Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oliver Kahn: One of The Best GOALKEEPER of All Time

Oliver Rolf Kahn born 15 June 1969 is a former German football goalkeeper. He started his career in the Karlsruher SC Junior team. He had his debut game in the professional squad in 1987. In 1994, he was transferred to Bayern Munich for the fee of 4,600,000 DM, where he played until the end of his career in 2008. He is one of the most successful German players in recent history, having won eight German championships, six German cups, the UEFA Cup (1996), the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup (both 2001). 

His individual contributions have earned him four consecutive UEFA Best European Goalkeeper awards, three IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper awards, and two German Footballer of the Year trophies. At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he became the first and only goalkeeper in the tournament's history to win the Golden Ball. From 1994 to 2006, Kahn was part of the German national team, in which he played as a starter after the retirement of Andreas Köpke. 

In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the team reached the Finals. While the team was several times derided for their poor performance, Kahn's prowess proved to be the deciding factor in several games up until the final, where Germany lost to Brazil 0–2 and Kahn received criticism for letting the ball get out of his hands after a long-range shot which led to Brazil taking the lead. Nonetheless, he was named the tournament's best player and received the Golden Ball award. 

International career 

Kahn was initially called for the German national team as a late back-up for the 1994 FIFA World Cup; however he made his first international appearance in a 2–1 victory against Switzerland on 23 June 1995,[33] two months after recovering from his cruciate ligament injury.Along with Oliver Reck, Kahn was a reserve keeper of the squad, which won the 1996 UEFA European Football Championship in England. He spent the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France on the bench, and it was not until Andreas Köpke announced his retirement at the end of the tournament that Kahn became the starting goalkeeper. 

Two years after the 2000 UEFA European Football Championship, in which defending champions Germany made an embarrassing exit in the group stage, Kahn received the squad's captaincy, succeeding the striker Oliver Bierhoff. Kahn experienced one of his worst performances in his international career against England in Munich in 2001. Germany were favored to win as they had beaten England in 2000 1–0 at Wembley stadium. However, they were routed 5–1, including a hat-trick by Michael Owen. Despite the defeat, Germany qualified for the World Cup after winning a playoff against Ukraine, and Kahn remained as Germany's number one for the upcoming Cup. Kahn was named the best goalkeeper in the world by IFFHS for the second time in his career. 


Kahn is widely admired for the stamina he showed to overcome the stresses and pressures of his career. His profile on the Bayern Munich website lists his attributes as "impatient, disciplined, ambitious". During the 2002 World Championship in Japan and South Korea, Kahn gained popularity in Asia. He was depicted in several television commercials, including one for the Shinkin bank. In 2008, his wax figure in the Berlin branch of the Madame Tussaud museum was inaugurated. Kahn is the subject of the song Olli Kahn by the German pop group Die Prinzen. Due to the formidable presence and influence that he showed during his professional career, Kahn's epithet is "The Titan".


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