Oliver Kahn is a legend of Bayern Munich and German football who is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.
‘King Kahn’ started his career at Karlsruher SC as an outfield player before becoming a goalie during his time in the club’s academy.
He made his debut in 1987 and established himself as a quality goalkeeper over the seven years he spent with the club.
Kahn caught the eye of Bayern Munich with his excellent performances and the Bavarians signed him in a €2.385 million deal, making him the most expensive German goalkeeper at the time.
He spent the rest of his career at Bayern Munich and won a total of 22 titles with the German giants.
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His technique, reflexes, and shot-stopping abilities made him one of the best goalkeepers we’ve ever seen, but his biggest asset was the mental strength he possessed.
Oliver Kahn was best known for his leadership skills, as the Bundesliga legend always aimed to be the number one and was dissatisfied with anything less than victory. His winning mentality earned him the captaincy of Bayern Munich and the German national team.
His behavior on the pitch was a bit controversial though. Kahn has sparked many debates about where one should draw the line between sportsmanship and assault.
During his career, he strangled, bit and kung-fu kicked opponents. He often got physical with his teammates. His actions forced teammate Mehmet Scholl to say: “I am afraid of just two things in this life: war and Oliver Kahn.”
In his 21-year career, Kahn played 557 league games, placing him third on the all time table. He won eight Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich and lifted the DFB-Pokal six times, more times than any other player.
In Europe, Oliver Kahn won the UEFA Cup in 1996 and played two Champions League finals. He surely doesn’t want to remember his first one, as he conceded two goals in the stoppage time and Bayern lost the game 2-1 against Manchester United.
His second attempt for European glory came two years later against Valencia and this time it went well for Oliver Kahn and his team.
The German goalkeeper was the star of the night, making three saves in the penalty shoot-out and securing the fourth Champions League crown for the Bavarians.
On the international level, King Kahn played for the German national team in the period between 1995 to 2006.
He won the 1996 UEFA Euro in England as reserve goalkeeper of the team and captained Germany during the 2002 FIFA Wolrd Cup.
Kahn conceded only one goal on the way to the final, but he couldn’t stop Ronaldo Nazario in Yokohama, as the Brazilian scored twice to win the World Cup for his country.
Oliver Kahn retired from professional football in 2008 and launched a career as a television football pundit.