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535 appearances

Kahn sets new league record for a keeper

The official statistics show that Oliver Kahn only had to make a combined total of three saves against Rostock, Bremen and Hannover, but on matchday 4 in Hamburg, the Bayern keeper was in action after just 20 seconds as he raced to prevent a corner, before he tipped a Piotr Trochowski cross-cum-shot over the bar on 13 minutes. The Reds skipper also stopped Ivica Olic opening the scoring just after the restart as the “Titan“ finally had the chance to show off his ever-impressive talents.

Some 20 years after his top flight debut for Karlsruher SC on 27 November 1987, Kahn clocked up his 535th Bundesliga appearance on Sunday to set a new league record for a goalkeeper, moving ahead of Eike Immel on 534 outings. The Bayern man remained relaxed about the achievement. “It’s the kind of thing you register at a secondary level. You don’t become a footballer with numbers of appearances and records in mind. I only ever wanted success and trophies. And if you’re lucky enough to get to my age and still be in good nick, things like this just happen automatically.“

Away games will be tough

Despite his undoubted pride at the new record, the keeper was more concerned with the here and now on Sunday. “We were being hailed as invincible a few days ago, now they’re knocking us down again,” Kahn complained, rejecting talk of a “letdown” or even a “setback” after the first match Munich have failed to win.

“I’ve always been wary of this hype. We needed to experience how tough it’s going to be away from home. Teams will be totally fired up to do well against us,” Kahn observed, expecting opponents to mirror Hamburg’s aggression and persistence right to the final whistle. “HSV have drawn 1-1 at home, and the crowd’s reacted like they’ve won the league. That tells you everything.“

Long way to go

As captain, Kahn once again attempted to dampen any overstretched expectations. “I’ve been in this job a long time. There’s a long way to go this season, and I’ve been telling the team to expect the unexpected. We have a great team with superb players, we’ve proved that from time to time, but we have to keep on giving evidence that it’s true.”