Oliver Kahn

While a good goalkeeper saves shorts he is supposed to save, a great goalie saves shorts that seem impossible to save.

The Case for Oliver Kahn as One of the Best Goalies Ever

It is June 21, 2002 and South Korea and Japan are co-hosting the theatre of the world’s most beautiful game. Germany and the United States face off in a rather entertaining quarter-final match. Germany (the powerhouse of football) are the odd-on favourite to emerge victorious and all they need to stifle the game is a sniff. However, their opponents have already seen off Portugal and Mexico, and they are on fire. When the final whistle is blown, it is Germany advancing to the final, not because they have dominated the match, but because the United States have been unlucky all thanks to one man: Oliver Kahn. Yes, football is not fair sometimes, but when such a ruthless “machine” like Oliver is between the posts, pulling saves that defy logic, the results can really be harsh on the opponents.

Oliver Kahn was a domineering personality and complete goalkeeper who laid the foundation for many goalkeepers of the modern footballing era. His stature as the all-time best German goalie is well deserved. Both Germany national team and Bayern Munich FC enjoyed the best of Oliver, including his angry moments, especially when his defence lost concentration. In one-on-one with strikers, Kahn was great, and he was also an excellent penalty saver. His heroics in the 2001 Champions League final, during the penalty shootout against Valencia, helped Bayern to win the trophy for the first time in 25 years. He also helped the club to eight Bundesliga titles. Although his side did not win the 2002 World Cup (Brazil was on fire), Kahn emerged as the tournament’s best player, being the first and only goalkeeper to win the Golden Ball at the World Cup tournament.

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