Germany forward Miroslav
Klose is days away from turning 34 but competition for places
and a desire to play at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil keep him
motivated despite the occasional twinge, the player said on
Klose, who celebrates his birthday when Germany take on
Portugal in their Euro 2012 Group B opener in Lviv on Saturday,
said he was gradually regaining fitness after a thigh injury
which ruled him out of action for five weeks.
"I am much further in my fitness now and there is no pain
and that is what is important," Klose told reporters, a day
after arriving with the team in Poland for the tournament,
co-hosted by Ukraine.
"I have got my eye on getting to 100 percent but I don't
really think I can reach that figure at my age."
Polish-born Klose, with 63 goals in 116 internationals, is
battling with Mario Gomez for the one starting place in coach
Joachim Low's 4-2-3-1 formation. Low has also brought Marco
Reus into contention for the spot, saying he could also be
deployed as an out-and-out striker.
"Mario is super strong and I would also not underestimate
Marco but competition is good because it brings life into this
business," Klose said, adding that there were no secrets to
"I have no idea. I keep fit, my feet still carry me so I
push my cadaver along. I will be 34 so my back hurts
occasionally and I do some exercises before and after training.
If I do not do them then I am not that fresh or flexible.
"But my attitude is that the last 20 percent you have to
pull it out of yourself," he said.
With 14 World Cup goals to his name - one short of Ronaldo's
all-time record - Klose is hoping he will stay fit to get a shot
at competing at the 2014 tournament.
"I don't know. I take it one step at a time. I will have to
see if my legs still carry me," he said.
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