SANTO ANDRE Brazil (Reuters) - Germany striker Miroslav Klose described Ronaldo as "the most complete player ever" on Thursday after overtaking the former Brazil forward as the World Cup's all-time record scorer with his 16th goal in the semi-final victory over the hosts.
"He was an outstanding soccer player," Klose, now a striker for Lazio after earlier stints with Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich, told reporters at the Germany base camp in Northeastern Brazil.
"I play in Italy and everyone I've ever talked to there said that Ronaldo was the best player that ever played in Italy. For me he was the most complete player ever."
Klose equalled Ronaldo's record of 15 goals in Germany's 2-2 draw against Ghana in a group match before overtaking him on Tuesday with the second in a 7-1 rout.
The 36-year-old acknowledged it must have been tough for Ronaldo, who was watching the match as a pundit, to lose the record and see Brazil suffer their biggest World Cup defeat.
"Obviously it must be bitter for him that he was in the stadium when I overtook him in the match against Brazil," Klose said.
"Before he sent a message out 'Klose - welcome in the club of 15'. I can now send out this message: 'Miroslav Klose in the club of 16 and everyone's welcome to join'."
The German, who has played in 23 matches at four different World Cups, will have a chance to add to his tally in Sunday's final against Argentina at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
(Editing by Patrick Johnston)