Saturday, August 20, 2011

Oliver Kahn

Oliver Kahn in Action
Oliver Rolf Kahn (German pronunciation: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 4,600,000DM, 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. Although having allowed only three goals during the tournament, he received criticism for his mistakes in the final, where Germany lost to Brazil 0–2. Nonetheless, he was named the tournament's best player and received the Golden Ball award.
At the age of six, Kahn joined Karlsruher SC, where his father Rolf had played from 1962 to 1965. He started as an outfield player before becoming goalkeeper. He was included at the team's professional squad in the 1987–88 season of the first Bundesliga division, at first being the reserve goalkeeper behind Alexander Famulla. On 27 November 1987, Kahn made his league debut in a 4–0 home victory against 1. FC Köln. However, not until 1990 did manager Winfried Schäfer decide to start him over Famulla.In the following years, Kahn established himself as the team's starting goalkeeper. He was considered a key player and a motivator in the Karlruher squad which reached the semi finals in the 1993–94 UEFA Cup. During the round of sixteen the team accomplished a 7–0 rout of Valencia at its home field after losing the first match 1–3 at the Mestalla Stadium. The game was nicknamed the "Miracle at Wildparkstadion" by the German media. The team was defeated by the SV Austria Salzburg in the next round.
Kahn's performance for Karlsruher SC prompted Bayern Munich to express interest in acquiring him. The team signed him as a replacement for Raimond Aumann at the beginning of the 1994–95 season, for the record fee of 4,600,000 DM (€2,385,000) for his position,and was established as Bayern’s starting goalkeeper. Although suffering a rupture of his cruciate ligament, which kept him off the field for almost six months, he played his first game for Germany's national team two months after his return. Bayern defeated Bordeaux in the 1996 UEFA Cup Final.In the 1996–97 Bundesliga season, Kahn archived his first German championship with Bayern Munich, the German League Cup, and was named German goalkeeper of the year for the second time in his career (the first in 1994)
In 1999, Bayern Munich reached the 1999 Champions League Final, facing Manchester United at Camp Nou. Although Bayern Munich player Mario Basler scored an early goal in the sixth minute of the game, two goals by Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær in injury time led to United's victory. The same year, he was named World Goalkeeper of the Year by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
Kahn was sent off in an incident against Hansa Rostock on 3 March 2001. With his Bayern Munich team losing 2–3 in the final minutes, he snuck into the area during a corner kick, jumped up, and punched the ball into the opponent’s net. He immediately received a red card, which dismissed him from the game. He was named Man of the Match when he was part of the squad which played the 2001 Champions League title against Valencia. He played an important role in the penalty shootout held after the teams remained tied 1–1 after extra time, making three saves.He also received the UEFA Fair Play Award for this match, after he walked up to a disappointed Santiago Cañizares, the opposition goalkeeper, after the penalties and attempted to comfort him. The same year, Bayern Munich won the International Cup at Tokyo's National Stadium against the Argentine team Boca Juniors.

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