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Miroslav Klose retires from international football

updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Miroslav Klose (right) scored 16 goals in four World Cup finals for Germany including two at Brazil 2014.
Miroslav Klose (right) scored 16 goals in four World Cup finals for Germany including two at Brazil 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World Cup finals' most prolific striker calls it a day following Germany's 2014 triumph
  • Klose scored 16 goals in four World Cup finals and 71 in total for Germany in 137 matches
  • Klose: "Records never concerned me -- it was always about giving my best for the team."

(CNN) -- The World Cup's most prolific goal scorer has hung up his golden boots.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, announced his retirement from international football on Monday.

The 36-year-old scored two goals at this summer's tournament to surpass former Brazil striker Ronaldo's record of 15 as Germany lifted the trophy for the first time in 24 years.

Polish-born Klose scored five goals at the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan and five more in Germany four years later -- a feat that earned him the Golden Boot that year.

Four more followed in South Africa in 2010 before two goals -- a crucial equalizer in the group game against Ghana and a second in Germany's 7-1 rout of hosts Brazil in the semifinals -- completed his tally.

Klose also has the distinction of being Germany's all-time top goal scorer with 71 goals from 137 internationals.

"The success of the team stood and always stands for me in the highest place," Klose said in a statement published on the German national side's official website.

"With the national team I achieved our greatest goal, a goal which we had together within the squad.

"In addition, I achieved personal goals and those who know me know that I am very ambitious, but I am a striker and the task of a striker is to score goals.

"Therefore the records never concerned me, but it was always about giving my best for the team."

German national coach, Joachim Low heaped praise on the retiring marksman.

"He has given everything for Germany," Low said in a statement.

"I have the greatest respect for Miroslav's decision as well as (his) incredible national team career that will be hard to beat ... I am happy and grateful that I was able to work with Miroslav Klose.

The striker announced in July that he will play club football for one more season before retiring altogether.

Klose, who joined Lazio from Bayern Munich in 2011, signed a one-year extension to his contract with the Serie A side in May.

Read more: U.S. soccer legend Donovan retires

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