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Germany's Klose Wants a Goal for Walter

June 20, 2002|Grahame L. Jones

SEOUL — The co-leading goal scorer of the 2002 World Cup, Germany striker Miroslav Klose, has an added incentive to do well against the United States on Friday.

Klose said Wednesday that should he score against the U.S. he would dedicate the goal to Fritz Walter, the captain of Germany's 1954 World Cup-winning team, who died Monday at his home in Alsenborn, Germany, at age 81.

Walter once played for Klose's current German Bundesliga club, Kaiserslautern, leading it to two titles in the 1950s.

"He was always happy when I scored a goal for Kaiserslautern," Klose said at Germany's base camp at Seogwipo on the island of Jeju, South Korea. "He used to send me postcards and bottles of wine.

"He followed my career and we talked a few times. He will never be forgotten in our family. He will always be in my heart."

Klose has scored five goals in the World Cup, all on headers.

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The German players will wear black armbands during Friday's quarterfinal in memory of Walter. U.S. Coach Bruce Arena said the loss of the national team's former captain could inspire Germany's players.

"Obviously, the gentleman was a great figure in German soccer and I think that's a great move of respect by the German team to recognize him," he said. "Maybe it will make it more difficult for us."

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