German legend Miroslav Klose announces international retirement

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The leading scorer in World Cup history has hung up his boots. For Germany, anyway.

Miroslav Klose, 36, has called it quits on one of the greatest international careers in history as the German forward has retired from playing for his nation. Klose broke the World Cup scoring record this summer as he has scored 16 goals across four tournaments for Die Mannschaft. Remarkable.

[RELATED: Klose breaks WC record]

The Polish born forward has been a predator for almost two decades but after Germany’s first World Cup trophy since 1990, he felt it was the perfect time to retire.

“The title in Brazil fulfilled a childhood dream of mine,” Klose said. “I am proud and happy that I could contribute to this great success for German football. There is no better time to close the national team chapter.”

In the history books, Klose’s name will always live on after he broke Ronaldo’s record and became the World Cups all-time leading goalscorer by scoring twice  in Brazil. He also broke Gerd Muller’s record as Germany’s all-time leading scorer and amassed 71 goals in 137 appearances. Klose is also the only player to play in four or more World Cup semifinals, the third player in history to score in four separate World Cup tournaments and is the only player in history to be part of 17 wins at the World Cup.

The word legend gets used loosely in soccer. This man deserves that title.

Although Klose will not play for Germany again, he can now concentrate solely on his club team, Lazio, as the German striker will carry on playing in Serie A during the upcoming season. He has scored 40 goals in 100 games for the Rome club so far and will be aiming to score more, as always, in 2014-15. The former Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich striker has scored 205 goals in 524 appearances at club level.

For compiling one of the greatest international careers soccer has ever seen, take a bow, Miroslav.

Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery, scores in England win

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Jermain Defoe’s friendship with terminally-ill Bradley Lowery has been special to watch unfold, and the Sunderland striker brought his little buddy to Wembley today.

Then he notched a match-winner.

Lowery walked Defoe out onto the field in a replica England kit before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and then Defoe scored his 20th goal for country.

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It was his first since 2013, the last year Defoe was called up for the Three Lions.

Here’s the goal, which was followed by a second-half Jamie Vardy tally as England stayed atop Group F with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

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Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

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Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).

Ozil bristles at talk of Arsenal selling him

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Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.

The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.

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Ozil was not called up by Germany, and has missed four of his last nine Premier League matches. Three of those were for illness, and he missed last week’s loss to West Brom with a hamstring injury.

From Metro:

“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.

“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”

Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.