The opening goal of the Serie A season was a thing of beauty. Eleven minutes into Lazio's visit to Milan on Friday night, Hernanes caressed a pass over the top of the home defence to Miroslav Klose, who had ghosted into the penalty area.
A sumptuous first touch hooked the ball into his stride and took Alessandro Nesta out of the game completely. With time to adjust his feet, the German steadied himself before drilling a left-footed shot past Christian Abbiati.
The sureness of the touch and efficiency of the finish, not to mention the ease with which he eluded Nesta, proved that, at 33, Klose's goalscoring instincts have not been dulled by the time he spent on the bench at Bayern Munich last season.
After leaving Germany for the first time in his career, Klose will perhaps have been relieved to have opened his account on his league debut. But he has not come to Italy to amass more personal milestones. Rather uniquely for a present-day player, Klose's priority is the international game.
Moving to Rome represented a chance to test himself in a different country but what drives him above all is his hunger to secure a place in Joachim Loew's Germany squad for next year's European Championships.
In that respect, he has found a kindred spirit in fellow new recruit Djibril Cisse.The Frenchman also scored in the 2-2 draw at Milan and admits that, like his strike partner, he is fired by the idea of playing at Euro 2012.
"We never stop talking, even in the shower after training," revealed Cisse of his partnership with Klose last week. "We keep going back to what we need to improve."
Klose is a rarity in the modern game because he is renowned more for his achievements at international level than for what he has done in the club game. Rarely prolific in the Bundesliga (the 25 goals he scored for Werder Bremen in the 2005-06 season being a stark anomaly), he is nonetheless the second-highest scorer in World Cup finals history and, with 62 goals in 112 international games, he is creeping closer to Gerd Muller's all-time German record of 68.
The memories of Klose that will endure the longest are those that recall his World Cup exploits: the neat somersaults that followed each of his five headed goals at the 2002 tournament; the equaliser against Argentina in the 2006 quarter-final in Berlin; the opener in the 4-1 humiliation of England in Bloemfontein last year. Like Pele, or Diego Maradona, Klose has saved his best performances for the sport's biggest occasion.
At a time when the Champions League threatens to eclipse the World Cup as football's most important tournament, Klose is something of a throwback.
Where traditional thinking asserted that true greatness could only be achieved at a World Cup, modern observers argue that Lionel Messi's performances on the continental scene are worthy of comparison with anything that Pele or Maradona produced on the playing fields of Sweden and Mexico.
Players much less talented than Messi, meanwhile, trip over themselves in their haste to withdraw from the international arena. Witness Gary Neville's assertion that playing for England was "a waste of time", or Jamie Carragher's admission that losing with the Three Lions "hurt less" than losing with Liverpool.
Not for Klose another season on the bench at Bayern; the odd Bundesliga run-out, the occasional appearance in the Champions League. Having fallen behind Mario Gomez in the pecking order for first Bayern and then the national team, he knows that he is no longer the man around whom Loew intends to build his attack in Poland and Ukraine next summer.
But his move to Lazio looks likely to at least secure a place in the squad. And you suspect he will already have an eye on the 2014 World Cup as well.