with him ageing, Klose’s scoring abilities haven’t dropped. Should he make the squad for the 2014 World Cup, he will be 36, and most likely become his nation’s top scorer.
What’s he won?
Unlike many of the others on this list, Klose’s trophy cabinet does not have as many pieces of silverware as it should.
His first trophy came with Bremen, when he lifted the Ligapokal in 2006.
It was at Bayern that he added to that solitary cup. He won two Bundesliga titles, two German Cups, one German Super Cup and the DFB LigaPokal.
The one trophy he could not win at Bayern was the Champions League: his team were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in 2010.
Since moving to Rome, he has added the Italian Cup to his honours.
But despite having not won as many trophies as his counterparts, Klose’s consistency has seen him bag a host of personal honours. In his second season at Bayern, he was second behind Lionel Messi in the list of goal scorers in the UEFA Champions League and is also one of only eight Serie A footballers to score five goals or more in a match.
But those records pale in comparison with his achievements for his country. He is only one of two players to score in two consecutive World Cups and is the only player in the world to have participated in the semi-finals of five European Championships and World Cups.
All that means that he is second alongside Gerd Muller in the list of all-time FIFA World Cup goal scorers. He won the Golden Boot when the tournament was held on home soil in 2006 and will surely want to become his nation’s top scorer in Brazil.
Best and Worst moments
Klose’s crowning glory would have most certainly been picking up the Golden Boot award in 2006 after finishing with the Silver one in Korea-Japan four years previously.
However, he would have surely been distraught on seeing his team exit the World Cup at the hands of Italy on home soil in 2006. At the 2010 World Cup, Klose was given a red card in his team’s 1-0 defeat to Serbia.
But he has said that he would like to win the World Cup with Germany in Brazil. Doing so would surely be the greatest moment of his career and so would becoming his country’s top scorer in the process.
Germany has never lost a match in which Klose has scored.
What’s he like off the pitch?
Not much is known about Klose’s private life, but he did have an alternative to football in case it did not work out for him. When he was still cutting his teeth at Kaiserslautern, Klose took up an apprenticeship in carpentry.
Klose used to regularly attend Bayern’s annual Oktoberfest parties with his wife Sylwia when he was at the club. He has two children with her.
Klose has previously said that had the Polish FA come quicker to snap him up, he would have been playing for them. But by the time the opportunity to play for Germany had appeared on the horizon, he had made up his mind.
When he was unveiled at Lazio, a small section of the club’s ultras unveiled banners bearing slogans that had been used by the Nazis. At that time, Klose said that politics had no place in football.
Could he win the Golden Foot
In his own right, Klose is one of the best strikers to grace the modern-day game, and there are surely going to be very few with such longevity in the future of the beautiful game.
But because he may not be the people’s popular choice for the award, he may not be one of the favourites to win it.