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Bittersweet milestone for Oliver Kahn

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Bittersweet milestone for Oliver Kahn

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:10 am


Oliver Kahn remains Bayern's number one goalkeeper, despite his appearance as an outfield player in the Reds' first training session following the 1-1 draw with Inter Milan. The shot-stopper had not quit his position between the sticks, coach Felix Magath grinned: "He'd already calmed down before we left yesterday. He was fine by the time we got to the dressing room."

Patrick Vieira's stoppage-time equaliser for the visiting Italians on Tuesday evening had prompted one of Kahn's (in)famous, volcanic eruptions. After the match, the club captain stormed from the Allianz Arena without saying a word, and he remained tight-lipped on Wednesday.

<b>Run opened in defeat</b>

The late leveller had apparently rendered Kahn speechless. The 37-year-old had been desperate to keep a clean sheet in his 100th Champions League appearance. "He was angry about conceding a goal so late in a milestone match. He'd made some great saves up to that point," Magath opined. Mark van Bommel expressed sympathy for the keeper: "I can completely understand Olli's anger."

Kahn is the first goalkeeper and the fourth player ever to run up a century of games in the Champions League. Only Raul (106), Roberto Carlos (104) and David Beckham (101) have appeared more often in Europe's elite club competition. Kahn's first-ever outing on the premiere stage also featured goals against, as Bayern fell 2-0 away to Paris Saint Germain some 12 years ago on 14 September 1994.

<b>Hero against Valencia</b>

Since then, the Munich stalwart has experienced all the highs and lows the Champions League has to offer. Bayern have made the knockout round as group winners this season, but in 2002-3, the Bavarians finished bottom of their section without a win. Kahn has appeared twice in the final, losing in dramatic circumstances in 1999, but proving the hero in 2001 with three penalty saves against Valencia.

"This is another milestone, but in a team sport like football, it doesn't just belong to one individual," the keeper remarked on his home page. "The figure 100 goes next to my name, but I'd never have played so often if it wasn't for my team."

<b>Still hungry</b>

Despite running up a ton in the competition, Kahn still rates the Champions League as "the absolute highlight," and his burning desire to win remains as strong as ever. "Olli always goes mad in situations like that," Uli Hoeneß smiled on Tuesday night, "but I understand him. In his view, you can't make a single error for the full 95 minutes if you're aiming to win at the highest level."

"His desire and ambition in every situation rate as strengths. Obviously he can't be satisfied," Magath observed, extending sympathy and suggesting a cunning idea to the milestone man. "If he was to ask me, I'd tell him to write down the following statistic: he kept a clean sheet for 90 minutes in his 100th match."
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