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Since his last World Cup in 2006, Ronaldo's record tally of 15 goals in the competition had remained untouched, but Klose has now levelled at last in his fourth World Cup participation.
The experienced forward started the encounter on the bench, but was brought on minutes after Germany went 2-1 down against the Africans and immediately made an impact.
The Lazio striker netted five goals at the 2002 World Cup, five times four years later, four in 2010 and now once during this summer's showpiece.
Ronaldo amassed his strikes across three tournaments, in 1998, 2002 and 2006 - and lifted the famous trophy once along the way, 12 years ago this summer.
Just two strikes adrift of the two all-time leading goalscorers is former France star Just Fontaine - who found the back of the net 13 times during the 1958 tournament. That remains a record haul for goals in a single edition.
With 12 goals in four World Cups between 1958 and 1970, Brazil legend Pele is a prominent figure in the top 10, and was the star as his country lifted the trophy three times in that period.
A goal further back, two players are on 11, in the shape of Hungary great Sandor Kocsis and Germany hero Jurgen Klinsmann, who will of course take charge of the USA in Brazil.
The final three places in the top ten are occupied by another German, Helmut Rahn, in 1954 and 1958, former England striker Gary Lineker and one of Argentina's most lethal hitmen of all-time, Gabriel Batistuta.
All three players scored 10 World Cup goals, but their places could be under threat if David Villa (eight goals) or Diego Forlan (six goals) enjoy a particularly fruitful summer in Brazil.