Miroslav Klose, the top scorer in World Cup history, is ending his playing career and will join Joachim Löw's coaching staff as he studies for his pro licence, the German football association (DFB) have confirmed.
The 38-year-old retired from international football after winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014, scoring twice to bring his total goal tally from four tournaments to 16. He is also Germany's record scorer with 71 goals.
Klose's contract with Lazio expired after last season. The DFB says that, in consultation with Löw and the technical director, Hansi Flick, Klose will now undergo an individual training program "with the clear aim of embarking on a coaching career".
Klose, who played 137 games for Germany, said: "I celebrated my greatest successes in the national team and this was a wonderful time which remains unforgettable.
"That is why I'm delighted to return to the DFB. In the past few months, I have thought a lot about continuing my playing career, but also about looking at new avenues, namely becoming a coach.
"Reading a game, preparing painstakingly, developing strategies and tactics have always intrigued me and interested me a lot as a player. I am very grateful to Jogi Löw and Hansi Flick for this opportunity to sharpen my ideas now in practice."
Having benefitted from his goals for eight years, Löw is now hoping to benefit from Klose's insights off the field.
"I've always been able to rely on Miro and that's why I'm really pleased that he is now going to be part of our team," he said. "He's a role model as a person and a sportsman who always puts everything else after the team and success.
"With his views and his experience, I can see him very well as a coach in the future and we are happy to support him along the way with the DFB. I am sure that we the coaches are going to benefit as much from his presence here as we did when he was a player. We're looking forward to working with Miro."