Miroslav Klose is one of the most revered goalscorers of the 21st century.
Not only was the German poacher widely celebrated for his penalty-box instincts and unerring eye for a finish, but he was also able to channel his talents on the biggest stage of all.
When Klose slipped the ball home for Germany during the 7-1 demolition at Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup he surpassed Ronaldo Nazario at the tournament’s all-time record goalscorer.
Klose’s legendary status
With 16 strikes across four competitions, Klose has guaranteed his place in the history books and it will take a truly unstoppable striker to ever wrestle the record from his grasps.
However, regardless of whether Klose’s World Cup claim to fame is ever topped or not, the 43-year-old can rest assured that his footballing legacy transcends his ‘fox in the box’ finishing.
Newcastle Takeover Complete (Football Terrace)
That’s because Klose also has an enviable reputation for being one of football’s gentlemen by way of proving over the years that he will always treasure fair play over winning games at all costs.
Now, as we take you on a journey through Klose’s sportsmanship, you’ll discover that he has shown his class multiple times across his career, but today we’re focusing on one moment in particular.
Napoli 3-0 Lazio (2012)
Cast your minds back to the dizzy days of 2012 and Klose is lining up for Lazio – the club with whom he’d eventually retire – in a Serie A clash with Napoli at what was then called the Stadio San Paolo.
The game would eventually finish 3-0 with Edinson Cavani lashing home a hat-trick, but what makes the tale so remarkable is that Klose had been awarded a goal just three minutes into the clash.
The former Bayern Munich striker appeared to have headed home from an early corner with referee Luca Banti originally pointing for a goal, but many of the Napoli players were absolutely fuming.
Klose’s remarkable fair play
And they had good reason to be livid because Klose, who initially celebrated the goal, had actually used his hand to divert the ball past goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.
However, remarkably, Klose showed incredible class by explaining the situation to Banti in order to get the decision reversed, which led to the goal being chalked off and Napoli winning a free-kick.
Klose was duly spared a yellow card for his actions and the Napoli players congratulated him on his act of fait play, which you can enjoy in all its glory down below:
It wasn’t the first time
Now that’s what you call a class act and like we said, it wasn’t even the first time that Klose had proven himself to be a footballing gent because something very similar happened back in 2005.
After Werder Bremen had been awarded a penalty for what appeared to be a trip on Klose by the Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper, he proceeded to inform the referee that he hadn’t been fouled.
So, there you have it, two moments of superb fair play that go to show that Klose is one of the classiest footballers in modern history for having both a touch of class as well as a finishing touch.